Potatoes and Strawberries

I’m not sure when it was, maybe late March, early April, but we were in Sam’s club and we were wondering around and I saw a bag of seed potatoes for sale. Probably one of the few times I’ve been swayed to purchased something due to packaging. Simple brown gift type bag with very clear images of what was inside….must…have…now. In the cart it went. Of course the Adirondack Blue variety of potato on the cover didn’t help.
Anywho (take a breath), we got them planted today…yay.
Most of the potatoes I cut up into quarters and set out for a few days. Some were fairly small so I just left them whole ( as the photo will show).

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The strawberries, which for the first 2 years were basically food for the bleepn’ bleepn’ chipmunks. They’d wait for the strawberry to be almost ripe, take a big bite and then leave the rest of berry as one more middle finger to the stupid humans. So in the fall/winter of 2011, I said no more…well…I actually said many other things ( go ahead, take few guesses).
We moved all the the strawberries to a raised bed on the opposite side of the upper wall garden. We bought more plants as well as were given plants from our neighbors cool front yard strawberry patch ( thanks Natalie ūüôā
And then….we put a lid on it! Boom! Climb, chew, crawl your way through that, you cheeky little bastards…stay out of my fracking strawberries.
Lets just say I got berries last year and we were able to eat and make jam.
The first picture is from last year.
The next picture is one of our 3 covered strawberry “patches”.

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This is the first strawberry of the season!!

Asparagus, asparagus…yum yum

We have been working on our asparagus patch for the last six+ years. It was in the upper garden for the first 4-5 years. They were barely even producing enough to snack on…they were also planted right in the middle of the upper garden. So, we dug them up and transplanted them to the raised bed garden along the wall of the upper garden. (With the exception of one plant that got left behind…and it grows just fine).
It took two years for the transplants to settle in but they are now doing great and we are finally able to harvest enough to snack off, and have with dinner … Yay!

Earlier this year I cleared out the the other side of the bed and planted 20 new plants.

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Just gonna jump right in…

Holy garden, it’s been a real long time. Just gonna jump right in…move forward as well as try to play a little catch up….

Sooooo, the next several days I’ll try to multiple entries…here we go

Picked first tomato. It’s an Heinz Heirloom Variety. It’s been growing in my kitchen since February. Not sure if its going in the garden or not. I’ve been thinking of just upgrading its container and putting it on the porch. We’ll see.

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It’s been awhile…

yes…it has been while. ¬†the onslaught of seed catalogs has been fun for a bit, but then, like everything, it just turn to work. ¬†but, i not only placed my order, i have received my seeds from Bakers Creek Heirloom Seeds. ¬†I waited too long and of course, they were out of the Blue Berry Blend Tomato…check it out…

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so much odds and ends have gone on since the end of fall, but for now, i would just like to share that we lost another chicken.  poor, Maple.  the red tailed hawk lurking around for days finally won.  only a large pile of her feathers were left.  she was so sweet.  she was the only americauna we had that laid blue eggs.Image

this is around the same time last year that we had to fortify the chickens and build them a run to the lower garden and enclose them for a month or two until the trees and shrubs began to green up. so, today we built them a run down the hill so the hawk cannot grab another girl. ¬†the chickens are a little confused, but i’m thinking aren’t they aways …and this way i still get eggs, not feathers

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the run end into a 18’X 18′ enclosure that can hang out in.

Brrrrr

Flo picked a bad time to molt. ¬†With night temps in the high 20’s/low 30’s, i felt like i should knit her a scarf. ¬†all the ameriacanas are also molting, which currently means no eggs from them. ¬†only light brown and dark speckled brown eggs.

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garlic…finally

i finally was able to get the garlic in the ground (last week). ¬†i mostly planted “chesnok red”… probably because it was what i had left in storage, and it was starting to sprout. ¬†i also planted “spanish roja”. ¬†they are both hardneck types, but the only the “roja” is an heirloom.

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if you look closely, you can see the tips of the garlic in their rowsImage

 

i covered the planted garlic with finely shredded leaves, and then a covering of straw

 

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of course, you can not forget the chicken protection.  a bale of straw is like chicken crack.  they go nuts scratching at the straw.  i put down plastic fencing on top of the straw and then use a few pieces of hard plastic tubing to hoop over and keep everything in place.  that way when, and it will happen, the girls venture to the upper garden, they do not destroy the planted garlic.

 

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as you can see, more leaves found their way in to the garden and over the garlic (and everything). ¬†i’ll remove the top layer of leaves in the spring, and some of the straw, leaving the plastic cover as long as possible. ¬†basically, before the garlic grows up through it.

 

here’s most of the upper garden put to rest for the winter

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sweet potatoes

the sweet potatoes were one of the several vertical plantings i experimented with this year. ¬†(especially after they took over the lower garden last year). ¬†a lot of green, but only a little ‘fruit’. ¬†too much nitrogen…and, now i know. ¬†i planted this years sweet potatoes in the upper wall garden ( a long, but narrow raised bed). ¬†they did fantastic.

this is from the beginning of the season

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not the greatest pic, but in the middle of the photo you can see the tops of the sweet potato plants. ¬†guess, i forgot to take follow up shots as the plants grew…this the best i have. ¬†the taller plants to either side are the lima beans.Image

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this is just part of the harvest, i had already taken some up the hill to dry in the sun.

next year i am going to find another location to grow them…and try to double what i planted this year.

i have already planted another blackberry bush in part of the sweet potato location

helper chickens

chickens are funny. ¬†i think i say ‘they’re so funny’ as much as i say, “they’re sooo stupid”. ¬†either way, still entertaining.

they have been “helping” me put some of the garden/flower beds to rest. ¬†which translates to me removing whatever barrier was up to keep them out, and them jumping in and going to town, destroying whatever’s left.

vera

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pickles

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bonnie

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jumo and maple…with the last of the summer crop of black seeded simpson lettuce (from the lower garden)¬†Image

pickles and flo ‘helping’ with the sweet potato harvest. ¬†more on that tomorrow.Image

 

chicken coop…because i dont think i ever showed itImage

 

not bad for november

decided to pull more plants/flowers, even though they are still producing.  i guess its better to clean up the beds when 1. the weather is not too bad,  2. i actually have the time, and 3. you know its gonna look like s**t next week any way.

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picked more lima beans…

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lots of activity this past week

spent a few hours a day the last few days harvesting vegetables, removing plants, tidying up beds, etc…the tomatoes and pepper plants are still going strong. ¬†re-staked the peppers think ing that Sandy would give us more wind and level them. ¬†we did not get too much wind, so everything is still upright.

worked on an interesting project this weekend, and will share it in the next few days…

just some pictures of what’s still growing…

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this is an heirloom radish “rat tail radish”. its a podded radish that grows above ground. ¬†there is nothing mild about this fall crop. ¬†sometimes tangy and other times like horseradish.

 

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these are the leeks that will over winter.  there are two beds of leeks.