Evening glow in the greenhouse

Evening glow in the greenhouse
WELCOME TO MY BLOG! I am glad you found me because I hope I can be helpful or at least interesting for you to follow, be you a gardener yourself or just watching vicariously.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Some parts of the greenhouse are getting crazy with plants running into each other and oer lapping so that I can't even walk through.  Garden Dog especially hates the giant zucchini plants that block the path.  They scratch his legs and are too tall to jump over anymore.  Even though the hot dry is getting so boring and ugly around the edges, the garden has finished off the melons with all the dryness and no moisture to split the watermelons when they are close to done.  The raspberries are just about to fall off the plant, the hot weather has made their tissues weak.  Tomatoes continue to ripen, though they, too, are soft from the temperature swings of 45 to 95 degrees.  All in all, the dry weather has been a good thing even if I am so ready for some rain.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Diary 9/25/12

Garden Dog is upset because he says he has not been getting equal time on the blog.  So here's to you, Garden Dog, Chaser of Deer and Cows, Champion of Chickens, and Harasser of Cats.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Diary 9/24/12

We attended a wonderful gathering of neighbors yesterday.  Some of the longest term residents visited with some of the newer ones.  Stories were told, emails and phone numbers were exchanged, and good times were had by all.  It was not only a good get together, but an important function in a rural community where being neighbors can have more important duties sometimes. Thank you to some of our newest neighbors for throwing the shindig.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Diary 9/22/12

This guy, my great, great nephew, was very happy with the wagon load of produce that he scored from the garden.  He dropped by on his way to go camping with his mom and dad. Another satisfied customer!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Diary 9/21/12

Busy day and I am still awake, but not for long!  The cooling temperatures are nice even though it is still so dry here.  Ready for even a scant amount of moisture, but it is doubtful that it is going to happen soon.  There is an outside chance.  Anyway, somebody really likes the cooler weather; somebody with quite a bit of fur.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Diary 9/20/12

Busy weekend coming up.  Just seven bags going out tomorrow.  I have my last WIC nutrition coupon customer tomorrow also.  Slowly winding down.  There is still quite a bit of vegetables in the greenhouse, just less all the time with cooler nights.  If the greens can catch up, I will have enough to keep CSA going strong.  If not, I will start dropping members as their seniority has placed them.  Some of my members have been in my "Upper Rogue Grab Bag Program" for 11 years.  That is 5 1/2 years of weekly produce, at six months each year! WOW!  I'm tired just thinking about it, ha-ha.  Making plum sauce from my favorite of the wild plums, the Pool Plum. It grew up right next to our above ground pool which is now the small water feature in our yard. Anyway, I have them cooked down, now to make jam.  I think I will do a batch of just plum and one of blackberry plum.  They will be pretty colors, I know that much.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Diary 9/18/12

Beware of planting too many summer squash plants!  This is what I harvested off of two zucchinis and one yellow squash plant this morning.  Too many to eat?  Just cover with a damp tea towel and re-wet daily to keep squash fresh.  Refrigeration tends to dehydrate them as does storing on a kitchen counter.  They get rubbery when they dehydrate. Though are still useful in soups and such, this wet towel gives them just enough moisture in their vicinity to keep them happier.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Diary 9/17/12

I had this Praying Mantis visit me while I was folding laundry outside yesterday.  I run the dryer for just a few minutes before I hang clothes up outside and they are not stiff that way. Saves $ and conserves energy and if I have the time, I like the fresh smell they have from being outside to sun dry.  Anyway, this guy was headed across the top of the table I use and it is like a desert island for an insect.  When he crawled to the other end, I lowered an Oak branch which he recognized as his escape route immediately and climbed aboard.  I watched him climb up the branch slowly for the next few minutes while I was folding.  When I came back out after a half an hour, I couldn't spot him anywhere. They could be called "Preying" Mantis as they really like to surprise and attack their fellow insects.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Diary 9/16/12

I have to look twice to see we are already past the middle of September.  I have plans to reduce my deliveries in three weeks as this long hot spell has taken its toll on some fall crop progress.  I will deliver a bit to a few over those next weeks and wait for Water Boy's brother to arrive.  There is a slight chance of rain or at least a change next weekend.  Evidently there is a "rex block" that is causing another week of 90 plus temperatures that will wander off east by then.  Weather fascinates me.  I know enough to make stupid predictions that rarely come true! Last week I took all these great cloud pictures thinking they were to lead to a rain by nightfall.  I watched them build in anticipation and I watched them recede with sunset delivering no rain at all.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Diary 9/15/12

Have you ever heard anyone remark about the amount of acorns being related to the prediction of a hard winter?  I think more study needs to go into it before one can make that call.  Last year there were very few acorns and it was indeed a mild winter. Two years ago it was impossible to walk across the top of the garden because there were so many acorns you might turn an ankle or at least fall.  By the time winter did arrive there wasn't one to be found.  They had all been hauled off by squirrels and birds. That winter was also mild which blows the hard winter theory out the window.  It could be that acorns come every other year much like most of our fruit trees produce.  There is also the fact that we were in La Nina for the last few years, now in the middle of summer I heard we had switched to El Nino, wetter and colder than the milder La Nina.  Use my blog search widgit for more info.  I talked about El Nino and La Nina earlier in my posts. Whatever, I am going to try to watch from now on, and note any correlations I can come up with!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Diary 9/14/12

After years of growing way too many hot peppers, I showed good restraint this year to the point that hot peppers have become somewhat dear to me.  I planted only 1 Cayenne, 1 Jalapeno, 2 Anchos, and 6 Anaheim Long Green Chilies.  I seem to have enough  that I can still send a few to the CSA members who want them and enough to make the spicy dishes I have wanted to so far. I still have two bags of frozen misc. hot peppers from last year having used only one of the three bags I saved.  I pickled some last year which were tasty, and I may not have that many this year.  Still, I am happy to have only a small basket of peppers to use as I wish.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Diary 9/13/12

It all started because I had three eggplants that needed to become something.  Then there were the few tomatoes that had problems and pokes that could not be sold.  I worked my way across the counter top chopping and adding it all; three types of peppers, 2 zucchinis, 2 onions, one small, one split in two, garlic, basil, tarragon, and salt.  Everything-but-the-kitchen-sink sauce is spicy and delicious and you can't even tell it all started with 3 eggplants!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Diary 9/12/12

 It is a pleasant surprise to find the chrysanthemums getting ready to bloom up a storm of color, while most of the other flowers are at the end of their blooming cycles.  The yellow mums on the deck make a good splash of color in the middle of the tired purple petunias. they keep so well when cut that I usually have some in vases until Christmas. Even the cheap plants in little planters they sell for not much money this time of year have transplanted well.  I never tie my old plants up well enough and they spill into the aisle with profuse flowers that force any passersby to admire them.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Diary 9/11/12

Sorry for not blogging much over the last few days.  I got stuck working at this construction site and had a hard time finding time.  At least the supervisor was easy to work with...  Now back to reality and gophers, deer, and hot, dry weather. I am seeing a screeching halt in production.  I also saw a bed of greens that the wind blew the row cover off of and the deer ate.  One less week of greens to sell.  Funny how unbothered and safe the stapled down row covered beds are compared to any sight of anything green.  The cold nights have brought some more deer to the oasis, my garden.  I will try to fill bags for 5 more weeks, but who knows if I can even pull together enough for that with the damage the gophers have done to some of the tomato plants. The temperature is not changing which would help greens grow.  The things that are happiest are melons and corn.  For tomorrow's bags I have some nice white corn to put in and many will receive a muskmelon of some sort.

Monday, September 10, 2012


Zinnias like sparklers, watermelon, the smell of sunscreen, and the sound of the cicada symbolize summer to me.  The cozy warm feeling that summer can hug you with, that I can remember and imagine in winter, the only two more weeks I have to enjoy of it for now.  I have a few volunteer zinnias in the one greenhouse.  It is always fun to see what colors they are going to be. I also planted some plants of zinnias in a flower row towards the bottom of the garden that I started from seed.  They are almost overshadowed by the glorious sunflowers in the same row.  The zinnia's attention to detail on their many petaled faces is mesmerizing.


I have certainly enjoyed the sunflowers that I planted this year.  I wish they could hang around for winter.  They would keep anyone cheerful on a grey day.  Like so many edges of the garden now, I see what has passed, what I am finished with, what has been harvested or will not make another crop this year. I love this time of year, as things slow down out there.  I especially love the progression of colors.  There is still alot of green out there, but this corn and those beans are finished and drying down.  The sunflowers will only add to the fall scenery as it arrives.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Diary 9/6/12

The watermelons are looking very good.  I hate to jinx myself in that a deer did eat a melon less than 20 feet from here. Hope the netting and scant fencing will protect these.  I have the feeling they will all be ready at the same time. Have enjoyed a couple yellow doll watermelons already.  Their light skin gets a bit lighter when they are ready.  Otherwise,to figure out if a watermelon is ready to pick I look at the tendrils on the stem at either side of the tendril where the melon is hooked on.  If they are dry, then the plant is no longer feeding the melon and it is ripe (or as ripe as that vine will ever make it). I give watermelons a firm pat in the field or when I am buying them at the store. Drumming on the melon to hear a resonant sound also tells you it is solid and full of liquid.  On either side of ripeness, not ready or over-ripe, the thud of a melon will not sound like a drum.  That's it for watermelon folklore from here, ha-ha.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Diary 9/4/12

That looks nice.  I would like to just sit in those chairs relaxing and enjoying the view reflected in that window.  Whoa, wait a minute.  That's my porch and my chairs and my view! Hmmmm!

Monday, September 3, 2012

DIARY 9/3/12

I have a hard time thinning.  I am better at thinning carrots and spinach than I ever was up until now because I understand how I won't get much if I don't. Then there are things like peaches.  We have only the one tree.  It is the root stock of a failed nectarine, but it gives wonderful white peaches.  I know I am supposed to bang the branches with a two by four and make some of the fruit come off so the others will be larger, but I am reluctant.  I read a treatise about thinning in the Findhorn Garden book a long time ago that made me worry about the whole issue of thinning and how you pick which ones to remove.  It makes me think every time I do thin about which little plants will make the sacrifice so the others can grow.  I  also plant more frugally hoping thinning will be at a minimum. I think I may have waited too long to thin these peaches, so might as well let them go, thus avoiding the issue altogether :) !

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Diary 9/2/12

salting makes them sweat

Ready to freeze
Busy day "putting food by" for winter.  I had three eggplants staring me in the eye on the kitchen counter.  We had eggplant a couple times recently and it wasn't in the plan for dinner.  Then I remembered my friend and neighbor, Deb, said that she would fry slices of eggplant up and freeze them to make eggplant Parmesan or eggplant burgers later. So, that is what I did. I salted the 1/2 inch slices to remove excess water, patting them dry after an hour and a half.  I made a coating of some panko and bread crumbs, dipping the slices in egg first to make the breading stick, I then fried them in hot oil. I put them out on a pan in the freezer until morning when I will bag them up.  I feel so domestic.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Diary 9/1/12

I had a date with these Italians last night.  They got sauced!