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The Apple

September 17th, 2015

I’ve been in Ohio for a few days and walking around her garden. As you can see, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
I used to spend a lot of time working in this garden with my mom. It’s interesting to see it change from year to year without seeing it continually.

Did your parents garden?

My Mom’s Garden

September 10th, 2011

I’ve talked about how I share a large potager garden with my mom. She lives an hour away and each week I head over both for work and to work in the garden (and to chat with my mom). We usually spend a few hours weeding, planting, watering and tending the large garden we share. While I was gone on vacation, my garden at home grew up in weeds, but my mom kept on gardening without me so our garden is still looking very good. This year we added a nice gate, last year it was just a piece of fencing with a wire to keep it closed. Since we added a nice gate, we thought an arch of morning glories would be nice at the entrance. It’s just filling in and starting to bloom.

The tomatoes are coming on in full force. I harvested about a bushel of tomatoes last Saturday and another half bushel earlier this week.

The popcorn is doing well, it will be harvested in about a month when it dries out. I don’t know if the sweet corn will produce or not, we planted it late trying to time it so it wouldn’t come ripe while we were on vacation.

Our fall peas are doing well, the carrots look to be sizing up nicely and our kale it doing very well.

My mom and I were discussing this year’s garden and we said we felt bad for anyone who was growing an edible garden for the first time this year. It’s been a rough year here in NE Ohio. The spring was really wet and the peas did not like that. Then it got really hot fairly early, which the broccoli, cabbage, and other brassicas did not like. Our beet crop was washed away by rain and hail 3 different times after planting. At least it looks to be shaping up well for the fall garden.

How has your gardening year been so for? Any troubles with specific crops? What part of the country/world do you live in?

My Mom’s Potager

August 7th, 2011

This past Wednesday I went to my mom’s to work in the garden. The plan was to harvest all the potatoes and then to plant peas and fall broccoli, cabbage, kale brussels sprouts and cauliflower. It rained all night long the night before so we couldn’t plant or dig potatoes, but we could weed. We spent a couple hours weeding her, no longer tiny, potager garden.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know that my mom and I cultivate this garden together. She has nice rich soil and plenty of sun, two things I’m severely lacking here at Chiot’s Run. Each year the garden has grown a little larger and has finally reached it’s final size – about an eighth of an acre. We have a good time gardening together, something we both enjoy. Last year she added the cedar sun shed in memory of her mother, who also enjoyed gardening.

Sometimes I wish I lived closer to my mom so I could spend a little more time working in the garden with her. I usually am able to make it over every week to put in a few hours of garden work. It’s about an hour drive each way.

Do or did your parents garden? Have you ever shared a garden with anyone?

Edible Garden Update

June 8th, 2011

Last Friday I was able to head over to my mom’s and work in the garden that we share. With all the rain we’ve been having and being super busy I haven’t been able to get over much in the last month. I planted the tomatoes and peppers that I started from seed. I also reseeded the beets that got washed away in the huge rain storm. Beet varieties we’re growing:

‘Detroit Dark Red’ Beet – 55 days. The most popular, old standard, all-purpose, red beet with uniform and smooth, blood-red flesh that is sweet and tasty. 14-inch tops make good greens. Heirloom variety introduced in 1892 (source: Bake Creek) These are my mom’s favorite, they make a mean pickled beet!

‘Formonova’ or Cylinder Beet – 55 days. A wonderful Heirloom from Denmark, this one is famous for slicing with its long, cylindrical roots. Produces much more uniform slices than round beets.This tender and sweet variety is also known as “Butter Slicer” because of its wonderful texture. (source: Baker Creek)

‘Golden’ Beet – 55 days. This variety dates back to the 1820’s or before. The beets are a rich, golden-yellow and very sweet. A beautiful beet that won’t bleed like red beets. The greens are also very tasty. A favorite of many. (source: Renee’s Garden)

This year we expanded the garden and added a new gate. It sure is nice to have a proper gate! Right inside the gate we put bean towers that will have morning glories growing on them. Along the front edge of the garden we’re planting flowers to attract beneficial insects and to add some beauty.

Yesterday we were back over to take my dad to the airport and I was able to finally get the popcorn planted, just before a big rainstorm hit (hence the overcast skies in these photos). I’ve grown ‘Strawberry’ Popcorn in the past and it was really great, but this I decided to grow:

‘Pennsylvania Butter’ Popcorn – 102 days. Flavor is superior to commercial popcorn. [Pre-1885 heirloom popcorn maintained by the Pennsylvania Dutch. Introduced in 1988 by SESE.] Produces white-kerneled ears, averaging 2 per 8 foot stalk. Ears contain 26 to 28 rows of kernels, length ranges from 4 to 6 (source: Southern Exposure)

I have just enough space for my sweet corn, which will go in a little later than usual because we’re planning around vacation times. We don’t usually grow sweet corn, but this year I decided to give it a try. A row of sunflowers will go in between the two kinds of corn as well.

Everything was looking good yesterday. The potatoes and peas that we planted a few months ago are blooming (you can see what varieties and the garden plan here). The broccoli and cauliflower that were planted a couple weeks ago are growing beautifully and the onions are also sizing up nicely.

Just as I finished taking these photos the rain moved in and watered the garden nicely. So far it looks like the 2011 gardening season will be a productive one, filling our plates and pantries with delicious homegrown food.

How’s your garden doing? Anything doing worse/better than usual? What have you been planting this week?

The Sky is Falling

May 28th, 2011

Last week I went over to my mom’s house to plant broccoli, kale and cauliflower in the garden. I also spent some time seeding a row of beets and mulching the overwintered leeks. We expanded the size of her garden this year, doubling it once again to have more space for things like sweet corn and sunflowers.

While I was out working the sky started to get dark. Then it started thundering. I finished what I was doing, grabbed my camera and seeds and headed indoors. Right about the time I got to the house it started pouring. I had planned on planting tomatoes and peppers that day as well, but the rain came before I could get them in the ground.

It’s actually a good thing I ran out of time because the storm was really bad. It poured and poured and then it started hailing. By the time it was over there was a layer of hail on the ground.

My tomatoes were outside, luckily, I noticed the hail I ran out and put them in the garage. They lost a few leaves but bounced back, what a tragedy it would be to lose all of my tomato and pepper seedlings! If I had planted them in the garden they would have been shredded. It’s a good things that brassicas are fairly tough plants so all of them survived. We think the beet seeds got washed away since none of them have sprouted yet.

Have you ever lost crops to hail or some other form of severe weather?

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.