July’s Garden

fairy home

Fairy Gourd home, tucked in between some peach branches.

pumpkinsPumpkins, here, there and everywhere! I’m so surprised at how well these little Jack be nimble pumpkins are growing.

the hop

The Hop plants are growing steadily…

hop up up up… up, up, up.

corn in the sunblightCorn in the afternoon light. We are having so much success with this little bunch of corn. This week, Jeff picked our very first homegrown corn husk and we had a corn snack!
corn!

delicious corn

corn for EllieWe boiled up the cob and Ellie, Jeff and I enjoyed some corn, from farm to table.

the whole shebang

the whole garden!

flower garden

But can’t forget the flower garden (which needs a little more tending to).
lemon tree

Or the lemon tree! We have a lot of lemons!!

The July garden is lush and full of fruit. We’re still waiting on tomatoes to ripen, but we’ve pulled several lettuce plants out and I’ve planted more carrots (because the other ones did so well). It’s really neat watching this space evolve and grow.

In The Garden

I finally got around to taking photos of our garden this season. We’ve added two new raised beds and planted seeds pretty early on. We’re growing swiss chard, spinach, a few types of lettuce, corn, beans, tomatoes and broccoli. We’re kind of trying it all this time, seeing what grows best in that space on our side yard. It’s been hard to really get into gardening this year with so much else going on but Ellie and I try to get out and tend at least once a day (if we don’t, Daddy at least waters once a day).

ellie waters

more watering

and more wateringEllie loves helping to water with her watering can. She gets all the herbs on the deck and helps me with the raised beds too.
kaleOur kale has just skyrocketed. We eat kale around these parts at least once a day if not more. I’m running out of kale recipes. If anyone has anything else I can do with kale, please let me know, because as you can see we have A LOT of it!

discusting pumpkinsWe set out our Halloween pumpkins in the garden to decompose back into the earth but they are certainly taking their time.
one bed

two bed

hopsJeff’s hops have come back up and this year Jeff decided to plant them right into the ground on the side yard. I’m not quite sure what we will do when we move (we’re renting) but Jeff assured me we would somehow take our hop plants with us.
the whole garden
So there you have it. The spring garden of 2014. I’m hoping we have better luck than last year. We’ve already taken kale off our shopping list which is nice and we’ve substituted kale for pretty much every leafy green these days which helps us a tad budget wise too. Hoping we’ll get some more home-grown produce goodness soon. There’s nothing quite like a veggie homegrown.

Hoppy Days Are Here Again

A boy and his hops. Have I mentioned my husband wants to be a brewer and a hop farmer one day? This is our second year growing hops and thank goodness they have finally started growing because I could see my husband’s dreams of owning a hop farm slowly seeping into the ground when his hops were not doing anything for months upon months. But they finally started growing and are ¬†growing fast!

hop 1

close up

side yard

We’re growing them on the side yard of the property where they get plenty of light. Jeff rigged them from their pot to the top of the house so can grow properly (I really know nothing of growing hops. I just watch and take photos every now and then). They are the fastest growing plants I have ever seen. One full day and the vine has grown several inches. It’s pretty amazing.

close up hop

another angle hop

We shall see how these hops grow this year, being in somewhat of a different climate than last year. We did get a few hop cones on our balcony in Orange County so I’m curious to see what happens with more space. I’ll keep you updated on our hoppy progress!

Release The Lady Bugs

We have a serious aphid problem in the garden. My brussel sprouts which were growing beautifully are all of a sudden covered in aphids. I was debating cutting them all down but thought I should try bringing in the troops first. We’ve had some luck before with ladybugs and our balcony garden in Orange County. This seems like a bigger job but I thought I’d give it a try before doing anything rash like chopping everything down. Ellie and I went to the garden store and picked up a bag o’ ladybug as well as some praying mantis eggs (hoping they hatch ¬†and start munching away on the bad bugs soon). I released the lady bugs that morning and it was certainly a sight to see. I love watching them do their thing. I’m sure our neighbors think I’m quite strange rooting on the ladybugs as they find and devour those nasty green aphids that are destroying my garden. We shall see in a few days if the lady bugs were bug enough to take on such a feat as my garden… for now, I leave you with lady bug pictures!

lady bug 1

ladybug 2

lady bug 3

ladybugs go marching

crawling away

Eloise’s Monthly Photo and {this moment}

8 months

Okay so there are words involved with this week’s this moment but Ellie’s monthly photo falls on a Friday this month so I had to include both!

{this moment} “A single photo. No words. Capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.” -joining Soulemama!

this moment with dad

Happy Friday! Have a fantastic weekend!

Out In the Winter Garden

containers chard, parsnips

celery/peas winter2013

parsnips

brussels

lemon tree

orange tree

The winter garden is growing ever so slowly. Maybe too slow. We are keeping the snails at bay with freshly crushed and baked eggshells throughout the garden but with the random hot weather and very cold weather that keeps cycling through, I think the plants are confused. We have herbs growing inside and some spring time seedlings as well. I’m excited to get them planted outside but the weather has been so hot. Our lemons are waning but the orange tree seems to be continuously producing. We have so many oranges we have run out of ideas on what to do with them. Do you have any orange recipes? What’s happening in your garden?

A New Garden

I’ve been growing food for a couple of years now. However, it’s always been on a balcony garden and my yield has always been very small. In this new house we have a pretty decent sized yard. So, this is the first time I’ll have enough space to grow more than a couple handfuls of tomatoes and herbs. I’ve been so excited about gardening I just couldn’t wait till spring. And since this is California, Jeff and I went to the local nursery and picked up a few plants to tide me over through the winter and also until he could make me my raised bed I’ve always wanted.

cabbage

chard

red chardWe have some containers filled with chard and cabbage (container cabbage- who knew there was such a thing?) as well as a little container of lemon thyme, winter peas and celery.

lemon thyme

DSC_0184

peasEverything has been doing very well except for some snail damage to some lettuce and our cabbage but we’re trying to keep them at bay with crushed egg shells and salt and any other snail tricks we read about.

The past two months or so, my wonderful husband has been hard at work building me a raised bed. He finally completed it this weekend and I got to finish planting my winter garden.

painting the box

prepping

dirt inThe finished raised bed! We would have loved to fill it up with composted soil from the worm bin Jeff built a few years back but we have yet to get that up and running. It’s on the to do list! So, we filled it up with some organic soil from the nursery and I went ahead and planted what we had left. Some brussel sprouts, lettuce, broccoli and more beans. We shall see how it turns out with it being our first go at this raised bed thing and the fact that we are attempting to grow things in the dead of winter but I had success last year on my balcony in Irvine, so what’s the harm in trying. Here’s to growing in 2013!

winter garden 2013