Harvest Monday 6/10/13

Haven't posted in a few weeks, actually it might be a month, but things have been busy.  With summer just days away for us, and the temps getting warmer all of the fruits and veggies have been growing like crazy.  Apricot season came and went with a dozen or so nice big pieces of fruit off of the new tree, the old Blenheim gave us quite a large crop of small but tasty fruit.  Then it was the new Santa Barbara Plum tree, maybe 15-20 big juicy plums, see picture of the littlest farmer below, sooo good.  The old plum tree did not give us much this year, I did prune it pretty hard this winter, so  I didn't expect much.  Now the first of two crops of figs.  The new Brown Turkey has 4-5 nice figs, with many little figs for the fall crop.  The older fig tree is where it's at!!  A lot of BIG figs, now I just have to beat the squirrels.  A few oranges, grapefruit and mandarins still on the trees,

 Finally got the garlic and onions dried.  Actually TPW did all the work.  We should have quite a bit of garlic for the summer and fall


Getting a lot of cucumbers, slicemaster, pickeling, and persian, all good. A lot of cherry tomatoes, Sweet 100, and 1 million kicking out a lot of tasty nuggets.  A few larger ones as well from the other plants.

Went to school last week and found this little guy next to the lost and found bin.  Got a pair of tongs and a trash can, grabbed him and took him to a better area, for both him and the kids.  One of the great things about living and teaching in the Santa Monica Mountains is the wild life.  Great reptiles, mammals, birds and plants, and being a science teacher you never know when the next teachable moment is going to poke it's head out.  The picture is a little blurry, but he was about 1.5 feet, two small rattles on it's tail.  Oh yeah, it was a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake.  Haven't seen any in the garden yet?  

Harvest Monday 5/6/13

Things have been pretty hot and dry here lately, and when I say hot I mean 96 degrees and 6% humidity.  We have had some  big fires north of us for the past few days, but believe it or not rain is in the forecast.  It's late in the season for rain, but we're ready, rain barrels cleaned and primed.  Lots coming out of the garden, lettuce, spinach, herbs, chard, kale, avocado, and lots of citrus, grapefruit, lemon, lime, and oranges.
Getting a handful of strawberries a day, but they don't last long.  Finally harvesting the garlic that was planted on the fall.  Now to dry, I have been reading all different ways, but can't settle on any.  So... any suggestions would be great.  It's pretty warm and dry here so I think that they might be able to lay on the dirt.  Just don't want the slugs or any other vermon to get them before I do.



Elephant garlic on the right regular garlic on the left.  These babies are huge.  Onions are ready as well, sweet white onions.

The Iris are coming, the Iris are coming.

In addition to the fruits and veggies I also have quite a selection of Iris, courtesy of the previous owners.  These are the first ones to open up, last year I counted 13 different colors.

Harvest Monday 4/22/13

And this years winner of the first tomato plant to kick out fruit goes to the Champion in the upside down pot.  Finished putting in tomato plants today, now have 15 plants in various spots around the garden.  Hope it's better this year, I think things just got to hot last year, however if yesterdays temp was any indication of things to come we are in trouble.  93 degrees yesterday.  Lots coming out of the garden: spinach, lettuce, last beets, snap peas, herbs, oranges, tangerines, avocado, chard, kale.  I think that's it?
 First figs on the new tree, we usually get 2 crops, the older tree has fruit on it as well.  Looks like the severe pruning I did last year is going to pay off.

Still giving away quite a bit of the leafy greens.


Now if I could teach the girls to lay avocado's.
From this...

to this...

to this.  The only thing better than fresh squeezed OJ, is popsicles made with fresh squeezed OJ!

Harvest Monday 4/8/13

Pound for pound potatoes are the best bang for your buck.  I gave these guys little if any attention over the past year, and they have consistently produced.  It's a bummer that TPW and I are the only ones that like them.  I just put more in, Yukon Gold and Reds.  I have been switching over to the summer stuff, but I am going to try to keep the cilantro, lettuce and spinach going as long as I can. Still getting lots of citrus, avocadoes, lettuce, spinach, herbs, and other assorted leafy greens.  Onions and strawberries should be ready in a few weeks. 
Gave away a cooler full of Chard, Kale, Cilantro, Spinach, Parsley and lettuce, feels good.

 This chard plant has stalks as wide as my hand, and just the other day the littlest farmer go lost in a patch of cilantro, had to send in his brother to get him out

 Lots of sugar snap peas, these guys are over six feet and growing.

Along with the veggies I have been planting cactus for the past few years.  My brother has a place down in Joshua Tree and I come home with boxes of assorted cactus every time we visit.  I have them all around the garden fence to keep the rabbits out.  A picture of some of the sweet peas that I have growing on the garden fence.
The latest addition to the coop.  I added a penthouse for the girls, made of recycled wood that I found around the yard.


I added the nesting boxes on the left of the original coop as well as the roosting area on top.  Kind of the Winchester house of chicken coops. 

Spring time!

Spring time on the farm and things are bursting.  As you can see below the littlest farmer's head  has been over taken by cilantro.  All of the greens are exploding, lettuce, spinach, cilantro, herbs, as well as beets, onions and snap peas.  We are also still getting oranges as well avocados.  My favorite citrus this year has to be the Tangelo.  They are so juicy that you have to eat them outside or you risk a puddle of orange juice at your feet. 

Dwarf Bearss lime tree.  Should have fruit on it by next year.

Rock rose, and a few shades of poppy.



Which one is not like the other?
Looking out at the Apricot tree on the left and Pomegranate on the right

Harvest Monday 3/18/13

A sad day today at 22trees.  We lost one of our first chickens, Colonel Sanders, we had had her for 3.5 years.  She had stopped laying eggs about 6 months ago, and in the last few days had become pretty bad.  Yesterday she just sat in one spot for the entire day, and when I put her back in the coop I was afraid that I might have to put her out of her misery in the morning, however it was not needed.  We found her on the floor of the coop this morning.   Its funny how attached we become to our pets, and how much they become a part of our life.  We will all miss her.

Lots of lettuce and spinach.  We have been giving it away by the bag full

Of course oranges...

...and avocadoes

Lots of beets, this is just a sample, and probably the easiest thing to grow, potatoes.  The littliest farmer and I dug up about
20 pounds this morning.  TPW made a killer beet salad with lettuce and potatoes from the garden.  Wish we could grow a salmon tree!