Harvest Monday 12/10/12

Things are starting to get down right cold around here.  I know to some of you that sounds funny, 48 degrees and we think it's cold.  But seeing as how it was in the 90's just a few weeks ago, we're cold!  I finally cracked under the pressure of the little guy, and started picking Blood oranges, below is a picture of a Blood next to a Bearss lime.  Around here everyone gets excited for the citrus, but the littlest farmer loves him some blood orange

Rain from the begining of the week, 1 inch is a lot for the first week of December

Radishes are coming up.  Right after this picture was taken these little babies were gone.

Lots of Cilantro and lettuce.  I planted 6 different kinds of lettuce this year, they all seem to be doing well.

Harvest Monday 12/3/12

The rain has finally come.  We have been getting a steady drizzle for the past 4 days, nothing like our friends up in Northern California, but down here any rain is good rain.  All of the veggies that I planted in Oct & early Nov are now starting to be harvested.  Lots of leafy greens and herbs, beets are not far off.  The citrus continue to get bigger and oranger.
TPW makes the best compost around, the June bugs seems to love it, or at least that's what we think these guys are?  Feel free to correct us if we are wrong.  We spent the day having grub races, until the Giant, that's our Jersey Giant chicken, came in and ate them.  Game over! 

Cilantro, chard, and lettuce all set up for delivery.  The blood oranges are coming along nicely, the littlest farmer convinced me that we needed to try just one to see how they taste.  Man was it good!

Some strawberries that a friend of mine gave me have taken hold, and are starting to flower.

Mandarin's getting bigger.

Harvest Monday 11/12/12

What do you do with your Pineapple guava?  We have a tree that gives us a few bags full every year, but no one here is a fan.  Any good ideas?  Have been getting lettuce, cilantro and a few limes.  Most of the citrus won't be ready until January at the earliest.  Avocados are getting bigger, still a few months off as well, all of the seeds that I put in, see previous posts, are up and getting taller by the day.  Still warm, but we did get a few drops of rain the other day!

Status report...

All is well here on the farm, believe it or not, it was 95 degrees here yesterday, November 6th and 95 degrees!  I would really like to be done with summer. Have had to keep an eye on the new trees, not only has it been hot, we have had strong winds the past few days.  I had to add some extra support to the avocado tree.  While I may not be so into the heat, all of the seedlings that I have put in are.  Cilantro, beets, spinach, lettuce, onions, garlic are all looking good.  We have started harvesting some of the lettuce and cilantro, and are still getting peppers and basil.   The new chickens have stated to roam a little, but the Giant keeps them in check.   


All of the citrus have started to change color.  The tangelo's, pictured above, are the coolest.  A small orange dot appears, and proceeds to get bigger and bigger until the orange is orange.



Monday Harvest 10/22/12

A lot more going in than coming out at this point.  Only a few pepper plants left over from the summer, but man are they still producing, Fresno Chilies, Yellow and Purple Bell Peppers.  Already getting some lettuce and cilantro.  It's nice to finally get the fall planting underway.  It was 100 degrees last week, but finally the days are getting cooler as are the nights.  We even had a little drizzle this weekend.  Put in some potatoes, shallots, carrots, and more lettuce.  Citrus trees are all heavy, some are even starting to change color!  The Blood Orange tree is especially productive this year. 
 One of the advantages of a close farmers market is that you get to know the vendors.  I met one of the avocado growers from ACE Ranch, which is in Escondido, south of LA.  He brought up a Reed avocado for me that I put in the ground yesterday.  Now with a little work, some TLC and luck I should have another avo tree that kicks out a lot of fruit.

Also picked up a Babcock Peach to go with the Santa Barbara that I put in last year.

Satsuma Mandarin to round out the citrus selection.

Garlic just starting to poke their heads up.

Beets, only took a few days to germinate, I've learned from last year to do plantings every 3-4 weeks to assure that they keep on coming in the spring.

The littlest farmer is especially excited about the Spinach.  The little thief sneaks into the garden and eats it right off the plant.  I'll have to watch him this year, maybe have him  plant his own patch.

This lettuce germinated in 2 days, no joke.  We have a hot spell for 3-4 days right after I set out seeds and within 2 days they were already starting.  I love the SoCal fall.

Is summer over yet?

It's been quite a while since I last posted, thought that fall was here then 100 degree days prove that that was just wishful thinking.  Notice Col. Sanders below taking a little dip.  September was pretty hot around, it was tough watching the plants that I had worked so hard to raise from a seed wither under the intense sun. 

Lots of Monarch caterpillars on the milkweed this year, we raised a few. 

The last harvest, even found a carrot that I planted last fall.  The only pumpkin that I grew came from TPW's compost.

 Along with the garden and fruit trees I have also been planting alot of native plants.  The Santa Barbara Botanical Garden has an awesome plant sale for the entire month of October, quite a selection.  Put in 24 plants, lots of different Salvia, some Trichostema lanatum, and a couple of Matilija poppy.  Have to find plants that don't need a lot water.   Got two new chickens, 1 Barred Rock and 1 Blue Andalusian, the older girls have been either brooding, molting or the heat has shut them down.  Not a lot of eggs recently.

Put in spinach, lettuce, onions, garlic, chard, a few pepper plants are still in from the summer.

Harvest Monday 9/17/12

Things have slowed down here with the high temps that we have been having, 3 weeks of high 90's and 100's. Friday it was 106, Saturday 104, Sunday 102. All of the tomatoes are crispy, still getting peppers though, as well as onions, figs, basil, and a few other herbs. The citrus are heavy with golf ball size fruit and both the Hass and Fuerte have lots of little avos on them. But what this time of the year really means to us here at 22trees is Horn worm wrangling! We found these big boys and left them under the watchful eyes of a couple guards. They never had a chance.


This juvenile Great Horned owl has been hanging out around our house for the last couple of days. Young ones will actually fly around during the day. The boys and I have been dissecting owl pellets. Super cool stuff!

Harvest Monday 8/27/12

Well things have cooled down a little, only 95. We had 2 solid weeks of 100+ weather, and the garden took a hit. It's always hard this time of the year, I really have to decide what will live and what will get crispy. Ever year I plant more and more drought tolerant plants and heat lovers. The tomaotes, peppers, squash, all love this heat, the cucs, corn, strawberries and herbs have a hard time.   Still getting tomatoes off at least 8 of the plants, and peppers from 5 of the plants.   However, we did have a few surprises, potatoes being the big one!! Can't believe they made it, I thought for sure they were goners. TPW made some pretty tasty potato salad, I have been able to dig up about 20 per week. The fig tree is in full effect, trying to beat the birds is hard, but I have managed to stay one step ahead of them.

Random squash that grew out of the compost that was spread around in the spring. 

And to think, I thought that we would lose this Lisbon Lemon tree.  When we first moved in it looked like it was going to fall over at any moment.  With a little pruning and some food this tree is kicking out large lemons ALL the time!!  TPW made us lemonade all last week.

Monday Harvest 8/13/12

So I returned last week after 2 weeks away, and things have been a little warm.  We have had 5 days in a row with 105+ temperatures, however the weather man says that it should cool off to around 102.  The garden has been a little crispy, but the heat lovers, tomatoes, cucs, peppers, figs, zucs, pumpkins, seem to be hanging on.  

 One of the hauls after being away.  Not bad!

 All of the ladies are finally laying again, however if this heat continues they might shut down.  Lemon cucs, interesting texture.
TPW makes the best fig jam, looking forward to a few jars this year.  I pruned the older fig tree, brown turkey, pretty hard this year so we did not get the early crop.  Need to be sure that I get the figs before the birds do!

Harvest Monday 7/9/12

I always love coming back to the garden after I have been away, and seeing how much it has changed.  Was rewarded with a pretty large harvest.  Pictured below is a fraction of the overall haul.  Cucumbers are in and TPW makes the best pickles around.  Lots of tomatoes from four of the plants, however the others are heavy.  Strawberries are everywhere, they never make it into the house, even got a few plums off of the trees.  Peppers, both bell and hot, are starting to change color.  Avocados are plentiful, looks like my squirrel eradication programis working.  Didn't lose many  

Basil is looking good, I keep them mostly in pots because it get sooo hot here, I did try basil from seed this year and have a few small plants starting.

Repurposed one of Ed's old ladders.  No way that I'm going to trust my life with this old thing, but the beans are climbing all over it! A few of the corn stalks have some pretty good size ears of corn on them. 

All of the pumpkins that I planted from seed look good but they are only putting out male flowers, even with me pinching them off, however the volunteer pumpkins that I have around the garden all have fruit of various sizes.

How quickly Maggie goes from farm dog to house dog when the weather gets hot.   She is practicing to be a leisure model , getting pretty good at it.