The cucs are in, as well as tomatoes, avocados, peaches, figs are a few weeks off, herbs, onions and garlic.  It has been in the upper 90's for the past week, not much June gloom here, the weatherman says that it should cool to low 90's next week!  TPW has been making pickles with the cucs, pretty tasty.  The loquats are gone, I was amazed by how many people said, I love those things but can't find them anywhere. 

Last years tomatoes with this years onions, garlic, and basil, TPW turned this into a killer sauce.

Salad for two.

TPW's black gold compost.  We can usually get 2-3 loads throughout the summer.

This is the chrylsalis of the Giant Swallowtail butterfly that I found on one of our orange trees, see last weeks post.  The boys have been taking good care of it, the perfect pet.  However, when it comes time to release this guy I think we'll drive him down the road.

This pumpkin was a volunteer with the compost, it has taken over the bean, pepper and cuc bed

Lions tail, Leonotus leonurur

First cactus flower of the summer.

Harvest Monday 6/25/12

First official week of summer, and the peaches were right on time.  The branch has provided us with 20-25 peaches this year.  I think having the loquat bloom this year helped us survive the squirrels, as they had plenty of fruit to gorge on.  Also the avocados are plentiful, again I think the loquat tree has helped.  Lots of herbs to cut everyother day, the basil is my favorite, cucumbers and tomatoes are loving the heat.  Strawberries are tasty, need to plant more this winter!  Along with the fruits and veggies, we have quite an extensive collection of cactus around the yard, TPW thinks it'a a little to extensive and wants me to down size.  Pictured below is one of the night blooming varieties, you can smell it a mile away. 

 Onions, garlic and a few chillies.

First few ears of corn had emerged from the corn that the littlest farmer started at school.  The sweet one million cherry tomatoes have really kicked it into high gear, the boys have been doing a good job of thinning.  Planted 15 different types of tomatoes this year, all seem to be doing well.

Birds, bees and bugs
The next best thing to having a hive of your own is a neighbor that has one.  Watched him switch out boxes yesterday, it went from a one story to a two stories in record time.

Looks like bird poop don't it?  Actually it's the caterpillar of a Giant Swallowtail Butterfly.  Never seen one aroud here, but I guess they aren't that rare.  Bad news is that they can really devour citrus trees, good news is that this one won't.

Nest of Allens Hummingbird in the Fuerte Avocado tree.  After this picture was taken it took it's first flight.

Harvest Monday 6/18/12

Last of the apricots, man were they good!  I looked at them on Sunday morning and thought that they could have used a day or two, came back in the evening and they were good to go.  Beat the squirrel's, TPW has promised a crumble.  Getting about a handful of strawberries a day, however the boysenberries flowers are drying up and falling off, did the same thing last year.  HELP!!?  if anyone has any ideas please let me know.  It's like the whole crown of flowers/berries just dries up, end of story.  The rest of the plant looks good.

June in the valley means a couple of things, one is that the heat is coming, get ready, and two is that its Jacaranda season.  These trees are all over LA and they have a very cool purple flower, however they drop alot of debris.  Luckly ours is not over anything of consequence.

The avocados are still plentyful.  We pick 5-6 every week so that there are always avocado on the counter ready to go.  I almost have the rotation down perfect.

One of the summer projects is a garden path.  We have a lot of stones scattered around from various projects.  We'll see how far I get.

I planted 2 Pomegranate trees last year.  This is the one that's in the garden, I am going to keep it pretty small and let the other, which is outside the garden, get big.  Both have 5-6 pieces of fruit on them.
Peaches are close, the branch has held on.

Next years crop of avocado's.  Haven't lost many during the June drop,

Harvest Monday 6/11/12

TPW taking it easy.  Things have really started to take off out here, lots to report this week, a few firsts as well.  Summer is just around the corner, and boy are we ready.  First fig of the season, and it looks like there will be a lot more on the way.  First cucumber, as well as lots of little sweet 1 million tomatoes.  All of the chickens are back to laying eggs, the Giant was brooding.  Lots of strawberries, and might even get some boysenberries.


 First fig of the season, Brown turkey.  The youngest fig tree, put it in last year, has lots of little fruits ready to grow into big fruits.  As long as I can keep the squirrels away!

Onions are kicking it into high gear, as is the garlic.  Planted both last fall.  Can't believe how easy they are to grow.  I see lots more in the future
Apricots.  This is the three years old tree.  The older one didn't have as many due to the fact that I pruned it pretty hard this winter.  Oh well.

Matilija poppy, in addition to tthe fruits and veggies I also grow quite a few natives.  This is one of them, the actual flower can be over 10 inches across!!

 My summer chill spot.  I can keep watch over the land from up here, don't get to sit much, but it's good to know it's there.

Santa Rosa Plum

So my potato project has been going for a few months now, see previous post, and it looks like the trash can is the winner so far.  I think that the trash can offers the most support, the mounding takes so much dirt.  The straw was a little better but not enough support for the plants.  Now for the final test, to see what's under the soil.  Stay tuned... 
The loquat tree is at it's breaking point.  These trees are all over LA, but sadly most people have no idea what they are.  As I posted about earlier, a lot of work for a small reward, but we at 22trees love them.