June 18, 2012 - Second Post Today

I spent some time in the garden this morning, as I'd noticed more of the sweet onions were flopping over.  Darn, I wish they'd get a bit larger before I have to pull them.  We had some really strong wind gusts yesterday, which didn't help matters any.  Some of the Silver Queen corn was leaning badly, so I straightened the stalks and pushed the soil tightly up around them.


More floppers from the "bad" bed.


Some of the larger ones in the "good" bed were also flopping.

I checked the eight broccoli plants, and four of them are getting good sized heads.

This is the largest one, growing in the triangle gardens.


It's 5" across now, which is already larger than any I grew last year.


The second of four growing in the triangle gardens.


The third, and smallest in the triangle gardens.  Number 4 isn't heading up yet.


Remember the broccoli plant that was dying?  Look at it now!


I removed the dying leaves and pulled the soil way up around the stem, firming it in.  It's looking healthy as can be now, and the broccoli head is nearly as large as those on the bigger plants.


I want Stefaneener to see how badly my pole beans are growing this year.  They should be lush with growth, and way up over the top of the fence by now.  And this is the best of the three beds!


I harvested a few things, like my first yellow crookneck squash, cherry tomatoes, raspberries and the usual 3 strawberries (don't worry, the next wave of blossoms is now coming on, and more and bigger berries will be appearing some day). I decided to pick the last of the shelling peas, and pull the vines to allow the volunteer Cherokee Purple tomato some access to sunlight. It was cool and cloudy, so a good time to expose it to the world. You have to look really close to see the poor spindly thing inside the pea tepee. 


When I came in from the garden, I decided to make a Zucchini Fudge Cake with the two fresh zucchinis I had stashed in the refrigerator. While I mixed and baked, Mr. Granny cooked breakfast.  He made sausage and eggs for himself, and fried up some of the potatoes I had left over from boiling them for yesterday's potato salad. I passed on the sausage and eggs, but the potatoes were just too hard to resist. I ate as I baked, and when I had the cakes in the oven I looked around and....... 


 ACK!!!! What a mess we had made!



You can't see the chocolate cake batter that splattered on the wall and the toaster, but it was there.


And you can't see the grease Mr. Granny managed to splatter all over the stove and counter, but it was there.  The kitchen actually looked messier in person than in the photos!


I worked on it while the cakes were baking.


Now I can make frosting for the cakes and mess it all up again!


32 comments:

  1. Yummy!!! Broccoli, onions, cakes, potatoes, sausage, eggs, cake, it's all good!!!

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    1. 1st. Man, Mama always said "Eat your veggies"....potatoes and zucchini cake are two of my favorite veggies!

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  2. Yep, those pole beans aren't as happy as they could be. Are they bronze colored? You do realize, don't you, that your "ack, horrible!" kitchen looks roughly like my "nearly clean" kitchen? I'm so tired of mess. Tiny kitchen and many people equals a lot of messing.

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    1. Not bronze at all, Stefaneener, just earwig chewed right to their veins. Now that they have decided to climb, I'll give them a shot of fish fertilizer. They are looking a bit pale. I would be pale too, if earwigs chewed me to my veins :-(

      I had 15 people here for meals yesterday, and stayed up past eleven last night cleaning up. I actually got up to a spotless kitchen, so it was a definite "Ack" that it got that messy by noon.

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  3. I think it's the cold weather that messed up beans this year. And I'm absolutely drooling over your onions!

    of course your kitchen is spotless while mine looks like a tornado went through it every time I cook something :)

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    1. Oh, Jenny, I always make such a big mess when I cook! Not tonight though, I've cleaned up my baking mess and I'm cooking leftovers in the microwave! How dirty can a kitchen get making salad, LOL!

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  4. are those the fortex beans?! I am disappointed in their production! Maybe give them a shot of compost top dressing and or fish emulsion tea? hmmm.
    Glad to see you survived the fun but tiring job of cooking for the clan!
    The messy kitchen is a sign of a happy home in my opinion (as long as it gets cleaned before it's gross). lol

    I am going to clean out my freezer some tonight and make 4 loaves of banana bread (unless i end up out too long for errands and "stopping by" the garden which often turns into us staying til we can't see what we're doing). lol It's supposed to be sunny here or NOT RAINING which is sunny for us, the rest of the week! woohoo. I can't wait to get more work done out there and be able to go sit out there and be one with the birdies. I also might go by and pick some strawberries and get the jam making process on the road. Yahoo for a rain break!
    I love your countertops btw. They make a mess look like a clean kitchen. Nice trick! I need new ones as mine are made with white tile with white grouting and omg is that a pain to clean. SOMEday, someday. Small kitchens=no space, I have to agree with Stef.
    I wonder why the onions are done so early. Is it just the wind or is the wind also drying out the stalks enough to make them flop over before they draw water from the soil. Have u tried blocking some wind at all?

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    1. Amy T, it's insect damage on the Fortex. The earwigs are horrid this year (but I've only found one small slug!). I have some Fortex growing in a bucket on the other side of the yard, and they are just fine. I'm growing them for seed though, so I hope I can get the ones in the garden to take off, as I want some to EAT. I'm pulling the snap peas this week and will plant Fortex there. That's where they have always grown well.

      Looking back at previous years, the onions are only about a week earlier. It's hard to block 60 MPH wind gusts! It's more likely the stalks are too wet, not too dry. We have had more rain than usual, and the yard sprinkler hits that bed too.

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    2. ok well i didn't want to think we sent bad fortex's. I really was hoping for them to be good ones. I guess ya can't control the earwigs...or can you? I have to read up on them.

      My onions blew over a little bit in our windy weather of late (had one night of bad bad windy weather) but for the most part they're still standing but not looking NEARly as fluffy and gorgeous as yours are. Mine were planted in a bad for planting anything else spot on a fluke and I thought that wld be good to repel the critters from coming in and munching other things. Now I want my onions to size up so will rethink where they're planted next year.

      So much going on i'll email u the details but shelling peas are flowering like crazy, and snow peas too, both have tiny peas on some plants, then potatoes are flowering and one starting to have wilted flowers which is making my fingers ITCH to dig! Same with beets, I wanna dig beets but my buddy here said to let them grow bigger. I have a hard time letting them get bigger but we'll see.

      more in email...this is too long!

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    3. Amy T, there's nothing wrong with the seeds. I gave all three beds a good dose of fish emulsion yesterday, and replanted a few areas that were the worst. Hopefully they will grow faster than the earwigs can eat them. I also ripped out the sugar snap peas, and planted some there. I'd better get some now, as that was the last of that big packet!

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  5. oh my goodness look at the size of those onions. I simply have had no luck growing onions. Those are lovely..

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    1. Thank you, Texan. Maybe it's because I live 45 miles from Walla Walla that I can grow Walla Walla Sweet Onions! It must be the sandy soil.

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  6. We had to pull the rest of the Candy Apple Red onions, too. The wind came up and knocked over the ones that hadn't been blown over the day before. The Walla Wallas, Super Stars, and Candies are still looking good though.

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    1. Langela, we got two warm days in a row. Yay. Now it's cold and windy, and as soon as I finally decided it wasn't going to rain and hung out my laundry, it rained. Of course!

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  7. What I tried this year and it actually worked with my corn is take a good bit of surrounding soil and create a mound around each corn plant. The plant will send out more brace roots and won't blow over as easily. It worked for me, but obviously you need soil to work with.

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    1. Kris, the larger, earlier planted corn didn't lean at all. Just the small later planted. I guess the roots weren't quite long enough to hold it. I had just watered, and the ground was really soft. No damage was done, I just pushed them back upright.

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  8. Your "small" onions look better than any onion I have ever grown, mine are always puny.

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    1. Vanessa, I'm not that unhappy with the size. The smaller ones, like I'm pulling now, are a better size for cooking. The huge ones are good for onion rings and raw slices for hamburgers.

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  9. Your home garden is my dream garden!!! I love the setup, the variety, and the production. What a gift that you document it for us!

    Would you ever mind doing a mini-tutorial on how you grow potatoes? I have never grown them and I feel a tiny bit ambivalent about them. Your potatoes are gorgeous and I would love to learn from you!

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    1. What a wonderful compliment, Shannon! Thank you.

      Here's a mini tutorial, just for you!

      I really don't do much with the potatoes...I dig a trench about 9" deep, the length of the bed (my beds are 7' long and 3' wide) and scratch a bit of compost and a scattering of pelleted organic fertilizer into the bottom with my old 4-tined long handled cultivator. I lay the seed potatoes in the bottom, spacing them 10-12" apart, and cover them with about 3" of soil. As they grow, I keep raking the soil around them, always leaving a few of the top leaves showing. They don't always grow at the same rate, some are fast and some are slow, even in the same row. Just keep doing that until all your soil is raked back into the trench. I don't chit (sprout) my seed potatoes, I just buy certified seed potatoes from a local feed store and sort through them and find the small (egg size) ones. If I have to get larger ones, I cut them in chunks that contain at least two eyes and let them sit on the windowsill for a couple of days to dry out the cut surfaces. Then I plant them.

      You can just let them grow until they die back naturally, then dig them. I never wait that long, as I like the young potatoes. Any time after they've blossomed you can feel around the plant with your hands and pull out any that are large enough for eating. That doesn't disturb the mother plant, and it keeps on producing and the potatoes keep growing. I've harvested 15 pounds that way from three 3'x7'beds, most of them from one bed of red potatoes.

      If and when you are ready to plant, if you have any questions, my email address is in my profile. I'd be happy to help you any way I can. Good luck!

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    2. SHANNAN, forgive me for misspelling your name...I have a daughter, Shannon. It's by habit :-)

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  10. Yeah I don't know. It doesn't look all that messy to me. My mess shows up so much better in photos since the counters are black. Sadly everything shows. I remember I once had a floor where you could drop just about anything and not notice it. I swear everything just disappeared. Sometimes I wish I had a counter like that.

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    1. Daphne, it was messy! I'm a messy cook anyway, and it was worse than usual. I guess those dark multicolored countertops help when it comes to photos, and in photos you also don't realize just how long those counters are, and how much clutter they can hold. I'm finding my new flooring is good at hiding dirt everywhere but right in front of the sliding glass door, where the light hits it directly.

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  11. LOL, love the "mess"! At least your onions flop over... mine bolt with 8 ft flower stalks and render them useless for storing LOL

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    1. Erin, I always have a few that bolt early on, but never more than I can pull and use right away. I was lucky this year, as only two of them went to seed. Of course, this variety is useless for storage anyway, but they are so darned good I grow them every year anyway. I wish I had a food dryer, I'd dry chopped sweet onion that could be reconstituted for use on burgers. I've never tried frozen chopped sweet onion, thawed, raw. I suppose it would be fine hidden in all that ketchup, relish and mustard.

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  12. I'm sure the beans will pick up once the weather gets good and warm. It's been a very cool first few weeks of summer here. Only a handful of days of full sun. The last time we had a late Spring/early Summer like this none of my main season tomatoes ripened. Hoping that doesn't happen again!

    I find it strange that all of your other plants have been consistently ahead of mine, but the broccoli are apparently on exactly the same time table. Plants can be so weird sometimes.

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    1. Anywhere, is the weather ever going to get and stay warm? We actually had the air conditioning running on Sunday, and on Monday I had to wear a sweatshirt out in the garden!

      I'm going to hit those beans with some fish fertilizer today, replant bed #3, and make a decision on whether or not bed #2 is salvageable. I'm also going to (probably) pull the snap peas this week and plant more pole beans in their place. I need about the same amount of total green beans as I had last year, which was right at 52 pounds, for fresh eating, freezing and spoiling the two dogs who love them. Luckily, all the bush beans are growing just great and forming small beans now, but I love my Fortex!

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  13. your broccoli looks great as does everything else!

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    1. Thank you, Mrs. P. This just might finally be my year for decent broccoli!

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  14. My beans are dawdling too but they are growing (the pole beans were a mess last year with our cold summer so I am glad to see them healthy just slow). The bush bean patch came in rather spotty for me and is also really dawdling. We are supposed to have two nice days of decent sun and warmer (for us) weather and I am hoping the beans use the opportunity to really run.

    Your kitchen looks better than mine even when messed up.

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    1. Kitsap, thankfully my bush beans are growing great. Both varieties have small beans, and the third patch is up and (so far) not eaten by earwigs. At least we're not supposed to get more cold weather, even though we're still 10 degrees below the norm.

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