Saturday, November 14, 2009

November 14, 2009

Brrr it was cold today.  Not freezing, but puddles were iced over none-the-less.  It wasn't raining so the boys and I spent part of the day outside raking leaves.  Remind me not to wait until mid-November to do it next year.  Wet leaves are more of a pain to deal with and wet junk droppings weigh a ton, making it impossible to get them all into my yard waste container (I don't want them in my compost, not sure why). 

So now my compost bin is full up with wet leaves.  Maybe I'll run to Starbucks tomorrow and grab some Grounds for Your Garden to throw in on top.  Maybe get some heat action going so I can see the steam wafting off it.  I haven't been as active at composting this fall since work's been hellish.  In fact, I haven't even been using my kitchen compost because the bucket is full.  I SO need to empty it tomorrow so we can get back to using it.  I am such a bad gardener right now, it's unreal.

Anyway, thanks all for your thoughts on my stevia plant.  It wasn't getting any sunlight on the top of my fridge.  I have since moved it to the unheated garage where it's in the southern facing window.  Hopefully the limited direct sunlight it gets in the fall/winter is better at keeping it alive than warmth since it's really cold in there right now.  hehe  Oh, and as for the grow lights idea, unfortunately my setup doesn't reach more than 18 inches and the plant is taller than that in the pot, so that won't work. 

Stay warm and dry and dream of spring!

Friday, November 13, 2009

November 13, 2009

Happy Friday the 13th!  Just had to post tonight to say that my youngest grabbed a broccoli stalk from a snack tray and started nibbling on it.  Now he loves it all of a sudden.  This is huge because he's my junk food kid.  My eldest tried it and gagged.  I always expected him to like it first since he's my veggie kid. 

Anyway I'm thrilled.  The only bad part is he doesn't believe that daddy's broccoli tastes even better, and I am fresh out this year to prove him wrong.  Too bad my broccoli didn't have enough time to mature before fall.  Next year I'll follow KitsapFG to the T.

Short post, but on a separate note, I brought my 18 inch tall stevia plant inside this fall hoping to keep it alive through the winter so it would be perennial.  Well, so far, it's been parked on top of my fridge and the lower leaves are all turning brown and dying.  It's not for lack of water.  Any ideas?

Lastly, it hailed at my house today, then froze into a crunch sheet of ice.  Insane for November here.  How's your weather?

Monday, November 9, 2009

November 9, 2009

Whew, I was on my way home, hankerin' for some baked-potato soup made from home grown potatos and green onions when my wife called.  Of course I needed to pick up sour cream from the store.  What almost made me crash was that she said after that.  Apparently the potatoes smelled like fish and were rotten!

My immediate thought was "drat, I knew I should have harvested sooner."  The yukon gold plants died off a month ago and I just harvested them Sunday.

It wasn't until she explained that it was the bag of Russetts we picked up from Costco that were the fishy rotten ones that my heart started beating again.  Seems we now know how they could grow, harvest, package and bring to market potatoes at $0.25/pound.  They were past their prime. 

All that meant is that we needed to use more of our prescious stock to make the soup.  I had planned on mixing them to not only add flavor, but to drag out our supply.  In the end, it was the best potato soup I've ever had.  I can't wait for left overs. Yum!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

November 8, 2009

Hey folks, sorry I haven't been posting for a while.  Work has been in panic mode with this economy.  That and Fall has made it so I leave in the dark and get home in the dark. 

That said, I took the time yesterday to gut the garden a bit.  There were tomato plants everywhere that went to Cedar Grove rather than my compost bin.  I don't want to continue the Blossom End Rot that I had in droves this year.  They've got a much more sophisticated composting system than I do.

As for my fall crops, about the only things to survive and thrive were the carrots.  It looks like I've got a good amount for snacks all winter, if the raccoons keep away from them.  Let's hope the deterrents work when it gets colder. 

What didn't work was the broccoli and cauliflower.  I really need to start them indoors in June or whatever so they're hardened off and growing strong in late summer.  My biggest plant is good sized, but shredded by some pest.  There is no way a stalk is going to form in this weather.

Speaking of weather, it's storm time here in Western Washington.  Thunder, lightening and down pouring rain is par for the course.  There's nothing to protect but the carrots, so I didn't put up my hoop covers this year. 

In addition to clean-up, I harvested my potatoes. I know folks are curious how they turned out.  Well, the Yukon Golds that I threw into my SFGs did great.  I got 22 pounds out of it.  Some were very nice.  They're currently drying in the garage on some newspapers.  The kids were a big help with that.

Unfortunately the BAYG potato bins failed even worse than I thought they would.  You may recall that I gave up on building them up in August when my schedule got hectic and I couldn't keep up with it.  I just let them grow and was going to be happy with about 1.5 feet of potatoes.  Well, I dug and dug yesterday and found one lousy potato.  There were probably a few more smaller ones that I destroyed with a shovel I used at the end when I couldn't find anything.  You're really not supposed to use a shovel. 

I'm not totally convinced that potato bins are a bad idea, but I just don't have the time to baby the bins.  Maybe I'll try it next year.  Not sure.  I don't have the room to plant rows every year.  At least we've got 22 pounds of Yukon Golds!  Can't wait to try them.

Hope your fall gardens are more productive than mine. 

Enjoy your garden!