Garden Update; Breaking Even with the Monsters

April 24, 2010
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In my previous post about the expense of gardening I know I said I hoped not to have too much more non-plant related expense, but alas, I spoke too soon. 

The digging of the raccoons got to be detrimental to the garden. They were taking out so much soil from the bottom, the beds were sinking! Something had to be done. In the end we decided to add another layer of protection to the base of the beds which also acts as a support since the ground is not exactly level. 

Keeping out the Monsters; Before and After

The new wood seemed to stop the digging for a while, but after a little rain, the ground is softer so they are still digging, though not able to actually get into the beds. Score one for us.  Since they could no longer get in from below, they crawled up inside, to …

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When Does “Growing Your Own” Become Too Expensive?

April 6, 2010
Thumbnail image for When Does “Growing Your Own” Become Too Expensive? When does growing your own vegetables become too expensive? I'm not sure I can answer that question but it's a valid one to ask. Every year I grow a garden and every year I'm sure I spend more on the garden than if I bought organic vegetables from the farmer's market. So this year, I've decided to track everything I spend and then everything I yield to get a realistic picture. This doesn't mean I'll stop, even if it's more expensive, but it's important to recognize that not everyone may have the means to (be it space, time or money) to have their own garden. Go to the post to keep reading about what I've done so far...
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How to Peel and Seed Fresh Tomatoes

August 20, 2009
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I love my garden, I really do. And I think the fresh tomatoes were quite possibly the best thing about it. But late in the season, due to some insects eating the leaves and the blazing summer sun, I got some really ugly tomatoes. uglytomatoesThese were not the picture perfect ones seen in previous posts, but rather, they were sunburned and splotched, and a few, were slightly chewed on. But like all children, they are still beautiful on the inside, and perfectly edible (ummm, ok, not like children).
So, what to do with my unattractive fruit? I can’t give them away, I’d be too embarrassed. The answer is to cut away and peel off all the ugliness. Then, they are pretty again and ready to be made into sauce or soup. If you just try and peel a raw tomato you will find yourself participating in an exercise …

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Quick Mid-Summer Garden Update

August 5, 2009
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This is 2 day’s haul from the garden last week. In the photo are 4 different types of tomatoes, lemon cucumbers, an eggplant, a zucchini, and a cucumber. Was the no-dig method successful? Yes, I think so. Did it work for everything I planted? No, but I learned in the process and will be better prepared for the next go-round.

As of today, parts of the garden are still in full swing and others are winding down. I still have some Black Truffle and Brandywine tomatoes (which I think cross-pollinated because I’m now getting big, fat, dark tomatoes) and the zucchini and eggplant look like they are getting ready for round two. Other tomatoes are starting to wither and the green beans never really could survive the aphid onslaught.

I’m starting to think about what to plant for my “fall garden.” Any ideas of what would be suitable for …

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Garden Update; The World’s Most Expensive Tomato

June 7, 2009


Yesterday we ate the World’s Most Expensive Tomato.

Ok, not really, but sometimes gardening feels that way, doesn’t it? When you factor in what was spent on building the raised beds, filling them with hay, alfalfa, manure and compost, buying the plants, building the fences, buying critter repellent, water, and time,  it seems like it would just be easier and less expensive to go and buy a good tomato at the Farmer’s Market doesn’t it?

I have to say though, it is incredibly satisfying to pick that first tomato.
The eggplant, tomato and basil in the photo above all came out of my garden yesterday.
No recipe, just slice and grill the eggplant with a little olive oil. Slice the tomato. Arrange on the plate. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with chiffonade of basil, fleur de sel, and freshly ground black pepper. I’m not sure there’s anything …

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Garden update; the Octopus in my Garden

May 16, 2009
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gardenoctopus Today we finished the irrigation project. Every plant now has an ugly black rubber tube leading to a low-flow drip irrigation end. It will save water and keep me from having to lug the hose from plant to plant. But the manifolds (1 for each bed) looks like an octopus, albeit a 12 legged one, snaking tiny black tentacles throughout the beds.

Yes, we still have intrusions by the monsters raccoons . But they seem to be more random and sometime we go days without seeing any activity from them. I found a way to keep them from eating the pieces of potato I was trying to grow; I started the potatoes in pots and then transplanted them when they got to be about 4″ tall. So far, so good. I’ve done the same with onions, though I may leave those in the pot because it looks kinda cool.

Some …

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