Friday, January 30, 2009

My People Call It Maize

Actually it’s called a chayote. Mother Earth News has a 4 page history of the chayote that I highly recommend. My knowledge of this fruit has been kicked down from my mama and grandma. Grams can grow anything and everything and sometimes even the illegal but I won’t go there.

Mother Earth say, “by February it (seed sprout) should be approximately six inches long” and Mother Earth is right! My seedling is ready to be planted however the challenge is going to be finding a spot where this hefty vine can grow. It’s a climber and can grow up to 30 feet; ah what?! Chayote needs a long growing season; by October fruit should be ready for harvest.

Chayote is a mandatory ingredient in caldo (or caldo de res) and for my non-Spanish speaking friends, beef stew. However I enjoy it roasted or in veggie enchiladas. Cook it like you would any squash or substitute chayote for any recipe calling for squash.

I picked up my seed at Henry’s (Costa Mesa, CA). If you’ve got the space, grow this unique fruit and let’s swap recipes in October!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Shade Happens

Who knew you could grow vegetables in the shade? I’m sure you fellow gardening friends knew but it never occurred to me. Never. I have a narrow ick spot between the side of the house and the space where we park a car that is always shaded. It’s been screaming for an update.

A search on mother Google yielded a plethora of possibilities. An article on In the Garden Online was especially helpful. The article mentions 10 crops that are suitable for shade and I happened to have some of those crops hanging around.

Y voila! I forgot to take a before picture but frankly it was ugly looking and who wants to see that side of me?

I transplanted Cauliflower-Purple of Sicily, Cabbage-Copenhagen Market, Lettuce-Container Garden Babies, Chard, and Parsley. Ah, chard, my arch nemesis. I have 5 different types of chard seeds. I think this is Rainbow Chard or it could be Bright Lights. Who knows and who cares because after about a year of trying I was finally able to grow it! My neighborhood BFF "just throws the seeds out" she says and gets enough bounty to feed the block. I on the other hand only produced three seedlings. What the pickles?

How cute is this lettuce? I mean c’mon it’s called Garden Babies. I haven’t tried it yet but it’s doing well in the new shady vegetable patch.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Neko Case for Best Friends Animal Society

My best bud can be a jerk sometimes. For instance last night he woke up at 2:30am and stared into oblivion. He would lie down, sit up, lie down, sit up, and repeat. Here’s the problem, his erratic behavior takes place on our bed. For you see Mr. Wrinkles shares a bed with mommy and daddy. He is only used to the comforts of a warm bed with maximum stretching capacity while his parents are relegated to a corner of the bed.

Wrinkles gets two walks a day, home cooked food (along with veggie kibble) everyday, and unconditional love. He’s a pain in the neck and I can’t picture life without him.

ANTI will donate $5.00 to the Best Friends Animal Society every time a blog reposts Neko Case’s new track People Got A Lotta Nerve. If you have a best bud like mine or just love animals you should do the same.

*The promotion will run from January 13 to February 3, 2009. The song will remain on my blog till then.*

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Coming Up Radishes

I'm going to take a wild guess and say that these little beauties are from the December 1st soil blocking session. Don't ask me who's who but these are Easter Egg II and Breakfast Petit Dejeuner radishes.

So much for taking better notes in '09. I have the capacity to note what seeds I sow however once it goes in the ground so does my good intentions and note taking ability. All would be fine if I didn't have several seed varieties.

How do you properly note what's growing in your garden?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Worlds Are Colliding

And you thought your vegetables were vegan all along. I came across Vegan Mix while I was flipping through one of my many seed catalogs. The box reads "Great for people who do not want any animal by-products in their growing medium." Um, yuk and I don't know any people that do unless you're Monsanto.

I sow cover crops and feed my veggies Sea Magic Organic Seaweed Growth Activator so I don't really have a need for Vegan Mix. Yet I am tempted to order it but discouraged by the additional shipping cost. Actually I'm discouraged to order from seed sites that base their shipping rates on the purchase amount. I can easily spend $100.00 on seeds, seriously, I've done it. So if I spend a $100.00 on seeds why must I pay $18.29 on shipping? A better rate should be offered to those that spend insane amounts of money on seeds!

If you're Long Beach, CA (or surrounding areas) folk and find this locally please let me know!