Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

Padron Peppers

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

This is my dog, Moogle. He’s an almost two year old Maltese. He loves food. Possibly more than I do. This picture was taken with the help of some padron peppers (more on those later).

Unlike most dogs, he doesn’t seem to have an aversion to spicy food. He loves curry paste and seems to enjoy scrounging around for chili pepper bits on the floor. However, he’s not a big fan of basil or arugula, but he’ll still sit, beg and chew on whatever you give him — he’s a good sport. He’ll just spit the leaves out when you’re not looking.

In other news, here are some cherry tomatoes from my plants — the orange ones turned out much sweeter than the red ones, though the red ones aren’t bad by any measure. I’m going to try saving seeds from the orange ones, though I suspect everything in my garden is cross pollinated anyway. The flower is from a small flowering bush of some sort I adopted from work.  It’s produced some pretty flowers, but they’ve been full of bugs and spiders (though of course I realized this AFTER picking them and bringing them inside).

And one of the two pounds of padron peppers I purchased from the Ladybug truck. I’ve been eating these quickly fried in olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. So tasty.  I’m going to try to save some of these seeds too.

Now I just have to figure out what to make with the coriander berries I bought…

Backyard gardening

Friday, July 30th, 2010

And I’ve neglected this blog… again.

Instead I’ve been busy turning my backyard into a little farm.  I’ve got seven tomato plants, a bunch of squash plants, strawberries, salad greens, Thai chilis, herbs, beans, peas, watermelons (still tiny sprouts, I’m getting suspicious) and shisho.  A few things are planted in the ground, most are in containers — including many recycled containers.

The tomato plants are getting pretty big — one of them is at least as tall as I am.  They’re also laden with green fruit, so we’ll see how long those take to mature (it’s been rather overcast lately, I can’t imagine that helps them). The strawberries are sending out runners and making baby strawberry plants like weeds. If they survive through winter to next spring/summer, I’ll have  a lot of strawberries.

I’m trying to hang beans instead of giving them something to climb on, and so far it seems to be working. I picked a first bunch of green beans last night — they were tasty.  One plant has gotten clever though — it’s growing up the string, so I’ll be rearranging that to hang down soon.


Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

A few weeks ago, I bought a six-pack of strawberry plants from Target. I transplanted them, watered them and gave them lots of sun. Last week — I finally ate the first fruit! And, they were fantastic. They were concentrated, ridiculously sweet… almost like strawberry candy.

This weekend, I planted eight more strawberry plants (I want moar!) and I’ve put five of those into a homemade hanging planter (made from an Odwalla orange juice jug).  The other three still need a permanent home.  I’m hoping this hanging system will prevent the fruit from rotting! (A couple fruit from the first batch of plants were moldy before they were ripe. Sad.)

Pictures to come, my camera needs batteries.

Recyled Yogurt Upside Down Planter

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Yogurt Container + Plant = ThisPerhaps I’m getting carried away with this whole reuse-recycle idea… But in another attempt to grow things in containers, I’ve strung up an empty yogurt container and now have a marigold seedling growing out of the bottom.  I took the picture right after the planting (yesterday).  When I checked on it today, the seedling is starting to grow sideways.

I’ve seen upside down tomato and strawberry planters for sale… But those both seem like heavy plants that my yogurt container, kitchen twine and bike handle (what its hanging off) might not handle so well.  What plants do well upside down? Is an herb garden hanging over my kitchen sink a plausible idea?