Sunday, April 29, 2012

Late April in the Central Florida Garden

My tomatoes are still a couple of weeks away from ripening. Plums are almost there--I'll probably pick one tree this week and let them ripen on the countertop. (Well, plums don't get sweeter, but their texture improves after picking so long as they're not mishandled or refrigerated.)

We picked six pounds of peaches and three pounds of blueberries. (Not from my garden! But from local you-picks in Lake County: Valley View Vineyards and Blue Bayou Farm. Both are located near the delightful Yalaha Bakery, itself worthy of a destination drive...) So, sometime today I need to find the time to make a couple pounds of peach preserves. My wife is going to bake my favorite peach pie tonight!

Anyway, very prolific time in the garden. I've been picking vegetables for supper every night. In addition to the crops below, I'm still managing to harvest a decent yield of broccoli, lots of chard, and plenty of Tuscan kale. A few cucumbers, but the season for them is just starting.

All this (and fruit!) from three small garden plots, none of them larger than fifteen by thirty feet.

My fig tree is just packed. I really hope I get a good harvest this year!

I recently planted a few eggplants and peppers... But the garden is full now and I'm going to travel most of the summer again, so I'm not going to do much in the way of a summer garden. Just some crowder peas, eggplants, hot peppers, sweet potatoes and peanuts.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Fresh blueberry pie...

We picked out by the Yalaha bakery today. Peaches from Valley View and berries from Blue Bayou. This is the best pie EVER. A mix of cooked and fresh berries.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

More April Garden Pictures... Squash, cucumbers, tomatoes in the Central Florida Garden

 First squash of the season. SlickPik from Johnnys.
 My trellis system for cucumbers and beans and tomatoes...
 Pum ae squash. Very tasty. I don't know where I bought these seeds... 

 One of my Asian Long cukes. I find that "style" of cucumber to do best here in Central Florida. 

 Plums are maybe five days to ripening. So many plums on a five-foot tall tree. 

Lots of fruit, but none of it particularly close to ripening. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

April harvest...

 The large carrots are Navarino, planted at the beginning of November... I pulled about 1/3 of a row. Some large and well-formed... Others, not so much. The smaller carrots (a mix of colors from Johnnys, I think) I planted at the beginning of January. They had gotten completely shaded out by tomatoes. A lot of perfect, finger-long carrots for pickling. The beets should have been picked a month ago. Their foliage was completely devoured and they were suffering from nematodes. Still, they'll be good roasted with the carrots for this week's lunch vegetable...

 Borage. Or bee meth. The leaves are delicious, tasting strongly of celery. The herb (or green--it's quite a vigorous grower) is eaten all over Scandinavia, I'm told. I think I'll make a pie from it when I harvest it in a month. But for now, I'll let the bees enjoy it. Last year, they grew chest-high. Hollow stems, though, so no good for the rainy season. Dead-easy plant to grow.

 The plums should be ready for harvest in the next week or two... Peaches are coming along, too. 

Elderflower cordial...

They're blooming, so, I'm making these classic British refreshers... Cordial and liqueur.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

The April Garden in Central Florida...

A quick update in pictures...

As usual, Slick Pik squash is the first of the season. Pum ae is coming along, too. For whatever reason, Slick Pik doesn't tend to produce lots of male flowers but goes straight to females. Much earlier harvest.

Green beans... These are Kentucky Wonder. I have some scarlet ones that are blooming heavily already.

So many figs. More than 200. Gosh, I hope these ripen. Last year, they fell off the tree suddenly... But these are almost ripe and show no sign of drop. (Fruit drop is pretty typical for all fruit trees before they reach full maturity.) My persimmon tree is loaded with blooms, too. 

One of my Gulf Series plums... I have hundreds of plums this year on three tiny trees. 

I use metal conduit, rebar wire mesh, and zip ties. Best tomato "cage" ever. the gaps are around four inches, so easy to reach through. As the tomatoes grow, I weave the growth into the spaces. Last year, the tomatoes outgrew the six foot wire, so I used more zip ties to affix bamboo canes to the wire, and that worked out pretty well... Lots of fruit. The Juliettes are nearly ripe... 
Posted by Picasa