Hey all. Happy Harvest Friday! I was out of town all week so I have a major back up of veggies. I need to do some serious salad-eating over the next few days. Tomorrow I am going to be talking about one of my gardening heroes, so please check back!!
You know, sometimes I sit down to write this post before actually taking any garden pictures, and I think I don’t have much to talk about. Then I head out to the garden to snap a few photos and realize so much has changed in two weeks. It’s really exciting! So let’s dig in.
Our aquaponics garden is in full swing now, growing like crazy. Just check out this before and after from about 6 weeks ago. So much greenery is going on!
Six weeks ago:
The only thing that’s missing is our tilapia. The last two garden updates promised you tilapia next time, but we still don’t have them. We are having serious problems with the guy we ordered them from. He kept delaying shipping them and finally sent them last weekend (supposedly) but they still haven’t arrived. I don’t know much about fish, but I know they probably don’t survive very well in the mail in 90 degree weather. Ugh. So I’m just waiting for my package of dead fish to show up. If that happens, we’re going to have to rally for a refund and find a new supplier.
In the meantime, we got some extra goldfish (including Captain Blackfin II) to try to up the fish poop in the system. We also bought some worm tea, which is an organic fertilizer, to add nutrients until we get the tilapia. It’s basically just worm castings soaked in water.
Here’s a new-to-us crop:
Tomatillos! We’ve never grown them before, but are hoping they grow as well as tomatoes.
Just look how big the tomatoes have gotten. Hoping they start producing soon. We just learned we need to start tapping the flowers to pollinate them. Each flower has both male and female parts, but needs a little tussle to spread the love around. Usually the bees do this, but since there are no bees in the greenhouse, we need to start doing it by hand.
Traditional Garden Updates
The potatoes are growing like WEEDS! Two weeks ago they were deep in trenches in the garden bed, and now they’re up and over the top of the bed. We’re going to continue piling dirt on top as high as we can. We’re going to have a boatload of potatoes! I took this picture into the sun at dusk and it came out kind of weird, but kind of cool!
We also planted some more potatoes in burlap sacks. These sacks were a lot smaller than we thought they were going to be, but hopefully they each get at least a few potatoes. We ordered some larger sacks for our sweet potato shoots and some purple potato seeds we just bought. So many potatoes!
Our onions and garlic, which have been growing since we planted them in the fall, started sending out scapes this week! You are supposed to cut these off so that the plant sends it’s energy to the bulb instead of the scape, which is sort of like it’s flower.
Elephant Garlic Scape
You can also eat these. I will have to cut them off soon and figure out what to do with them!
We lost our huge rosemary bush when we pulled up some of our garden beds to build the greenhouse, so I planted a couple new plants. Instead of planting them in the garden, I planted them out in the yard. I’m hoping they turn into bushes like our last one. Edible landscaping!
Speaking of edible landscaping, our fruit is off to a good start this year. The Asian pear tree has tons of little pearlings (I may have made up that word) on it, a ton more than last year. We have thinned them a little bit, but will thin them to one pearling per grouping soon.
The blueberries are off to a good start, too. Last year we had to fight the birds for them, so we need to get some kind of nets to put over them once they start ripening.
Like I said, I was out of town most of this week so I didn’t do a ton of harvesting. Before I left, though, we were making a ton of salads. They all included lettuces, kale, radishes and radish greens, microgreens, chives and parsley. Finished with whatever else I happened to have in the fridge!
I made tacos and topped them with a few crunchy radishes (and the greens!).
And also harvested our first cucumbers! They’re probably going to go in a salad tonight.
We figured out that this variety of cucumber does need to be pollinated. However, pollinating with a Q-tip clearly works just fine. It’s not the most hands-off method, though, so next time we will try a greenhouse variety of cuke that doesn’t need help with pollination.
Hope you have a great weekend! Just for fun, here’s Blackie (we’re so creative with names) chowing on a kale flower: