Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Idle Time is the Devil's Playground

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"Idle Time is the Devil's Playground", if that is true then the Devil is pretty bored with me these days.  My life has been turned upside down, inside out, and back again.  I have a lot of life changes going on and the garden is definitely getting neglected.  I am sorry I have not posted more frequently, hopefully within another month I will be back in the swing of things.

Speaking of the devil and things that are hot, my habaneros finally changed from green to orange.  These things just look mean and scary and I won't dare try one.  I grew them this year to give away to some people that like hot peppers.  Last year, they said my jalapenos were not spicy enough.  Hopefully this will give them the kick they need, hehehe!  If these aren't hot enough for them, (I can't see how), I will go up the next step on the Scoville scale and that would be the Indian Ghost Chile.  I have to say, they are one of the prettiest peppers when ripened.  The orange color is really nice.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Have I Lost My Mind? - Store Bought Veggies

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Most of the time, I will do everything in my power not to buy vegetables from a grocery store.  I am sure this is just something inherent to gardeners.  Well today I kind of had a break down and then an enlightenment.

My butter beans were a complete bust this year and I have been really craving them.  So today after work I decided to drop by a local farmer's market and pick up a bushel, but of course they were all out.  The lady told me that a bushel of shelled butter beans goes for about $30 bucks.

Discouraged, but not beaten I decided as a last resort to go to the grocery store and buy a few cans of butter beans.  I was at Publix and for some reason (divine intervention maybe), I decided to check the frozen food section instead of the canned goods.  Much to my surprise, they had all Bird's Eye brand frozen vegetables on sale for 50% off.  Not only did I load up on butter beans, but I also picked up some broccoli and green beans.

The crazy thing is I weighed my butter beans and I got the equivalent of 2.25 bushels for only $20 dollars.  That would have cost almost $70 at the farmer's market.  My total haul was only $32 bucks.  We had some of the butter beans for dinner tonight and they were excellent, even better because of the awesome deal.

It got me thinking about all the time, effort, and money I spent trying to grow and shell my butter beans.  Maybe for certain items I won't waste valuable garden space and resources on high maintenance veggies and just buy them in the store.  I know this is crazy talk to all your gardeners, but time is money and the reality is I have a career and a family.  My time is so precious right now and I am trying to balance my garden passion with my family life.  Makes me question whether I should grow any peas, beans, or things that are high maintenance and focus on just plants that are easier like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, etc.  Any thoughts?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Garden Update and Harvests - August 2, 2012

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I just returned from our annual beach vacation to Florida.  There is nothing like being gone for a week from your garden and being so excited to see what has changed since you left.

As expected I had a ton of tomatoes that ripened on the vine.  I harvested 13 pounds of ripe tomatoes to bring my grand total over 100 pounds for the year!  I am super excited about my tomato harvest this year.  The next thing that changed drastically was my purple hull and zipper cream field peas.  The zipper creams have exploded with pods and I can't wait to start harvesting.

Now for the bad news, something decimated my zucchini plants.  I don't know what it was but it completely ate the plants down to nothing.  I don't know if they will bounce back in time, and I may try one more planting for fall harvest.  I heard from my neighbor that we got lots of rain while I was gone, so all in all not a bad week.

Purple Hulls on the left
Zipper creams on the right loaded with pods

Close up of pea flowers before they form into pods.

The zipper creams are sprawling everywhere.

The silver queen corn shot up while I was gone.  
I have neglected this batch so I hope I get a few ears.

Hungarian Wax Pepper plants loaded with peppers.

Jalapeno peppers, Bell peppers, and Hungarian Wax peppers

Huge batch of tomatoes, over 13 pounds.