You Will Love These Folks!

Imagine a space one fifth of an acre in size, about the average city lot, 66×132 feet. Now of course on that space is a little house, a garage, driveway, paths et.  So when you subtract all of those you end up with one tenth of an acre. Gosh doesn’t sound like a very big space does it? And you are right, it isn’t a very big space.

But with a great deal of effort and determination that small space has done something really really amazing. In 2010 that ONE TENTH of an acre,( just .1) produced 7,030 pounds of fruits and vegetables! WOW! NO GMO crop could possibly do that! NO Chemical Company can produce those kinds of yields in modern American Agriculture in any way shape or form! They do not even come close!

BECAUSE in PER ACRE amounts it totals: 70,300 pounds. No current big farm agriculture can possibly produce 35 TONS of fruits and veggies on an acre of land!

NOW, imagine if every person that could possibly do this, would do it. Where ever they live. Even if they didn’t manage these ginormous yields, but just think if every one grew their own salad, potatoes and green beans?

Think of how beautiful our cities would become with all that green. Think of how much pollution of all sorts would be reduced. How about whole city blocks of people getting together and landscaping the whole neighborhood together, with everyone sharing the produce of the different trees? That alone would be priceless.

One of the things America has surely lost in most places: a sense of place, of belonging, a local food system, a sense of caring and community. This is a way of beginning to get it back.

The Dervaes family have a number of websites, all of which you can access from this link.

Now around here, it is hotter than blazes and half the state of AZ seems like it is burning up with no rain or let up in sight. So I will dream of fall and winter and early next spring….hopefully the next pea crop will be as good as this ones was:

It’s a Jungle Out There

Well, here’s a few pics from around the yard to catch up since I missed so much of August.

gardensept09 001Heavenly Blue morning glories cover an arch by the front gate.

gardensept09 002The small sunflowers are still blooming. They attract a lot of butterflies and bees of all kinds.

gardensept09 003One of the surviving Heritage raspberries has put on a few fruits.

gardensept09 004The Moon & Stars watermelon is going strong, tho no fruit yet.

gardensept09 005Elephant Ears & Canna lily

gardensept09 006The Jicama are going strong, just hope they are making nice big roots!

gardensept09 007Can’t hardly walk beside the house for all the plants out there.

gardensept09 008Delicata squash almost ready to pick.

gardensept09 009The eggplants in pots on the patio are doing very well.

gardensept09 010A couple of Rio Grande pepper plants loaded with fruit.

gardensept09 011The back garden. The two empy beds in the middle are for carrots and parsnips.

gardensept09 012Kentucky Wonder green beans cover a 5′ wire cage. So far it’s been so hot they haven’t set any beans, but I found one yesterday so we should have lots of them soon.

gardensept09 013Apache Purple pod beans cover part of the greenhouse. They are just beginning to bloom.

gardensept09 014Cucumbers & beans. I don’t think we’ll get many more cukes tho, they are severly infested with aphids. I think I should probably just pull them out.

gardensept09 015Four o’clocks bloom by the front gate.

gardensept09 01616 baby artichoke plants in their pots. Just not sure where I’m going to plant them!

gardensept09 017The 11′ Lima beans, which still have yeilded no beans.

Wow, it’s July Already!

My how time has flown this year. I can’t believe it is already July, so much has been going on around here! With hotter weather and especially warmer nights things have really been putting on some growth.

gardenJuly09 001This squash started out innocently enough, just a little sprout in the compost in the corner of the greenhouse bed…..I now believe it is an alien bent on taking over the garden!

gardenJuly09 002Liberty said we had to grow pickles and so we are, here’s a couple still on the vine 😉

gardenJuly09 009Here’s the greenhouse from the other side. The big bushy plants in the tubs are huckleberries. I haven’t grown them before but they are doing very well, loaded with flowers and green fruit.

gardenJuly09 010I just finished potting on some eggplants and peppers into these 2 1/2 gallon containers. The peppers are Rio Grande. The large leaved plant just behind the peppers is my little fig tree, growing from a cutting I took last fall. Behind everything are some of the potted potatoes.

gardenJuly09 014A Delicata squash grown in a large tub. I love these little winter squash, they are very sweet and tasty. Much better than any acorn I’ve ever tried.

gardenJuly09 015Purple de Milpa, a purple tomatillo from the Seed Saver’s Exchange.

gardenJuly09 016On the patio the Trombocinno is taking off and so are the yard long beans.

gardenJuly09 017A young Trombocinno squash

gardenJuly09 019these “Snow White” tomatoes are certainly misnamed, tho they are sweet and juicy.

gardenJuly09 020The Jicama have finally quit pouting and started growing now that is warmer.

gardenJuly09 022The grey water filter tub is growing a good crop too. Kabocha squash, Elephant ears, canna lilly

gardenJuly09 023A Moon & stars Heirloom watermelon seedling. This time of year nothing is safe from the birds and every little seedling has to be caged to keep them from being ripped up and eaten.

gardenJuly09 025The King of the Garden Lima beans are still going at it. They are now 11 FEET tall!

gardenJuly09 026Bloody Butcher corn is doing well. some of the popping sorghum and broom corn were wiped out in an afternoon when the chickens got loose, but there are still some plants left.

gardenJuly09 028Looking along the driveway from the front steps, the bergamot is blooming, the grape vine thinks that everything is there just for it to climb on, like the apple tree.

gardenJuly09 029This is a Blacktail Mountain watermelon. It’s one of the ones growing on the compost pile out back.

gardenJuly09 030Here’s another little watermelon along with a cantaloupe. We would be much closer to eating cantaloupes except for the darn rodents that ate every single developing fruit! as well as munching on the vines. They are making a comeback now though.

gardenJuly09 032Baby Blue Hubbard squash on their compost pile. They look a bit sad because I forgot to water them one day and when I got to them they were badly wilted. They are doing fine now though, with several small squash coming on.

gardenJuly09 035Here’s one of those Baby Blues, next to the compost thermometer, which still registers 140 degrees. It actually went down to 130 but a good watering and it went up to 150, but has settled back down to 140 again.

gardenJuly09 039We had a nice thunderstorm this evening and I spied this double rainbow when I went outside after the rain.

Busy Busy

Well it’s really busy around here, just not enough hours in a day to keep up with everything!

gardenapril09 001The Maxi Golt peas were done for, so out they came, to be replaced by Burgandy okra and several inches of sawdust mulch

gardenapril09 004Some of the Sugar Snap peas come out and are placed by Double Yield cucumbers [thanks! http://www.freedomseeds.com] and Kentucky Wonder pole beans

gardenapril09 005Chires Baby Corn seedlings. These are the little baby corns in Chinese cooking, or left to mature they make popcorn.

gardenapril09 006The strawberry bed is interplanted with purple bush beans.

gardenapril09 007The Elephant Garlic is blooming. We got almost 5 pounds!

gardenapril09 008A spell of cool rainy weather gave the Blueshokker peas a new lease on life.

gardenapril09 010A Grimes Golden apple grows with Mammoth sunflowers, asparagus, Swiss chard, cosmos and nasturtiums.

gardenapril09 011Super Italian Paste tomatoes in large cages. Despite a wind storm knocking them over and breaking some branches, they are doing ok.

gardenapril09 012A Lemon Gem marigold. It really does smell and taste of citrus.

gardenapril09 013On the patio looking down the SW side of the house. The big green bushes in front are some of the potted potatoes.

gardenapril09 014This sad looking Red Currant tomato nealy drowned. It’s planted in an old ice chest and I didn’t realize the drain plug got closed up. But it’s making a come back and even delivered up our first taste of homegrown tomatoes.

gardenapril09 015Yard long bean seedlings in a planter by the house. They’ll grow up to shade the laundry room windows.

gardenapril09 016The trombocino squash is taking off.

gardenapril09 017On the patio tomatoes grow in old ice chests and peppers in the orange pots.

gardenapril09 018!st big red tomato, an Imur Prior Beta, it weighed 1 1/2 ounces and tasted delicious.

gardenapril09 020The Kabocha squash was rudely pruned by a pack rat

gardenapril09 021The buckwheat is blooming. mmmm buckwheat pancakes, coming up!
gardenapril09 022The chickens enjoy scratching in their new spot.

gardenapril09 023A wild sunflower with very tiny seeds volunteers in the raspberry bed.

gardenapril09 025The Baba raspberries are showing some color.

gardenapril09 026The new garden area: paths laid, beds made, planted with popping sorghum, quinoa and Bloody Butcher corn.

gardenapril09 027Potatoes in the ground out front aren’t as big and lush as the potted ones on the patio, but doing ok under 6 inches of sawdust mulch.

gardenapril09 028Bloody Butcher corn seedlings. The sticks along the edge of the bed are guides to keep small children on the path.

gardenapril09 030King of the Garden Lima beans are taking off up their trellis.

gardenapril09 031Pencil pod yellow wax beans await transplanting.

gardenapril09 032Poppies and wildflowers bloom along the driveway.

gardenapril09 033A strong smelling sage blooms

gardenapril09 034WOW! look at those melons taking off.

gardenapril09 035Yippee! A baby watermelon

gardenapril09 036The Baby Blue Hubbards are blooming. That compost pile is still hot, 138 degrees!

gardenapril09 037More wild flowers, poppies, a corn flower and a baby apple along the drive way

gardenapril09 038A bee buzzes a bright red poppy full of pollen.

Varieties Growing in 2009

Well, I’m getting around to a few things, one is a list of what’s growing this year, this includes things we’ve already harvested and eaten as well as what’s in the ground now. But it doesn’t include things that I will plant in the future. Altogether I count 132 edible varieties. That number will grow somewhat as the rest of the summer planting goes in and later on when I put in the fall and winter crops.

VARIETIES GROWN IN 2009

This is a list of varieties of vegetables, fruits, herbs and edible flowers grown in 2009. Items marked with * are from home grown seed.

VEGETABLES & ANNUAL FRUITS

BEANS

*Apache Purple Pod

King of the Garden Lima

Royalty

Yardlong or Asparagus Beans

BEETS

*Cylindra

*large mixed [yellow, pink, red, white]

CARROTS

Danvers Half Long

Imperator

Purple Dragon

COLE CROPS

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Purple cauliflower

White cauliflower

CORN

Chires Baby Corn

Bloody Butcher

EGGPLANT

Black Beauty

Neon Hybrid

*Neon F2

GREENS

Lettuce mix

Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach

*Swiss chard

Mache

Claytonia

*Red Russian Kale

Giant Red Mustard

Pak Choy

NZ spinach

Malabar spinach

Sorrel

HERBS & EDIBLE FLOWERS

Basil, Lettuce leaf

Basil, Spicy Globe

Basil, Thai

Bergamot

*chervil

*Cilantro / coriander

Chives, regular

Chives, garlic

Chaste tree, aka Monk’s pepper, buddleia, summer lilac

Daylilies

Dill

Hollyhocks

Honeysuckle

Lavender

Lilacs

Marigold, Lemon Gem

Marigold, Tangerine Gem

Marigold, Texas Tarragon

Mint, peppermint

Nasturtium, Alaska

Nasturtium, Empress of India

Oregano, Italian

Pansies

Rosemary

Sage, broadleaf

Sage, chaparral

Sage, Pineapple

Tulips

Violas

Violets

MELONS

*Hales Best Jumbo cantaloupe

Blacktail Mountain watermelon

Jubilee watermelon

OKRA

Burgundy

ONION FAMILY

Leeks– the Student

Garlic, regular and Elephant

Onion

Ebenezer?

Florence Red Bottle

Welsh bunching

Red Bunching

PEAS

*Sugar Snap

Blueshokker

*Dwarf Grey Sugar

*little Marvel

Maxi Golt

Sweet Magnolia

PEPPERS

Ancho Gigantea

Jimmy Nardello

Anaheim

Santa Fe Grande

Sweet Red Bell

Georgia Flame

Alma Paprika

POTATOES

All Blue [Peruvian ?]

Red LaSoda

Yukon Gold

Russet

RADISHES

Easter Egg

SQUASH

Baby Blue Hubbard

Trombocino

Kabocha

Delicata

SWEET POTATOE

Beauregard

TOMATOES

Super Italian Paste

Polish Linquisa

Snow White

Yellow Pear

Yellow Marble

*Princepe Borghese

Imur Prior Beta

TURNIPS

White Globe Purple top

MISCELLANEOUS

Jicama

Purple de Milpa Tomatillo

Ice plant

Honey locust tree

Poppy

PERENNIAL VEGETABLES

Jersey Hybrid Asparagus

Connover’s Colossal Asparagus

Elephant Ears

FRUIT

Sequoia strawberries

Thorn less blackberry

Blackberry

Blueberry

Granny Smith Apple

Anna Apple

Grimes Golden Apple

Summer apple [mislabeled, unknown variety]

Boysenberry

Heritage Raspberry

Baba Raspberry

Santa Rosa Plum

Wild Mexican Elderberry

GRAIN & SEEDS

Buckwheat

Winter wheat

Rye

Popping sorghum

Mammoth Sunflowers

Oil Sunflowers

Sunflowers, mixed kinds & colors

VOLUNTEER/EDIBLE WEEDS

Red root pigweed

Lambs quarters

Chickweed

INEDIBLE BUT OTHERWISE USEFUL PLANTS

Soapwort: roots make cleansing suds good for gentle cleaning of delicate or vintage fabric

Golden bamboo: useful small garden stakes

Madder: produces a long lasting red dye from the roots, yellow/tans from the tops. My chickens love it.

JUST STUFF

Vinca major, drought tolerant ground cover

Virginia creeper, Drought tolerant vine/ground cover

Bearded iris: flowers

Star jasmine: fragrant flowers

Trumpet creeper: draws humming birds