Tag Archives: beans

Harvest Monday

September 7, 2015

We are in a lull for harvests. We are harvesting half a gallon of tomatoes each day, about a gallon of beans once a week, some carrot thinnings, and a few raspberries and strawberries every other day.Nieto Photography 2015Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 However, the peas are sizing up, the sweet potatoes are looking good still, and the greens (lettuce, spinach, kale) are sprouting so fall harvests are not too far off! 🙂

This past week, I cleaned off the roosting table, spread more compost in the garden, cleaned up some spent green bean plants and flowers, and the kids cut the grass around the electric fencing in order to keep the charge as high as possible.Nieto Photography 2015I also transplanted broccoli into three boxes and covered with insect barrier. That was about 1/10th of how many more I have to transplant. Now to find room to do so…

This week, we are at the beach so there will be no gardening to speak of 🙂 We have friends letting out the chickens and putting them up at night. Hopefully, we will come back to all alive and well chickens.

Check out what other gardeners are harvesting this week at Daphne’s Dandelions.

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Garden in September, Eastern NC, Zone 7b

September 2, 2015

Beginning of AugustNieto Photography 2015Beginning of SeptemberNieto Photography 2015The most noticeable difference between the beginning of August and the beginning of September is the lack of sunflowers. However, there are many more differences, if you look a bit closer. For one, we have electric fencing all around the garden, to deter the raccoons and groundhogs.

Walking through the garden, to the left, I have more brassica seedlings sizing up under shade cloth. Nieto Photography 2015(planted 2 weeks ago) Nieto Photography 2015(broccoli planted mid-July. may transplant these next week)

To the right, there is the former potato patch with one struggling winter squash. Nieto Photography 2015Further to the right is the former sunflower patch with some leftover watermelon and cantaloupe plants. I need to put some caging over them to protect them from the crows.Nieto Photography 2015Moving on is the former cabbage patch (with some volunteer tomatoes). I have tried planting carrots and peas here. The carrots are going to be replanted but the peas are trying to poke through. I assume it was just too hot for the carrots to sprout but I can’t figure out why the peas did not germinate well. I planted peas elsewhere in the garden that are doing great. This spot has more shade but not an extreme amount and both places have plenty of manure and compost. Conundrum…Nieto Photography 2015Moving along, in the former melon patch, I am planting all of my leafy greens (spinach, lettuce, kale) for the fall. To the left and right of this patch, are my ugly (but still producing) tomato plants.Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015(still getting about a gallon of tomatoes/day)

I have some boxes that are empty right now. I will plant brassicas in half of them and carrots and beets in the other half shortly. To the left of the boxes are the strawberry patches and the raspberry patch. Strawberries are trickling in (they do better in the spring). Nieto Photography 2015The raspberries give us a wonderful treat in the fall! I need to prune all of the raspberry canes that produced this year. I also need to replant ALL of the MANY raspberry shoots that have popped up everywhere! I haven’t decided where I want them though…Nieto Photography 2015(at the top of the photo, outside of the trellises and even outside of the fencing – raspberry shoots everywhere!) Nieto Photography 2015 (We get a nice handful each (all 8 of us) every other day – not too shabby 🙂 ) Nieto Photography 2015(more just starting to form)

To the far right of the boxes is the old potato patch and my daughter’s old garden (she ripped it up at the end of August – she was tired of harvesting so everything was rotting). OH! And the tunnels! Don’t want to forget the tunnels! The former broccoli and kale beds (under tunnels) house beautiful purple beans currently (as well as some melon plants).Nieto Photography 2015Under the tree, there is quite the hodge-podge.Nieto Photography 2015(another round of beans to the left, flowering cilantro to the right, a cucumber plant in front of the tree…and in the bottom of the photo – our fall peas!)

This was a new section. Earlier this summer, we ripped up tarp that was laid here years ago and put down chicken manure and wood shavings from when we cleaned out the coop.  (all of the dark mulch is where the tarp was ripped up)DSC_8441I was not going to plant in it until spring but I was running out of room when it was time to plant more peas/beans so I gave it a shot. Everything is doing well here (the beans to the left were just planted a couple of weeks ago). The peas are ready to be trellised.Nieto Photography 2015At the end of the garden, we have the sweet potato patch (partially eaten) and the (other) former sunflower patch. Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015(sweet potato blooms are a good sign though, right? 🙂 )

I will harvest the sweet potatoes sometime in October, around the first frost. I am not expecting as many sweet potatoes as last year but I will have about 13? or so varieties as compared to last year’s one. We are going to taste test these, decide which ones we want, and will save many for slips for next year.

Trees

The trees seem to be doing well. They are growing every year. The ones in the mulch grow better than the ones in grass. However, still no fruit. I don’t know what I can do to remedy this. I am going to just keep adding compost around the trunks, like I do with the rest of the garden, continue to cover them with mulch as we are able, and be patient. Maybe one day we will not have to buy fruit at the store! (the dream)

Chickens

We actually harvested MORE eggs in August than June or July! I am pretty sure it is because some of our spring-hatched chicks have started laying. I do not see any red combs but there are some eggs that are significantly smaller than the rest (our other hens are 2yo) and our older hens are moulting so that would be the only logical reason we are getting slightly more.

Since the children do such a great job taking care of the baby chicks, I told them I would pay them once their chicks started laying (after taking out the cost of feed). So now, we are keeping up with how many eggs we are collecting each day AND how many small eggs we are collecting. I’m excited for them – we’ve had such a hard time keeping chicks alive (btwn snakes, foxes, other chickens, and bad mamas leaving them out in the rain… 😦 )Nieto Photography 2015As a matter of fact, our latest batch of chicks (and last for this year) is not fairing well either. Of the 5 hatched out, one was killed by other chickens before we got a chance to separate them. This past week, one was taken by a snake, one was found dead in the coop one morning, and the two left are sluggish most of the day. I am not expecting them to make it but don’t know what’s going on! We have lost 1/2 of the chicks we have hatched out this year 😦

The older chickens are doing a great job being our soil manufacturers, though. This is the first year I have been able to cover the whole garden with chicken compost from the run! Exciting 🙂Nieto Photography 2015What does your garden look like that the beginning of September? Are you able to plant a fall/winter garden? What do you use for protection for your plants during the winter? Are you drowning in weeds? Have you given up? Check out backtoedenfilm.com and see how many people around the world are gardening with minimal weeding and watering!

Harvest Monday

August 31, 2015

This week, we harvested the last of our cucumbers, beans, raspberries, strawberries, and tomatoes. They are slowing down a bit – we are only harvesting about 1 gallon a day verses 3 gallons a couple of weeks ago.Nieto Photography 2015Each year, our beans are FULL of holes throughout the beginning and middle of the season. Towards the end, they look beautiful! I guess the mexican bean beetles hibernate early? Anyone know why? I sure am thankful for beautiful beans after a season of mostly unusable ones! 😀 Nieto Photography 2015We get about this many every other day now. Nieto Photography 2015Nieto Photography 2015I started the week off spreading more compost so I could plant some more seeds. I am done planting summer crops. This week, I planted spinach, lettuce, kale, beets, and carrots for the fall garden. I think next week, I will be able to transplant some brassicas planted under a shade cloth earlier this summer.

We also weeded one day this week (haven’t done that in about a month?) and pulled some watermelon plants. I am pretty sure the electric fence is keeping the groundhogs and raccoons out. However, the crows have become incredibly comfortable in the garden and they are now the ones taking out the watermelon. The deer broke through the fishing wire fencing when I first put it up. It is back up and they have not broken through again HOWEVER, they have found another way through (we did not put deer fence around the whole garden so the wheelbarrow could get through) because they are still munching on the sweet potato leaves.

What are you harvesting? Check out what other gardeners are up to at Daphne’s Dandelions.

Harvest Monday

August 17, 2015

We harvested a few raspberries and strawberries, cucumbers, potatoes, tomatoes, our first watermelons, beans, sunflowers, cilantro seed, and some late-planted carrots and beets this week. Nieto Photography 2015

Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015Nieto Photography 2015Nieto Photography 2015Nieto Photography 2015Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015(the 4yo’s job every day is to collect tomatoes)

I freeze about 4-5 gallons of tomatoes each week. Not to mention all of the tomatoes I give away! I think we’re going to be good with soup, pizza sauce, and marinara sauce this winter!

If you have been keeping up, we have harvested 2 watermelon and 3 cantaloupe this year. The groundhogs ate about 20 and the raccoons have eaten the last 10 or 15. We have now bought electric wire and are playing with it, getting it just right before we test it out. I want the charge to be HIGH! I am fighting back!

We have been cleaning up a lot these past few weeks as well as planting for the fall/winter garden.

  • The remaining potato plants that were all beautiful and green? Yeah, I found those a couple of days later COVERED in potato bugs. I covered them in DE and they have recovered pretty well.
  • I tied up the tomatoes (they had outgrown their previous tyings).
  • I planted another round of brassicas for the fall/winter garden and covered them.
  • I chased the groundhog out of the garden a few times (still can’t find its hole).
  • Remember the raspberries about to ripen? A deer (or something tall) ate those so we fenced in the raspberry area (which has watermelons and cantaloupes so the fence does double duty).
  • We continued to try to outsmart the raccoons with fencing…
  • I collected some compost from our soil manufacturers and spread it around 1/2 of the garden.

Last week, we:

  • Planted another round of beans, and planted more beets, carrots, kale, and peas for the fall garden.
  • Cleaned up all of the spent bean plants (most of which had been eaten down by deer).
  • Harvested the dried beans and sunflowers.
  • Spread more chicken compost on the newly-cleaned up areas.
  • Started fencing in the garden with electric wire low (raccoons and groundhogs) and fishing wire high (deer). The plan is to, next year, shoot a crow and hang it up in the middle of the garden, like Paul does. They have gotten WAY too comfortable walking around in the garden!

Unfortunately, our cat hasn’t figured out the electric fencing either and she has gotten shocked 😦 Not what I wanted but…what can I say? I want FRUIT next year!!!

This next week, we will spread some more compost, plant some more fall/winter seeds, and finish up the fencing.

What are you harvesting? What gardening chores are you doing this time of year? I am linking up with Daphne’s Dandelions today to see what others are harvesting around the world 🙂

Garden in August, Eastern NC, Zone 7b

August 5, 2015

Beginning of JulyNieto Photography 2015Beginning of AugustNieto Photography 2015Walking through the garden, to the left you will see I have my future fall garden covered. I do not start seeds indoors (no money/space) so to start my fall garden, I sow seeds in a shady spot and use a shade cloth. Last year was my first year trying it and it worked pretty well. I am sowing brassicas every two weeks and covering them as they sprout.

I also just started sowing carrots. My fall carrots last year did not do well. There was spotty germination (I assume because of the heat) and then whatever did sprout was eaten down. I do not know what ate them but it was suggested to me to combat whatever bug it was with DE. I noticed some of the first sprouts coming through so I went ahead and sprinkled DE over the rows of carrots.Nieto Photography 2015(This area is shaded on the west with tomato plants and on the east with sunflowers. Maybe that will help with the heat and germination rates.)

To the right, you see our sunflowers are looking great 🙂 They are starting to droop so I am expecting to be able to harvest them in a couple of weeks. We will give them to the chickens while they are moulting for extra protein and then dry some in the basement to give to the chickens throughout the winter.Nieto Photography 2015Though I tied up the tomatoes about a month or more ago, they have grown more and need to be tied up again. It is on my to-do list for this week. They are doing really well though! We harvest buckets daily. If we could get all of the critters out of the garden, we would be harvesting even more! The plants are doing great 🙂Nieto Photography 2015I must say, I have not found the best way to grow tomatoes. Last year we tied them to cattle panel. It did okay. This year, I thought it would be a good idea for them to climb up this repurposed chicken tractor. However, the tomatoes that grow next to the netting tend to rot b/c the black netting is so hot….still brainstorming for the perfect (for us) way to tie up tomato plants.

Next up, the melons. The ones that are caged are doing well. The ones that are not are…well…not. We have harvested about 3 cantaloupe so far and I am thinking we will be harvesting some watermelon this week 🙂Nieto Photography 2015We are still getting a trickling of strawberries and our raspberries that have grown taller than a groundhog can reach :\ are starting to really produce for us!Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015Look in the picture below. The raspberry plants within the strings are ones I planted. ALL the greenery around that? Yeah, those are raspberry shoots. I am going to rip all of those up this fall and transplant them. If anyone local would like some free raspberry plants, please let me know! Nieto Photography 2015We have about 5 different sections where we are harvesting green and purple beans. Section 6 is growing larger and the last section of green beans was just planted.Nieto Photography 2015(section 6 of green beans)

What’s left of our potato patch (what hasn’t been harvested) is doing well…Nieto Photography 2015And at the end of the garden is the sweet potato patch. It is looking healthy and is spreading as it should 🙂Nieto Photography 2015Spread throughout the garden is a variety of flowers, some planted from seed, some gifted to us.Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015That is our garden in a nutshell 🙂 If you notice, we are in August and not a weed in sight! I could NEVER say that when I gardened the traditional way! LOVE Back to Eden gardening!!!

Oops! Let me not forget about the chickens 🙂 They gave us as many eggs in July as in June (a little less than 200). Our chicks are all getting big but their combs are not yet red. It would be nice if their first eggs lined up with the older chickens moulting. We’ll see. We have a broody hen who is set to hatch her chicks next week. I do not think we’ll let another one go broody after that because we are going on vacation at the beginning of September. If we can keep these chicks from being eaten (that has happened to about half of our chicks this year 😦 ), we will have 17 chicks. Which means we will have doubled our flock. Oh, that would be WONDERFUL! But we’ll see. Since we hatched them out, we don’t even know how many roos and pullets we have.

So What’s On Tap for August?

We will harvest the sunflower and potato patch fully. We will also pull up all of the dried beans. We will continue to harvest cucumbers, melons, beans, tomatoes, raspberries, strawberries, and squash. Mainly though, we will be preparing for the fall garden. This means lots of planting and (whenever I get more energy) a lot of compost-spreading!

The fall crops I am planting this month:

  • cabbages
  • broccoli
  • beets
  • carrots
  • kale
  • lettuce
  • spinach

I will also plant seeds to go under a tunnel for winter harvesting:

  • cabbages
  • broccoli
  • purple and green sprouting broccoli
  • carrots
  • beets

What does your garden look like at the beginning of August? What are you planting for your fall garden?

I am linking up with Green Thumb Thursdays today.