Tag Archives: beets

Harvest Monday

June 15, 2015

My daughter wrote her first garden update last week. She may be writing more – I’m a little too frazzled to get my stuff together. Most of what we harvested this week was not photographed. However, we are harvesting…

  • blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries (a handful each week right now)
  • new potatoes
  • small beets
  • small carrots
  • spinach
  • baby lettuce
  • peas
  • celery

Nieto Photography 2015carrots & celery…and the 4yo 🙂 Nieto Photography 2015Root vegetable hash w/carrots, beets, and potatoes Nieto Photography 2015I think it’s officially blueberry season 🙂

We are also seeing baby cucumbers and baby zucchini!

With all of that, all I can say is PLANT MORE! PLANT MORE! PLANT MORE! I thought I was planting more than enough this year. I planned it by writing down what we eat in a year and then doubling it, to make sure we have enough to share. I think if I had quadrupled it, I would have been more on target. Ah well, there’s always next year.

This week, we weeded the cabbage patch, around a blueberry bush, and around the sweet potato patch. I planted all of my home-grown sweet potato slips (orange) and I received all of my purple sweet potato slips (3 varieties) from Sand Hill Preservation this week.

The kids are getting tired of weeding every day but the good news with a BTE garden is, once you weed and then cover with mulch, there is no need to weed again until next spring. Not too shabby. Of course, as I’ve said before, the main places we are weeding are those that were covered in fresh horse manure. We officially finished all of those places this week. They included all of our raised beds, the broccoli bed, the tomato/squash bed, and the cabbage patch.

From now on, weeding should go by quickly. Good thing too because I won’t have my helpers next week — they’re going to be at my parents’ church’s VBS. They are SO excited. I have mixed feelings as next week I won’t have any help harvesting blueberries! AAAAAH!


Since we moved the chicken runs away from the oak tree, we are on chicken watch. So far so good. However, now that the weather is getting hot (consistent 90s), the grass is slowing down and we have to figure out a way to feed the chickens without paying for more feed!

We are also on chicken watch for our latest broody. The kids are going to be gone when she hatches out the latest biddies (of course). Lots going on!

What’s going on in your garden? Check out what others are up to at Daphne’s Dandelions 🙂


Harvest Monday

June 8, 2015

We harvest Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On these days, we are harvesting

  • a little bit of spinach and baby lettuce (isn’t bitter like heads of lettuce)
  • strawberries (the groundhog has taken to digging so we are not getting very many)
  • raspberries here and there
  • starting to get a few blueberries! (no pics – never made it out of the garden)
  • carrots
  • beets
  • peas
  • potatoes

Nieto Photography 2015

Nieto Photography 2015Nieto Photography 2015The beginning of the week was the last of the strawberries. The stinking groundhog is stealing them all—except for the ones in the trap, of course 😛

Nieto Photography 2015

Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015Nieto Photography 2015

Nieto Photography 2015

We picked the beets and potatoes for friends.  This is what we were able to deliver this week.Nieto Photography 2015Our potatoes are starting to die off though so weekly potato harvests will begin to increase. This is it for the first planting of peas. We are going to pull the plants this week. The second planting of peas is starting to produce pods but I am not expecting much, as it is in the shade so much.


Last year, we expanded the chicken run in the summer; which resulted in 4 chicken deaths. They were spaced out about every 3 weeks. It was odd but we assumed they just got into something.

This winter, we split the run into two runs so the grass could grow some while they rotated They spent most of their days in the original run and were let into the other run once or twice a day. The deaths stopped but we didn’t think it was related.

This spring, we bought chicks from the feed store. We have also been hatching chicks out. The chicks went into the second run. The feed store chicks kept dying (about two weeks apart) but the chicks with their mama were fine so we thought it was just weak feed store chicks. Lesson learned.

We separated the mama from her chicks because they were old enough and she was picking on the feed store chicks. Not a week later, one of the chicks we hatched out died. My husband was researching, trying to figure out what’s going on and he found that acorns can be deadly to chickens.

That is when it all started coming together. The second run includes a HUGE oak tree. When we originally expanded the run, including the oak tree, 4 adult chickens died. When we split the run and they spent most of their time away from the oak tree, the deaths stopped. When we moved the chicks into the run with the oak tree, chicks were dying.

SO, we have rearranged the runs again. The oak tree is not in any of the runs – hopefully no more deaths!

As we were moving the runs, I discovered all the work the chickens have been doing. The soil is beautiful! I am thinking about making a section of my garden like Paul’s. I am nervous to do it though. The woodchips are my safety net. I know they will keep the weeds at bay. I am nervous that if I put this soil on top, I will be inviting weeds. But this is the ultimate goal…It is why we got the chickens in the first place, afterall – to be our soil manufacturers.

The biggest issue right now is that I am going through morning sickness right now so the energy involved to haul all of this beautiful soil out of the run and into the garden is just not there. We’ll see if soil transfer becomes enough of a priority or not to get it done this summer.

Winter Garden

This week starts planting for the winter garden! If you remember from last year, I do not plant indoors so in order to start my winter crops, I have to start them in an incredibly shady area. We are sowing some cabbage seeds this week. I have chosen this spot:Nieto Photography 2015Very shaded most of the day (a little too shaded for these cabbages to grow but I think it will be perfect for growing seedlings to be planted out later this summer).

What is your garden up to these days? Are you already planting for winter harvests? I am linking up with Daphne’s Dandelions today.

Garden in May, Eastern NC, Zone 7b

May 6, 2015

The garden has changed quite a bit in a month!DSC_7737-Edit(beginning of April)Nieto Photography 2015(beginning of May)     A lot more green but the real story is up close.

Peas and CabbagesNieto Photography 2015The first planting of peas never did well. I think it was too early and too wet. This is the second planting (mid-March). It has doubled or tripled in size since last month’s update. Nieto Photography 2015The cabbages are looking good under the covers. ^^^ Green cabbages above. Purple cabbage below. Nieto Photography 2015The third planting of peas are doing well. A little yellow, which is weird because they are planted in aged chicken manure. I’m just going to wait them out. Maybe I won’t need to add any compost tea. Lettuce is growing to the left. They were both planted at the end of March (2nd planting of lettuce). Nieto Photography 20154th and last planting of peas are just starting to come up. Nieto Photography 2015Spinach: First planting (first of March) on left, 2nd planting (mid-March) on right. I have succession planted 5 plantings. I am just starting to harvest the 3rd planting. The 4th planting is just starting to come up. The 5th and last planting was just planted under the shade of the apple tree.Nieto Photography 2015Lettuce: First planting (mid-March) is a little sparse. Some sprouts died in the Easter morning frost. We are just starting to harvest from these. I have made 4 succession plantings so far. The 4th was just planted this week.Nieto Photography 2015Cilantro is a new plant for me this year. We are enjoying nibbling on these Vitamin C treasures. Nieto Photography 2015I also grew some lettuce in the milk jug greenhouses. These are the greenhouse transplants (transplanted in the carrot/beet bed).  Nieto Photography 2015Carrots and Beets:  This is where most of the carrots and beets are planted. Going counter-clockwise, starting at the bottom… The carrots at the bottom were planted first of March. Beets were planted to the left of them but the Easter morning frost killed the beet sprouts.Nieto Photography 2015 First planting of carrots (first of March)Nieto Photography 2015 Moving counter clockwise, here is the second planting of carrots and beets (planted mid-March). Nieto Photography 2015If you keep moving counterclockwise in the first picture, you will see the transplanted lettuce and then from the 12o’clock position to the 9o’clock position are the 4th and 5th carrot and beet plantings.

Potatoes: The first plantings of potatoes are coming up nicely all over the garden. We are still waiting on the second planting (beginning of April).Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015Strawberries: The plants are looking as lush as ever. They are flowering beautifully…Nieto Photography 2015And are starting to set fruit 🙂 Nieto Photography 2015The blueberries are coming along as well. The bees are almost finished pollinating them. SO thankful for the bees!!!Nieto Photography 2015Kale: the transplants are coming along…not as big as I would like but I’m sure as it warms up, their growth will speed up.Nieto Photography 2015Broccoli: doing well under the cover.Nieto Photography 2015Flowers: Some sunflowers, zinnias, and Asters (I think?) are starting to sprout.Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015My tulips, on the other hand, just sit there and tease me. Meanies.Nieto Photography 2015The warm-weather crops I planted have not sprouted yet (summer squash, winter squash, beans, corn, melons) but last week gave them a good soaking and this week is starting a warming trend so hopefully they’re not far behind.

Lastly, the mulch path I made this past winter because of all the mud needs another layer of mulch. How do I know?Nieto Photography 2015 Bermuda grass is coming through like crazy! :\ It’s one of those things that is not high on the list of priorities but at the same time, it needs to be done before it gets too overrun.


Our chicks are getting bigger (both sets)! And more eggs are set to hatch next week 🙂Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015(the 5th chick was under its mama) Nieto Photography 2015(one of the 10 chicks we bought at the tractor-supply store – 2 died this past week because of all the rain and chilly weather 😦 smart chicks didn’t know to go inside the coop to get warm) Nieto Photography 2015Our old biddies (2yrs old with the 1yo rooster) don’t know what to think about all the hulabaloo 😉

That’s what it going on in our Back to Eden Garden at the Beginning of May in Eastern NC, Zone 7b. The plan for May is:

  1. Continue to succession plant carrots, lettuce, beans, summer squash, and winter squash.
  2. Harvest Strawberries.
  3. Continue to harvest spinach and lettuce.
  4. Possibly harvest kale, peas, and carrots?

What does your garden look like at the beginning of May? I am linking up with Green Thumb Thursday today.

2014 Garden Issues, 2015 Solutions (hopefully!)

January 22, 2015

Throughout 2014, I have been keeping a gardening journal. Because of that journal and this blog, I hope I will be able to make some changes in 2015 in order to produce more food for our family and our community. My goal is to give away 20% of all we grow this year (including eggs).

Here are some issues and possible solutions:

CarrotsDSC_6137Issue: trouble sprouting                                                            Possible Solution: DE

Brassicas (kale, cabbage, broccoli)DSC_6003Issue: cabbage worms                                                               Possible Solution: Cover with agribon

Tomatoes & Peppers (most things in the greenhouses)

Issue: nothing grew well in the greenhouses this year        Possible Solution: duct tape them (Greenhouses did well in ’13. The only difference is I did not duct tape them closed in ’14)

Onions, Beets

Issue: they never grew very large                                            Solution? (not sure): plant more 🙂

RaspberriesDSC_5587Issue: Rotted on the ground, ants ate them                          Solution: trellis them


Issues: cantaloupe never grew & want more!                       Solution: plant in full sun, grow more    (I planted cantaloupe at the base of sunflowers (too much shade) and I am growing 9 more types of fruit this year, including two cherry trees and fig trees I ordered this winter.)

Chickens, Eggs, Run

Issues: Lost some chickens                                                       Solution: hatch out more chicks             .            Had to buy eggs from the store                                                 : freeze eggs, new pullets          .           Trouble making sure they had enough grass                          : designing the run differently

We’ll see if these solutions really do solve anything 😉

Today is the official end of our Persephone Days! Planting starts soon!

I am linking up with Simlple Lives Thursday and Green Thumb Thursday. Maybe someone can suggest solutions to my beet and onion issues (not bulbing as big as they should).

Harvest Monday

November 17, 2014

I had a great idea this summer to have a section of my garden in root vegetables (carrots, beets, onions) surrounded by peas. I made carrot mats and everything. I planted everything at the end of July.

The peas all sprouted and have done well. We have been harvesting for just over a month. I ripped them up this week because the temps are dropping from low 70s to mid-40s next week . I figured there would not be much growing going on. The aphids were doing a number on them anyway. The chickens seemed to take care of that 🙂DSC_6112Most of the peas have been ripped up (root veggies towards the top of the photo).

We harvested and ate the rest of the peas as I was cleaning up the bed.DSC_6111Of the carrots I planted in July, ONE carrot sprouted and all of the beet seeds were dug up by our cat. I planted more carrots and beets a couple of weeks later (more shallow this time) and about half sprouted. Mid-September, I planted more carrots and onions. Only the onions sprouted. I never did figure out what happened (other than the fact that our cat makes it her mission to dig up freshly planted seeds) and I was done planting for the year but I did buy some Diatomaceous Earth for the next time I planted, to deter any slugs or ants (we have TONS of those!).

All of that to say, we harvested that ONE carrot this week 🙂DSC_6080It was super-duper sweet. The sweetest I’ve tasted from the garden. And we’ve eaten carrots after a frost before. Not sure why but I’m thankful!

I weeded and mulched the bed this week. I won’t cover it with manure until I have pulled the root veggies.DSC_6081(picture taken before I pulled all of the peas, of course) DSC_6082(a few carrots) DSC_6083(Look closely! those are not wild onions — I planted them 😉 ) DSC_6084(the beets that survived Emily (our cat) )

We were also able to harvest a bit of lettuce this week.DSC_6110Very tasty as well. Love fall garden food!

I am linking up with Daphne’s Dandelions for Harvest Monday to see what others are harvesting.