Tag Archives: cabbage

Harvest Monday

June 22, 2015

This week, my oldest 4 are in VBS most of the day. This means I am fresh out of helpers. Let’s face it, the 2yo and 1yo can’t tell a weed from a seedling so I try to keep them out of the garden.

The oldest two are going to help me harvest before they leave each day but there will be no weeding happening this week.

This week, we have been harvesting:

  • cucumbers
  • carrots
  • zucchini
  • blueberries
  • raspberries (the groundhog gets most of them)
  • baby lettuce
  • kale
  • potatoes

Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015I picked about 8 tomato horn worms off of my tomato plants this week. It’s weird because last year, we had a lot of them but they never did any damage because the wasps did such a wonderful job laying their eggs on them. I’m not sure why the wasps are missing this year.

Some of our broccoli is starting to head and I noticed, I got a stray kohlrabi seed when I ordered my broccoli seed. I have been meaning to try kohlrabi so here’s my chance. What a treat 🙂Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015

I need to go ahead and harvest some cabbage before it gets decimated by all of the cabbage worms! I never got a chance to cover the brassicas again 😛

Nieto Photography 2015All of the harvesting and weeding has been happening before 8:30 or 9am each morning because this June, we have had unseasonably warm weather. It has been in the mid to high 90s all week (some days more than 100) with no end in sight. We typically see these temperatures at the end of July. It will be interesting to see what the rest of the summer looks like.

Our daily summer schedule looks something like this:

  1. Wake up
  2. Harvest
  3. Let chickens out and check on their water
  4. Eat breakfast
  5. Get dressed, do inside chores
  6. Music practice
  7. Math drills
  8. Play while baby sleeps
  9. TV while baby nurses and I fix lunch
  10. Lunch
  11. Pool
  12. Naps
  13. Supper
  14. Sometimes work in the garden (if we have energy and it’s not too hot still)

Thankfully, we have started seeing some late evening storms. Even though our crops were doing pretty well (thanks to BTE -no need to water), the rain was really welcome. It had been maybe a month since we had a good soaking. This weather is quite the contrast from the last 2 years. The last two summers have been unseasonably cool (I don’t think we ever reached 100 last year) and wet.

A couple other fun pictures: This is the first year I’ve planted zinnias 🙂 So pretty!Nieto Photography 2015This is also the first year I’ve grown ground cherries. They are looking good so far 🙂 Nieto Photography 2015What are you harvesting? Head over to Daphne’s Dandelions to see what other gardeners are up to this week.


Garden in June, Eastern NC, Zone 7b

June 4, 2015

I have been looking forward to this post for a couple of weeks now. There is SO much to share – beware: this is a LONG post with LOTS of pictures 😀

Beginning of MayNieto Photography 2015

Beginning of JuneNieto Photography 2015Loving all the green! At first glance, the peas that I was worried about (yellow) greened up on their own, the peas surpassed the cabbage hoops, the fruit bushes and trees have really filled out! A lot more green altogether. Love it! 🙂

As always, I’ll start from the front of the picture and work my way to the back:

Shaded Patch…quite the hodgepodge. This is shaded most of the day. It is more of an experimental area than anything.Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015Lettuce Nieto Photography 2015Peas Nieto Photography 2015Beans Nieto Photography 2015More lettuce (maybe if I harvest them small (rather than heads), they won’t be as bitter?) Nieto Photography 2015Pretty pitiful patch of spinach Nieto Photography 2015another sowing of lettuce Nieto Photography 2015Kale Nieto Photography 2015and some carrots

Corn, Sunflowers, Beans, and Melons (Patch #1)Nieto Photography 2015the section by the driveway is doing much better (see pic below) Nieto Photography 2015(green and beautiful above, yellow and pitiful below – same patch) Nieto Photography 2015I threw some chicken manure on the yellow corn. This week has been really rainy so I am hoping all of the compost tea will help with the color and growth.

Peas and CabbagesNieto Photography 2015We are harvesting LARGE amounts of peas every other day.Nieto Photography 2015Cabbages are not ready to be harvested but they are sizing up nicely. I am going to uncover them and see if they are healthy enough to withstand ‘the elements’ (ie. bugs). Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015Here is a recently weeded and mulched section. So pretty 🙂 Nieto Photography 2015Potatoes. Doing well. Flowering more than in past years. I assume that means they are healthy. I can’t wait to harvest them but I am trying to be patient 🙂

Nieto Photography 2015

Carrot and Beet bed: I just realized I don’t have a picture for that bed! We are harvesting carrots and beets now. YUM! I’ll post pics on Harvest Monday, for sure 🙂 I planted a row of melons where we have ripped up lettuces. A friend is giving us a cattle panel so the hope is they will climb that and not overtake our garden. We’ll see.

Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Ground CherriesNieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015These are the smaller of the tomatoes. The larger ones are setting fruit but I found horn worm droppings on them yesterday so I’m going to have to keep my eye out! Nieto Photography 2015Our summer and winter squash seem to be doing well (though I’ve already found 4 squash bugs – HATE those things!!!). The cucumber plant in the pic above actually has baby cucs on it now 🙂Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015

The ground cherries have always had holes in them but continue to grow. I do not know the culprit but I assume they are okay for now?

Onions and Celery. Between our larger tomatoes, we have onions and celery growing.

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Raspberries are starting to ripen. We have been able to harvest about 7 in June so far 🙂

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Crops planted in the ‘new’ raspberry bed: I had some extra room in the raspberry bed so I planted some kale, beans, lettuce, and carrots.

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Blueberries: bushes are LOADED! Just waiting for them to ripen! We typically get our first harvest mid/late June.Nieto Photography 2015

Broccoli: nothing is heading up but I’ve never had such healthy broccoli!Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015

Strawberries: the plants eaten down are starting to bounce back.Nieto Photography 2015Looking healthy! See the fencing falling down to the right of the picture? I didn’t notice and that night, something got in there and ate most of the berries 😦 The fence is back up and hopefully the strawberries are, once again, protected. Nieto Photography 2015

More Corn, Beans, and Sunflowers: much healthier than the patch by the house.Nieto Photography 2015Greener, and growing bigger, faster. Nieto Photography 2015There are quite a few crops I am missing…more sunflowers and zinnias, kale, sweet potatoes, more tomatoes, more onions, more spinach…I am planting every couple of weeks but one sprout looks like another so I spared you 🙂

Chickens & Eggs

We harvested 223 eggs in May. Down 50 from April. We currently have 2 mamas with their babies and another broody sitting on eggs. I thought we were done with broodies; and frankly, I was ready. Then another one decided she was ready to be a mama.

Thinking long term, we need to keep hatching chicks in order to feed our family and others. Right now, with our 16 hens (12 layers), we are getting about 6 eggs a day. That is barely enough to feed our family. I would like to get enough eggs to feed other families as well. In order to do that, we need to keep hatching them out (do you hear me rationalizing?)!

What is going on in your garden? I am linking up with Green Thumb Thursday today.

Transplant or Direct-Seed

May 20, 2015

Three years ago, I learned about making greenhouses in order to winter-sow seeds so I could get a jump start on the season. Over the past three years, I have used the greenhouses to winter-sow everything from onions and celery to tomatoes and green peppers and everything in between. It has been great…mainly because it gives me something to do during the winter months 😉

Last winter, I realized the spinach I winter-sowed and then transplanted did not help me get a jump start on the season at all. The direct-sowed spinach caught up with the transplanted spinach so quickly that I wrote in my gardening journal to NOT winter-sow spinach this year.

This year, I winter-sowed basically everything but spinach, carrots, and beets. Because seeds are so cheap, I also start direct-seeding early and often (every 2 weeks). You never know what kind of spring you are going to get, after all.

Here are some pictures of plants that were direct-sown vs. started in greenhouses and transplanted.

The green cabbage was direct-seeded March 16. The purple cabbage were transplanted from the greenhouses April 13. Look at the difference!Nieto Photography 2015Broccoli
I direct-seeded some broccoli March 16DSC_8421 and then transplanted the greenhouse plants April 13.DSC_8422Lettuce
I direct-seeded lettuce March 16 (one of the frosts killed some of the seedlings, which is why there are some ‘blank’ spaces)DSC_8420 and transplanted the greenhouse plants April 16. Both have been harvested from heavily.DSC_8414Tomatoes
Full disclosure: the greenhouse tomatoes were killed because of frost and replanted twice; therefore, they were not as large as they were in years past (when they were not killed by frosts).

However, the tomato seeds were planted March 30 (I wonder if being planted by a wooden board helped them not be killed by a frost we had the first of April – wind protection and added warmth?)DSC_8415and the greenhouse tomatoes were transplanted April 22.DSC_8417Summer Squash
Again, the greenhouse summer squash were replanted twice. That being said, the seeds were direct-sown April 22 (in a bed with fresh horse manure added – what a difference in weeding this makes!)DSC_8418while the greenhouse plants were transplanted April 20.DSC_8419The only plant I have not been able to direct-sow (yet) is green peppers.


I wanted to get a ‘jump start’ on more chickens this year and instead of waiting on a hen to go broody, I went ahead and bought 10 from the feed store. This meant having them in our house for 6 weeks, making sure the heat lamp was at the right temperature, having to put them in the coop on rainy, cold days so they would not die (3 did), etc, etc, etc.DSC_8426If I had waited just a little longer, we have had 4 hens go broody in the past 5 weeks and they are hatching out chicks left and right. We do not need to keep them warm, safe, or even fed, for the most part because their mama does all of this wonderfully!

Nieto Photography 2015


Back to the Garden…

Even with all of that evidence, I am having a hard time making a firm decision to not winter-sow anymore. Why do I fight so hard to do difficult things when something much more simple is presented/available? I listen to videos of Paul’s tours all the time and one thing he talks about is working with nature instead of against it…using a cover instead of ‘leaving the skin off’, not planting in a greenhouse (at least not with the roof on), etc.

Paul still tries to push the boundaries; but for the most part, he tries to do it naturally. He grows grapes along a firewood pile, which creates a heat-sink…he grows a fig tree in a south-facing area with trees on the north side to protect them in the winter…he grows kale under his cherry tree in the winter so when he gets snow, the branches break the blanket of snow so he can still harvest kale.

He still uses transplants for tomatoes and peppers but for the most part, he direct seeds. Listening to him is always inspiring in many ways. One aspect that has been coming loud and clear as of late is that when I try to rely on man’s wisdom (trying to ‘get a jump on the season’), it is more labor-intensive and I find I am not getting the intended results. When I do things in God’s timing (in His seasons), I see the plants tend to be healthier.

Now, I know I will get comments about ‘I live in an area where I HAVE to start seeds’, etc. I am NOT at all judging anyone who starts seeds or saying you shouldn’t. This is a blog about our garden and all I am doing is sharing about our garden and what God is teaching me through my time in the garden. 🙂

He has been impressing on me: patience – about His seasons and my ‘need’ to rush things or try to hold onto them…thankfulness – that in every season there is something to be thankful for; instead of focusing on how I wish x,y,or z would happen like last season, be thankful for what is going on now…and oh so many other things.

I grew up hearing about ‘tree huggers’ and basically that if anyone loved nature, they were not worshipers of God. As an adult, I have never learned so much about God and His nature before gardening. There are so many parts of the Bible that never made much sense before I had a garden (pruning comes to mind). I love it!

What are you learning lately as you spend time in God’s creation? Today, I am linking up with green-thumb Thursday

The End-of-May Lull

May 19, 2015

After going 100 miles an hour for the last month, it is strange to not really have anything to do around here. This is a good time to take a vacation! 🙂 Too bad this is also a great time to have a wedding (hubby is a wedding photographer) 😉

I am still planting lettuce, carrots, kale, squash (summer and winter), melons (watermelons and cantaloupe), and cucumbers every two weeks…I will start planting sweet potato slips at the end of May…but right now, I am having a hard time finding things to do.

Gardening with a cover (the BTE way) means there is very little weeding. However, since I used some fresh horse manure to cover our garden this winter (our chickens don’t poop enough 😉 ), those areas are getting my attention these days. (before weeding)Nieto Photography 2015After weedingNieto Photography 2015The garden beds/sections covered in chicken poop rarely need to be weeded at all!DSC_8360(no weeds in the carrot/beet/lettuce bed that was covered in chicken manure & woodchips this past fall)

We noticed some bermuda grass growing through our newly mulched area so I dug it out, put down some more newspaper, and recovered with mulch.

Nieto Photography 2015

You really have to stay on top of bermuda grass with whatever garden you have but with the BTE garden, if you dig out & re-cover with newspaper & mulch diligently, after a year or so, you will be rid of it 🙂 You just have to make sure to pull all of the seedlings in the spring that blow in from the field 😛

Are you enjoying the lull? We are enjoying all of our greens and strawberries (of course) as we eagerly anticipate our upcoming harvests of peas, potatoes, carrots, and beets!DSC_8361(starting to see potato plants flowering) DSC_8405(purple peas are starting to flower) DSC_8362(my daughter’s peas are setting pods – she planted in full sun whereas mine were grown in partial shade (we have seen a big difference – note for the future!) )

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.