Tag Archives: pepper

Harvest Monday

July 22, 2013

Still getting snaps, potatoes (plants are still looking gorgeous), and blueberries from the garden 🙂 Blueberries are finishing up. There are only a few bushes left with blueberries ripening.

harvest22The raspberries officially succumbed to the intense amount of rain we have had this year. I am hoping they will perk back up in the spring and we will be pleasantly surprised. We’ll see.

wilt1 wilt2 wilt3We’re patiently waiting on the cucumbers, corn, cantaloupe, and tomatoes. Our summer has been unusually cool for North Carolina!

roma cantSome exciting news: I have a pepper changing color! I have never had success growing peppers in the past and very little success growing tomatoes. This year, I started peppers in my greenhouses and was very pleased with the results. Still, we only had one pepper.from all of those plants. I figured one was better than none and I see that as a success 🙂

red pepperAs this one started to change colors, however, we noticed many more were starting to form as well! So exciting 🙂

babybellI am always asking for help regarding one thing or another so today’s question is about the chickens: they are 20 weeks today! yay! so, we are expecting eggs any day now. All of a sudden, one or two are getting out of the run. They have not gotten out in months and now, it is a common occurrence.

I know when cats are about to have their kittens, they’ll go off and hide to have them but I didn’t think chickens were that way. I know they want privacy to lay eggs but we have nesting boxes in a dark part of the coop with lots of hay; not to mention the run is almost fully shaded with lots of great spots to lay…I wonder why they are trying to escape all of a sudden.

Anyone been there/done that? Any ideas? I am itching for some eggs!!! Maybe next week, I’ll be able to include some in my ‘Harvest Monday‘ post 🙂 Check out what everyone else is harvesting this week!


Homestead Review

June 28, 2013

It’s amazing to see what a difference a month can make!

The raspberries we planted from root stock back in March are starting to give us little raspberries already! Our BTE garden is giving us lettuce, carrots, and green beans (snaps) daily and hopefully we’ll be adding many more veggies to that list (like peppers for the first time!). And in just a month, our corn has gone from sprouting to growing silks 🙂

Desktop2Here is our bell pepper:

pepperThere have been changes regarding the chunnel as well. We have covered it with smaller fencing and my husband is working towards making the chunnel movable. He is about halfway done. The chickens enjoy it all day save the heat of the day when they would rather be in their run (tucked in the shaded woods) and we are enjoying saving on chicken feed!

Desktop1(L(then) and R (now): chunnel, now movable, now fenced tunnel (with 11mo), chickens a month ago & today)

chunnel(view from upstairs window: coop on R, garden on L)

The blueberries have changed a lot in a month as well! We are harvesting a large bowlful (think LARGE mixing bowl) every other day now!

Katy Blog3(blueberries 1 month ago)

blue(grapes blueberries today)

Our goal is to be able to feed ourselves almost exclusively from our garden (not buy any veggies and only a few fruit from the grocery store) in the coming years. It is already exciting to not have to buy lettuce, kale, carrots, or potatoes from the store. These were regular purchases. It has affected our budget in a positive way, for sure!

Even with such a lofty goal, however, we did not want to do too much all at once for fear of being unable to keep up with it all. So, this year, we added the raspberries and the potato patch.

Next year, I would like to grow strawberries and sweet potatoes. We needed to clean out the coop (hasn’t been cleaned out since April) anyway, so I decided to go ahead and prep the areas so the coop bedding could go to work already 🙂

I decided to put the sweet potato patch somewhere that is high and dry in the garden and that gets full sun. I raked back the mulch, ripped up the tarps and weed cloth, put down bedding from the chicken coop, and then covered it back up with mulch. By next spring, the soil should be wonderful to plant in. Unless the chickens didn’t take care of all of the weed seed and in that case, this patch will be full of weeds…only time will tell!

sweet potato patch(all of the dark area is the sweet potato patch but I know as it dries, it will be hard to tell where it actually is so I decided to put some type of marker for the time being)

tarps(here are all of the tarps I ripped up for the sweet potato patch only. amazing what must be done to keep the weeds away!)

I found a slightly sloped area of the garden for the strawberry patch. Eventually, I would like a larger area but I like to start small so as to not get overwhelmed with the task at hand. I also was running out of coop bedding so…again, ripped back tarps, etc., covered with remaining bedding and poop, raked mulch back on, and hopefully it will be a great spot for strawberries come spring!

straw(again, the darker mulch is the strawberry patch)

No wonder I am having such trouble keeping up with homeschooling these days (we homeschool year-round)! Any year round homeschoolers who garden (specific enough?) have good tips for me regarding summer scheduling? We’ve been doing school in the afternoon (typically we start school at 8am) but my children are not fans. Anyone eating exclusively from your garden? I wonder how many years it will take for us to do so…

I am linking up to Simple Lives Thursday.

Harvest Monday, Bugs, and an Experiment

May 20, 2013

No harvests from the BTE garden yet but we are still harvesting from our winter garden so at least we are eating something from the garden.

May 18 13 - 0054We are harvesting a head of lettuce each night for supper. The spinach and broccoli are officially spent. The broccoli was thrown to the chickens. Last night we ripped up the last of our spinach (nothing we were doing was stopping them from bolting) and had a big spinach salad with chopped apples on top (YUM!). I am thankful for all of this but I am looking forward to some BTE harvesting! 😀

I mentioned bugs on my beans in a previous post – they are bean leaf beetles and they are getting a lot worse. I was going to put some neem oil on them, as this stops the sexual cycle, so after 3 applications or so, they are taken care of. However, I decided to go out there in the late afternoon (when they are busiest) and knock them into soapy water to see if I could take care of them without buying anything.

May 13 13 - 0062I have never had issues with my beans but I have always grown them in a raised beds. The ones in the BTE garden are the ones with the issues. I read that these beetles are found in hard-to-drain clay soil. Ding! ding! ding! This is our soil, for sure! 😛 Of course, I hope the plants will survive but it has just gotten worse & worse so I think I need to be a bit more aggressive. Preying mantises love to eat this beetle but I’ve only seen one ever in the garden so I’m not keeping my hopes up. For good measure, whenever we find a ladybug, we transplant it onto a bean plant 🙂

May 13 13 - 0081I have been knocking bugs into soapy water for about a week now and for the first time, today I went out and found NO bugs. I would be ecstatic but they love the HOT weather and today was a bit cooler and rainy so I wonder if that is why they were not out. We’ll see if the plants are on the mend.

I planted watermelon, cantaloupe, zucchini, and squash. I also (finally) transplanted kale and lettuce from my greenhouses to my shaded side garden. This is my experimental garden. It is in the shade quite a bit throughout the day and I assume one of three things will happen:

  1. There will not be enough sun, even for things like lettuce and kale
  2. It won’t matter that the plants aren’t in the sun – during the summer in North Carolina, it’s too hot, even in the shade, to grow cool crops like lettuce and kale
  3. My plan will work! and we’ll be able to harvest fresh lettuce and kale throughout the summer or at least we’ll be able to extend the season a month or two more on either side 🙂

May 13 13 - 0038(lettuce & kale transplanted into the side garden)

Last update is about my transplanted tomatoes and peppers. The tomatoes seem to be struggling. The peppers, however, look great so far!

May 13 13 - 0155

(droopy tomato plant)May 13 13 - 0158

(tomato)peppers(pepper transplants)

How is your garden coming? Are you harvesting anything other than winter crops yet?

I am linking up with Harvest Monday. Even though we eat something from the garden each week, I actually remembered to take a picture this time! Yay me 😉