2014

I began my retirement clearing out the brush that had grown up on the terracing around the house. After clearing, we had (east to west)onions and spearmint on half of the north terrace and I planted carrots from Baker Creek and thyme from an old seed package in the other half that had oregano originally .

 

In the west terrace (north to south) I planted German Radishes from Baker Creek; a horseradish root from Walmart; and sugar snap peas from Baker Creek.

 

The south terrace had (west to east) Daikon from WM seed, bee balm-existing; rosemary from a started plant; spearmint and marjoram-existing; and two castor bean plants from WM seed.

 

In mid-April, trees arrived from MCD. There were 25 each of elderberry, pawpaw, and persimmon. I got all of the 25 elderberry in along the back fence of the north acre, except for one planted in the NW corner of the terrace. By the time I finished that, I was worn out on digging holes. I got 3 of the persimmons into the back, one in the SW corner of the terrace, and 7 into pots in the front of the house(11 out of 25). I got 6 pawpaws in along the old fenceline of the north acre, and 4 into the SE part of the terrace. In the future, I will only order one plant (25) from MCD a year.

April in the acreage

June update

The wild harvest continued in May and June with a batch of mulberries and nettles.  The cherries ( a decent number) all had worms.

 

I had put the radishes and daikon out too late for the warmth we got. They both bolted, producing a great quantity of seed, but no edible root. I will try planting again in late August or September. I planted some carrot tops in the north terrace, and they are producing seed.

 

The horseradish did not make it, but the 8 pea plants that survived gave us 4 meals of peas.

 

I put in two raised beds, one in the side yard, and one in front of the terrace. The center of the terrace one is in oregano, and I planted strawberries, calla lillies, and foxglove. The calla lillies came up, along with a volunteer moonflower (datura) and velvetleaf (Abutilon). As an experiment I planted seeds from a red bell pepper we ate and they came up.

 

July update

The bed in the side yard had (n to s) beets, okra and carrots, planted late May early June. I put six hills around the bed, with two each of long pie pumpkin (BC), acorn squash (dinner harvested), and cucumber (WM). All were growing great in early July, and by mid July we were getting two to three cucumbers a day off the vines. The beets were mature at the end of July, but are still in the ground (mid august) as we decide what to do with them. The Okra started producing slowly toward the end of July. Out of ten plants, two are producing -- 3 to 4 pods a week. The carrots are doing well so far.

 

We havested a moderate amount of marjoram and rosemary mid-month. We dried the marjoram and froze the rosemary. We've also had a couple of batches of daikon sprouts with salads. We had enough oregano to fill a couple of spice bottles.

 

In the front bed, the datura and abutilon have taken over. I think I will havest the datura seeds to plant along the north fencerow on the north acre, the nightblooming flowers are lovely. The abutilon (velvetleaf) is not that lovely, and is bad for corn and soybeans.  The only use we've read for it is that leaves make great toilet paper. Another nightshade-family plant started there, making a seed pod looking like a chinese lantern, but staying green throughout the life cycle, fading to light brown when ripe. Inside the pod is a "sticky" green tomato about a 1/2 inch in diameter.

The side yard bed

Night blooming datura

Abutilon - velvetleaf

2 more cukes today

Castor bean

I got out on the 12th to clear the beds for the fall crops--lettuce, radishes, and daikon. I know I'm late with the daikon, but the early, bolted crop is still flowering.

 

I did not get a bed prepared for daikon (it needs to be deep). The radishes are coming along well, 3 plantings a week apart. The lettuce is not moving as quickly. I made the same 3 plantings, with only 5 plants that might be lettuce showing at the beginning of September.

 

 

August update

Lettuce? or weeds?

The radishes are ramping up

September update

Beginning in late August the squash vines started dying. There is some evidence of harlequin bugs, but I'm not sure if that is the problem. The cucumbers stopped producing at the same time, so I've left 3 on vines to produce seed. 8 jars of pickles and many fresh cucumbers were the yield.

 

As of 9/4 we've processed 5 of the pumpkins with 10 to go. We've tried one of the acorn squash (delicious). The Okra started producing and I've frozen two batches, eaten another, and pickled one jar.

 

Batina ate two batches of beets and we canned three jars recently. When we do beets again we will be doing some sort of globe variety, we're not impressed with the Cylindras.

 

I've been planting the cedars that had started in the terraces on the west(front) of the north acre. We also dug a fair number of the surprise lily bulbs that had been growing there. Batina is deciding where to plant these. I'm also planning to collect the mimosa seed pods to dump over there.

Squash vines dying out with okra going strong

Jars of beets