March 6, 2012

HARVEST TALLY: February 2012 & Vegetable Planner Giveaway!

Posted by Anais Dervaes

Mr Groundhog was right, winter is still with us, well for at least a few days last week.  The rain and cold were short lived as the Santa Ana's blew out the clouds and turned up the heat.

Praying for those of you who were in the paths of the destructive tornadoes.  Hope you all are safe and sound.

Weather wise, we have certainly have NOTHING to complain about.

Garden Report

Last week was cold & rainy but not too cold to hurt any plants (thankfully); but, then, within a day we bounced back to 85 degrees!  The roller coaster weather patten continues.   We are quickly approaching the last frost day and then we are free and clear.

Last week's rain really boosted the garden.  Justin took the opportunity to apply a fish fertilizer mixture just before the rains.    To the customers coming to the farm stand, I had to explain why everything smelled a bit "fishy."   I don't know if it was the rain or fish juice but the greens seemed to have grown overnight.  Our farm stand customers are happy because they can't get enough of our greens - you can't beat the taste and flavor.  With over two decades of organic soil building you can TASTE the difference!  Our greens are picked FRESH each morning and our customers tell us that "they are out of this world!"

Now that we've crossed into March, time to start those summer veggies.    Over the winter we clean up a bit around one of our fence lines so we are hoping to take advantage of the improvements by making it more productive.

January Harvest Tally

166 lbs Produce

Eggs:     78  Duck       14 Chicken

2012 Year to Date Tally

367  lbs Produce

Eggs:     151 Duck       14 Chicken


Arugula, kale, chard, mustard, spinach, lettuce, collards, peas, radishes, celery and more

Time to Plant

Another round of peas, greens, carrots, turnips, onions, parsley,  and time to start those summer crops: tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, squash and more


Building trellises, making soil blocks, emptying the compost pile, another another tier to the raised beds.

:: Resources ::

Heirloom Seed Source

How to Grow More Vegetables

So Cal Growing Guide

US Growing Guide

Companion Planting Guide

Vegetable Planner Chart Giveaway

We are going to kick off the 2012 growing season by giving away Vegetable Chart each month this whole year!

Each time we post our monthly Harvest Tally we'll be giving away this handy chart answers the following:

When is my local frost date?
Vegetable Growing & Planting Times?
Indoor Planting Times for seed flats?
Seed Planting Times & Quantity?
Plants - When to purchase and plant?
How deep do they plant, and how far apart?

Last Months Winners are......

Diane Melin
Kim @ What's That Smell?

Send us your snail mail address.


How big of a garden do you have?

Are you planning on "growing more of your own groceries" this year?

Leave a comment in the box and if we receive over 100 "comments," we'll not only give away one, but THREE, charts!

NOTE: If you repost this giveaway via Twitter or Facebook or write about it on your blog - or anywhere online - you may ADD an additional comment or comments for each time you shared the link for additional chances to win! (Just make sure to share the url address in the comments box).

This giveaway will end on March 31 2011 at 12 PM PST. Open to all persons in the US and Canada.  ONE ENTRY PER PERSON

Winner will be chosen by Random.org and will be e-mailed. The winner has 48 hrs. to respond to e-mail or another winner will be chosen.

Let's Get Growing!

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97 Comments: "HARVEST TALLY: February 2012 & Vegetable Planner Giveaway!" »

  1. We relocated to Plevna Montana last June, unfortunetly I was out of town until the beginning of September. I have designed to build our backyard with raised garden beds as well as containers (freestanding and hanging). I have never gardened in this area of Montana, its a whole new ballgame. Our closest store is about 20 minutes away, because its a rural store the prices are very high, not to mention the gas to get there. The first thing I noticed here was there was no Farmers Market in the area. There was one weekend of a side-walk-sale that had a total of 1 table of veggies. I need to change this.... My hope is to add more gardens and fruit trees each year, not to mention chickens by next summer. I have a five year old daughter, I am hoping to raise her with the same love of nature and gardening as my mother taught me. Is there a better way to bond than in the garden?

  2. You are all so inspirational; I would love to have a garden planner to make my own garden as optimum as can be : )

  3. This year I hope to have enough to can.
    Make a dent in the budget. I love having
    a garden.

  4. My garden is only 20'x60' but there's always something edible growing all 4 seasons. We built a 10x14 greenhouse this winter out of recycled windows! And we have 3 fugs, 6 blueberry, 3 ea. of black & raspberries. Grapes & strawberries wull be added shortly. i grew enough carrots, lettuce & broccili to share with my unemployed neighbor this winter. i grow sprouts & make bread with them also. i have grown comfrey for two years, adding more plants by splitting regularly. ive got 60 rooted to sell/share. i made salve also. this year im adding feverfew, st johns wort & more medicinals to what ive got. i planted sweet peas & onions this week & weve had a cold snap so i covered everything. all fruits and berries had buds or flowers already! We had a very mild winter in coastal southern south carolina. the chemtrails have been awful this year. thank you for your newsletter.

  5. We have a 2 acre lot that we have slowly been clearing and converting to growing spaces instead of brambles, woods, and lawn. We now have the "East Patch" which is 16'x62', the "North Patch" which is 15'x 50', a blueberry patch with 9 shrubs; 3 each of early bearing, mid-season and late-season bearing. Last year we put in 100 strawberry plants. This year we will also have 9 4'x8' raised beds for vegetable "experiments" (meaning vegies we haven't grown before). This year we will be trying kidney beans and navy beans.

    We also are planning a corn patch, a pumpkin patch and a sunflower patch to use not only to feed ourselves but also our chickens. We are learning all the time and looking for ways for feed more of ourselves as well as our animals.

    This year we will be reclaiming 3 apple trees that were here when we bought the property a few years ago. We also planted 2 apple trees last year, and this year are planning on adding 2 peach trees and 2 plums as well.

  6. We're expanding our garden out of the yard and adding a community garden plot. Hoping to grow 80% of our veg with some to share with neighbors and the food pantry.
    First plants are under the grow light, winter planted greens are peeking out of the mulch, so spring has arrived in Kansas.

    Best wishes to the Homestead, and all my fellow green thumbs

  7. This is the year I am going to start a container garden. So excited to grow and eat our own veggies.
    Love your blog, thanks for your sharing and information.

  8. I think your farm is a great inspiration for what you can do with a small spot of land. I am surprised that what you are doing hasn't been criticized by the local government of Pasadena. Local farms are not something that our local government encourages and I live in far Northern California where it should be more common.

  9. I dream of having a garden such as yours. Until then we only have a small bed, plus several containers. We're still learning and hope to increase our gardens in the near future. Thanks for all your inspiration.

  10. I started last year trying to combine permaculture & SFG techniques in my backyard. Im not using chemicals. I learn to attract toads to my garden so they take care of the snails and some other pests. But we have a very bad problem of ants, when it becomes unbearable specially in the rainy season they invade the garden & the house and yes i confess i had to use some ant killer. I live in Puerto Rico, we have a tropical , warm (sometimes HOT) humid weather most of the year and in my town rains almost daily.

    I build 2 raised beds 4X4, last holidays I add a 4X9' raised bed, a spiral to grow ornamental & wild verdolaga & a chicken coop & run with 2 hens & a rooster, and increased the size of one of the 4X4 bed to 4x8. Last year I plant mostly Aromatics, Herbs & Medicinal ( 3 varieties of oregano, 2 of basil, rosemary, verbena, lemongrass, anise, cilantro, recao, ginger, bruja, aloes) most of them are thriving, later add spinach, pumpkins,arugula, corn , pineapple , passion fruit, stevia, henna ... assorted ornamental (heliconias, orchids and bromelias) among them.

    Already had a banana plant, Guanabana (sour-sop) , Avocado and Mango trees, and many ornamental bushes. Did not succeed at pineapple (too much rain) , pumpkins (many flowers not fruits) or corn (many ants, but they produce enough seeds for trying again this year), cilantro ( too much rain I guess). Henna & stevia do not germinate as well as wild, roses, marygolds and other flower seeds I tried.

    Green pigeon peas did great from 3 bushes we ate 4 times and are still producing, the empty pods are good forage for the chickens too. By the way my 2 hens produce between 9 and 11 eggs weekly ( i will probably add 2 more hens)

    This year I am growing tomatoes & cherry tomatoes(doing great so far, white beans, pumpkins, carrots(first attempt), strawberries (not doing good), loofah, Jamaica (hibiscus), holy basil, cotton, other ornamental hibiscus , spinach and tumeric.

    Soon God willing will start to plant corn, peas, lettuce, arugula, henna, pigeon peas, black eye peas, peppers, ornamental, medicinal plants and edible wild plants and everything I found!

    I'm still in the experimenting phase...so far I learn by experience that my version of the "mulch-layer- bed technique" is working wonderful (I lay down newspapers as a base for the raised bed (to stop weeds from growing inside the beds), in a 4'x4' beds (or longer in one side) are constructed in 4X8x16in construction blocks (this allows me to expand it size easily), 1st layer is organic kitchen vegetable scraps, coffee grinds, tea leaves, eggshells, etc... that I collect in a Styrofoam cooler where it started the decomposition process, 2nd layer is dry, horse (or cow) manure, 3rd layer is organic soil & finally a 4th layer of hay (or dry tree leaves).

    Blessings! & happy gardening!

  11. We are trying to grow tomotoes unsuccessfully year after year. We've tried seeds, plants, towers, ceramic pots, plastic pots, food of all kinds, special soil, nemetode free soil, full sun etc. One time a few medium sized ones actually had a nice flavor but a very tough rind.We have gotten a few stunted globes, much black rot and a great deal of bone dry blobs. What are we doing wrong? Help, please! My inlaws used to have a giant fight each year over whose techniques would grow the most tomatoes. They had hundreds each (in the San Gabriel Valley which was much warmer than our area near the coast in San Diego County) Our daughter's ten green thumbs grow amazing flora in South Pasadena, but no food as yet.

  12. Yes we are growing our own groceries. I can't really say how big our garden is going to be this year because we are expanding. I can say it is going to about triple the usual size. We have rhubarb already peeking through and tomato's started in flats. We are hoping to put in lettuce and cabbage this weekend. We also have strawberries to plant, 5 new apple trees, 4 blueberry bushes, and 6 grapevines we are adding this year. You guys have been and inspiration for many years. I hope this year is a good one for you all.

  13. I saw a report on tv recently that some scientists are trying to grow hamburger in a petri dish and that SCARES me!! I believe its time to get off the pot and take some action to protect my family from this. Growing up my mom always had a graden untill I was about 14. When my kids were little and we lived in town I grew tomatoes and peppers in 5 gallon buckets on our deck. We currently live on 3 acres 10 miles from town and have grown tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers (my 3 favorite foods) just enough to eat during the summer. However, this year we plan on making the garden bigger with some raised beds, and I want to plant enough tomatoes and peppers to learn how to can tomato sauce and salsa. My mom passed away a few years ago so unfortunatly shes not here for me to learn from but I still have her canner, and cant wait to learn how to use it!!!

  14. I have a tiny garden in an even smaller Reseda back yard. I have numerous citrus trees, apple trees, apricot trees, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, Boysenberries, herbs, blackberries, figs. We have three chickens, two ducks and one rabbit.

    I try to make use of every bit of the garden by composting, canning, baking, cooking, pickling and anything else I can.

  15. You are all such an inspiration!

    We have a small lot and when we re-landscaped a couple of years ago I made sure that everything we planted gave back in some way to us or the local wildlife. We have used a lot of natives and of course many edibles. I maintain a small garden and this spring I will be concentrating on planting/growing more produce in the front and back yards. We started composting last year and solar is going in this month - yeah! Currently, I have growing pomegranate, citrus, espalier apples (3), grapes, boysenberry, turnips, carrots, lettuce, radish, strawberry, strawberry guava. I'm getting ready to start tomatoes, parsley, cilantro, peppers, more herbs and I'm adding bush beans for the first time. Oh, and I'm working on hubby for a couple of chickens as our city has recently amended the ordinance allowing a few.

    I look forward to reading more about your urban homestead. Thank you for the opportunity in the giveaway as well.

  16. 66

    This year, being the second year since we moved here in northern MO., I am expanding the garden area and we are buying some chicks to begin our own backyard chicken ranch. I have built one raised bed and am going to build some more. I am using all recycled materials in them including the nails and screws. I am also planting some cherry hedges that are called purple plum hedge. I also am planting more of the native mulberry trees and am training the wild black raspberry vines so it will be more productive and easier to manage. Amongst the fruit trees I am allowing more of the native wild carrots to grow as well as more of the wild rye. Not really high producers but add a nice touch to the breads and the salads. I also expanded my potato beds and am going to do more vertical gardening this year. All of this plus putting in a water reclamation system to use not only on the garden but towards the end of this year to have a large fish pond set up to raise crappie as a food fish for us and use the nitrogen rich water to feed the garden. Lots of work, but will be well worth it!!

  17. Just recouperating from surgery so am behind in the garden and not sure when I will be able to get back to "puttering around with vegetables" as one friend put it. I might just have to cut back to a couple raised beds this year. I hope to do more.

  18. This is my favorite time of the year and one of the best ideas is container gardening & window herbs for this senior lady from the suburban area of Stl MO. Would love to have a vege planner of my very own..... Peace & Blessings to all.

  19. We have a 12 by 36 garden plot in the back yard. We plan on growing twice the amount of groceries than we did last year. We want to eventually learn how to plant all heirlooms but we are still learning as we go.

  20. my front yard is my garden, it's about 15x25. I need to make better use of it and plan better, I grow what we eat :) Now we're trying to get some bare root fruit trees going in the backyard

  21. We are making our garden bigger this year..going to try growing things we haven't grown before like asparagus, peas, broccoli & okra along with the usual tomatoes, green beans, squash, carrots & lettuce. Who knows what all we may try :-)

  22. I am starting a small farm, I'm quite interested on how this will help on my recording in the near future... Thank u so much for this info... Looking forward for more suggestions from you... I actually host a weekly gardening link up every Friday on my blog. I'd love for you to drop by and join in.

  23. 73

    We are working with our 13-year-old to convert a portion of our yard from flower garden to kitchen garden. We have gophers, so are lining the area (bottom and sides) with something similar to aviary wire. Once that's in place, we'll plant a variety of fruits and vegetables to share with family and neighbors. We're looking for suggestions for natural pest control - we've heard Marigolds are good. Any other suggestions?

  24. We have many raised beds and fruit trees in pots. Our lot is small but we are beginning to see the results.

  25. 75

    Hello, We are looking to a great season at our farm in Ohio... We grow on 2 acres which consists of medicinal herbs and vegetables. We grow for ourselves and the local farmers' market here. A vegetable planner would be very handy seeing that we start all of our own vegetables and herbs!

  26. This is the time of year when we begin uprooting our winter crop and start turning over the soil and preparing our 80 raised beds for the spring/summer season.

    With the exception of six varieties of kale and collards which grew beautifully in the cold weather and snow of the Judean mountains, most of our gardening efforts were not too successful these last few months.

    None of the many Asian vegetables we planted seemed to do well in our locale. Our lettuces, arugula, and other greens were eaten by bugs and birds.

    Not to be dismayed we are getting ready for the spring.

    We will be converting our living room and an upstairs bedroom into a temporary "greenhouse."

    We are preparing to start about 300 seedlings.

    These will include the basics: tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, etc. In addition, we are excited to be planting about ten types of summer and winter squash.

    Our initial experience with squash last summer was positive and we want to expand on that success.

    Our continued thanks to you and your family (and your site contributors) for being such an ongoing source of inspiration and motivation.

  27. Last year we planted a 28 x 20 area in raised beds Mittleider style. This year we are expanding that garden by adding another 28 X 20 garden all tilled up. We grew tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, strawberries, set a grape plant, and a boatload of crookneck squash and cantaloupe. This year we are planting tomatoes, peppers, culinary herbs, eggplant, kale, onions and anything else we get the courage to plant and care for. We currently have seeds planted indoors for 3 kinds of tomatoes. Goal is to fill lots of jars for next winter.
    We moved here two years ago and are little by little adding farmstead projects. We have 1/2 acre at the end of a cul-de-sac just outside city limits. We have 5 little hens and a rooster and 12 eggs in the incubator. We love homegrown eggs.
    A lot of our inspiration has come from you. W.W.T.D.D.? has become a favorite mantra (What would the Dervaes' do?) Looking forward to putting more greens on the table and in the pantry. Thanx.

  28. We live in New York State, in the mid Hudson Valley region. We have an acre, but the back half is pretty wet. We have a gargantuan willow tree back there that takes up most of the space, but do have a lot of black raspberries growing along the fence. We built seven 4x12 ft. raised beds and plan to add another one. I also have a 4x4 raised bed that I plant herbs in. Last year we had bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, a huge mix of lettuce greens, red potatoes, bok choy, sunflowers, yellow squash and cucumbers. We tried Rainbow Chard, but the deer think it's candy so I don't think we'll try that one again. One of the beds was planted with asparagus. This will be our third year with the asparagus so we will be able to harvest some this year. We also planted rhubarb in the yard and it's also on it's third year. Last year we planted one bed full of strawberries that are the kind that come back each year. Last summer I put up raspberry jam, strawberry rhubarb jam and Bread and Butter pickles. Canned and froze tomatoes. Chopped the bell peppers and the onions and put in the freezer. We had potatoes for a while but they didn't quite last the winter. I also tried drying some of my spices. I have two kinds of basil, oregano, thyme and rosemary in my spice bed. We usually go to local orchards and pick apples and I put up apple jelly, apple preserves and apple butter.

  29. I'm moving to a house on 10 acres, so this year will be my first planting. I am VERY overwhelmed by the whole thing and excited at the same time :) I want to become as self sustaining as I can be! :)

  30. Greetings from the Rainforest coast of British Columbia, Canada, where I too live on
    a 66 foot by 132 lot, about 450 feet from the shores of Sechelt Inlet (Kayakers Paradise)(Pacific Ocean waters) and have slowly cleared out my land from forest for 15 years now, retaining Naturescape certification by protecting indigenous wildlife habitat and pathways to the beach (yes we have regular visits from bears, deer, the odd cougar, bobcats, wild mink, weasels, pileated woodpeckers and of course the always present bald eagles (which we have to protect our cats from) and of course raccoons, coyotes and now the wolves have recently shown themselves to us.
    Nowamongst this I have been working towards growing a good portion of all my vegies,and so many medicinal herbs, and all the basics of Permaculture.
    I am an able senior citizen, and although I have slowed somewhat with age and the back is always nagging, I am putting the rear of my property into food production this year also, with raised beds The pond is built, the chicken/rabbit coop is planned for this year, one hive of healthy bees have come through this long cold winter, with a second/third one joining this year (on the roof of my weaving studio....away from the bears).
    I so love the work your family has done and you inspire so many, and particularly me, as I discover it is awesome how much even one family can do, and more so
    what one woman can do, and amazing what one senior citizen woman can accomplish, and will do so even more this year. Today I spent the day tending to
    cleaning seeds that I dried over the winter, and will start seeding in the green house in two weeks. I grow only Organic and Open Pollinated Seeds from local sources
    and enjoy good results, and mulch, mulch, mulch.
    I live a fourty minute ferry ride and half hour drive from Vancouver, but in a spot
    aptly called Paradise, on the Sunshine Coast in Sechelt First Peoples Territory
    with the ocean at my feet and the mountains at my back........Hugs Deanna

  31. British Columbia, Vancouver Island, Victoria

    My garden is my back yard. We are Urban Gardening. Built on property that doesn't have lots of room for much. We are building raised Garden beds out of things we already have. Left over wood, rocks and bricks. It's about 8ft by 12ft and we are packing it full of veggies and ripping out the grass that I'm allergic to any ways. :) Our patio is going to also be full of Herbs this year.

    Was given your sight via Facebook by a friend. I'm so excited by the ideas and problem solving that you all have done!

    Happy Gardening!


  32. I have a small but expanding urban garden. My plot is more of a 12x12 for veggies, i have many perennials, and i am working towards creating more of a permaculture! I plan to put in an herb garden (i live in cleveland ohio so i can only plant cold weather things now) and add a self-pollinating cherry this year!
    Oh and i just discovered you.. so fun!

  33. I started gardening late last year with just some tomatoes and those were wonderful! My son ate most of them. While he was playing in the yard he would just walk over and grab a handful of cherry tomatoes and have a little snack! This year the garden is growing and we hope to grow most of our produce and maybe a little of our fruit!

  34. I have a small backyard garden area. We have 10 small raised beds and 4 children (plus one due this September)! We have attempted each year for the past 4 years to grow a garden. We've had some success and a lot of failure. We live in Northern CA and have no greenhouse and really don't like buying starter plants. Learning a lot about healthy soil and conditions, but seem to come up short a lot. But, we don't want to give up!!! I'd love to grow more veggies, as the kids seem to like them more if they are from our garden!
    Thanks for all that you do, it's very encouraging.

  35. I have a small container garden on my balcony/fire escape. I plan on supplementing the food I'll get from my CSA as my limited space doesn't let me grow enough to feed myself. I've tried growing food the past two years, but have met with little success. I think a big part of that is because I just don't plan things right. This year I'm trying to scale back the variety of things I'm growing so I can better focus on a few things instead of juggling a bunch of different plants with different needs. A planning tool would really help with this!

  36. This is our first year really gardening, and we have an "L" shaped garden around the side/back of the house. I don't know the exact measurements, but I think it's something like 30' x 30' on the long sides, and about 16' x 14' on the insides? We already have a couple of fruit trees that produce (avocado, plum, apricot, and meyer lemon, none are in the garden area that I mentioned, though), along with some cherry tomatoes. We have planted a few things, but we really want to tear up the rest of the grass on that side and do more intensive planting this year (have about 2/3 torn up now). Also, we want to turn the other half of the yard (a bigger area, but we won't tear up the grass because the dogs need a place to play) into an "orchard," of sorts with more fruit trees, and maybe some hops and other vine-y plants along the walls. :)

  37. I love your site, and the wonderful photos and updates!

    How big of a garden do you have?
    - I have 4 - 4'x15' raised beds for veggies, plus a bunch of pots and hanging plants, and around the perimeter of my backyards I have raspberry and blackberry bushes (the blueberry bushes didn't make it). I'm in central Wisconsin, so I'm looking into creating a greenhouse to grow food year-round. You've inspired me!

    Are you planning on "growing more of your own groceries" this year?
    - Yes, my hope is that by mid-summer, I'll be able to live off the veggies and fruits without having to buy at the grocery store (except staples foods). I'm getting really excited about it!

  38. We have a 20x35 backyard which lost every blade of grass last spring and is now raised boxes. We grew 260 lbsof food last year (including eggs from my contraband chickens) and we are aiming for 350lbs this year. I think my highlight from last year was when I gave a lettuce to my neighbor she couldn't believe lettuce had a scent. For her lettuce used to just "round out a salad" which she ate not because it tasted good but because she was supposed to. So she has inspired me to grow lots of different lettuce this year and we are going to try a bed of wheat just for fun. I can't wait for the last frost free day (in May in the great white north of Alberta, Canada)

  39. We have a garden that is 14'x22' and completely fenced in to keep out all the hungry deer we have around here. I'm hoping we can grow enough for veggies on the table twice a day and enough to can for winter for our family of three. Fingers crossed and trowel ready!

  40. I could not refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!

  41. After living in a condo the past 8 years my fiance and I finally bought a house and we are learning to grow our own vegtables. We are "newbies" and enjoying learning more about what, when, and how! Stumpled upon your website and hope we will learn even more

  42. Hi, I recently have become aware of your site, and discovered that it's really insightful. All the best!

  43. I just want to tell you that I am very new to weblog and truly enjoyed you're web page. Likely I’m going to bookmark your blog post . You certainly come with superb posts. Kudos for sharing your blog.

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