UPDATES

Some of elements of a complete urban homestead: intensively productive garden, cob oven, solar ovens, outdoor shower, shed, solar panels (on garage), bees (can you see spot ’em?) clothes line and at least three composters.

I finally got around to updating some of the harvest stats, egg count and honey production (see left hand column)

Even with the wacky weather year, we’ve managed to squeeze out (so far) over 4,000lbs of produce, over 2,000 eggs and 25 lbs of honey.  No doubt what the earth has provided is certainly a blessing.

With the garden in transition and many beds with bare earth exposed (waiting for the seedling transplants) the resident urban farmers have declared an all out assault on the harlequin bugs.   In their arsenal is hot pepper and pyretheum.  Justin commented the other day “that [he] can’t stand the site of them any more – they are gonna die!”   Yep, good ol nature Justin is on a mission to murder every and all harlequin bug in sight.   I wouldn’t want to be a harlequin bug.

What’s Growing On?

We are busy with fall and winter plantings.  In to the garden go radish, potatoes, onions, garlic, broccoli, peas, cabbage, assortment of all sorts of salad and asian greens.   We are hoping for a better brassica crop this year.  Last winter’s was pretty warm and dry so the winter vegetables didn’t do too well.   Me, I am hoping for some huge cabbage.  I really want to make a big crock of sauerkraut.

How’s your garden shaping up?

Comments(18)

  1. Sinfonian says:

    My garden is doing ok. Sllllooooowww but ok. I haven’t had anything out of the garden in a month, so I’m anxious. Soon we’ll be back in salads again. Next year I’ll plant more lettuce in fall. In spring it was very robust but in fall it’s spindly, so I would need to plant more I think. Sad thing is I have tons of empty space to plant in if I’d known. Now it’s too late to plant anything for fall and winter harvest.

  2. Sinfonian says:

    My garden is doing ok. Sllllooooowww but ok. I haven’t had anything out of the garden in a month, so I’m anxious. Soon we’ll be back in salads again. Next year I’ll plant more lettuce in fall. In spring it was very robust but in fall it’s spindly, so I would need to plant more I think. Sad thing is I have tons of empty space to plant in if I’d known. Now it’s too late to plant anything for fall and winter harvest.

  3. Living The Frugal Life says:

    Is that soft-serve ice cream-lookin’ thing your cob oven? I’ve meant to ask before when I’ve seen it in other pictures.

    My garden is definitely winding down for the year, but I have the promise of next year’s garlic starting to pop up above the earth. It’s a promise I’m going to cherish through our zone 6 winter.

    Tuscan kale, chard, and leeks still in the ground to be plucked at my leisure through early December.

    I’m going to try an improvised hay bale coldframe just for arugula. But I can’t get the hay bales until next Tuesday, and I’m worried that it may be too late and cold here, even for hardy arugula sylvetta.

    Otherwise, the fall mix green manure is doing very well to okay in the few areas I managed to get it planted. The garden is pulling up its covers for its wintertime snooze. It’s earned it.

  4. Living The Frugal Life says:

    Is that soft-serve ice cream-lookin’ thing your cob oven? I’ve meant to ask before when I’ve seen it in other pictures.

    My garden is definitely winding down for the year, but I have the promise of next year’s garlic starting to pop up above the earth. It’s a promise I’m going to cherish through our zone 6 winter.

    Tuscan kale, chard, and leeks still in the ground to be plucked at my leisure through early December.

    I’m going to try an improvised hay bale coldframe just for arugula. But I can’t get the hay bales until next Tuesday, and I’m worried that it may be too late and cold here, even for hardy arugula sylvetta.

    Otherwise, the fall mix green manure is doing very well to okay in the few areas I managed to get it planted. The garden is pulling up its covers for its wintertime snooze. It’s earned it.

  5. IndianaCraig says:

    Hey Everyone!!
    Well, I just dug up my Jeruselum Artichokes…15 lbs.! I waited to the end of the month, so that I could get my end-of-year tally for the garden. What is it that Anais says? Oh, yeah,……drumroll please. 468 lbs! Considering the “off” year that we’ve all experienced, and my own personal time issues,…as well as some garden transitions…I’m pretty happy with the results!!
    Still a lot left to dehydrate and juice, etc. So, the work is not over yet.
    Hope to, next year, have a greenhouse, hoophouse,..coldframes, etc for extended harvests. Just couln’t fit them in this year.
    Congrats on your efforts and rewards!!
    I dig it!!!

  6. IndianaCraig says:

    Hey Everyone!!
    Well, I just dug up my Jeruselum Artichokes…15 lbs.! I waited to the end of the month, so that I could get my end-of-year tally for the garden. What is it that Anais says? Oh, yeah,……drumroll please. 468 lbs! Considering the “off” year that we’ve all experienced, and my own personal time issues,…as well as some garden transitions…I’m pretty happy with the results!!
    Still a lot left to dehydrate and juice, etc. So, the work is not over yet.
    Hope to, next year, have a greenhouse, hoophouse,..coldframes, etc for extended harvests. Just couln’t fit them in this year.
    Congrats on your efforts and rewards!!
    I dig it!!!

  7. Tracie says:

    Hello there 🙂

    Do you ever release the chickens in the veggie beds to help cut down on the bug population?

    Peace

  8. Tracie says:

    Hello there 🙂

    Do you ever release the chickens in the veggie beds to help cut down on the bug population?

    Peace

  9. KK says:

    I was able to plant enough Fall lettuces and brassicas for my Family and I got them in as summer was closing out, so they are all doing great…except for bird, chicken, and bug damages(aphids and cabbage lopers!!) I let my chickens roam the garden, and I try to keep them out of specific areas, except, they are determined and sneaky, and if you’re not paying attention, they’ll take out a lot of your crops! Also, another reader asked if you let your chickens loose to eat the harlequin bugs, but mine seem not to prefer hard-shelled beatles and such…they do love earwigs and potato bugs though, so that helps, but I’ve found they don’t even touch lady bugs or sow bugs, so probably wouldn’t go near a big, stinky hard-shelled harlequin bug.
    Our N. CA. Indian Summer came to an abrupt close this weekend…we’ve gotten slammed with over 2 inches of rain!! It sure is nice to have some rain after such a dry year, but this is too much all at once! No transition period whatsoever…I’m already having to run my sump-pump, when normally I’m not doing this until well into Dec/January.
    2008 is the year of weather challenges for sure.

  10. KK says:

    I was able to plant enough Fall lettuces and brassicas for my Family and I got them in as summer was closing out, so they are all doing great…except for bird, chicken, and bug damages(aphids and cabbage lopers!!) I let my chickens roam the garden, and I try to keep them out of specific areas, except, they are determined and sneaky, and if you’re not paying attention, they’ll take out a lot of your crops! Also, another reader asked if you let your chickens loose to eat the harlequin bugs, but mine seem not to prefer hard-shelled beatles and such…they do love earwigs and potato bugs though, so that helps, but I’ve found they don’t even touch lady bugs or sow bugs, so probably wouldn’t go near a big, stinky hard-shelled harlequin bug.
    Our N. CA. Indian Summer came to an abrupt close this weekend…we’ve gotten slammed with over 2 inches of rain!! It sure is nice to have some rain after such a dry year, but this is too much all at once! No transition period whatsoever…I’m already having to run my sump-pump, when normally I’m not doing this until well into Dec/January.
    2008 is the year of weather challenges for sure.

  11. Maureen Garver says:

    Hi All!

    I was actually kind of relieved to hear that someone else had trouble with their brassicas last year, ours were pretty sad. And the loopers started in on this years crop already so we were out hand-picking and finishing up with some BT for future worms. Our greens are up and running, lettuce last night and spinach salad tonight…nothing beats fresh picked greens.

    Our peas started out fine but now they seem to be in a state of suspended animation…not sure if it’s the unusually warm fall? And the ever voracious pill bugs have decimated some areas of the recently planted peas so those will need to be replanted….sigh. I am trying diatomacious earth for the first time this year, we’ll see if it helps take care of some of the pill/sow bugs. Man they eat a lot for such small little buggers!

    Getting ready to plant potatoes too, first time for those and not really sure what we are doing. Every website seems to have a different opinion about how/when to plant etc. This should be fun:)

    Meg

  12. Maureen Garver says:

    Hi All!

    I was actually kind of relieved to hear that someone else had trouble with their brassicas last year, ours were pretty sad. And the loopers started in on this years crop already so we were out hand-picking and finishing up with some BT for future worms. Our greens are up and running, lettuce last night and spinach salad tonight…nothing beats fresh picked greens.

    Our peas started out fine but now they seem to be in a state of suspended animation…not sure if it’s the unusually warm fall? And the ever voracious pill bugs have decimated some areas of the recently planted peas so those will need to be replanted….sigh. I am trying diatomacious earth for the first time this year, we’ll see if it helps take care of some of the pill/sow bugs. Man they eat a lot for such small little buggers!

    Getting ready to plant potatoes too, first time for those and not really sure what we are doing. Every website seems to have a different opinion about how/when to plant etc. This should be fun:)

    Meg

  13. Laurie says:

    Over the weekend I planted early potatoes and garlic, spread compost, and mulched everything snuggly. I decided NOT to do the strawbale cold frame this year. Last year, some kind of rodent burrowed in and found paradise….a warm sunny spa with fresh tender organic arugula. Alas, none left for my family. This year the Russian kale has seen a couple of frosts now, and has gotten very flavorful.

  14. Laurie says:

    Over the weekend I planted early potatoes and garlic, spread compost, and mulched everything snuggly. I decided NOT to do the strawbale cold frame this year. Last year, some kind of rodent burrowed in and found paradise….a warm sunny spa with fresh tender organic arugula. Alas, none left for my family. This year the Russian kale has seen a couple of frosts now, and has gotten very flavorful.

  15. nancy says:

    You plant potatoes in the fall there? So do you harvest them in the spring? I envy your growing season…

    Most of my winter garden was decimated by my four chickens (sigh), but I did manage to get a cover crop of fava beans on my community garden plot.

    Our home garden will be the site of our new orchard (to be planted this winter) slash chicken run. (Fenced higher this time!) We start a new veg garden on fresh ground (now in lawn) next spring.

    -Nancy in Oregon

  16. nancy says:

    You plant potatoes in the fall there? So do you harvest them in the spring? I envy your growing season…

    Most of my winter garden was decimated by my four chickens (sigh), but I did manage to get a cover crop of fava beans on my community garden plot.

    Our home garden will be the site of our new orchard (to be planted this winter) slash chicken run. (Fenced higher this time!) We start a new veg garden on fresh ground (now in lawn) next spring.

    -Nancy in Oregon

  17. Laurie says:

    Hi Nancy, I put the potatoes in the ground now (in WI) just because they were sprouting little spudlets and I noticed a bunch of volunteer potatoes grew in my plot over winter last season. I figured, heck, why put these in the compost when they just might overwinter in the ground (under mulch) and get me a head start on “new potatoes” in June.

  18. Laurie says:

    Hi Nancy, I put the potatoes in the ground now (in WI) just because they were sprouting little spudlets and I noticed a bunch of volunteer potatoes grew in my plot over winter last season. I figured, heck, why put these in the compost when they just might overwinter in the ground (under mulch) and get me a head start on “new potatoes” in June.

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