Harvest Monday_July 12, 2010

Here we are at Harvest Monday again hosted by Daphne at Daphne’s Dandelions, and I just harvested my entire “corn field”…all 14 stalks of corn grow in an approximately 4×8 space shared by a couple of monster hosta plants and globe alium…and one volunteer tomato that’s peeking through at the 7 o’clock position. 

In total, 20 ears of corn (13 picked this morning).

I’m thinking if those  *&%$%&#@ing  earwigs hadn’t eaten all the silks off the corn, the suckers (ears on the right) would have been able to be pollinated and would have produced some decent ears of corn.  But I’ll give them an E for effort anyway because you can see they tried.  Now I’ll have to figure out what to plant in the spot the corn vacated.  If I was a really good square foot intensive gardener I’d already have transplants growing to plop right into the bed.

You see that beige and green container in the first picture (about at the 1 o’clock position)?  That’s my new composter, formerly known as collapsible leaf bag (another FreeCycle find).  I was generating too much glorious garden garbage to let it just go to waste.  Honestly, I felt guilty when I couldn’t compost my wastes. 

All those trees we cut down last year have sent out new growth along the trunks and the second time I had to remove the foliage is when I put the new “composter” to work. 

Let me stop you if the thought occurred to you that:  Wouldn’t it be easier if you cut the tree trunks down?  Well, that was the plan, but I’ve been reading (too much knowledge can be a dangerous thing I know), and some of the books talk about growing your own compostables.  So, when I saw all those lush, vitamin and mineral enriched leaves sitting there, the thought occurred to me that I could have a steady supply of greens for composting.  So, as of now the trunks stay, they’ll live to sprout another day.

There are about nine trunks along the side of the garage.  What I did was I chopped all the foliage on the trees and put it into the leaf bag.  When I was done it was about 75 percent full.  As I was going along I layered in the stuff that I had dropped on the ground instead of throwing in the garbage that had started to dry out.  In about three days when I gave the contents a little flip, even though it was warm outside, I saw steam rising out of the container.  If I had another spot to start another pile I’d stop adding to this one and let it finish, but I don’t, so I keep adding, adding, adding.  I’m missing my earth machine now, but at least the sweet potato vines growing in it are looking pretty.

Anyway, here are a few pictures of what I’ve been able to harvest since my last Harvest Day post.

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What have you been harvesting?  Pop over to Daphne’s and link up with her so everybody can see the glorious goodies growing in your garden.

Happy Gardening!!

Harvest Monday

Daphne over at Daphne’s Dandelions is hosting Harvest Monday.  She invites you to link up at her blog and show off your harvest (big or small).  I’m glad she threw in the small because that’s what I’m getting these days…small amounts of veggies that I gave up on weighing.  I’ll go back and count how many items I picked.  33 cherry tomatoes sure sounds like a lot more than 10.8 ounces of cherry tomatoes. 

So, here’s the harvest over the last few days:

6 cherry tomatoes, 1 squash, 3 lemon cucumbers08-01-09 (4)

17 cherry tomatoes, 3 cucumbers (I got a little hungry)08-02-09

25 cherry tomatoes, 2 lemom cucumbers, 1 Aztec tomato, and 1 (the first) ear of corn08-03-09 (3)

I had to taste test the corn and it’s nice and sweet.  This is from my micro-mini “corn field”…08-03-09 (4)…a whopping 6 square feet.  I assisted Mother Nature with the pollination of the corn, and maybe it paid off.

Corn Pollination 101:  The tassel provides the pollen representing the male part of the plant.  The silks need to be fertilized with the pollen.  Each silk represents a kernel of corn.  The pollen spores float through the air (that’s why block planting is preferable to row planting) from the tassels onto the silks which complete the fertilization process.  For us humans to assist in pollination, we can shake the plant tassels when the silks start emerging so that the pollen can get onto the silks or we can remove a portion of the tassel and rub in onto the silks (which is what I did specifically for the one ear I’ve picked so far.)

The only problem with the corn is that only one ear has shown up per stalk and the stalks in the back are too skinny.  If I do corn next year, I’ll buy seeds (non-genetically modified, non-hybird) and I’ll plant closer to the front of the box so that all the plants get sunshine.

And it’s hard to tell, but on the last face produce picture, the nose is not a cherry tomato.  It’s from the Aztec tomato plant I got from my Master Gardener friend, Gregory, from his trip to Growing Power.  The plant label said the plants were started in JANUARY.  That means this plant is eight months old and just now giving up its first ripe tomato.    It’s an heirloom tomato and I’ve decided to let one of them bush as opposed to growing it to a single stem.  So far, it’s set more tomatoes than the one beefsteak that I planted, but the tomatoes themselves are smaller.  Once it’s fully ripened and I taste it, hopefully I’ll see what all the fuss is about heirloom varieties.

Happy Gardening!!!