Monday, May 31, 2010
It's fungualed, nibbled, has a split stem and in general looks like it's about to croak. I think I'll have to start a new one from seed and hope it isn't too late to get a harvest.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
The corn, peppers and basil are overwatered at this point. See the lovely yellow that says, Okay enough rain already!
Plus with all the wet I didn't get a chance to mow the lawn for the past couple of weeks, till today anyway. It's gotten a bit out of hand, though not quite as bad as before. I'd rather use the push mower but with the grass so wet it won't push through it. So yay for the gas mower in this case.
Then there are the fungal issues that are starting to crop up too. The cilantro is getting some sort of weird subtle bumpy texture to it but it's not the worst of it. Tomorrow for Death Day I have a real treasure to share. ::sigh:: I wish I didn't. I haven't killed anything in a long time!
The poor tarragon is looking pretty shabby too. The weather is rather conducive to happy slugs, snails and rolly-pollies.
On the other hand the bee's were out today pollenating the thyme.
The sage is also in bloom and dealing okay with the rain.
My lettuce is somehow managing to be slug free and looking good.
The potatoes (giant pile of plant on the right) are still going nuts.
And of course all the natives are going nuts on the north side of the house.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
...UNSEASONABLE COOL WEATHER BLANKETS THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST... AN UNSEASONABLY COLD UPPER LEVEL TROUGH OVER THE AREA RESULTED IN A A FEW RECORD COLD MAXIMUM TEMPERATURES ACROSS NORTHWEST OREGON AND SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON SO FAR TODAY. NEW OLD LOCATION RECORD RECORD -------------------------------------------------------------------- PORTLAND AIRPORT 50 52 1950
...RECORD DAILY MAXIMUM RAINFALL SET AT SALEM OR... A RECORD RAINFALL OF 0.96 INCH(ES) WAS SET AT SALEM OR YESTERDAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 0.81 SET IN 1996.(This is just south of where we live)Oh Summer where are you?!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Haitian Farmers Commit to Burning Monsanto's Hybrid Seeds
"A new earthquake" is what peasant farmer leader Chavannes Jean-Baptiste of the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP) called the news that Monsanto will be donating 60,000 seed sacks (475 tons) of hybrid corn seeds and vegetable seeds, some of them treated with highly toxic pesticides. The MPP has committed to burning Monsanto's seeds, and has called for a march to protest the corporation's presence in Haiti on June 4, for World Environment Day.
In an open letter sent of May 14, Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, the Executive Director of MPP and the spokesperson for the National Peasant Movement of the Congress of Papay (MPNKP), called the entry of Monsanto seeds into Haiti, "...a very strong attack on small agriculture, on farmers, on biodiversity, on Creole seeds , and on what is left our environment in Haiti." Haitian social movements have been vocal in their opposition to agribusiness imports of seeds and food, which undermines local production with local seed stocks. They have expressed special concern about the import of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
For now, without a law regulating the use of GMOs in Haiti, the Ministry of Agriculture rejected Monsanto's offer of Roundup Ready GMO seeds. In an email exchange, a Monsanto representative assured the Ministry of Agriculture that the seeds being donated are not GMO.
Elizabeth Vancil, Monsanto's Director of Development Initiatives, called the news that the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture approved the donation "a fabulous Easter gift" in an April email. Monsanto is known for aggressively pushing seeds, especially GMO seeds, in both the global North and South, including through highly restrictive technology agreements with farmers who are not always made fully aware of what they are signing. According to interviews by this writer with representatives of Mexican small farmer organizations, they then find themselves forced to buy Monsanto seeds each year, under conditions they find onerous and at costs they sometimes cannot afford.
The hybrid corn seeds Monsanto has donated to Haiti are treated with the fungicide Maxim XO, and the calypso tomato seeds are treated with thiram. Thiram belongs to a highly toxic class of chemicals called ethylene bisdithiocarbamates (EBDCs). Results of tests of EBDCs on mice and rats caused concern to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which then ordered a special review. The EPA determined that EBDC-treated plants are so dangerous to agricultural workers that they must wear special protective clothing when handling them. Pesticides containing thiram must contain a special warning label, the EPA ruled. The EPA also barred marketing of the chemicals for many home garden products, because it assumes that most gardeners do not have adequately protective clothing. Monsanto's passing mention of thiram to Ministry of Agriculture officials in an email contained no explanation of the dangers, nor any offer of special clothing or training for those who will be farming with the toxic seeds.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
We got our first tomato blossom today!
Also the very first few blueberry blossoms are starting to plump into blueberries... they have a long way to go yet. Most of them are still flowers that the big ol fat bumble bees love.
The mint, thyme and sage are all going a little bonkers right now. It was nice to grab some thyme and sage to marinate a pork tenderloin in that we grilled up tonight.
...and there's my kid trying to be stealthy while rootin' around in the alpine strawberry plant. Yeah, no berry is safe with her around! She worse then the bugs. ;^)
I also managed to get at least another row of corn planted but didn't quite get around to the carrots. I really should've as we're supposed to be pretty rainy for the next week. Guess I'll just have to attempt some more underwater gardening that's so typical to this region. ;^)
I also managed to get pictures of all the beds today. If you scroll all the way to the bottom of the blog you can see I've taken pictures of each raised bed at one month intervals. If you hover over an image it will tell you what month it was taken. Kinda fun to see the progress! I really can't believe how big the potato plants got in a month!
Saturday, May 15, 2010
The results are in; Nylon Footies are 100% effective against apple maggots & 96-98% effective against coddling moths. The environmentally effective way to protect your fruit without spraying is easy to apply. The key to the effective barrier is time of application. Nylon Footies must be applied BEFORE the codling moth emerges in early spring. Apple maggot fruit fly emerges after the codling moth.
Easy to Apply
I was an advocate of paper bagging fruit. I now advocate use of nylon footies because they are just as effective but much easier to apply. I apply the footie when fruit thinning for apples within 40 days of petal fall to help eliminate alternate bearing by sliding the footie over my little finger and bunching the nylon so that at least half of the length of the footie slides up the fruit. I make sure the top of the nylon covers the stem. That's it, no tying the nylon to the fruit stem or branch. Footies also work well on short fruit stemmed varieties, whereas, paper bags do not.
When thinning fruit, it is the general rule not to have two fruits on one spur because they will touch each other. If two fruits touch each other most of the time the coddling moth larva will enter where they touch. I placed nylon footies on 6 pairs of fruit that touched each other to see if they would become wormy. Results: not one of the six pairs of fruit had coddling moth or apple maggot.
Nylon Footies stretch as the fruit grows. When removed from the fruit it is still stretched. One HOS member has washed stretched nylon footies and said they shrunk to their original size. I have hand washed about 200 used nylon footies and dried them is a dryer and all shrunk but a few (>5%) still had a slightly larger opening than non-used nylon Footies. It appears and we will know next season if they will stay on the fruit.
HOS is now selling them on this website. See the Fruit Footies page for details.
Otherwise I have a very healthy crop of weeds coming up in the front yard. It's actually rather embarrassing. I've tried to get out there and pull up weeds for at least a few minutes every day but I'm totally out numbered. Heh.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
On the bright side the thyme is in bloom and the bees are loving it...
Also all the bush and pole beans have sprouted so that's lovely too.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Being the studious gardener that I am, I took copious notes.
Soon to be a tasty strawberry
Happy sunny marigolds
The last of the pasque flowers
Baby peaches *Squeeee*!
Chive flowers - I love how pretty these are.
And the uninvited guest, the ever present dandelion, beautiful in its own right.
Friday, May 7, 2010
So, I finally got to harvest something - woo! Mostly I grow the radishes for DH who loves them. I'm not a big fan but I do like them on fish tacos. I hope I don't miss my window of opportunity here... (stomach flu + fish taco = bad idea). Maybe once these are gone I'll plant another round in the same spot.
The sacs of orb weavers have been hatching all around the property this spring. I love it when they're so teeny tiny (size of a pin head each in this picture). The kiddlet refers to them as Halloween Spiders because of their yellow and black coloring.
Speaking of the kiddlet, she's started her very own little garden in a pot on the front porch. It's not much yet but I hope it does well for her. She picked out the seed pack herself in late winter.
The large iris are just coming into bloom in the front. They're so pretty.
We had our last average frost date pass a few weeks back so I was able to plant out quite a bit. I'm a little more cautious this year however as the temps have been on the cool side. So for the first time ever I used water cloches. It was interesting setting them up.
You can see the wee little melon plant to the left of the bucket? That's what I'll be protecting.
I put the bucket over the plant and set the plastic cloche around the bucket which offers both support and temporary protection for the plant.
Here I fill the little compartments with water.
Then I remove the bucket.
There's the little melon all tucked in!
Tomatoes shouldn't be put out in the garden with temps lower then 55* at night unless they're cloched. They shouldn't be put out at all if the night time temps are lower then 45* (or so I've been told) as it stunts their growth. So being the impatient tomato lover I am - I put them in the garden with their fancy new little red hats. It's still hovering around 45* here at night so they'll keep their covers on for a good while yet.
The tomatoes don't seem to mind the water cloches at all. I also put them over the melons but they don't seem nearly as happy. I know it's because it's too cold for them even with the protection. Also I've got some gnawing little critters that have trapped themselves in with the melons. I put out some Sluggo in the hopes it'll take care of it. I haven't been able to check in a while on them since I've been stuck in bed. The one day I did sneak out side to check on the babies I got scolded for being outside and chased back into bed. I'm hoping to sneak back out there again this afternoon. Heh.
What else is going on in the garden? Oh yes, the dreaded Cabbage Worm Moth is back. I've been out checking the broccoli and squishing the little eggs off the undersides of the leaves. I was pretty vigilant about it, hope none of them have hatched while I've been stuck inside.
Apparently I was also half asleep in March when I planted the potatoes.. they accidentally went in under where I'd planned on planting spinach. Now it's just a big mish-mash and I know the spinach will suffer for it. I finally get the spinach to grow and now this! Bah! It makes me so! ::grumble-grumble-grumble:::
Since the taters are doing really well already I've hilled up around the russet which came up first. I'll hill up the other varieties as soon as they're a little bigger.
Waiting for the lettuce to get a bit bigger too. I can hardly wait for the first spring salad...