Saturday, January 15, 2011

East Raised Bed #2 - Spring 2011

Organic Gardening and Crop Rotation

Crop rotation is the most necessary need for crops to yeild year after year.

1. Pests
2. Allows nutrients to replenish themselves.
3. Plant Disease

This season I have transplated the 'Valentine' Salad Mix from BotanicalInterest. Am using the end of the bed as a seed starting bed. I have moved my pepper plants around the bed for more morning sun and better function of the dead space between the raised bed and the wall.

East Raised Bed #2

Spring 2010 - The Tomatoes (Last Year)

The Story: Free dirt and Raised Bed Construction

Let me start by making a long story short. I was on CL looking for wood to make a raised bed. There was a couple on there that had a raised bed already filled with dirt and they said I could have it for free. (Usually free stuff on CL is dump quality and the people are looking for some sorry sap to haul it away. Little did I know.)

I don't know how many times I was offered free dirt on CL only to find the dirt to be rock hard clay in boulder sized clods. But, these people said they built the soil themselves and it was very good: coconut husk, peat moss, vermiculite, compost. I showed up to the house and the soil is BLACK GOLD. Light, spongy, dark, rich in organic matter. Like most gardeners the people abandon gardening after there first season. The raised bed sat underneath a tree that dropped its leaves that no one bothered to clean up. THANK YOU. The leaves basically broke down and composted into the bed, further adding to its quality. The wood that the bed was constructed from was total crap though.

I went to home depot and bought 2 16ft 2x8, and constructed a 2.5ft x 13.5ft raised bed and filled it with my dirt.


Store bought tomato cages will not be sufficient to grow tomatoes in, NOT BY A LONG SHOT! So the key to any tomato gardeners success can be seen in the above picture. HEIGHT. I placed the raised bed just off the roof line. I dropped a line of garden twine off the roof to the bed below. When the tomatoes started to grow I TRAINED them up the line to the roof, giving them all the room to grow as they needed.

The GUINNESS BOOK has a record of a single tomato plant growing to a height of 31 feet.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dry Farming

a mode of farming, practiced in regions of slight or insufficient rainfall, that relies mainly on tillage methods rendering the soil more receptive of moisture and on the selection of suitable crops.
Basically, farming that uses strictly rain water.

About 2 months ago, I had a some extra radish seeds that I had nowhere to plant. So I took the seeds - Johnny Apple seed style - and tossed them into my community garden plot expecting nothing to happen. Well yesterday while I was 'weeding' I found these. My watering system is not on at the plot so these radishes grew strictly from rain water... In Arizona... I don't believe that this was some type of random miracle, over the last year I have seen that with a little of the right kind of effort, plants need very little water to grow.

Water Footprint of Food
-The number of gallons needed to grow a single pound of food.
Lettuce -- 15 gallons;
Tomatoes -- 22 gallons;
Cabbage -- 24 gallons;
Cucumber -- 28 gallons;
Potatoes -- 30 gallons;
Oranges -- 55 gallons;
Apples -- 83 gallons;
Bananas -- 102 gallons;
Corn -- 107 gallons;
Peaches or Nectarines -- 142 gallons;
Wheat Bread -- 154 gallons;
Mango -- 190 gallons;
Avocado -- 220 gallons;
Tofu -- 244 gallons;
Groundnuts -- 368 gallons;
Rice -- 403 gallons;
Olives -- 522 gallons;
Chocolate -- 2847 gallons;
Eggs -- 573 gallons;
Chicken -- 815 gallons;
Cheese -- 896 gallons;
Pork -- 1630 gallons;
Butter -- 2044 gallons;
Beef -- 2500-5000 gallons;!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ol' Red Bess Lays the BLUE EGG!!!!


I thought my White Americana gave me the blue egg. So today when I got home - no eggs in the lay boxes - I let the chickens out but Ol' Red just chills in the cage, then she jumps into the box. When she comes out I go check. There it was the blue egg! Still warm, having just been laid. So i cracked it right there straight into my mouth, DELICIOUS!! Just kidding.
So right now I get 4 distinctly different eggs. BLUE. GREEN. BIG BROWN. And little brown or PINK, however I think there are two small pink layers. Yesterday, was my first 5 EGG DAY(2 blues)!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

3rd West Bed

Last Year

Last year I had spring mix closest to the street/side walk, this year I have an artichoke plant. Hopefully an artichoke is hearty enough to curb any destruction by my inconsiderate neighbors and their dogs.

Also, I had dozens of random tomato plants sitting around my house. I regretfully put them in the ground. They have all out grown their cages and its not even warm. I may attempt to try and string the plants off my neighbors tree.

This Year

Gardener's Delight

Gardener's Delight

Saturday, January 1, 2011



I couldn't take it anymore. All my plants were loaded with peppers. So I picked every last one.

Although, some of the peppers are not store bought size, getting peppers to flower and fruit is nearly all the battle. Now I just need to work on feeding the plant once they fruit.

West Raised Bed #2

The Pepper Bed
Jalapeno - Pepperoncini - Poblano

'What I Eat' is always the motivation behind 'What I plant'. So I planted JALAPENOS for my GARDEN FRESH SALSA and PEPPERONCINI for my sandwiches and POBLANO for my stuffed chilies.


I took the juice from an empty jar of PEPPERONCINI and brought it to a boil. I stuffed PEPPERONCINIs from my garden into the jar and poured the liquid on top.