August 2009 Garden Update ~ Sparks, Nevada

Well…it’s almost the end of August and here is what is left of my garden. I don’t think it produced as well as last year, but I tried different plants than last.

Cucumbers…I’ve oodles of cucumbers. The best producing ones have been the Lemon and the Homemade Pickles. Both I bought as seedlings from the UNCE Plant Sale, and that particular Master Gardener got her seeds from Botanical Interests in Colorado.

Cucumber ~ Homemade Pickles Seeds

homemadepickle_august

They have made many many many pints and quarts of pickles (picture shows lemon and homemade cucs):

august_pickles

Lemon Cucumber Seeds ~ These are tasty little cucumbers!

lemon_cuc

Spacemaster Cucumbers round out my cucumber plants. It’s not producing as many as the other two…but supplies us with great cucs to slice into salads and add with red onions and vinegar.

Squash…I’ve diddly-squat in the squash department. Squash bugs ate my whole crop. I couldn’t smoosh them fast enough.

I do have a mystery volunteer that is coming up in the decomposed granite in between two of my boxed tomato plants. I’m thinking it’s a winter squash of some sort…or a mutant. Anyone have any ideas?

mysterysquash1

Tomatillos…I’ve tomatillos coming out of my ears. 🙂 They grow well here in Northern Nevada, that’s for sure. I think I may decrease to 2 plants next year. I’ll be making more salsa soon. I’ll add a bunch into pesole that I plan on canning (going to break out that pressure canner that I got for my birthday soon).

Peppers…peppers ALWAYS do well here! I’ve been picking bell peppers, hungarian stuffing peppers, yellow pickle peppers, jalapeno, cayenne, and sweet italian. I’ve borrowed my sister’s dehydrator and plan on using it and the pressure canner to put up my peppers after roasting them. I read that you can dehydrate peppers even after roasting them. Will be making sauces up and canning them too.

Sweet Italian peppers starting to ripen

Sweet Italian peppers starting to ripen

The corn did ok, not as well as last year. I planted it in a different spot, guess it didn’t like it much.

The heirloom Brandywine tomatoes did not do well at all. The plant looks ok, it blooms, but then they drop. The heirloom Siberian tomatoes are producing very well.

Beets did great. Carrots not so well. Radishes did well. Brussels sprouts not so well…I finally yanked them as they were full of bugs. Cabbage did great. Cantaloupe got eaten by squash bugs. Horseradish is doing great…well, the top part is really big, not sure about the root part yet.

Herbs do great in my yard. You should see my one sun room…loaded with brown lunch bags of herbs drying. Basil, fennel, chamomile, oregano, thyme, parsley, rosemary, and sage.

Tuesday’s Ramblings ~ Garden Veggies, Soap, Candles, Boys & Critters, Sunflowers & Pumpkins

I know…long title.

Garden Veggies ~

I don’t have a lot of corn to freeze, mainly because we’ve been eating it! 🙂 But I wanted to freeze some of it for a later date ~ either to put in stews, salsas, or just to eat as a veggie with our meal. So far I’ve only blanched 7 ears and then cut the kernels off of the cob ~ which yielded four bags. I have more corn on the stocks, but I’ll let them go a little longer. After I took the picture below I nibbled on the cobs to clean them off…oh my ~ very sweet corn!

Over the weekend I had pulled about a 1/4 of my carrot crop and chopped them in large chucks, blanched and froze.

Cold Processed Soap ~

I cut the Fall Apple Crisp, Sierra Nevada Forest, and Oatmeal Milk & Honey (with a tad of Arabian Spice) cold processed soaps…they are up in the window nooks for at least 4 weeks of curing.

Apple Crisp
Sierra Nevada Forest
Oatmeal Milk & Honey

Soy Candles ~

A coworker gave me some orange peel and glass containers to make her sister some Essential Orange soy candles to take back with her to Czechoslovakia. Below is my “high tech” candle making operation and the finished candles. I made her some Essential Lavender candles with lavender from my garden.

Boy & Critters ~

Had lunch with my mom, sister, bil, and their kiddos yesterday. The boy wanted to show me his loose tooth. Calling him Shark-Boy as the permanent teeth are already up shoving the baby tooth forward looking like a snaggletooth. Gotta love the hook the nose pic ~ 🙂

Here’s a dragonfly that was next to our table at the park yesterday ~

Pumpkins & Sunflowers ~

So…by now I assume you know I love pumpkins and sunflowers. Here are more pictures! Imagine that! 🙂 Taken this morning in my yard…was killing time waiting for the primary voting polls to open just down the street.

Thursday’s Ramblings on Gardens, Sunrises, and Dark Chocolate!

Just some ramblings for Thursday…nothing concrete, not that I’m concrete on any other day! 🙂

Sunrise (taken through my office window yesterday morning) ~

Sunrise, this morning!


I picked my first corn a couple of days ago! OMGOSH! So good! And I cut up the cucumbers with some red onion and poured apple cider vinegar over them. I just love cucs that way.

I decided to try Newman's Own Organic Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups ~ I love Reese’s Cups but wanted to try Newman’s dark chocolate ones. I’ve heard good and bad about them.

Well…they were NOT awful, very edible. The peanut butter centers were more powdery/chalky solid than Reese’s. Chocolate was pretty good. All in all, I’d eat them again. Wouldn’t go out of my way to eat them, but wouldn’t turn one down either.

Also wanted to try Green & Black's Organic Bittersweet Dark Chocolate with 70% cocoa content…

those that said Newman’s was AWFUL said they liked Green & Black’s chocolate better. Not sure what drugs they were on…but it must had made them highly delusional! Holy Cow! That was a piece of crap! I had to rinse my mouth out. ACK! I absolutely love dark chocolate…so I took a big ole bite of the bar…BIG MISTAKE! Ugh. Most definitely will never buy that chocolate again.

My chocolate search continues…

Have to get another pumpking shot in…this is my baby one. I can’t wait until October!

We found these eggs in the junipers we tore out of the yard…maybe some scrub jay eggs? There didn’t seem to be much in them. I think they were duds. They’re very pretty. Like someone painted them with brown watercolours!

Leaving you with a pretty flower from Rancho San Rafael ~

Nevada Garden Updates & The Nature Notes of an Edwardian Lady

While watering the garden last night I finally found that pumpkin I took a picture of a month ago! It’s the size of a tennis ball now. And there are cucumbers growing (which will be made into dill pickles)! Lots of corn in my two wee corn rows ~

Here in the country’s heart
Where the grass is green
Life is the same sweet life
As it e’er hath been

Trust in a God still lives,
And the bell at morn
Floats with a thought of God
O’er the rising corn.

God comes down in the rain
And the crop grows tall –
This is the country faith,
And the best of all!

~ Norman Gale ~

Thought I’d share with you a book I have on a great British artist and teacher ~ Edith Holden.

1905 ~ The Nature Notes of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden.

Complied by Rowena Stott, Edith’s great-niece. This is the predecessor to the best-seller The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady. It’s full of her personal observations of nature and wildlife in her native Midlands and on her visits to Devon. I just love her watercolours and the poetry she added to her diary.

July 15th. Gathered some pure white Heath on Yannadon Down, -of both species, -the Cross-leaved Heath and the purple Bell-heather. Bog Pimpernel and Bog Asphodel in blossom in the marshes on the banks of Burrator; Saw a stoat coming up Lowry Lane, it ran up the hill between the walls for a quite a long way in front of me. A beg of nettles I passed today was quite black with caterpillars of the Pea-cock Butterfly.

August 3rd. Three species of Thistle in bloom. Wasps plentiful.

June 4th. Picked Yellow-Rattle, Pink and Scarlet Clover and saw some Moon Daisies in a field. Gathered Foxgloves.

November 7th. Yesterday I erected a short pole in the garden with a small, flat board on the top, to serve as a breakfast table for the birds; I strewed it with crumbs and bits of meat; but all day yesterday the birds left it severely alone. This morning a Starling summoned up the courage to alight on it; the Sparrows followed and by and bye came two Tom-tits. After that there was a constant succession of vistors all through the day. Blue-tits, Great-tits and Robins as well as Starlings & Sparrows.

First Garden Harvest ~ and More!

I harvested my first squash and pulled up the peas last night…

It has been really hot these past few weeks here in Northern Nevada and my pea plants were turning brown fast. So I yanked them up and picked all the pea pods off. I was able to harvest about 7 cups of peas. Note to self: Plant more pea plants and EARLIER in the season. I’ve redirected the pumpkin vines to head towards where the peas used to be. Now there is more room for them to wander off to.

The squash was sauteed with onions last night for dinner along with bbq’d chicken. Yum. My husband pretty much polished off all the radishes I pulled. Good thing there are lots more where those came from. LOL!

CORN! I have lots of corn growing…

Finally have cucumbers and lots of peppers too:

I finished up the drip system on the one side of the front yard the other night. Started in on the other side but when I cut into the existing line (we did not put the system in and I wanted to extend it to the new plants) I found out that the water was coming from a different direction than what I thought. Heh. So I had to cap it off for the night. Went to Home Depot as it was closest here to work…but they had NO 5/8″ T’s!!! Good grief. Stopped off at Lowes on the way home and they had what I needed. Tonight I will finish off the other side of the front yard’s drip system.

Worked on my Simple Woman Summer Swap present up until midnight…only one more hour to go and I’ll be wrapping it up and sending it to Texas. My swap partner is Becky of Small Town Heart, and it was a lot of fun making her present. Can’t wait to send it off! I hope she likes it. Can’t post pictures here yet…so I’ve been sending them to friends to look at. ACK!

I’m already packing for my 3-day trip to Monterey! I can’t wait! I haven’t been to the ocean since Thanksgiving weekend. And it was cool then. Supposedly the hotel is right on the beach. Hee! Will have to call mom and ask her the name again…I forgot.

Just wanted to say that my friend, Sue, could use prayers for her daughter. She is going through some extremely tough problems and needs some good thoughts, hugs and prayers. Thank you.