Saturday, July 11, 2015

Precious Tomatoes

Most of us well know the prolific nature of the cherry tomato.  They grow fast and put out lots of fruit.  This was of course our best tomato plant last year and so it isn't surprising that the plant that seeded itself was a cross between it and one of the nearby varieties we had.  There are of course less tomatoes than the original but they are also slightly larger.  We haven't had to water it at all this year and it's still making tomatoes in this Texas summer we're heading into.  Now that we've added plant food and are watering it regularly we hope to see even more growth and a productive season.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Kohlrabi

It's fun to say and interesting to look at.  They really aren't sold around here but that won't stop us from looking.  Usually it's the leaves of cabbage you look for but in this case it's the bulb.  the leaves are edible as well but not really the focus in many recipes I've found.
It's also easy to see why some people like to make cartoon characters from them. It's easy to see how someone can see a face with green hair sticking up out of it. I'm going to try something similar myself but with a slight twist. Hopefully I'll get it up soon.
In the mean time I'll be on the lookout for this veggie in stores. Who knows, maybe it will just appear one day.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Baby Onions

Our green onion has produced some baby onions in the flower poof this time around. It's made a couple before but this time it's upward of 10 or so in among the flowers.
This little guy was especially interesting since it didn't know what kind of leaf it wanted to put out.  In the end it decided to combine a scale with a shoot and it curled around like so.  We really should have planted more this year but what we do have is growing nicely and we've gotten some tomatoes from what planted itself from last year's dropped fruits. I believe we have more borage than we can use and not enough onion. I'll have to prep the bed better this year for the winter onion crop.
Still hoping for more rain although the lakes around here are groaning from  the abundance of water and those in low areas are cursing me for even thinking it.  Still that's one reason I bought a house so high up on a hill.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Green Beans Growing

Growing a bean plant indoors just for giggles. I didn't expect much from it but there are four beans already. This picture was a few days ago but now you can easily see the little seeds growing in the pods.
 
In with it are the apple tree and a tomato plant.  Going to add some more dirt soon to help support the tomato plant. Everything is growing toward the window trying to get as much light out of a north facing window as possible. With spring just around the corner I really should have more started but the garden has taken a backseat to the rest of life for the moment. We'll see what ends up getting planted after things slow down again.
 
On a sadder note, two of my remaining five cacao trees have died.  I was out of the office for an extended period of time and no one else waters anything. In the room they were growing it gets really hot and dry and they just ran out of moisture and shriveled up.  The one at home is doing great still and the other two are in a more appropriate location in the office and doing nicely.  they even had a growth spurt recently of a few inches in height.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Borage and Onion

Our onion and borage have decided it was time to start growing again. The onion we left in there from fall so it could finish getting bigger and the borage was self seeded and much bigger than last season's crop. It will make a nice addition to this weeks salads.
 
Of course the bed they are growing in is our least rich one. It's mostly sandy soil which means good drainage and not a lot of anything else. It's getting more organic material only as it has grass or weeds we pull die on top and decay into the soil but no fertilizer or compost has been added in quite some time. And then it been buried several inches down.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

UTA Camps (Lego Mindcraft EV3)

I know this is a little off of the normal gardening path but I will be teaching the UTA Lego EV3 class starting on the first Saturday in February. It's a four day class every Saturday for grades 4-6.

Of course it's in Arlington, Texas so if you can drive in, or fly if you have the ability, we'd love to have you. The class is only $179 for all four days and the kids will learn about how and why the kit is put together the way it is and how this mimics a real elephant in how it moves and acts. As well as other elephant related facts.

Other camps include a Lego Flight Camp, Lego Sports Car Camp, and an Anime Character Drawing Camp. You're sure to find something that catches your interest.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Cacao Tree Progress (Indoors)

Of course the cacao trees are indoors, I'm in Texas and there really is no other way to grow them successfully.  The first time I saw one of these trees was at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens. I was assisting as a docent for the Butterflies in the Garden exhibit they had one winter and one of the trees there was a cacao tree. It had no fruit on it so really it was less impressive than the second time I saw one of these trees in it's natural habitat with fruit hanging from its trunk in the Dominican Republic.

After tasting the fruit straight from the tree I decided I had to grow them for myself. I have already been told that this is a hugely improbable undertaking and that the chances of success aren't very good but I'm stubborn and went ahead anyway.

Currently the biggest, and until recently newest, leaf is about the size of my hand and more are coming out. One of the little stubs that had been trying to grow is making another go at it with a little fuzz (the beginnings of a leaf). Soon I hope to have a larger pot, I know I've been saying this for a while, and the tree will have a lot more room for it's roots. I'm looking for a tall (2' minimum) pot but not necessarily very wide.  It has deep roots and the Dixie cup I have it in is probably going to kill it soon if I don't do something.

I still have four of the five cacao trees at work and they're doing pretty well. They seem to like a little competition but not a lot. I have various plants in with them and the more crowded the pot the less the cacao trees like it. They still grow though so I don't think they are being choked out. I did thin the most crowded one last week hoping for a little growth spurt. We'll see what happens.