Saturday, December 29, 2012

Overgrown Agave

Our agave has gotten fairly large since we've put it in the ground and it's baby is about twice the size of it's momma when we put it in the ground. There are lots of agave plants around the city.  Some yards have several plants or even an entire row of them lining a yard.
Although not the famed tequila agave, all agave plants accumulate a sweet syrup in their cores and can be harvested for this "nectar" which has been popularized over the years.  Once our plant grows big enough we will probably uproot it and harvest this sweetness and see about using it in a recipe of some sort.  Since it has already put out runners we will still have more to use.

One of the problems I've had is when cleaning out from under it.  The teeth on these things are hard, sharp and plentiful.  When they're covered with dead leaves they are also really hard to see and aren't in a nice neat pattern.
The pointy tops of the leaves can be broken off and used as disposable needles for sewing and if broken off right will even have a little bit of fibers attached for the thread. The fibers in general can be cooked down and broken up and made into rope or coarse cloth.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Second Cold Snap of the Season

Tonight will be the second cold snap of the season.  If I can get the tomato plants to adapt and weather this through I may just have some tomato plants make it through till spring.
The plan is mulching with some grass debris and leaves I have and hopefully keep the stems in good condition until it warms up.
The wife has been asking about doing something similar to the lemon grass. Currently it's the biggest clump we've gotten so far and we really don't want to loose it like we did our basil crop.  At least the basil will reseed itself and we should have plenty in the spring popping up.
Speaking of popping up, the saffron has popped up and is still growing nicely.  We've had one flower although I seem to have misplaced the stamens we picked.  They're already dividing from the bulbs we purchased as seen from the clusters of shoots in places where we only planted single bulbs.
As far as planting, it's about time for root vegetables and snow peas. Hardy greens will do good as well. I'll probably be planting carrot, cabbage and snow peas in the next couple days.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Monster Beet Growth

After looking for a little while many people are touting the nutritional benefits of the beet, which is a great reason to eat them, and a bit about the ability to eat the whole thing.  I was eating greens right off the plant just yesterday showing our neighbor's kid that I wasn't joking that you could eat right off the plant. Since we don't use pesticides and I had just watered anyway they were even already washed. Living in the metroplex, I still want to wash off the pollution that can settle from cars and industrial places around.

What I didn't find was the mangled monster that I have growing in my garden.  At first it just seemed to be a strangely large beet plant with a huge stalk. The leaves on the stalk died back somewhat but the stalk never did.  After it got cooler new growth started on the stalk and more recently it started to grow entirely new beets off the side of the stalk.  We're thinking of cutting some of them off to go in a salad but we'll see when the time comes how it looks. In the mean time we're just letting it grow and hopefully soon we'll get some seed from it.