Sunday, June 28, 2009

Raised bed update

Update on the 3 foot deep raised bed that was layered with soil, bunny poop, ground egg shells, phosphorus, wood ash, and green matter. San Marzano Tomato plants have really taken off growing to 16". In light of this I replaced the stakes with an over head trellis system that DH built out of scraps. Not pictured is a white plastic corrugated panel placed behind the bed to reflect light. So far no issues with insects of mildew.
Funny I didn't notice my tighty whities or DH work socks hanging on the line when I snapped the pic.

So far so good on this raised bed which was layered like the previous one picture but has had a year to compost (huge worm population). Along the white PVC trellis is San Marzano Tomatoes which also have shot up to 14", curious that it wasn't more since the growing medium should be more advanced in nutrients. In the middle is Brussels Sprouts almost 20" tall. Foreground is Celery almost a foot tall and as you can see bushy. Hard to see the Marigolds among everything. No problems with weeds since this bed is soo densely planted. No problems with insects or mildew.

Check out the plastic birdbath I scored curb shopping ... can you see the cracks ? Gotta love clear packing tape.

It haven't canned up a thing not even Strawberries. We have only been harvesting a small amount from under the Apple trees and one of the Peach trees but not enough to preserve. After almost 8 years my primary bed has called it quits. Can't really complain as the average life of a strawberry bed is 5 years. Differently got my money's worth from the original 4 plants I bought. After the Peach harvest I'll prep for a future Strawberry bed under the Peach tree closest to the greenhouse. In the mean time I have been transplanting new Strawberries seedlings as I find them to a bed out in the front yard. We still have about a dozen pints of Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam that I can up last year to help tide us over until next June.

Can't say the same about the stewed whole tomatoes that I canned last year (16 qts.) and the year before that. All total we ate 28 quarts. Having these on the pantry shelf is allot like having fresh eggs in the ice box. With both you can conjure up a good meal.

Haven't had a chance to take inventory of either the home canned goods or our commercial stock, but per my DS who was home from Houston we had only one can of purred pumpkin left after I made him two pies. DD #3 also mentioned that we were out of Green Tomato Mincemeat pie filling, her favorite. She left me a note on the school calendar to remind me to spare green toms and barter for raisins so we could can up a few quarts.

Update on UPC: Since the garden has been producing green salad fixings and we aren't as home bound now (cabin fever makes you eat!) we have been staying closer to my goal of $100 a month on groceries. It will become more diffacult as our stash of commerical goods dindle since the majority of that food was purcased in 2006 or before our current economic recession.

Why oh why didn't I buy 3 cases of pumpkin pie filling instead of 2?

~~ pelenaka ~~