Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving harvest

"Nantes half " and "cosmic purple" carrots

Happy Thanksgiving!

We're headed down to south Florida to celebrate the holiday with my daughter and her husband. My contributions to dinner come from the garden.

I planted most of these veggies on Labor Day and wrote about in this post: Fall Edibles. I'd planted two types of carrots, "nantes half" and cosmic purple." The purple carrots have matured faster than the orange ones. They both taste great because they are so fresh, but the purple ones flavor is more complex--my husband called the flavor "darker."

The whole harvest

The Total Harvest

The two types of carrots; "lollo rosso" red leaf lettuce; sugar snap peas; several sprigs of blooming basil; three sprigs of Greek oregano; and not shown, several birdhouse gourds. (See below.)

I removed the tops of the carrots and pre-washed them with rain barrel water. In the kitchen I washed the carrots again. I rinsed the lettuce to get rid of any sand and drained it thoroughly and then patted it dry.

Except for the gourds, everything is in sealed plastic bags in the fridge and will be transported in a cold box so the veggies all stay cool.


I planted garlic bulbs the first week in October, as I discussed in Fall weather and planting garlic in wide rows. Now (seven weeks later), all but one of the bulbs have sprouted and a couple have double sprouts, which means that I did not separate all the individual bulbs. These will grow through the winter and will require no particular attention except for irrigation if the weather is really dry for more than a few weeks.

Fall tomatoes

Fall tomatoes

I have yet to harvest a good fall tomato crop.  I'm trying again this year; I bought three "solar heat" plants from Home Depot in August. One plant died, but the other two have grown okay. As of now we've only had a couple of tomatoes. The days are short and the weather has been cool, so I'm not holding my breath for oodles of tomatoes. But our first killing frost comes sometime in mid to late December, the plants are still blooming, and green tomatoes are hanging from the vines, so maybe it will warm up enough so we can have a bunch of vine-ripened tomatoes for Christmas.

Gardeners are always optimistic, but my husband laughingly calls these the $64 tomatoes--a slight exaggeration.
Two low hanging gourds are suspended from a pokeweed stalk.

The continuation of the birdhouse gourd adventure

Back in July I first wrote about my birdhouse gourds (Lagenaria siceraria) in this post: The birdhouse gourd adventure and then provided an update here: An early morning garden tour.

Now as promised, here's an update at the end of the season. My gourds have done very well as you can see in the harvest photo below. Plus there are still at least six gourds hanging too high in the trees to pull down easily. I guess they'll fall as their vines rot away or if I get ambitious enough to haul a ladder out there to pull them down.

So now I have all these gourds. I guess I'll see if I can create a birdhouse or three.  Maybe I'll even try to cook a couple to see if they are worth the effort. I would bet that at least the seeds would be worthwhile.

Got gourds?

How has your fall garden grown?

I wish you and yours a bountiful Thanksgiving!

Green Gardening Matters,
Ginny Stibolt

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sustainable Gardening Program on Sat. 11/17

I'll be giving a presentation on Sustainable Gardening on Saturday 11/17 at the Lyonia Environmental Center. 2150 Eustace Ave., Deltona, FL 32725 in Volusia County. My co-presenter Jim McCuen will speak after my talk with more specifics on the best native plants for your landscape.

Go to the Lyonia Envirnmental Center website for directions and more information on other activities and resources that are available there. While the program is free, registration is requested and can be made by calling:
(386) 789-7207 ext. 253

I hope to see you there!

Green Gardening Matters,
Ginny Stibolt

Friday, November 9, 2012

Green Gardening Matters!

Last month the Blog Action Day theme was "The Power of We." I wrote an article for the Florida Native Plant Society, which was published on the October 15th that talks about how much can be accomplished when members of a group like FNPS works together and with other groups.

"It's easy to see how the Florida Native Plant Society and the combined actions of its 37 chapters - 4,000 members in all - fit within the context of this year's Blog Action Day topic, "The Power of We." Here is a sampling of some of the activities we've engaged in - as a group - for the purpose of conserving and/or restoring Florida's native plant communities and the wildlife that depend upon them."

Continue reading my post with ten action items that show what can be accomplished in a year...

Alone we are small, but together we are mighty

Carole Browne created a group blog Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens, of which I am proud to be a member. Her post for blog action day tells a touching and powerful story of what a dedicated group of people can accomplish.

To sum up this post: Green Gardening Matters

Positive actions that each of us accomplishes adds up to a much greater whole.  So keep up the good works. Mother Nature appreciates it.