Sunday, August 31, 2008

Cosmo and new bee

A pretty picture of the cosmos growing in the garden.

I saw a couple of these bees fighting with flies today aroung the parsley flowers. They are a little smaller than honeybees, but at a quick glance you might think they are. I'm glad to see a variety of bees in my garden.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Ed is weird

This is Ed's Millennium looking extra weird. I'm not sure why some tomatoes have these mutations, but it sure makes picking them interesting. Never know what you are going to get.

There were several tiny bees hanging around the parsley flowers this morning. They were maybe 1/4 of an inch long. Again, I have no clue what species it is.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The bees have hatched

These bees were laid in the spring. There are a few cells that have the seals broken, because the bees have hatched. (not sure if hatched is the right word) Click on the image to make it large you can really see the cells.

There are only a couple of corn cobs that will be edible this year. I planted them in the new garden area that had a deck over it for years. The soil is not in great shape. I'm going to add some compost and a cover crop to that area this winter in hopes to improve the quality.

The pumpkin is getting pretty big now. I hope it will produce at least one pumpkin before it gets too cold.

Monday, August 25, 2008


I harvested 3 raspberries today and they were yummy. They were gone so fast, there wasn't even time for a photo.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Overhead view

Friday, August 22, 2008

Winter seedlings

Today's sunflower. I'll check tomorrow between 10 - noon to see if there are any honey bees interested in this sunflower.

The far right raspberry is really starting to get red now. I didn't realize how many raspberries you can get off of one plant. I hope next year I get an even better crop. The second plant has not started to bloom. I don't think I will get any berries from it this year.

The first row are broccoli plants from seeds I collected from last year's plants.

The carrots are in the second and third row of this flat. I will carefully transplant them into the ground this weekend. I would have never planted carrots in a flat, but I took a class at Common Ground in Palo Alto, and they had success starting them in flats and transplanting them into the garden.

The back rows are broccoli seedlings from seeds that the front row were originally grown from. I want to see how the second generation does compared to the first. Click on the images to see a larger version. The detail is worth the extra click.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fancy Bee/Wasp

There are little, tiny, sunflowers that want to grow off the sides of the sunflower. They will be the extra smallest sunflowers ever.

I saw this bee/wasp on a parsley plant that is about to bloom. It kept wiggling it's butt while on the flower. Look at the larger pictures. There is a lot of detail that is lost in the small pictures.

I'll do some research and try to figure out what species of insect it is.

Another picture of the unknown bee/wasp.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Smallest sunflower... ever.

The new sunflower seems to be very tiny. It's about 3 in diameter. I started this plant in a 6 pack seed container and didn't transplant it very quickly. It was very root bound. I think it might have stunted it's growth. It's still very pretty. I hope the honey bees will like it. I want to have at least one sample for the Great Sunflower Project.

Here are the Black Hungarian's ready to be dried.

After several tens of hours in the food dehydrator they look like peels from an apple. They still needs some more time before they will be ready for making into paprika powder.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A new sunflower and carrot seedlings

This is a variety I call La Salle. I've been saving seeds from it for a few years now. They only grow to be about 3 feet high. I like the flavor of the seeds.

Carrot seedlings seemed to pop up over night. I'll need to transplant them all this weekend. Then I'll start the seeds, that I got in mail, in this flat.

The pumpkin is growing fast now.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bee nests

I made this bee block, or nest, last year. Most bees are solitary bees. This means they do not have a hive like honey bees. They lay their larva in holes and provide enough pollen and nectar for them to grow. They place the female larva towards the back, so if the hole is invaded the males get eaten first. They eventually grow and push their way out of the hole.

This is the new block I made this season. The wood doesn't seem to be splitting the way the original one did.

This is a photo of some of the holes that have been filled. They use a piece of leaf or mud to cover over the end.
To learn more about the importance of bees see Xerces Society

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Red skies at night...

Broccoli seedlings

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cat paws and peppers

Close up of the sunflower seeds. It's almost time to cut off the head and put it in a paper bag to dry out.

A couple of young green beans. Variety is Blue Lake Pole.

Some of the raspberries are starting to turn red.

Lu thought he would help out with this photo. These are Black Hungarian Paprika. I'll dry them and make paprika powder.

Pretty blue sky with some clouds.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

M-O-O-N, that spells Rouge Vif d' Etampes

The moon was already out when I went to take pictures tonight.

The leek flower continues to be pretty.

This is a pumpkin called Rouge Vif d' Etampes. I planted some earlier this season, but they didn't do well. I thought I would plant some more in a different location and see how they do. It is an old French heirloom pumpkin. Very Cinderella like in shape.

Monday, August 11, 2008

It's hard to find interesting pictures of the sunflower

Jimmy Nardello chile

I planted broccoli, celery, and carrots. I ordered seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.
Broccoli - Romanesco Italia
Califower - Snowball Self-Blanching
Celery - Tendercrisp
Kohlrabi- Early White Vienna
Leeks - Carentan
Lettuce - Oak Leaf
Lettuce - May Queen
Lettuce - Petite Rouge
Lettuce - Amish Deer Tongue

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Seed flats

I made a seed flat today. I used the new table saw and a nail gun.
Photos from 8-8-08

This is the largest harvest of strawberries, so far this year. Variety is Albion.

Bunch of tomatoes again. The bottom most is Caspian Pink, the first one this season. Other varieties shown are Orange Strawberry, Brandywine O.T.V., Brandywine from Croatia, and lots of Anna Russians. Oh yeah, there are 3 small Roma-style. I'm not sure what the variety is. I thought I wast planting Polish Linguisa, but these are not that variety.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Grandkids (dogs) with backpacks

Sunflower looks like it has dreadlocks.

The kids are ready for school or at least a hike. They both now can carry enough water and poo for a couple of hours away from home. Button's new backpack is from Ruffwear. It seems like it is going to be a lot better than Carbon's. After a couple of hikes we will see if we need to get Carbon a new pack.

I picked several Anna Russian tomatoes this morning and shared them with some friends. Emily of luckymathilda, ended up with this beauty. I hope Sharla also enjoys the plain, boring tomatoes she received ;)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Bean flowers of different colors

This variety of bean has 2 different color flowers, yellow and white.

Beans, beans, the more you eat them, the more you fart.

Another Anna Russian tomato. There are about 7 tomatoes ready to pick again on this plant. It definitely likes growing in my garden. I will make sure to plant it next year. Maybe even more than one plant.