Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Smallest cucumber ever

Well it isn't really a cucumber yet, it's just a female flower. This is a Mexican Sour Gherkin cucumber. I've been trying to grow them for 3 years now with no success. They are really small plants and usually get destroyed by snails and slugs. I was able to keep this one alive all season long, but it just started to flower. The flowers are so small I don't know if any bees can find them to pollinate them. I don't think there are any male flowers blooming at the same time as the females. Therefore, no cucumbers. Maybe next year I will have more success. To get a sense of how small it is I put an ant on the flower. Enlarge to see the details.

Rouge Vif d' Etampes a couple of days later. I put a nickel next to the pumpkin to help with scale.

Today's harvest of raspberries. I think this will be the last week for raspberries this season.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


I'm amazed at how quickly the pumpkins are growing. On the packet for the pumpkins, it says it will take about 95 days to grow to maturity. I planted them about 60 days ago, so they should be ready just in time for Halloween.

Cosmo seeds

Blue Lake Pole beans are still growing well. I like that it has both yellow and white flowers on the same plant.

And I let some dry out, so I will have seeds for next year.

Here are the seeds that I harvested so far this year. I hope I'll have enough seeds to share this year with other members of Seed Savers. I would need at least 25-30 seeds for each order. Right now I have about 200 seeds.

Ancho San Luis peppers

Brandywine OTV and Croatia

Friday, September 26, 2008

Bees and Pumpkins

Ever wonder how bees transfer pollen from flower to flower? Take a close look at the bee in this photo. It is covered in pollen from head to stinger.

It looks like it is snowing pollen. This is a male Rouge Vif d' Etampes flower.

Here are the pumpkins they pollinated already. I might have helped out too. I did take a Q-tip to them one day.

The second Rouge Vif d' Etampes. I think there about 5 pumpkins growing now. I'm not sure if the season is going to be long enough for them to ripen. They are currently 3-4 inches in diameter.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

These are a few of their favorite things

Button had a selection of toys in the bathroom today. I notice how nice all the colors were. These are their favorites.
If I had to rank them:
1. Blue toy
2. Orange ball
3. Football
4. Squirrel

Sunday, September 21, 2008


This is today's harvest of raspberries. I ate about the same about on Friday right off the plant. I'm so happy I planted raspberries this year. I planted two different varieties, but the second one got a late start and didn't produce any berries this year. I hope next year to have both do really well.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Happy Quails

I'll probably only have another month to harvet tomatoes. Anna Russian and Orange Strawberry are not really producing any new tomatoes. The Brandywines are still doing OK. I picked about 20 tomatoes yesterday.

This is what it looks like when I'm processing them.

I hate having seeds in my tomato sauce, so I try to get them all out before cooking them. I tried a food mill, but I didn't like the results.

Earlier this week I had lunch at Evvia in Palo Alto. It's a Greek restaurant that has Saghanaki. Saghanaki is pan fried Kefalograviera cheese & padron peppers with oregano & lemon. Emily liked the peppers so much that I thought I would try to grow some next year. I found out the resturant's source for Pimientos de Padrón and went to the farmers market this weekend to buy some. The actual Pimientos de Padróns are smaller than the ones I bought, but I figured the seeds would not be developed enough to save. These are the same peppers just more mature. I hope I can save some of the seeds to grow a few plants next summer. Of course, I will share with Emily. You can find the recipe for the peppers on the Happy Quail Farms site.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fun with a face mask

Sid decided to put the dust mask I used when I was grinding up hot peppers, on Carbon's head.
Carbon was not harmed by this stunt.

Carbon is very trusting so he sat nice while it was placed on his head.

A half a second later Button was trying to figure out what it was.

Another half a second went by and she was snapping it around his neck.

A good, fast, chase around the yard and this was all that was left.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Belecskai peppersThe Belecskai peppers are doing well now. You might remember I posted some that were yellow earlier this year. When they dried they turn a bright orange color. I figured I would leave these on the plant longer to see if they turned orange too. They did, even reddish. The one with the blue thread is the one that I netted, so the seeds will be true from that pepper. I'll save them for next year's crop.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Front door planter

I refreshed the flower pot I have at the front door. When I was at target they had a lot of interesting looking Coleus plants. It took me awhile, but I finally decided on 3 different varieties that I thought looked good together. The pink variety on the bottom right is called Sun Rose. The tallest one in the back is called Red Rules. Kiwi Fern is the greenish one on the left. It has thin fern-like leaves. There are a couple marjoram and thyme seedlings mixed in also.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Weird water lilyLast week or so the yellow water lily had a flower. I noticed this week that from the old flower sprouted another flower and several other stems. I'm not sure what is going on here. It almost looks like the old flower is creating a new plant. I need to do some research on how water lilies reproduce. If you click on the picture you can see the details better.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Flower vs. Flour

A sunflower and a white cosmo in the background.

White cosmo

The other night when we decided to heat up our pizza. It went horribly wrong. I heated up the new oven and put one piece each of our pizza slices. (I got distracted from Nedda's constant IM-ing and lost track of time. :) Two pieces were unfortunately burnt beyond the point of edibility. The smoke alarm went off, Button ran outside, and I burnt my finger. Sid took the battery out of the smoke alarm and we got the fan out and opened all the windows. Button calmed down and we ate the other two slices, but I was still a little hungry. :(

Friday, September 05, 2008

Belecskai and Black Hungarian Paprika

Belecskai paprika. It's not spicy, but a little sweet.

Black Hungarian paprika. This is spicer than Belecskai. The color of these spices are so pretty. Much nicer than the store bought paprika. I'll need to grow a couple more plants of both peppers next year, so I'll have enough paprika for the year.
A Slice of New York

A Slice of New York is a small pizza place in San Jose that has true N.Y. Style pizza. It's the only place in California that I have found with pizza really worth eating.

They sell pizza by the slice (of course) or you can order a whole pie. Inside there are no tables just a couple of places you can stand and eat a slice. Outside there are also some chairs and little tables.

The even have Sicilian style. So far I have only had the plain slices.

Here is our pie. Mmmmm... I almost ordered a calzone too to bring home to eat at other time, but we order a whole pie, so we were going to have leftovers anyway. We ended up with only 1 pepperoni and 2 plain slices leftover. In order to have enough for tonight's dinner, I ran inside and grabbed another pepperoni slice for Sid.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Everybody has a toy

Button with the orange ball looks like she wants Carbon to chase her around the yard.

Ohhh, he is such a good boy. He has the toy. Carbon is very proud when he has the blue toy. He prances over to both of us to show us the blue toy. This is one of many exciting moments in the day.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A peanut, 6 peppers and 2 black noses

I visited Becky today. She had a kid about 5 months ago. He seemed very happy to see me. His nickname is Peanut. Even his clothes have peanuts on them.

I picked a few peppers today. One was eaten by something a little, but it will dry nicely. Of course, the pups seemed very interested in them.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

New Range

I went to the Sears outlet today and found the range I wanted. Actually, it was the higher end model, but it was marked down from original price and on sale for Labor Day. That made it cheaper than the other model by two hundred dollars. It has a slight dent in the side, but you can't see it. It's hidden by the cabinet. Now I need to see if I can sell the old one.