Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rainy day

Today was a gray and rainy day in San Diego.  It was a welcome change after a few days of really warm/hot weather. I'll admit it, I'm a wimp. After only 8 years of living in California, I have forgotten how to tolerate warm and muggy weather.

Ryle and I went hunting for garden pests and found 14 caterpillars.  I don't know about you, but that seems and excessive number. Most of them were on my kale. We went from zero to 10 in one day!!!! 

 Ryle thinks that just because we are working in the garden, it's no excuse not to sample to goods. Today he selected green beans and raspberries.  Our Scarlett Runner beans are setting a second flush of beans.  It's nice to see the green and red in the garden since most of the fall stuff is still so small. The raspberries we planted in the spring are giving us a handful of berries.  Enough to satisfy a curious little gardener.

And since it was so gray out, and it is fall.... we decided it was the perfect day to make pumpkin muffins!  It's not fall until we have pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting. I assembled all of the ingredients, well, most all of the ingredients.  How I had 3 bags of sugar and barely a cup of flour I will never know (I blame my fuzzy brain to the cold meds..... That has to be it, I can't be a scatter brain can I?). And no confectioners sugar for the frosting. Man!  I am so not prepared for the baking season. So off to the store we go! 

Ryle has to make sure everything is in the right place. 

All ingredients mixing.  Orange yummy goodness is close.

My assistant.

Muffins are poured.

Frosting made.

Muffins are done and cooling.

And the final product....YUM!!!

It's really too bad I haven't run in 3 weeks due to the cold.  Because I really want to inhale about 3 of these.  I made due with 1 without frosting (but I got to lick the spoon!).

Happy gardening friends!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Harvest Monday - September 27, 2010

Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne's Dandelions.  It's a great opportunity to see what other gardeners are growing around the world. 

This week is a clean up week.  I finally pulled the last of the corn and not a moment too soon (I think we left them on a bit long). They were a little mushy but still delicious! Along with the corn we also harvested eggplants and kale.

 Monday's corn

 Beautiful eggplant, Gretel (white) and FairyTale (marbled)

 The definite last of the corn - ugly isn't it?


I'm still trying to out smart the rabbit and get some peas growing.  I really would like to have some in the garden again but I don't think it will be in my future unless I buy some seedlings. Since the corn is all out, as soon as the weather gets tolerable again I will cut down the stalks and free up the garden space. Time to plant some more Bok choy!  YUM!!

We had the corn with some lovely steaks one night and chicken another night.  The kale was eaten with a minced chicken salad dish called laarb. I can't wait to figure out how I want to cook the eggplants!

I'm finding that this planting season is just a big guessing game.  "Hmmm, I wonder what I planted there? Hope it grows!" I tried the write on labels, and Ryle just pulls them out of the garden and collects them.  I wrote on the concrete near them with chalk, and then realized when I watered why this isn't good. And I forgot what I planted in the time it took me to hunt down tape and a pen. Getting old is no fun.

Well, time for bed. Happy gardening!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Geeking out, runner style

A few weeks back, my friends and I planned on meeting Friday morning for a run.  I have a girlfriend who has to work every now and then on the weekend and she would not be able to do the Saturday morning group run, so we decided to divide up her run and each do part of it with her so it wouldn't be so lonely.  Since I generally have to push a double jog stroller if I am running during the day, I opted for the last 5 (hoping and praying that she would be tired and I could go slow and maybe talk her into a few walk breaks -- what can I say?  That double jog stroller is a beast!).
I found them shortly after getting the kids all loaded up in the stroller with their toys and snacks. First thing they asked..... "Did you see Meb?" Now here's where the running geek stuff comes in to play. Meb can only mean one thing in the running world. Meb Keflezighi, 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist - Marathon, ING New York City Marathon Champion 2009, American Record Holder - 10K (27:13.98) and 20-Time National Champion. ( WHAT???????  Meb and his family live in San Diego, so I shouldn't be so surprised, but I've lived here 8 years now and have never seen him. I was pretty bummed I missed him, so we set out to run the opposite way he was going in the hopes that our paths would cross.  Nope.... BUT.... he was at the end talking with some people. And we chatted with him a bit and got some photos of him.

Meb and his trainer

Ryle, me, Gray, Meb and my girl friend Gaby

Needless to say I was a happy running geek that day!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Waskly Wabbit....

I have lost count of how many times I have sowed (sowed... sown.... it's one of those words that never looks right) peas.  In the ground and in starting pots. I had one germinate directly sowed and lots of little holes where my little friend dug them up. After those incedents I decided to "get smart" and start the peas in small pots.  WELL...... I wasn't the only one getting smart it appears.  My little friend made the brilliant leap and found the pots and dug those peas up as well! Oh snap! What the heck???? I think we played that game 4 times (the pot game that is). When will I learn?  So the last time I felt reasonably human (Sunday I think), I depotted the seedlings and planted them in the ground, then we covered the starter pots with a plastic container to keep him out.  It has appeared to work, but I guess time will tell.

I think he got mad at the covered pots and took it out on the seedlings.
They were chewed down to the nubs. Argggg......

I didn't get these pots covered up and he dug and dug until I guess he figured out that they were empty of peas. I was too wiped out to re-plant and he didn't get any yummies. All of the ones I did get covered up seemed to fair pretty well though.

He even ate my beet seedling!
The Hubs and I noticed some odd pellet looking things in the yard lately... kind of like rabbit poops.... and later that night we saw a bunny in the yard. Darn it!  Our pesky critter is a bunny rabbit???? Now how can I be all gung ho about eradicating a bunny????? ERG. Now I have to find friendly bunny deterents.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Harvest Tuesday

Better late than never? Seems a shame that I didn't have time to post yesterday especially since I had a harvest last week! I didn't say I had variety, just a harvest. It was the week of the eggplant (and the radish). Daphne's Dandelions is the host of Harvest Monday, it's a great place to see what everyone around the world is harvesting!

Total Harvest:

Gretel Eggplant - 3 3/4 oz
Black Beauty Eggplant - 10 1/2 oz
Japanese Egplant - 3 3/8 oz
and some radishes, and the teeny, tiny carrot

Well...... I officially have 6 varieties of eggplant growing in the garden. And I am the only one who eats eggplant in the house! We had FairyTale, Japanese, Black Beauty and Gretel already in teh garden. Then I added "Pin Stripe" and I started growing from seed (in May) Thai Eggplant. The Thai eggplant really might be the slowest thing ever. I bought the seeds from Renee's Garden, and overall, I have been fairly unhappy with them. From Renee's Garden, I planted mini bell peppers, Thai Chili peppers and the Thai eggplant from seed.... and they have yet to get taller than 2 inches. Arg.

I didn't grow these, but on a recent trip to Henry's I happened to see some NM Hatch Chiles. And after reading High Desert Garden's post on the New Mexico Hatch Chile Festival I had to try some out. I've been meaning to make some Green Chile Stew and it seemed like a good time to try them out. I roasted these on the gas range and peeled/seeded/diced 3 to add to the stew. There was 1 pound total on the plate, and while the peeling etc wasn't caustic or difficult, it was time consuming. I can't even imagine going through a 40 pound bag of roasted chiles!

Here is the one radish I did manage to snag away from the kiddo and get pictured. See.... it is bigger than my carrot!

This was a terrible weekend, I had hoped that the Hubs and I could escape the virus the boys had, but nope. He got sick starting Thursday and I started on Friday. Somehow he is better and I am a wreck. Being up with the baby at night probably isn't helping me get any better. Saturday spent the majority of the day "watching" the baby in a prone position in the floor. Really hoping that he didn't need too much activity. Hubs changed every diaper and even fed the boys. I finally managed to feel slightly normal Sunday only to get worse Monday night and today.
Oh well, here's hoping tomorrow is better! Happy gardening all.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ready or not, here I come....and secrets.

Oh Mr. Gopher, you better watch out because look at what I bought today! Now I just have to figure out how to work it and set it up.
I can't say that I'm not a little excited about the prospect of gopher erradication. I'm elated!!! Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Want to hear my dirty little secret? I'm sure every gardener has at least one..... Do you have something you cannot grow? I do, carrots. Phew, that felt good to get it out. I tried them in the ground and they failed miserably. I thought maybe it was my highly compacted soil, maybe I didn't break up the soil well enough. I recall seeing an article on Gayla Trail's blog, but of course I can't find it now. Well, I tried to grow some in the spring (and maybe, just maybe I planted them too late and the heat got to them....) and they never really took off. They just seemed to peter out as the radishes sprung up and were devoured. When I was goofing off and messing with the container, I accidently pulled one of the "carrots". And darned if I wasn't surprised as heck when at the end of the frilly greenery I saw orange. I grew a carrot! Now I'm not going to say it's pretty or anything, but it's a darned start!

Oh yeah baby, that's 1/2 inch of carrot. My radishes dwarf this puppy!

Have you ever heard of spinach strawberry? I never had, and the nursery had it, and of course I HAD to buy some and see if it was something the family might like. I planted it in a rectangular planter, but after seeing some pictures I might have to replant in the ground.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The small things in life

Apparently 5:30 is when we wake up in our house now-a-days. So not cool. And it's not a pleasant 5:30 wake up. Little one has been grumpy and fussy.... and it hasn't stopped yet.
The kiddo had an interesting evening. I was called just as my yoga class started, apparently he was having some equilibrium problems. Couldn't walk without falling and would collapse when he just tried to stand up. So my girlfriend and I rushed out of class and home. He was lethargic, sweating, and unable to stand up. Definitely not my rambunctious kiddo. My girlfriend is a trauma RN, so we of course pumped her for info and had her look at him while we waited for a call back from the nurse-on-call for our pediatrician. Since we had no idea what was wrong with him, we hustled him into the car and looked for our nearest urgent care. When we couldn't find it (even though there was a street sign for it) we just took him to the ER.
3 hours later (quite quick by ER standards), we went home with a kid who was normal. He vomitted during intake and slowly made it back to normal. Odd for sure. We are booking an appointment with his regular Peds doc just to make sure everything is really A-Okay. Thank goodness my girlfriend went to class with me, she stayed at our house and watched the little guy while we waited in the ER. I wonder what the heck it was! Hopefully we will know more after our doc appointment this morning. I was so glad to hear him ask endless questions last night and chatter and ask for nearly every card in my wallet.... Thankful for the small annoying things that make up my daily life. The Hubby said he has never been so worried in all his life. I agree. We were thinking brain trauma! What???? Why do we always assume the worst?
On to a lighter topic today..... it's gray and foggy again.
Still no pancakes. But, do have a container of preserves from my favorite brunch place tucked away in the fridge for a day when I need a pick me up. (warning! This site will make you drool) I love running on Coronado Island just so we can go here for breakfast/brunch (depending on how long the run was). A nice crusty french baguette, some scrumptious butter, my fave preserves, and a cup of coffee.... now if I only had some quiet time to enjoy it.

This morning the name of the game is "is that clear liquid on my shoulder drool or snot?" Not a very fun game, but so far I think it has been primarily drool.... I repeat, I think. Between teething, a head cold and the inability to blow his nose, the little guy has been fairly miserable. Off to wrestle the kids out of PJ's and get ready to see the doc. Keep your fingers crossed she gives me "crazy mom" look and says kiddo is 100% A-Okay.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

He's a Fun-gi

Who says you can't play outside if you are sick? Kiddo decided that just because he and his brother have colds, that's no excuse to let the mushrooms get the better of him. He put on his mushroom kicking boots and got to work. "Mommy, am I a cowboy?" I guess any boots will make you a cowboy.

But not all of the mushrooms got the boot, some were explored a little more and thrown away by hand. And some thrown and kicked down the hill, sorry neighbor! But really, that's what you get for housing the darn critter that is eating all of my produce. They finally cleared away the mess of weeds that backed into our fence, but no move has been made so far to erradicate the critter mounds that are back there.

And not to forget the little one, he enjoyed playing in the shade while big brother and I gathered fungus. Oh, and we planted yet another container of radishes....

Today I woke up and say a pretty sight, fog. I really enjoy a cool foggy morning. Makes me want to stay inside with a cup of coffee and a tall stack of pancakes. I did get the coffee, but not the pancakes. Oh well.

There are houses back there! I swear. Unfortunately this picture allows you to see the sad, dismal border garden. Just waiting and waiting for the seeds to germinate and for the critter to stop stealing all of the kiddo's goodies.

Well, that's all she wrote today.... what have you all planted in your garden for fall?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Garden Update

Can I really call it "Harvest Monday" when hardly anything came out of the garden? I've started getting the fall plantings underway, but since most of the time I have to plant seeds is rushed, I have no memory of what went where. So I can't re-sow more seeds until I figure that out. Add to the fact that the pesky critter who is stealing my strawberries and tomatoes is also grubbing on my pea seeds, my fall garden is not going great so far. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, we have mild winters here in SoCal and the kiddo is starting pre-school soon (technically he was supposed to start this morning, but he and the mini me came down with colds) so I anticipate more time in the garden soon. Any-who.... Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne's Dandelions, hop on over and see what real gardeners are getting from their gardens.

Kiddo has been noshing on radishes. They are growing really well, so he's a happy camper again. I think he has 3 containers on radishes planted. I might have to clear out some others and plant more to keep up with him. "Mommy, can we go and pick some radishes?" Such an odd and lovable child.
Too cute, he didn't share any of these.

Thai Chilis

Hansel Eggplants - I really wish these tasted better, they are really
prolific and pretty. Maybe I will give them a second chance and cook
them up again. I have been pawning them off on folks.

Hmmm.... more Fairy-Tale Eggplants in my future. YUM!

A pile of beans and a small squash plant.
No beans this week, I'm letting them mature and
saving seeds, I think.

A closer look at the squash plant. Overcome by powdery mildew.

One of my basil plants.

Critter damage. I'm buying a cage Friday.... bye-bye critter....

I didn't get a picture of it, but my Tuscan Kale is starting to look pretty! I have been semi busy in the garden as of late, lots of plants on their last legs have been removed and the soil was amended and replanted. I know that I planted beets, collards, peas, radish rat tales, broccolini, and asian greens.

And I am asking for some raised beds for Christmas.... but I think I might try to talk the hubby into buying them early so I can try to get some fall plants in them. Too pushy?

Want to know the best part about fall? No, it's not the cooler weather (which I LOVE), it's the fact that I am typing this up while watching MNF!

Ok, sick kiddos mean no sleep, so I am going to try to catch some zzz's. Happy Gardening!