MIA (missing in action)

JC at Farmer's MarketI can’t believe I haven’t written in a month on this blog. Not that I haven’ thought about it often. In fact I write ideas and shoot pics all the time, all summer and throughout the year. But summer is particularly hard to write more because there is always so much to do in the garden and then there’s harvest time. This year was particularly busy for me what with the garden tour, farmers market and now harvest time. I am busy as a bee as they say. It would be good if I did write more as I always am learning something in my garden and from my garden and from all my gardening friends-you! So now that the garden is slowing down, I can slow down and share those thoughts and ideas. Not that I’m not busy anymore–I’m always busy, that’s the nature of this busy bee! So stay tuned as I’m about to flood your brains with more information then you’ll ever want to know…


Did I die and wake up in hell?

IT’S HOTTER THAN HELL RIGHT NOW. Did I die and wake up in hell? What’s happening here? This could be a new reality show, ‘Hell’s Garden’ instead of ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ where gardeners see how long they can work until they drop like flies. I left Phoenix to get away from the heat (now they get killer heat there) but I swear it’s looking more and more like a desert here in Santa Fe-cause that’s how it feels right now with the unbelievably hot temperatures we’re getting. Today I had to quit the gardening early (on my day off to work in the garden)! Water, Gatorade, lemonade, ice tea-no matter, nothing worked today to help with the heat outside. I crawled back to the house. I was like a limp noodle. Needless to say it wasn’t a very productive day in the garden today. Wah! Tomorrow I’m getting up at 6 AM before the heat comes on…

Photo courtesy of: thekruser.com

Reflections on Vegetable Gardening-A Lesson in Patience

Dalai Lama mediating. Photo courtesy of factsanddetails.com

I think one of my biggest challenges in this life is patience. Vegetable gardening is a lesson in patience. In the late winter I want to start all my seeds early (like right away) that I will transplant later, BUT NO, I MUST WAIT till the timing is right. Plant too early and I have these leggy things. Then after I get the seeds planted and they come up, I want them ready to plant BUT NO, I MUST WAIT and transplant them up to the next size pots to get bigger.  Then they are ready to transplant into the garden (I think) BUT NO, I MUST WAIT till the weather temperatures are above freezing at night. Then the days and nights are perfect and I think I can put them out, BUT NO I MUST WAIT till I harden the plants off outside.  Then once they are in the ground I want them to explode in growth immediately BUT NO, I MUST WAIT till they get acclimated. I watch while they sit there awhile. After that I want to immediately get those big juicy tomatoes that I have been WAITING FOR since the end of the previous season (think November), BUT NO, I MUST WAIT and watch the tomatoes stay green while they grow. I WAIT AND WAIT AND WAIT and then the garden kicks ass and really produces those veggies but it is now MID JULY-AUGUST and the picking season is JUST STARTING. Then I want to pick all those huge long-growing tomatoes that are still green BUT NO, I MUST WAIT till October and then a freeze is forecast, I run out to pick them and the season is over! BUT WAIT not quite because then I bring all the huge green tomatoes inside and I MUST WAIT till they finally turn red. WAIT, WAIT, WAIT! Finally when the season is over I will have canned a zillion pickles and  tons of spaghetti sauce and froze a gazillion gallons of plain tomato sauce and dried millions of pounds of apples (yes I think so this year) and made thousands of pounds of pumpkin soup, pumpkin pies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins (you get the picture) and I’m exhausted and CAN’T WAIT TILL IT’S ALL OVER.  Then I recover all winter and can’t WAIT TO START the whole process again. Yes, I think gardening is a lesson in patience.

Edible Flower List

2010 Edible Flower List

I’m going to have an edible flower garden section this year. I like to cook and want to incorporate these in my cooking. Following is the list of edible flowers that will be in it or are already on the property:
Lavender (in existing different area)
Lemon Gem Marigold
Alaska Tip Top Nasturtiums
Pansies, violas
Roses (in different existing area)


titans in the winter garden 2010

Ah! Looking at those previous pictures of some of my garden last year lifts my spirits as the reality is that we are in the dead of winter. It does a soul good to see such big and beautiful plants-reminds me of what is to come this year! Here is the same picture of what’s left of the titan sunflowers (top pic) in the garden and the bottom pic is of the whole garden as of today!

Chinese red noodle beans

Here’s a picture of my Chinese red noodle beans that took first place at the New Mexico State Fair last year in 2009. They got to about 18″ long. They were a really beautiful purple color and were tasty too! I plan on growing some kind of longbean this year because they are so fun to watch but not sure of which variety.

titan sunflowers

I just realize it looks like from the photos so far that I only grow giant pumpkins so I want to show you some titan sunflowers which got 10 feet tall last year. Really beautiful. Can’t wait to grow them again this year. The birds love them too. I call them the guardian angels of the garden.

titan sunflower

guardian angels of the garden