Thursday, May 16, 2013


Zucchini from seed!
Look, look!  Here is a zucchini plant that I sprouted from seed.  There is no greater excitement than to see a seed sprout and grow into a healthy, fruit-yielding plant.  We are at mid-May and this is the only zucchini seedling that I put into the ground, of the four seeds that I sprouted.  I have high hopes of bringing this plant to maturity.  Yummy visions of zucchini bread and calabasitas (Southwestern-style squash casserole) float in my head.  But, whoa Nellie!  We've a ways to go yet; perhaps I should have planted two (an heir and a spare)?  I'm thinking if plants could talk, this one would say, "Stop watching me and let me grow!"

Journal Entry: Thoughts on garlic and onions...

I am thinking that the garlic and onions in my garden have come to maturity much sooner than they should have; this according to books and articles I have read.  It seems that beyond good soil, water and tender care, temperature and climate ultimately dictate the success of what grows in the garden and how it grows.

Chris' onion patch...

From this (mid-March 2013)... this (mid-May 2013)
The garden continues to follow the dictates of Mother Earth.  Things change quickly as seasons change and temperatures fluctuate expectedly or unexpectedly as the case may be.  We are at mid-May, and what was a flourishing patch of green onions, garlic, kale and sweet onions has metamorphed into a barren onion patch.  I only planted 5 onions, you might recall.  Three are still in the ground, while two have already made their way to the kitchen chopping block.  I have added little sprouts of purple onions into this patch to see how they will grow and if they will flourish with this late planting.
Up close; see the onion bulbs growing into plump goodness?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I grow garlic!

From this...
to this...
Here is the progression; from this, to this, to this!  I planted garlic seedlings, purchased from Armstrong's Nursery in Temecula some time ago, maybe in early February?  Second photo, in the third row background, see the garlic plants growing?  Bottom photo, the end product, my first garlic crop.  The kale is done with, all went into delicious green smoothies; in fact, I tried kale chips which some folks suggest. 

Kale Chips:  Tear leaves into large pieces, sprinkle with olive oil and season with salt; bake in the oven until crispy.  The chips were indeed crispy, but the taste?  Too, too, too! organic for me.  I should have maybe tried again and adjusted the seasoning...  Do you think?!  I'll stick with smoothies for now. this! 
As for the onions, well the onions have hit a bump.  This is my first time attempting to grow garlic, or kale and onions for that matter.  I am still trying to figure out what grows and how they grow in this Temecula climate; very cold winters; extremely hot summers.  Last week there was an unexpected, extreme fluctuation of temperatures, from very hot to very cold, which caused the onions to begin bolting; my poor Walla Wallas became confused and two of them sent up flower shoots.  (I only planted 5 onions, you know.)  The books say, pull them if they begin to bolt and use them as soon as possible, and so I did.  The onions I pulled are perfect and well-formed but my dreams of very big round sweet onions...

So today, I have a chopping board full of garlic cloves.  A good handful of unpeeled cloves, I have frozen.  I have a small bit of garlic pulp chopped up ready to cook with, and the rest of the crop are pictured here.  Poor Papa!  Ray's reaction:  "Looks like garlic! " he says with pride, always a big fan of my accomplishments at home and in the garden.  "Eeewh!  Smells like garlic!"  (Such a discerning nose he has.)  I think the kitchen smells cozy, he thinks the kitchen stinks of garlic; and so it does!