Sunday, 15 August 2004

I realized I've posted almost all tech stuff recently, so I figured its about time to write about something a little less technical: My garden.

With three and a half acres, I figured I should do something. Besides, with my job being what it is, getting unplugged (at least mentally if not literally) on a regular basis is a good thing. So I started a small garden this year, mostly above-ground beds in the back yard, and it's working out pretty well.

  • I have sunflowers that are 15 feet tall (not an exaggeration) and still growing
  • I have three tomato plants that have a combined total of well over a hundred green tomatoes growing on them right now.
  • I have more beets and radishes than I know what to do with
  • I had something like half a ton (well it seemed like it) of broccoli and cauliflower
  • The corn is growing pretty well (I think I have them too close together though)
  • Gonna be some huge freaking pumpkins pretty soon
  • Even the watermelons look like they're going to work out
  • Peas and carrots abound

And it wasn't really all that much work, once the beds were put together and ready (thanks in large part to help from my great neighbors). I just seeded, watered and kept on watering. I pulled a few weeds here and there, but surprisingly few. It's been pretty fun. I like being able to walk into the garden when I am a little hungry and eat right off the plant. I'm not an organic farmer or anything, but I have not needed to use pesticides or anything. I used Miracle Grow on the hose just once, right off the bat, and the rest was just plain water and a little composty stuff, but I think mostly it's the good soil and regular watering.

I grew up in the desert - making things grow there was a true art form. My dad was the artist - I can remember that garden in the back yard when I was a kid. He even got peaches to grow there. Here in Oregon you have to try to kill plants if you don't want them, and even that can be a chore. So I've got it easy.

What I am doing now is letting some of the early-season plants (like radishes and broccoli) go to seed, so I can see if maybe they'll work again from the seeds they produce. I know that some plants will and others won't, and that is I wanted to I could probably look them up, but I just want to see what happens - it will be an interesting test.

If only the grass was as easy to keep green as the garden is to grow. Although the other night the lawn, whether or not it's as green as I like, made a decent carpet to lie on while watching the meteor shower (which was amazing).

Oh, and if anyone needs any tomatoes in a few weeks, I think I'm going to a be a little overloaded. Just let me know. Oh, and if you happen to be in New Mexico and want to trade some frozen roasted chilis from there for some home grown tomatoes, just say the word. I'm told by friends that the best chilis in the world can be had over the phone, though, and I am going to call them soon:

Perea Farms (in New Mexico)
505-565-1897 - at the chili stand
505-261-5887 - their cell
505-450-2535 - the chili farm itself

They'll roast, peel, pack and ship them to you. If you're a green chili fan and you actually believe the stuff you buy in the stores here in the northwest is worth a damn, you're wrong. Give it up and call one of those numbers. You'll be glad you did.



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Saturday, 28 August 2004 22:42:22 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I have completely given up on my 2 tomato plants. They grew tall, but after the first few tomatoes appeared out of nowhere, the rest of the flowers have been fruitless. Not enough water during the hot weeks, I suppose. The tomatoes that are on the vine are huge, but they've stalled out. The plants seem to be struggling... I ought to put them out of their misery and plow them under. Ah, well. In Alabama I had an 8' x 16' garden and grew a ton of tomatoes, spinach and squash. Nothing tastes as good as home grown veggies.
Wednesday, 01 September 2004 09:29:12 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Okay, it's taken me two weeks to reply, but now I have to know how you're garden's doing now. As I write this, my own tomato plants are being pelted with rain. They were almost ready. Now they've been stunted and I'm guessing won't make it.

I can't believe you have such a garden. I am even more impressed.

And if you have too many of anything, I'll be happy to help you offload. We've eaten everything I snagged from my Mom's garden. The thought of Winco produce makes me want to eat meat!
Wednesday, 01 September 2004 18:40:50 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
One tomato has just started to turn a reddish color. LOTS of green ones growing. I just hope it heatrs up so these things can make it! Corn's about ready to pick, so I will have a lot of that. And yeah, Jill - I'll be glad to hand over tomatoes - it's goig to be scary if/when they ripen all at once!
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