Sunday, April 10, 2011

So well bee behaved...

I recieved an email from a bee guy name Bao indicating he need to find new locations for his bee boxes. As many of my fellow friends now, I have been wanting to do the "bee thing" for a few years; but never got around to actually doing it until today... Bao will contine taking care of his bees and the bees in turn will pollinate my edibles and in turn I can slowly learn about bees and how to care for them. Bao took my bee box to help catch me a hive so that in the future, I can have my own bees. To learn more about bees check out the OC Bees Beekeepers. The bees seem very calm and friendly.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Kinder-Garden, an Edible Garden!

The boys enjoy eating radishes, peas, and boysenberries from the garden. I found a tiny empty spot on their school that has know transformed into an edible oasis. Whenever I work on the garden, kids approach me and say, "Max-n-Eli's mom, that looks like a brocolli flower." I reply with, "Yes, that's how brocolli grows before you eat it." The radish and turnip seeds came from a company called Sprout Robot. The company sends me emails of when to plant and what to plant. On April 22nd, the kids from the school will be celebrating Earth Day by have a salad grown from the garden. This spring the 4x12 foot plot grows: peas, beans, grapes, celery, tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, rosemary, basil, lettuce, onions, radish, carrots, a blueberry bush and a Peach Tree! ...and that's not counting the flowers and weeds and the worm compost bin...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Thinking inside the box...

When we moved into our home, we knew we wanted to grow veggies, but what we didn't realize how back-breakingly difficult it was going to be. I've always seem to grow more vigorous produce in containers, so when I came across the book "Square Foot Gardener", I knew that would be perfect for me! We started by making a salsa theme garden in front of Ed's Taco Shack. And now we have about 10 theme boxes. The Asian Theme box is the most bountiful right now with a pound of sugar snap peas every other day. The daicon radishes are beginning to bolt. The second box isn't really a theme, it's just cilantro and it's amazing! Other themes: Movie Night Snacks (strawberry popcorn, corn, and edamames), salad bar box, root vegie box, and our salsa box.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Cool Friends and Fresh Ideas!

I'm always looking for ways to get others interested in growing edibles and that doesn't mean they need a garden or lots of space. A few posts back, I grew strawberries, chives, herbs, peas, and radishes in rain gutters. So when I read an article that potatoes were so easy to grow, you can even plant them in a basket, I did just that.

My basket, imported from Mexico designed to transfer strawberries from the fields to factor as they awaited their fate. My grandmother saw brought me this basket on a six-hour flight from Mexico to LAX, then it was squeezed into a van and slowly made it's way to Los Angeles during evening traffic on the 405 fwy. This basket has served many purposes in my home, from laundry, hide-n-seek location, and toy bin. After a decade (yes, this basket saw US presidents enter and exit the White house from our bedroom room TV), it finally began to unravel from the bottom. As I read about potatoes and all the possible ways of growing them in unusual containers like tires and baskets... So the there it is, the basket that keeps on working!

I also came across this spectacular pail display at the Pomona Fair Grounds. These pail hold strawberry plants. Immediately my mind and camera went into action. Who could use this idea in their yard... what else can I plant in it... will it be easy to build... where can i put this in my yard...

The best way to get people that love to eat into growing what they love to eat is by inviting them to a farm-to-table dinner. These events usually bring extreme creativity by the chef because his meals need to be made with what is available in the garden and then paired with the drinks being served by the sponsor. This month's event local sponsor, Dale Bros Brewery, located in the Chino Area it's the 2nd smallest brewery in California. For a menu description click here, the picture above is the "Jidori chicken, roasted beets, “Dale Bros. Pomona queen” beurre monte Dale Bros. Pomona Queen". While the chef at Farm to table dinners are pressured into cooking and having dinner served at a timely manner to 20-30 hungry guest, at home it is more relaxing and easier.

Begin by growing a Salad garden: loose leaf lettuce, radishes, chives, finger-size carrots, strawberries, peas, and grape-size tomatoes. Grill up some chicken, pick your season salad, for dessert serve up purchased pound cake slice strawberries from you garden with whip cream and voila- your very own farm to table dinner!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

What came first... the chicken or the egg

At our home, the chickens came first. We usually buy chickens a few months old, but when the opportunity to get Araucana chicks (they lay blue/green eggs) we quickly added 9 to our family. As of late March we have 7 healthy teenage hens who joined the veterans hens and duck in the group. We have 4 hens laying an egg each every day. Each hen lays a slightly different egg, one hen even lays double yolk eggs.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Chicken gone Wild!

I felt like I was on a live shooting of Animal Planet! My chicken captured a flying grasshopper and banged it on the ground until it stopped moving and then swallowed it whole. It was amazing! I was able to capture a picture of the chicken just moments before it ate the grasshopper.

Ed's taco shack is getting serious upgrades! It has tile flooring and the grill is no longer stacked bricks, it's covered with cement and has side doors. Our neighbor Jose is welding it a custom grill top with a rotisserie turner.
The artichoke plants were also attacked by the chickens. The chickens stomped out the leaves and chopped on them. The ground is very moist with lots of bugs, all the right ingredients to attack chickes.

As much as we loved the sweat peas, it's time to let them bow out gracefully. The height of these beauties toppled over on top of my strawberries and onions. The strawberries began to wilt. So I pulled out as many seed pods as possible, then we pulled out the flowers. See you next year sweat peas!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Location, Location, Location

I went to purchase plants to get our salsa garden up and going. I had found an area that I thought would be convient and close to Ed's grill shack (I sketched out a plot plan with the water hose). However, I noticed that the area was covered with shade, not good for sun loving peppers and tomatoes. The next day, the boys and I went back outside and found another location. This site is directly in front of his grill shack, so as he's grilling, he can see his salsa ingredients. The boys and I set out tomatoe cages to make sure we had enough room for our plants. Hopefully on Friday, the neighbor will bring by the truck load of garden soil I need so I can start planting.