Friday, July 16, 2010

Peppers and Bees and Radish

We felt honored this month when 2 of Portland's most celebrated restaurants (Le Pigeon/Beaker&Flask) used our radishes for a night on their menus. . . Two of Portland's finest and two of our favorites!

The corn is shooting up and the squash leaves are getting big . . . almost time for the third sister to be planted!

We pulled the Arugula and planted Peppers (Serrano, Thai, Habenaro, and Cherry) and Japanese eggplant . . .
A Bee doing its thing . . .

An albino beet growing right up next to a french breakfast radish.

Tom's !
The Brussels are growing strong!

Still harvesting greens !

Monday, June 14, 2010

Washing the Aphids away, Deterring the Ants

Aphids, also known as plant lice (and in Britain as greenflies), are small plant-eating insects, and members of the superfamily Aphidoidea.Aphids are among the most destructive insect pests on cultivated plants in temperate regions.The damage they do to plants has made them enemies of farmers and gardeners the world over!

The Brussels were beginning to show signs of aphid damage, so taking the advice of my friend and fellow gardener Garret, I washed them off of the leaves with good ol' Dr. Bronners peppermint soap. Garret claims to have utilized this defense tactic for years with loads of success, so we'll see!

The French Breakfast Radish are a few weeks old now and the are starting to mature. The ants love to burrow into them and feast. Not the biggest deal, but we want them to be beautiful and without ant tunnels throughout! My friend Truli recommended oats as a deterrent. The idea here is by lining your radish rows with oats the ants will eat the oats instead and leave your radishes alone!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bolting Spinach / Bolting Arugula

The Spinach is changing shape. As she is on her way to bolt her leaves are becoming pointier and tightly concentric. Its pretty beautiful!

The Arugula is totally bolting! Its like 3 feet tall!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Master Gardener Truli Cusick visits SSF with her magic beans!

I finally convinced Truli to stop by and check out Stanton St. Farms. She is full of knowledge and gave me tons of great ideas for improving the garden! In addition, she brought me 5 magic beans (Scarlet Runners) which she planted with the Tomatoes.

Truli Cusick is a Master Gardener who specializes in garden guidance. Garden Guidance (also called garden coaching) seeks to fill a gap in traditional landscape design & installation services. To learn more about who Truli is and what she does check out her website . . .

Companion Planting . . . Carrots love Tomatoes!

Carrots are good to grow with Tomatoes - also with leaf lettuce, chive, onions, leeks, radishes, rosemary, and sage. The onions and herbs are a good repellent to the carrot fly (Psila rosae). Carrots have a dislike for dill, but Carrot roots themselves contain an exudate beneficial to the growth of peas.

Young Radish. . . Nice to grow by your Tomatoes as they repel the two-spotted spider mite.

Here you can see that I planted a long row of carrots and row of radish all of the way down the bed in front of the 17 Tomato plants. Hopefully, the radish with be ready for harvest by July and the carrots a few weeks later.

A bed of french breakfast radish I planted about 20 days ago. Hopefully they will be ready in 10 days or so. If they are beautiful I have agreed to give them to one of americas greatest young chefs Gabriel Rucker of . . . I believe that he told me that he is using them on his spring duck dish.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Three Sisters Garden

We have dedicated a section of our land to doing a 3 Sisters Garden, an ancient method of gardening using an intercropping system which grows corn, beans, and squash crops simultaneously in the same growing area. The idea :

Corn is the oldest sister. She stands tall in the center.
Squash is the next sister. She grows over the mound, protecting her sisters from weeds and shades the soil from the sun with her leaves, keeping it cool and moist.
Beans are the third sister. She climbs through squash and then up corn to bind all together as she reaches for the sun. Beans help keep the soil fertile by coverting the sun's energy into nitrogen filled nodules that grow on its roots. As beans grow they use the stored nitrogen as food.

Dosen't look like much now but it will be tall and beautiful in a few months! We started the corn from seed indoors about a month ago. In this picture you can see that we planted 7 rows of 3 stalks. It is important to plant several rows close together or the stalks won't pollinate and then you won't get any corn! We planted 3 squash plants down the center of this bed. We had a dinner at the house back in april where we cooked a Butternut Squash. We simply saved the seeds from it, dried them out for a few days, and then planted them in a little soil and now they are beautiful little starts ready to go outside!

The third sister, beans, will get planted once the stalks are big enough for them to climb on, and the squash has leaves are large enough to provide shade for the little beans to get started under.

Sunflowers, Nasturtiums, & Marigolds !

Rebecca built this 20 ft long trench for a wall of sunflowers, with a lower canopy of marigolds and nasturtiums. Sunflowers are easy to grow (not too picky about the soil), they are beautiful, and they attract birds to your garden who can be beneficial in eating unwanted bugs (and hopefully not your plants!)

Nasturtiums and Marigolds are great because they are also very easy to grow, beautiful and colorful, totally edible(peppery, great in salads or as a garnish), and they ward off pest insects that could be damaging to your plants.

Everyone is starting to plant in their New Beds!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Trellis Built, Tomatoes Planted!!!

We built a trellis today out of concrete reinforcement and rebar. It's 20 feet long and 7 feet tall!

Under it we planted 17 Tomatoes plants. All heirloom and a nice variety - Reds, yellows, whites, blacks, marbled, ect. After reading Carrots Love Tomatoes, a wonderful book on companion planting by Louise Riotte, I decided to get some carrots in the ground in front of the Tom's.

In addition we planted about 100 French Breakfast Radishes over the weekend. They are great raw or cooked and only take about 25 days to grow!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010