East Sac Edible


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December 2014 Harvest Tally and Year-End Review

DSC_0484DSC_0490 DSC_0461 DSC_0437Happy New Year! Over the holidays, we spent the nights building fires and viewing the lights in East Sac. We also took a day trip out to Willows, California for some bird watching at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. We saw many snow geese, herons and hawks. Let’s not forget one of our favorite nights of the year, a caroling party at a friend’s mom’s house, full of musicians, singing and food. DSC_0404DSC_0409 DSC_0421 DSC_0414

As we say hello to 2015, let’s take a look back at the gardening year of 2014. Lots happened in the garden over the year and although I didn’t meet my goal of 500 pounds, I had lots of interesting new things happening in the garden and I learned a lot. I am excited to start fresh in 2015.

My yearly total for 2014 was 382 pounds!

My yearly total for 2013 was 425 pounds. The main culprit for my low numbers this year was a bad tomato season. In 2013 I had 207 pounds of tomatoes! In 2014 I only had 41 pounds with even more plants. Not all produced poorly in 2014. Some of my heavy hitters were: greens (8.27 pounds), basil (10.47 pounds), beets (15.33 pounds), carrots (7.77 pounds), cucumbers (47.85 pounds), kale (16.87 pounds), trombetta squash (72.89 pounds from 1 plant!!), onions (22 pounds), peppers (34.39 pounds), and turnips (19.27 pounds).

Here are some of my garden highlights of 2014:

1. Being part of the East Sac Edible Garden Tour was by far my best gardening moment of the year. I was able to open my garden for visitors to stroll through (and all for charity!) and spent my day talking to amazing gardeners full of useful and inspiring information.DSC_2830

2. My monster trombetta squash made it on live T.V. It’s famous! DSC_2694

3. Spending time in the garden with my daughter. DSC_1608

Thanks for being part of my 2014! Here’s to another great year in the garden!

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November 2014 Harvest Tally

DSC_0369Now that we are saying hello to December we can reflect on what happened in the garden in November. I pretty much lost steam in regards to my garden so not much to report. In November there wasn’t much to harvest but I have still been picking basil, kale, butternut squash, Hokkori winter kabocha, Trombetta squash, peppers, strawberries and lots of herbs like parsley, sage, and thyme. The herbs came in handy for Thanksgiving dinner. I’m not sure how I am still getting strawberries at this time of year but my daughter is enjoying them.

My total poundage for November (2014) is 27.06 pounds.

My total poundage November (2013) was 17.41 pounds.

My yearly total is 369 pounds.

DSC_0370If I can suggest one piece of gardening advice it is to grow your own herbs. They are so easy to grow and are pretty much “set it and forget it” plants. When not much else is going on in my garden at this time of year, my herbs still look great. Plus they are perfect for adding to Thanksgiving dinner. I used thyme and sage for my Vegan Mushroom gravy, and parsley and chives to add into mashed potato pancakes. Plus throwing a few herb plants in the ground is economical. Take sage for example. My one plant provided me fresh leaves for Thanksgiving dinner plus some for drying. The plant cost me a buck whereas a small spice jar of dried rubbed sage from the store can cost you $5-6. Even for an herb that I don’t use that often, planting your own is a no brainer.

I was going to take pictures of my herbs for you but the last couple of days we have had our first REAL rain in over two years. We have had a few showers here and there but this storm reminded me of what fall storms are supposed to feel like. It is sad when you have a year and a half year old and they have NEVER experienced rain before. After a downpour yesterday and some puddle stomping, we enjoyed the most vibrant rainbow (although my pictures don’t do it justice). Happy rainy season!

 

 

 


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October 2014 Harvest Tally

DSC_0279We always love October with the cooler temperatures and Halloween festivities. I haven’t been spending too much time in the garden lately so no garden pictures this time. However, I’ve included some of our Halloween decorations in this post. I painted the first pumpkin we grew and my husband carved bigger store-bought pumpkins. Also I made this super cute ghost garlands (traced from this free printable)!

DSC_0276My total poundage for October (2014) is 58.77 pounds.

My total poundage October (2013) was 43.61 pounds.

DSC_0277So far I have harvested 342 pounds this year. My one Trombetta squash plant that has given me a whopping 58 pounds of squash with many, many more to come. October’s harvest was mainly made up of Trombetta, tomatoes, basil, kale, peppers, pumpkins, a few runner beans and various herbs. I expect the harvest to slow down a bit now that we are in November.

Also a shot of our celebratory pumpkin…

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September 2014 Harvest Tally

Happy October! October is one of my favorite months. Since October is here I can add up how much I harvested in September.

DSC_2916My total poundage for September (2014) is 53.70 pounds.

My total poundage September (2013) was 78.4 pounds.

So far I have harvested 283 pounds of food off of my property in 2014. This number is definitely not going to get me to my 500 pound goal but I am not going to stop trying. I still have lots to harvest and I love being able to go into my garden 10 minutes before dinner, grab a bunch of veggies and cook a healthy meal. Also our 6 fruit trees have not produced much of anything the past two years (this is their second year in the ground) so I think next year if the fruit trees kick in a bit it will be very easy to get to my 500 pound goal.

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Lemon flower

Lemon flower

One of my most impressive harvests has been kale. I pick kale almost every other day and add it to almost any meal (stir fry, miso soup, pizza, salads, pastas etc). I started being able to harvest kale in March and it has been a steady supply ever since. Kale is great because it only gets better with the cold weather so it almost is a year round crop here for me. This year I have harvested 14 pounds of kale which I guess doesn’t sound like a lot but every harvest I only grab a handful of leaves so each 45 gram harvest really adds up over time. Also kale doesn’t weigh that much! It is really nice to have a dependable crop since a lot of my other crops have not been as dependable this year.

This year I have planted 3 very different varieties of kale: Red Russian, Lacinato and Blue Dwarf (left to right).DSC_2924

 

Hope everyone is enjoying the weather!


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August 2014 Harvest Tally

Wait! August is over already? How did that happen? Well I am a little behind getting to my harvest poundage for the month. But here it is:

My total poundage for August (2014) is 45.41 pounds.

My total poundage August (2013) was 107.27 pounds.

What happened? So there is a reason why I was behind getting to adding up the poundage this month and that is because it is DEPRESSING! I was trying to avoid this moment. I knew my poundage was going to be way off from my 2013 total but WOW it is really off. And the main reason is my tomatoes have barely produced anything. So far this summer I have only had about 26 pounds of tomatoes which is really pathetic considering I have 12 tomato plants in the ground!

So that pretty much seals the deal. There is no way I am going to reach my 500 pound goal with poor harvests like this. August should be the highest yielding month for any home gardener and with a meager 45 pounds harvest it has crushed my dreams. It is rare to find a depressed gardener in August. I’m too depressed to even put up any pictures of my lousy, non-producing garden.  My freezer is depressed too because it is empty longing for roasted tomato sauce. Thanks a lot tomatoes!


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July 2014 Harvest Tally

August is here! Now that July has come to a close I can tally up my harvest poundage for the month. This month I harvested: basil, runner beans, carrots, cucumbers, kale, Delicata squash, scallions, onions, peppers, strawberries, rosemary, thyme. tomatoes (Persimmon and Fox Cherry) and zucchini!

My total poundage for July (2014) is 70.69 pounds.

My total poundage July (2013) was 79.56 pounds.

My total poundage for 2014 is 179 pounds so far. Well officially I am behind from last year. The main problem has been my tomato plants. Last year in July I had already harvested lots of tomatoes from four varieties of tomatoes. Just in the month of July I had harvested 30 lbs of tomatoes and I was struggling to keep up with the amount on my counter tops. This July I only have been harvesting from 2 varieties and have harvested 18 lbs. To make matters worse the rest of my tomato plants look pretty bad and I doubt they are going to give me many tomatoes in the months to come. I have one beautiful tall and lush tomato plant in my backyard that is failing to provide any fruit… not even a small green tomato has formed. Nothing! It is quite sad in the tomato department this year.

It is quite amazing to see the difference a few weeks can make in the garden. Here are two shots of my main backyard garden just taken a few weeks apart.

DSC_2182Garden on July 8th.

DSC_2541Garden on July 31st.

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Garden Side view on July 8th.

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Garden side view on July 31.


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June 2014 Harvest Tally

DSC_2132Happy July! Now that June has come to a close I can tally up my harvest poundage for the month. This month I harvested: basil, beets, blueberries, broccoli, carrots, cucumber, kale, chives, onions, strawberries, parsley, thyme, zucchini and garlic! I also got a few of my first tomatoes!

My total poundage for June (2014) is  38.90 pounds.

My total poundage June (2013) was 46.01 pounds.

My total poundage for 2014 is 108 pounds!

My June total is a bit lower but I am not worried since this total does not include the garlic or onions I harvested. I am still waiting for those to dry completely before I clean them up, trim the tops and then I will weigh them. I am sure that the poundage from the garlic and onions will bring the total way beyond my June 2013 total. 

DSC_2133When I compare my monthly totals from my 2013 garden to my 2014 garden, I have noticed a few things. It seems like in 2013 I was harvesting some items much earlier like basil and tomatoes. It feels like I am about a half month behind. There are plenty of green tomatoes on the plants but they just haven’t made that turn to edible yet. I wonder if my trip to Japan pushed back my planting time a little bit and that has contributed to some delay in my harvesting. Also we had a few days of extremely hot weather (several 100 degree days and even a day of 106!). We do get a few days of extremely hot weather during our Sacramento summers but I don’t remember that it got this hot in June. I think my tomatoes were a bit confused and they did drop lots of flowers after those extreme days of heat.

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May 2014 Harvest Tally

Happy June! Now that May has come to a close I can tally up my harvest poundage for the month. This month I harvested: lettuces, beets, blueberries, broccoli, carrots, kale, snap peas, strawberries, turnips and my first zucchini, cucumber and basil!

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My total poundage for May (2014) is 29.12 pounds.

My total poundage May (2013) was 31.88 pounds.

Not too bad although I am a bit disappointed that I harvested less than 2013. I still feel confident about getting toward my 500 pound goal. This is an exciting time of year because I know the next few months will be a whirlwind of harvesting! Yesterday evening, I went into the garden to gather some veggies for a simple pasta dinner. I harvested broccoli, basil, kale and my first zucchini of the season. It was a totally green harvest! I quickly sautéed the veggies in some olive oil and added some roasted tomato sauce from last summer’s harvest that I had frozen. When I looked down at the extremely quick dinner I had put together I realized that EVERYTHING on the plate, except the pasta, was from my garden!

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This Year’s Challenge: 500 pounds

This year I want to grow at least 500 pounds of vegetables from my garden. Last year, I grew 425 pounds. Because of our landscaping, I wasn’t able to harvest anything until April. My goal last year was also 500 pounds so I was 75 pounds short of my goal. This year I am determined and I have kept careful notes year round about my garden and how different varieties have been doing in my yard. I also have been planting biointensively so this year I need to do some work around amending my soil to ensure healthy yields.

Last year we put in 5 dwarf trees on our property. Last year we got 1, just 1, orange. I am hoping to get more fruit this year. However, that means that 425 pounds was all from vegetables. That’s a lot of poundage. Trust me. I had to process all of it some how. I had mountains of vegetables on my kitchen counters during the summer. So although I will be keeping track of my fruit poundage as well I will keep it separate so I will know how much comes from the fruit trees versus the rest of the garden.

I’ll keep you updated on the poundage through the year but so far:

                                            2013                         2014

January Total:           0 lbs                       2.02 lbs

February Total:         0 lbs                        3.08 lbs

March Total:               0 lbs                        5.88 lbs

April Total:                 10.33 lbs                 29.48 lbs