Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Pumpkin carving, painting & Fall food dinners

For the last two nights, Ashley and I have been decorating and carving pumpkins. We got 10 pumpkins for 10 dollars. We saved 3 of those for painting a Frankenstein's monster, witch legs and a black rose with thorns. 

The rest were different carvings of a little man face and puzzle pieces on the back side, cat and a pumpkin face on the back, "Boo" and "Yas", house with a moon and cat, cauldron, and vampire face.

In the above picture, we have our house plants nestled together over top a vent for cool or warmth and displayed my Halloween painting I made years ago. These were the little pumpkins I used for carving and painting.

We have been trying to enjoy the Fall. The colors this year seem brighter, more vibrant, than in the last several years. The quantity of leaves I see in piles skirting trees are more plentiful this year than previous years it seems. Of course, this is my own opinion. 

To further enjoy, and celebrate the Fall you could say, I have been sipping vegan hot chocolate and baked vegan peanut butter cookies, eating lots of seasonal crops like radishes, tomato, kale, and herbs from the garden, and lots of squash and potatoes. 

Vegan stuffed peppers with rice

Vegan stuffed squash with vegan cheez

Produce box

Kale harvested to fry over rice

On Sundays, I've been visiting family to check in on them and my gardens, and on these nights, I've been having little fires to roast vegan hot dogs, watching scary movies, and sitting outside.

What are you doing to enjoy Fall this year? What is keeping you motivated to stay hopeful, positive, and active in your life or community?

Monday, October 19, 2020

Mulched Fall Garden, fig harvest, & Fall greenhouse beauty

 Last Friday was bitter cold. It was down in the 30 degrees F. In the evening, I made sure to cover the garden plants to protect them from frost. The next day, I uncovered them and heavily mulched the veggie garden. I was able to get a truck load of mulch to cover the arden of broccoli, cauliflower and kale. The remaining bit of mulch, I placed around the fruit trees and some fruit bushes. In order to mulch the rest of the fruit bushes, I'm going to need another load of mulch! 

Below are pictures of the veggie garden I mulched Saturday.

The greenhouse I went to to get the mulch, was colorfully decorated again, this time with some new flare. A couple posts back, I showed the cute fall settings at the greenhouse, but I'm adding more here..

I was also able to pick some figs too last weekend. Of course, they were delicious!

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Houseplants on a warm Autumn evening

Houseplants make you feel like it's a refreshing summer in your home year round when you live in dreary cold climates in winter.

Over the last 7 years, I have collected many houseplants. Of all of the those, probably 90% of them have died. I can say that the philodendrons, snake plants, dracanea and aloe have been with me for over 3 years now, maybe longer. I try to only keep small plants so that lifting on plants and taking them in and out of my apartment is not so strenuous. 

Below, is my current collection of houseplants.  

This year, I adopted new houseplants that I've never had the experience growing before. These succulents were a housewarming gift to me, growing in a wide bowl. I decided to re-pot the succulents in individual containers. Today, I picked up some garden pot trays to place underneath each potted plant as well.

In the above picture, I have my snake plant and dracaena which are several years old, maybe 4 years. In the middle, I have a purple tropical plant that I dug up while I was in Florida back in June. This plant is one that grows quick, but the newest member of the plant family is the monstera that grows by the day! There is a new leaf every other week it seems.

These are the regular tasks in fall for houseplants: new or additional soil, new pot, fertilize, clean, wipe down, organize, etc.

These October nights are chilly. I have been keeping the houseplants inside at night and taking them out during the day. Tonight the forecast predicts 60 degrees F, so I don't worry about them staying out. Friday night, on the other hand, it will be 37 degrees, and that is nearly freezing temperatures--not what we would call a "killing frost", but freezing all the same. 

I have many plants growing in the fall gardens, as I showed you in the last post. I have my turnip bed, radish bed, basil, cilantro, flowers, broccoli, cauliflower and kale. I will have to cover these plants! I am hauling a load of mulch Saturday to go onto these plants and my fruit orchard. 

This past week, I have actually harvested some radishes and radish greens and cilantro, pictured gelow.

At the apartment, I have jalapenos and tomatoes that I will either cover on my patio or bring in to protect from the freezing night. 

As always, I will keep you all posted of the garden tasks, fall garden, and other Autumn joys.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Fig harvest, Lovely fall & messy garden

Sorry y'all, it's been over 1 month since my last post. But, this year wasn't as fruitful in previous years and I haven't harvested much worth showing, either. Though, I have gradually picked basil, dill, jalapeno peppers and some cherry tomatoes. I've been drying lots of basil, dill, cilantro throughout the summer and into fall. I harvested a lot of radish greens and whole root radishes the other day.

In this garden, I have patches of different things growing in each individual bed. There's a bed of broccoli, bed of basil and strawberries, bed of turnip, kale, radishes, flowers. 
See below, there's several healthy kale plants amongst turnips and radishes. 

I have a small patch of turnip greens and kale greens in this part of a garden bed. 

Here is the bed of radishes

Below is a garden bed of broccoli. They are small plants, even though they are several months old. Animals wreak havoc here but I have plastic netting around the bed to deter them. This bed desperately needs mulched.

I have broccoli, cauliflower, kale growing at my other garden. These crops are fenced off to protect from pests and I hope to continue to keep pests out until I can actually harvest big, beautiful cauliflower and broccoli heads. I want the kale to flourish with massive leaves for frying with a little olive oil and salt. Fried kale is delicious over rice. This garden has been slow growing, though, just like my other broccoli garden bed. 

My major obstacles this year is finding time to do the necessary work in the garden, but I always manage. My next task is to mulch and compost around these plants as it starts getting colder for the plants. I will also have to keep them covered with garden canvas when the temperatures drop to the point I will need to be consisntly wearing a coat outside. 

I hope these fall crops can tolerate the bitter bite of the cold winds whipping through from the north. Summer left quick and the leaves are changing to their vibrant reds, oranges and yellows--painting the hillsides. 

The highlights of the summer were the flower gardens. Still, there's many flowers sparkling amongst the fall skies. 

The fig trees start producing their fruits right as fall makes its presence known. It's like the trees know exactly when they need to set their fruits right before the first frost. I have picked several handfuls of figs at a time in the last 3 weeks. Of course, they are my delectable little fall fruit treats. 

I would love to go to pumpkin patches, do a hayride, and drink cider and pick fruits at an apple orchard. But, much of the normal fall festivities have come to a hault. I did go to a greenhouse, though, to help grandma pick gourds, pumpkins, and mums for her fall setting. 

For fall, I decorated a little fall setting for my grandmother. I harvested my corn stalks and let tied them up for foddershocks. Then I fashioned the scarecrow and arranged the gourds she bought. Usually, I have my own little fall setting arranged, but this year I didnt have a single gourd, pumpkin--nothing from my garden to use for decorating! It was disappointing, but there's always next year. Still, I put up my old scarecrow I made years ago, and other halloween decor. 

Please be safe and healthy my dear garden comrades! Wear a mask, go to a protest, rally, vigil, show up in support, go vote, cast a mail in ballot, save your money, grow some food indoors, try to do your part! Peace and love!