Friday, January 31, 2014

I have approx. 80 of 'Commercial Mixed Color' bulbs planted in the bed out front that is home to my mailbox, 'Teasing Georgia' climbing rose and perennials and bulbs where as I'd hoped, nasturtiums are pushing up through my first ever use of rose prunings as a "chop and drop" mulch. I bet this long slow soaking rain will have them emerging in a few weeks. By March this bed should look stunning!

My 'Windsor' fava beans are coming up now in a 1/3 barrel Water Wise Container Garden, and Mike Johnson recently planted 100 in his plot at Big Small Farms near Bushnell. I think this is just the second time I've grown them my 12 years back from Denver, might be the first time. This edible Vetch grew like CRAZY in my Denver gardens and was not fazed by late hard freezes or snow, so I think they will like this damp cooler winter we are having. Very good nitrogen fixer and I love eating them dry and cooked like pintos, or like edamames when the pods are green and plump.

Space Farming!

Friday, January 17, 2014

I'm on his side!

When I see the severity of the drought in California I am reminded JUST how much my native Florida has dried up since I was a teen here in the one then could have EVER imagined watering restrictions of any kind, much less watering just one day per week and a limited number of hours. So it boggles my mind to know of wealthy homeowners and some rosarians here who somehow obtain exemptions and water DAILY in incredible amounts, in one case seven gallons of water per rose per day on hundreds of roses, or vast swaths of hyper-thirsty St. Augustine lawn. Talk about a sense of entitlement and disregard for the environment, especially the rosarians who also use VAST quantities of pesticides!

I simply can't cook without onions and garlic, and since both are winter crops here in central Florida for years I've been obsessively acquiring and trialing various ones in hopes of getting TRULY perennial onions that grow YEAR ROUND and, hopefully, multiply. Two successes so far is a strain of Allium fistulosom I bought as seeds some years back, and "Eliska's Bunching Onion" (which I feel certain is a strain of A. fistulosum that she bought as loose bulbs in a bin at an Ace Hardware). What is very likely a "potato onion" from an East Indian member of the Tampa Rare Fruit Council is reliably perennial for him and Paul Zmoda for years now, but they go dormant in spring and must be dug up else they rot in the summer humid heat. A couple of months ago I bought at a store a small mesh bag of "boiling onions", feeling they were likely immature white onions sold at a premium price. A half hour ago I harvested leaves to add to home made macaroni and cheese....I looked closely: they SEEM to be multiplying! Time will tell if they prove to be perennial.

Once again I dodged the frost bullet here in south Tampa last damage even on chance Passion Fruit seedlings, dew on my car instead of frost! Woo hoo!