Friday, May 8, 2009

First fistful of Roma green beans ready for the picking! These were from the initial ones I tested growing in buckets. We'll be planting all our snap beans in-ground from now on when possible...about a third have not thrived in the buckets.

Baby moringa, grown from seed. So far, we have several of them thriving. This is a fast-growing and very useful tree good for human food and animal fodder. We hope to see it grow at least 8 to 10 feet this year. It'll go into the ground as soon as it's big enough. This is a plant we hope to keep a big patch of in order to harvest the fast-growing limbs for many purposes.

One wayward calabaza seed next to the compost bin sprouts into a glorious riot of variegated leaves and saffron blooms. We saw blooms and were wondering if any of them were being pollinated. It's sited near the swale that's overgrown with cattails. The drought this year means there's no standing water, but still it's slightly moist down there. We think we're getting pollinators from that area, though we've seen no honeybees around.
Hello, beautiful! These blooms can be eaten at a particular stage (we haven't tried that yet), and so can the leaves (cooked for greens). A peek beneath the vines found that many blooms have traded in the ruffled yellow petticoat for fertility's sake. There are a lot of little calabazas plumping up under there!

One such baby. Who will get to eat it first...the rabid bugs and ever-present pests of Florida, or us? Only time will tell! Maybe our stunning technique of "weed therapy" will keep the bad guys occupied? (crazy little laugh...ahem...oh how the Bermuda grass is making my life one big weed-battling duel, sorry!) :) I'm beginning to think that the subtropics down here are in a sense one big stomach, and anything on or in the ground eventually will get digested..and that it's just a matter of time to see if a harvest results, before it all returns to mulch again! ;-)
This week, on is a small shoot emerging from the freeze-killed Mamey Sapote (fruit tree) we were growing from seed last year. Grow, baby, grow!

Out at the cowpea patch, one area is doing great and another area is becoming engulfed with invasive Bermuda grass (what else??). The Bermuda lurks under all the other natural grasses around here, barely ever showing its starts watering a garden. Then it calls all its friends, and in a single evening it begins having the sort of garden party it does no good to call the cops to break up. Ah. Well. My Fordhook limas are so glutted with Bermuda, it would kill them to begin (again) pulling it all up. Same thing with the it's a dead heat to see which (if any) of these will win by a nose...weeds, or plants? If the okra can get some height soon, maybe it'll stand a chance. The limas? Hmmm. The good news is that all the purple hulls and blue lake snap beans are at present SOMEWHAT under control (from the weeds). But they're there. I just keep smothering them time and again with straw, hay, mulch, stable cleanings. Until this crop has produced, there is no hope of turning the soil since it's simply a very very thick layer of composted stable cleanings. Sure, let's go with calling this "no-till," but "no-till" is looking messier than I like at this point.

Oh, the learning curve.

Hey, we're leaning in to the curve...the ride's fun! :)

How grows your weed patch?


Kathie said...

Beautiful and yummy!

David in Kansas said...

I have a terrible problem with crab grass. Last year, I bought some garden fabric to reseed my yard with this "super grass" (it was a rip-off).
Anyway, this year I am using the fabric in my vegetable garden. It looks ugly as all get out but the weeds and the grass are slowly dying under it while my veggies are growing through the holes I made for them.

Lemongrass said...

Mamey Sapote! of the best fruits of my childhood days. We called it sapadilla, oh how I long for some sweet, juicy, ripe mamey sapote. Would it tolorate the winter in your neck of the woods?

Anonymous said...

I think the whole world is one big stomach. We're born out of it and return, along with everyone else, animal and vegetable.

Country Girl said...

Lovely pics. Happy Mother's Day to you!