Thursday, November 15, 2012

First Snap Peas!

This is the first flower of the first snap peas this season. So pretty!

Unwelcome Garden Pests!

 Imported Cabbage Worm!! These are on the red cabbage, I also found them on the bottom of the broccoli leaves. You may have to look really hard to find them but if your leaves have holes and/or are chewed up, this is probably the problem. Look for the white moth/butterfly with a black dot on the wings in your garden and get rid of it and any of it's green velvet worms!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cool Weather Crops-A Whole Different Garden!

Peas after one week.

Red Cabbage

 The winter garden is a whole different experience from the spring garden, so far. There's a lot said about delayed gratification, but I guess cool weather means slower growth. That's ok, it's just different.

And...let's talk about pests. Slugs, birds,squirrels and clover. All have attacked and it's only been twenty-four days!

We've added an "overflow" area. In the few weeks before the winter planting we dug up an area by the fence and added in food scraps to prepare the soil for extra plants. It's flat, not like the raised beds. Evidently that's an open invitation to slugs. I tried beer in a shallow pan-didn't work. The next night I went out with a flashlight and picked them out-Gross! I have tons of oyster shells because I can't throw them out (hoarder?)so we added an oyster shell border, knowing that they don't like sharp edges. Can't really tell if that's working because they ate all of the lettuce and most of the chard in 3 nights. the next thing that I'm going to try is replanting the lettuce and bordering each plant with pennies, since they also don't like copper.

I can hardly wait for broccoli, cabbage and peas!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ok my bird loving friends, please help me identify this gorgeous predator visiting (I hope he's just visiting) the garden. Hopefully he'll scare off the squirrels and not snack on my hummingbird friends!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fall/Winter Crops

After 5 months it's time to plant the Winter Garden already. We planted the cool weather plants on Sunday, when it was like a million degrees outside. Here's a look at the new garden:

Doesn't look like much yet...but just wait!

I can hardly wait to see how broccoli grows.

Peas already look like fun!

The Final Harvest

September 29, 2012. The final harvest of the Spring/Summer Crop. Whoa! There is so much more than I expected. The plants really camouflage their fruit. The way the program is designed, the first year we follow the plan, just like it's given to us. (pretty much) So, the plan says to pull out the spring plants to make room for the cool weather plants. It was pretty much finished anyway but look at everything that we harvested!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Canning Workshop

One of the optional projects that graduating La Meza Verde familes chose was food preservation. So, last Friday Sylvia came down from San Francisco with her husband, Bill, and brought all the things that we needed.
Laura, Sylvia, Debbie, Patty

Laura, Dora, Sylvia

Sylvia, Dora and the stuff.

Sylvia, teaching as usual.
We had the workshop at my house. Because it's so close and  there's a stove it fit the criteria. Altogether there were 10 of us if you count the boys. That's the most people that I've had in my house in a long time.
I spent 3 days giving my dingy kitchen a much needed cleaning!!I had been nervous but by Friday AM it felt so good to have everything decluttered and clean. Luis pitched in and cleaned and painted(?) the bathroom and washed the outsides of the windows, even though it was his birthday.      
By the end we had made pickeled jalepenos with carrots and veggies, strawberry and blackberry jam. It was so much fun to cook with other people! Sylvia was awesome! I was inspired!         
Since then I've made a birthday cake with the strawberry jam in the middle, canned a jar of green beans, made zucchini parmesean and I might make biscuits tonight to go under the blackberry jam!

Malin, Debbie, Sylvia
My idea of canning involved bushels of fruit or veggies, steam, sweat and so much time. It never occured to me to just put up 1 or 2 jars at a time. What a concept. Thanks Ladies.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Check it Out!->->Slideshow!!! ->->

My computer is back! At least for now because there are still issues. When they are resolved I'll tell you where I took it because I had it back the same day for a very reasonable price. But, it's only reasonable if they stand behind their work because like I said, there are still issues. At least it turns on now.                                     
The week that it was down was sort of a relief because I've been a little bit discouraged with the blog. I guess that I had this vision that everyone I know would drop what they were doing and tune in every day like I had invented gardening. I'm more realistic now, and I really should be writing for myself first anyway, but I've also had more visitors thanks to CrazyforCrust's Facebook Exchange Party. I listed this blog and the Facebook Page and then looked around and visited other pages, etc. Anyway, there were a lot of people visiting around and some of them checked out this blog and on the Facebook page there are 7 new likes! That's a total of 13! (the other 6 being my Family (either forced or hacked) and their close friends (guilted))                                
With people looking at it of their own free will, I feel I'd better step it up!                            
I'm kind of joking because actually the blog has 724 total views. Lots of people have told me that they've seen it and they've said really nice things, so Thanks!!!
OH!!! I almost forgot, FINALLY figured out how to put a Slideshow on the blog. It wasn't how they said to do it on Picasa or Blogspot, but by trial and error it works. I'm a regular techie.
Well, I need to get busy because I'm making Zucchini Parmesan with zucchini from the garden(my friend Melanie's idea) The sauce I made from about 6 lbs. of tomatoes from the garden. So there you go.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Red in the Garden and Visitors

Photo: It's happening!!  In a sea of green, I'm finally seeing...RED!!
 The garden is in full swing now! There is now color in the green! The Pocket Farmer ( said it perfectly today with this picture on Facebook.
I've been a little camera lazy lately, but I have gotten some people pictures.
I feel so fortunate to get to meet so many people who are working to change the way we see and grow our food.
Thanks to Tim and Helen from Ag Innovations ( for coming by last week.
" We care deeply about creating a more economically viable, socially just, and environmentally sound way to grow and distribute food."
This is from the home page of their website, and it seems to be the common thread connects most all of the visitors who want to visit a La Mesa Verde garden family and to learn more about our unique program.
Thanks again to Sacred Heart Community Service for providing the opportunity to make a difference!
These ladies visited from the San Jose Garden Club ( ) They answered so many questions, like how to reseed lettuce. It can be as simple as just letting them flower and drop their seeds back into the soil.
Every visitor leaves me feeling like a super star gardener. Diva, if you will, even though it's all pretty simple so far.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Gabriel Valle

It's 54 degrees this morning here in San Jose Ca. It's July 15th. Just sayin'.
But the air is crisp and clear and just wait 'til afternoon, probably be crying about the heat.
 I have two points. 1.) I will complain about anything. 2.) This is some tiempo loco!

Crazy weather!
Thanks for visiting the La Mesa Verde gardens, Gabriel Valle! He's a graduate student at the University of Washington in the Sociocultural Anthropology PhD program and has an interest in alternative food movements.

Morning Bounty!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Garden Week 10

Planting day was 4/28/12 so we are in the 10th week, the beginning of the 3rd month. It's actually only about 3 months until the winter planting! (not to get ahead of ourselves)

There are DOZENS  of cherry tomatoes coming.

These were sweet and delicious!

The lettuces are "bolting", which means that they are starting to flower and that flower will produce seeds that we can replant.

Mutant cucumber!
These tomatoes and lots more like them look like they are going to be soo good.

4# zucchini, before stuffing.

Green beans today, 7/5/12

Jalepeno "tree". We planted this in 2009, so this is the 4th year.
The garden is so much more than just growing food. It's a way of connecting to so many different people and things. There's an awareness that comes along with watching something grow from a tiny seed or plant. I am enjoying much more than I had even expected!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Master Gardener Visit

One of the nicest things about my La Mesa Verde garden is the visit from my Master Gardener, Carolyn Kameya every few weeks. She always has good advice and oohs and ahhs over the garden. She and others donate their time to help us new gardeners grow our little piece of paradise. Thanks again!

I harvested a zucchini the size of a small child today. I let it get big on purpose but geez! Tonight we'll have it stuffed and with a salad along side.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Visiting Veggielution

 On Friday, June 15, I visited Veggielution at Emma Prusch Farm Park on King San Jose. It's a community farm with all sorts of different programs and classes with the purpose of creating a sustainable food system in San Jose. Today was graduation from "Cooking Matters", one of the programs available at the farm.
The outdoor kitchen. Food is prepared and classes are held here.

Brenda, Luz Maria, Irma and Yonara from Veggielution and Malin from La Mesa Verde.
Along with lots of delicious foods prepared with the garden veggies, we drank Strawberry Chia water. It was so refreshing on that hot day. It's simply blended strawberries and water with a small amount of the superfood, Chia seeds. I've made it three times at home since then. You could use whatever fruit that you like and I used about a teaspoon of seeds for a 1/2 gallon pitcher. So simple and no added sugars!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

As you've seen, the garden is growing like crazy! Today I want to back track a little. On Installation Day, it was just me and Jay, mostly Jay. We discovered, just like the Master Gardener had said, that the wonderful soil here in "The Valley of Heart's Delight" although rich, was like concrete. It was like a cartoon when we tried to break it up. Picture Wyle E. Coyote, a shovel and the word "doinggg"
Jay on Planting Day

I soaked it for a week and borrowed a pick axe and between Jay and Luis, they got the beds dug up. We ended up mixing 23 50lb. bags in with the soil for each bed. That's over 2,000 lbs. Jay is on the staff at Sacred Heart and I think that his job was documenting it, but he ended up doing most of the hard work. Thanks, Jay
Just about full!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hidden Veggies

OK, yesterday I posted a garden update with pictures. After that, I found this...
I swear to you that I am out there about 10 times a day and then, all of a sudden, something has grown!
Here's the first squash, harvested on day 44, if anyone's counting.
I'm going to roast them with some tiny, tiny potatoes that I have, then add them to some fresh picked lettuce. I made a dressing that Marilu Henner made on Live with Kelly last week. Whisk together 1/3 C. Olive Oil, 1/3 C. Balsalmic Vinegar, 1 T. Dijon Mustard and smash in some roasted garlic cloves. I'll let you know if it's yummy.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Garden Update

The Garden Diva thinks she's the Hummingbird Diva lately. I'm discovering new stuff on this camera that my parents gave us. The latest? It can be set to snap many pictures in succession and the hummingbirds have been hamming it up for me.
But... it's about time for a garden update.

The Cucumbers are cute, the plants are climbing like crazy.
These Early Girls are the biggest of the four tomatoes so far.

These baby Zepher Squash are going to be dinner very soon.

The first Fresno Chile is sort of the same color and shape
as the leaves and I didn't even see it!

And this is the biggest, strangest looking bee that I've ever seen.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Lupe and the Hummingbird

You may have to blow these up to see the tiny camera hog.
Guadalupe Perez, a community leader from Sacred Heart who works at Veggielution came by to visit and the hummingbirds seemed very curious about her.