Yesterday was garden day. I had neglected the weeding and poking and prodding. The mesclun had already bolted and the potato plants were dying. The basil needed a haircut, and I had 2 huge pots in my backseat that needed filling. It was hot, like sweat dripping down your face hot, and I got sunburned, but I got it all done.

Red potatoes

whites and russets

First stop was the potato buckets. The flowers had long since bloomed and dropped, and the plants themselves were falling and yellowing. I dumped them, one by one, into the wheelbarrow to reap my rewards. I was sadly disappointed. Yes, I only planted 6 seed potatoes, but from those 6 potatoes I only got 2.5 lbs. total. I also learned some things.

I think my first issue was laziness. At times I didn’t have nice, prepared, sifted soil to add to my buckets as the plants grew. I used shovels of the soil by the tree. It was hard and claylike. I should not have been so lazy. I also did not mound high enough. I never filled the buckets to the tops. I also think that 5 gallon buckets are simply too small to produce a good potato crop. If I had 20 buckets, maybe, but next year I will have the tires ready to go and I will pull many more potatoes.

1 oz. of basil

I have nicely producing basil in a pot. I trimmed off 1 oz. of leaves yesterday. Part of that you will see again later, on grilled shrimp. I sliced up another leaf and added it to a margarita. There are still some leaves left in the fridge. I have about 100 lime basil sprouts in the tomato cupboards. They are about an inch tall now. I will thin them soon. I love basil.

first tomato blossom

I have a tomato blossom!!! There are dozens more that haven’t opened yet, but this one is here!!! I have been dreaming of tomatoes. Tomato and onion sandwiches are in my future! I can’t wait to can more tomatoes, as well. I am down to 1 pint left from last season, and it is time to replenish the stash.

bolted mesclun

The mesclun has gone to seed. This sure is a pretty flower, however. I cut off all the leaves that I could for salad and then dumped the tray, sifted out all of the roots, and replanted the same tray with new meslcun seeds.

peas and taters

I found another handful of snow peas too!

There is chard to be harvested, but it was raining when I had to leave this morning, so that will have to be done tomorrow. There are tons of baby bell and jalapeno peppers forming! The eggplants are growing nicely along the fence. I sifted all of the soil from the potato buckets and filled two huge planters. In one I planted asian long beans, along with a teepee I made with duct tape and bamboo. In the other, I put the broccoli and brussels sprout plants I still had in cups. I think it is too warm for them, but I figured I may as well give them a shot since they already exist.

For dinner last night I filled the grill. Corn on the cob, steak, broccoli, onions, and shrimp that I marinated in fresh basil, minced garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. I grilled two limes, cut in half, to squeeze over the shrimp when they were done. Yum!


As a reminder to myself, next post will talk more about that button up there that says “Urban homestead Beanery”. There are many good things to come.

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