Sunday, November 15, 2015

Bumper Crop of Cherries and Apples Last Year

This is a photo of my cherry harvest in 2014 Last year I had the largest crop, by far, of cherries and apples that I have ever had. There were more honey bees last year. A neighbor near by had them but maybe they didn't survive last winter... I am not sure. I don't know that neighbor personally. Last year I had about 7 boxes of apples and this year I had one hand basket and those were being attacked by a new insect around here. They looked like boxelder bugs which barely began showing up here last year. Strange changes are happening as the climate changes and I fear it is changing faster than the climate scientists admit...

Sunday, November 1, 2015


Here in Spokane, WA our average date of first frost is September 15th. Well, it is November 1st and still no frost at our house. We are near a cliff edge with about a 200' drop to the stream valley below so that likely protects us however. I friend of mine posted a photo of a small, highly unusual, bloom on her lilac bush last week. This is really kind of scary and I am very concerned that climate change is coming on faster than the scientists are admitting.

Celery Success!

Well, I should probably rename this blog the Accidental Gardener. I planted an organic celery plant that I started in a bowl of water in my kitchen (slice off the bottom with a bit of the root stock still attached) after the roots sprouted a few years back. One of the plants went to seed so now I have celery volunteers throughout the garden. No worries; they start small and grow slowly. I believe the term is naturalization. Well, I had a plethera of them this year and because of our newly extended growing season I have had a bumper crop! I harvested a few pounds of them today and some of them are almost as big as the store bought ones. Man, these are SO flavorful! There is NO comparison to the store bought variety!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Hops in the House

I decided to grow hops and try homebrewing beer. So far I have made one batch but from a kit. The hops I grew last year are in the freezer and waiting to be used. I planted 4 plants, 2 of each of 2 varieties. One is named Northern Brewer and the other one the place I bought it from had no idea of the name. This is from last fall's harvest. Hops are fun to grow and harvest. The smell is terrific!

Sandia Chile

As a member of Seed Savers Exchange I preserve and offer various seeds able to be grown in my small garden space. Here is my one pepper; a New Mexico Chile type named Sandia. I believe it was developed at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM where my wife went to college. I only grew one pepper last year in order to prevent cross pollination. It is a relatively hot chile whereas Big Jim, Anahiem and Joe E. Parker are rather mild.