1. It was a good week! The asteroid that came closer to us than the moon's orbit missed up -Whew what a relief!!
Read all about it here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15572634
2. November 8- the first frost of the season… Not enough to take out my tomatoes… but it is a warning… My "Early Girl" tomatoes took a little break for a few weeks in August and September and have now come back into production… I can usually count on them until Thanksgiving. I don’t see any frost damage yet – but the roofs in my neighborhood were frosted with white crystals this morning.
Vegetables growing in raised bed: Kale, Chives
3. On our last visit to Portland I fell in love with the raised garden beds that many gardeners use there. So promptly I came home and built one for winter salads and greens… We have frost in the winter but there are varieties of winter garden plants that can tolerate our conditions.
Vegetables growing in raised bed
My beds are 2 boards high – each board 10 inches. The first bed is about 6 ft long and 5 ft. wide… and I filled it with alternate layers of soil and compost. My daughter-in-law Marila introduced me to the idea of a battery operated electrical timer that guarantees a daily allocation of water.
I use a drip hose and run it for 40 minutes a day. In the bed I grow Manoa lettuce – the finest leaf lettuce I have ever seen, and 3 different varieties of Kale ( Asian and European )…+ chives, and one lone potato plant that is a kind of experiment. Every few days I go out and cut the lettuce plants leaving about 2 inches of growth ( which promptly grows back ) for our salads.
An ancient medieval lettuce: "Forellenschluss"
Never have I been able to grow such wonderful loose leaf salads! The greens are also spactacular – my favorites are Collards, and Italian Kale. Our biggest problem is keeping up with them...
Well the first bed was such a hit I decided to make a second one – even bigger … I had run out of compost by now so I went to a small horse ranch near our house and asked for horse manure to add to my soil. ( I brought home 4 very large bins full ).
Aged horse manure is a fine compost1 It has a moderate amount of Nitrogen so it can be used without risk of the plants being burned by exposure to excess Nitrogen. In this bed I am experimenting with other varieties of lettuce, Kale and spinach, beets, radishes, onions, and strawberries (for next summer). This is all one big experiment to see what can survive the frost… I’ll report back to you later…
"Manoa" lettuce - our favorite
Does anyone recognize this plant ( below)? It has come up in one of my beds - and I dont know if it is something I planted or not - Does it look familiar to you: I tried eating a small leaf and it is pretty bitter:
Mystery -do you know what this is? is it eatable?
4. I'm pleased to report that there is a new short video put out by " The Story of Stuff" - Take seven minutes out of your life to watch - it will give you perspective to understand what is going on in our nation and world... Plus it will give you hope for where we can go from here....
Mural photos from the walls of James Logan High School, Union City Ca.