What Up With That – June 27th 2012

What has been –

Mostly, well, Ben has been. Thanks again to Ben Marsh for working the garden. He didn’t take any pictures, but as junky as his phone camera is, we should actually thank him for that. He did say we have a ton of watermelon coming on and that is pretty exciting.
Other exciting events tangential to the garden –
This weekend I went to visit a good friend and former co-worker in Houston. We were classmates and bonded as we served for approximately a decade as large animal vets in Alvin, Texas from 2004-2005. Ok, it wasn’t all bad – I made him as a friend and started my love of gardening. So he has been visiting the garden blog, become excited and had me speak to his sunday school class about starting a garden at his church. I need to work on my public speaking because I did not incite fits of gardening, but I think I planted a (metaphorical) seed and maybe they will be gardening for good and for awesome in Pasa-get-down-dena soon.
I also met with Christ Church’s own Ewing Brown, Jack McCool (how is that for a handle?) and John Nehme on Monday as Ewing taught us about asset mapping in our organizations. I learned 1) there are some amazing things happening in our Church 2) There is so much more we can do with this garden thing and 3) God is Good and will use us if we ask (I should have already known that, but I seem to forget it too often).
What is Yet to Be –
Annie Crawford will be out Thursday to see if yesterday and today’s 105 plus temperatures incinerated the garden or not. I will meet Detroit Henry on Saturday to work at about 9 am to work as well. Please feel free to join any and all of us.
To-Do List –
  • Run the drip
  • harvest
  • be smart and no heat stroke out there
  • Pray!

What Up With That – June 21st 2012

What Has Been –

On Saturday the garden was worked by me and Seth “Detroit” Henry (not really his nickname, but it would be a whole lot cooler if it was). Seth has had a big week. Not only did he harvest a ton of tomatoes, he is the proud father of a brand new baby girl as of yesterday! Way to go Henry family!

Saturday’s harvest and my foot (for a sense of scale and, hey, it’s a pretty nice foot)

I went out yesterday and ran the drip irrigation again and harvested even more tomatoes.

Wednesday’s tomatoes. No foot for scale, but trust me, you are looking at a lot of tomatoes.

I also harvested a few cucumbers. I think they are almost kaput, but  they are still producing at about 1/10th their peak production.

Cucumbers (,) rock

And check out our largest watermelon –

Yes, that is a watermelon. And my hand (for a sense of scale and, hey, it’s a pretty nice hand)

I also planted more okra in bed #5. We need to get a pickling team together, because we are going to be covered up in okra, and soon.

What is yet to be –

The garden will be tended this Saturday by Ben Marsh and during the next week by Annie Crawford. A special thanks here to Ben, Annie and Michele Riffee – they are the summer gardeners. Here in Austin, being a summer gardener makes you one tough cookie so thanks team tough cookies(?)!

To-Do List

  • Run the drip Saturday and Wednesday
  • Harvest those tomatoes and cucumbers
  • Check out the watermelon – I think it still needs a week plus on the vine, but could be convinced otherwise. I asked Steven Hebbard for some indicators of watermelon ripeness that don’t involve “subjective thumping” and he went ahead and told me to thump it. If anyone has any friends or family from Luiling, maybe they could come help with that.
  • Weed
  • Fertilize on Saturday
  • Pray!

Also, be thinking about what to plant when the cukes are done. Feel free to post suggestions here. Peppers? But not these –

That name doesn’t leave much to the imagination, now does it?

What Up With That – June 10th 2012 post

What Has Been –

Thank you and kudos are due to the Crawford and Brown-Garvin small groups who both turned up for work days on Saturday. And a special thanks to Ben Marsh for leading the charge in the garden while I was toiling away at my day job.

We had two small groups show up due to the fact that my pesky vocation kept me too busy to notice that I had double booked the garden. That, and I am sometimes a little disorganized. I am a little sorry. I’d be more sorry, but from Ben’s report, it was a blessing. More workers = more work accomplished (which is sometimes not true, see the post about me and my small group “working” in the garden) and more community built. Yes! God takes my mistakes and turns them into blessings. Ain’t that the stuff.

Many tomatoes, potatoes and cucumbers were harvested. Okra (Clemson Spineless) seedlings were transplanted into bed #1.

Some photos from the day (please note: while Ben is awesome, and generalized awesomeness a core value of this garden, his camera phone is not.) –

That blue/grey orb is a watermelon. Awesome!

What is yet to be –

The dog days of summer are upon us. Like a ferocious junk yard dog who has run us down from behind and is now standing on our back growling, snarling and breathing 100 degree heat mixed with dog spit on the back of our necks, they are upon us. Sorry again – summer gardening in Austin can be hot, dry and frustrating. But we will fight through it. We are planting things that like heat (okra, melons, and others), we are drip irrigating, we are complaining. Before we know it, those of us that don’t perish from heat exhaustion will be putting in our fall garden.

This weeks To Do List –

  • Harvest – the tomatoes are amazingly still going, let’s get ’em boys! Try a cucumber at each harvest. At some point they will be as bitter as I am about the Texas heat and that will be our sign that they are Donesville.
  • Drip – time to start twice weekly dripping. See above complaining for reason why.
  • Wear a hat and sunscreen and drink water. NO perishing in the garden, please. I’m having a sign made that says that.
  • Pray! What a place to pray for those who the garden has touched. We can pray for them while not at the garden, too.

weed. While you pray!

What Up With That May 26th and June 3rd 2012 edition

Sorry, I somehow missed a week of updates. I’ve been busy and blah, blah, excuse, excuse. Like you care. You demand your garden updates! Here they are –

What has been –

Big Tomato and cucumber harvest continue –

Some of our more astute readers will notice some vegetables in some photos that are neither tomatoes nor cucumbers. Anyone notice? No, well, not suprising with you lot. Those are squash (the plants are growing up on the outside of the fence), potatoes (we harvested the northwest bed, #1) and green beans from the plant right by the gate. Yes, some potatoes are blue and no, I have no idea what up with that. Besides the obvious – it fits in with our core value of generalized awesomeness.

Also these past two weeks, we had a visitor to the garden. Here is a picture of his poop –

Here is his damage –

And, without further ado, here is he is, the Tobacco Hookworm (or Tomato Hornworm, or some combination of those four words) –

He was the only one we found. We, uh, relocated him to were he could find more of his kind. Somewhere he might be able to hang out with tomato hookworms of the past, like his great-great grandfather. It had to be done. And, hey, we did it organically.

What is yet to be –

The Crawfords are coming, The Crawfords are coming!

I can not wait to see what they accomplish in the garden. Hopefully they are not as lazy and chatty as my small group. The only way we were killing any weeds was by standing on them for prolonged periods.

They will be led by the intrepid Ben Marsh (and maybe me depending on the number of equine emergencies on Saturday) –

The To-Do List –

  • Harvest – see the critically acclaimed  (ok, one friend liked it at least) “how to harvest” post
  • Run drip system the entire time while at the garden, maybe through lunch if someone can come back and turn it off later. See the less well received “how to water” post. (if it rains more than a sprinkle this week, adjust accordingly)
  • fertilize – you guessed it, there is a “how to fertilize” post
  • Weed, weed , weed! There is no post for that, just pull weeds!
  • Plant Okra (brought by Ben) in bed #1
  • Harvest Potatoes in bed #2, ,will they be blue?
  • Build community
  • Pray for those who work in the garden and especially those who receive it’s goodness.
  • Go to lunch. Have a beer, you (might, depending on how hard you worked) deserve it.