Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Now THAT'S a Cabbage!

Today, I'm...

...working in the garden.

Last night Vincent and I spent time weeding.  The little buggers were threatening to take over, a sad result of too much running around on my part.  Hopefully maintenance will be a little easier in July, but my oh my, what a good year we're having!  Last year blight took all of my potatoes and squash, but we were able to harvest a glut of toms, onions and lettuce.  This year we nixed the potatoes, and planted cabbage cauliflower, a few kinds of peppers and Brussels sprouts in addition to the lettuce, onions and tomatoes.  Here's a full length shot of the garden (weeded)--everything is coming in quite nicely.  Between the deer fence and the ladybugs, released about two weeks ago, we seem to be having little to no pest problems...
Here's a close-up of the yellow squash--still some weeds in there--drat!
...and peppers...
...and lettuces, lovely lettuces...
...and my beloved cabbages--no, wait.  These are the cauliflower Whatever.  Both delish!  The only fertilizer we used this time around was Smart Grow.  It's supposed to not only promote growth, but get rid of weeds.  Can't argue with the growth part, but we plucked out quite a few weeds!
Oh look!  Here's one of the girls!  Somehow we also managed to squeeze a chicken coop into the backyard.  This lady, and her sisters, are Dorking hens--not an easy breed to get a hold of, especially in New Jersey. I first heard of them through River Cottage, and I ordered my clutch through the Sandhill Preservation Center in Iowa.  The center also does heirloom seeds--worth checking out!
I kept the herbs completely separate this year and did them in pots.  This year I have curry, oregano, basil, lovely thyme, and Italian parsley.  Here they are in their playpen (must do this as the deck has not been gated off yet, and the occasional chicken will wander up and start eating them.  Bad chicken!  My oregano! 
The blackberries and raspberries are back with a vengeance (still green, but give it another month and we'll be over-run):
...as are the grapes.  Last year's blight, by the way, did mischief with these as well, but not so this time.  I give the ladies credit for keeping the Japanese beetle problem at bay--they love grape leaves (and everything else!)...
And I finally got to add a blueberry bush--and look!  We already have edible blueberries!  Supposedly this guy will get really big (it's actually three bushes that will pollinate each other), and we should have blueberries through the fall... I have visions of muffins and blueberry pound cake...
We also tried a couple of those Topsy Turvy planters--the tomato and the pepper.  I'm liking these, but a couple of things you should know before buying one:  The kit comes ONLY with the planter--you have to provide your own plant and potting soil.  You also have to water it CONSTANTLY.  The Topsys have a tendency to dry up quickly so they need to be watered daily.  Plug up any plant outlets that you don't use--this will help with moisture retention--we did this with our pepper planter.
And last but not least, here are Vin and I after a job well done (sorta--there were still weeds).  Hair not as nice as when Brad did it, but hey--it was hot out there!


  1. OMG, your kitchen garden is stunning! You truly are blessed with a Green Thumb. I bet all the vegies you grow there, especially the cabages, taste absolutely delicious!

    And you've got your very own blueberry bush! That is so totally awesome! I bet you'll have the whole town chasing after you for blue-berry muffins. Maybe you can call them the Blue-Faerie Muffins, as they will be made from your magickal blueberries that grow in the magickal kitchen garden!


  2. This is a first go 'round for the blueberries--I always wanted to grow them, and all three bushes have fruit on them--I'm hoping I have enough at one time to make a batch of muffins--the first year is always iffy--once it acclimates though, watch out! Oooo Blue Faerie Muffins--I like it!

  3. I just love your kitchen garden!

  4. Natalie,
    I've just found your blog; enjoying the read, especially the tea cup post. Oregano is a natural antibiotic for chickens. There are larger chicken farms that have been employing it as an antibiotic alternative. The NYTimes ran an article about it a few years back which you may still be able to access. I'm sure your girls were looking for a little natural pick me up. Looking forward to reading more.


    1. Thank you so much! I am in the process of revamping the blog to hopefully make it more useful, relevant and authentic. Thank you so much for visiting ♥