2017 Harvest

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Winter is here

Winter is finally here.
Yesterday my garden was still full of green grass, and flowers. Unusually high temperatures saved some of my flowers and woke up some of the spring flowers so my garden was colored with  gaillardias, nasturtiums and primroses.

Today we woke to a completely different story. Overnight we got 20cm of snow which is still falling.

 At least Nero and his friend are enjoying this new snow.

Friday, November 28, 2014

I need a bigger garden

I've always loved having many vegetable and flower varieties in my garden. Each year I tried to collect more new seeds. This year I collected so many seeds for next year that I'm seriously worried I'll need a bigger garden for everything.
I've already bought around 40 new varieties of flowers and few days ago my seeds collection got even bigger.

This week I got a big package from Dewberry
We've decided to exchange our seeds. Again big Thank you for all this beautiful seeds ♥

I've got many new vegetable and flower varieties.
Tomatoes: White Tomesol, Violet Jasper, Slawa Nadrenii, Zloty Deszcz, Sakiewka, Pokusa, Saint Pierre, Olena Ukranian, Megaroniasty kozuli, Malinowy ozarowski, Malakhitovaya shkatulka, Koralik, Indigo rose, Green zebra, Coustralee

Brandywine Suddoth's Strain, Black cherry, Cherokee purple, Big rainbow, Ananas noire, Malinak, Aussie

Chili peppers: Poiri piri, Explosive ember, Rawit red, Bishop's crown, Aji lemon drop, Elephantormany, Tondo Calabrese, Peter pepper red, Naga Jolokia, Trinidad scorpion moruga red, Tondo, Bhut jolokia chocolate, Habanero burning bush, Naga morich, 7 pot white

 Zimbabwe black, Tasmanian black, Filius black, Black cuban, Cayenne purple, Black Namaqualand

Sweet peppers: Diamond white,Marconi purple, Violet Bell, Zlata, Tomato- shaped

Beans: Scarlet runner,  Piekny Jas, Orzel, Nigeria, Appaloosa, Red bean

Pumpkins: Gagat,  Boston Marrow, Sweet dumpling, Black futsu, Miranda, Zloto Wolicy, Tondo Chiaro Ni Nizza,  Vegetable spaghetti, Baby boo, Triamble, Citron cucumber

Cosmos  Sulphureus, Tagetes Fantastic, Tagetes Majestic, Coix Lacryma-jobi, Zinnia Fantazja, Rudbeckia, Rudbeckia double color, Cosmos double click

 Peas Bajka, Pearl Millet, Kalibos cabbage, Cyclanthera pedata, Physalis edulis, Mexican cucumber, Grenada ozarowska iceberg, Nero di Toscana kale, Okra, Scyscraper sunflower, Justyna butterhead

 Ola polka and Maskotka tomato, purple carrot, Opolanka radish, red basil, Aster, Borage, Carnations Mefisto, Pennie black, Viola Black King, Cupid's dart

All this new flowers almost doubled my seeds collections so now I have 273 seed bags. 172 vegetable varieties(61 Tomato and 45 pepper varieties) and 100 flower varieties.

 Seeds will be waiting for January when I'll slowly begin to sow chili peppers and tomatoes.
Next gardening year will be very busy.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Garden in November

November in my garden is very sad. Vegetable garden is deep digged and now waiting for the snow to cover it.

There's no more live colors. Everything is gray, brown or black.
Even mushrooms aren't coloring the woods anymore. There's no more pretty parasol mushrooms. Just a few Magpie fungus are resisting the cold.

The only things that are still showing color is grass and ivy that is hugging trees.
In my last walk with Nero I discovered a very strange tree in our forest. From distance it looked really weird.

At first I thought is was some kind of old tree that got it's branches broken. But when I got close I saw it was just a normal tree caped with ivy.

This ivy has been growing very long. It made a small bole. Even my Nero was interested in this new tree.

Soon most of the soil will be covered in snow and ice so we're using the last few days of cold and dry weather to take walks in meadows.

I was hoping I would be able to gather some dried plants for my Christmas decorations but since this year is so wet I didn't get many things. I guess this year I will have to use some dried plants from last year and just improvise.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

bye bye vegetables, hello deep digging!

October is here, in my garden that means plants are going out and soil is being prepared for next year.
This summer was very specific. Most of the August and September I spent looking at my garden from my balcony.

It has been to wet even Nero wasn't allowed to run in the garden.

 The rain destroyed most of my vegetables so in September all that was left to harvest were some carrots and  some beans.

But last week after harvesting them too my garden was left almost completely empty.
Only things that are left are some chili peppers and my zucchinis.

That is why I decided to start with my deep digging preparation. I needed to clean my beds from all the old plants, remove cucumber nets and pull out the grass.

This is the first time I had to do this. Usually after harvest I just left my bean and potato beds like they are and after deep digging they were clean. Because of all the rain we got this year my potato and bean beds turned into a meadow in only one month.

I had to pull out as much grass as I could. This caused my compost pit to be completely full. Usually it takes at least 3 years to fill it and this year I don't have enough room for grass.
All the grass and moist brought new friends to my garden.
Meet Đuro!!

She's a new friend that came to me while I was pulling out my grass. He seemed very interested in what I'm doing. He stayed next to me until I finished all my work and then just jumped in the orchard finding something more interesting to watch.

After removing all the grass my garden is finally ready for deep digging.

I've started today. Finished one bed today, 9 more to go.

Our weather is again being funny so today we have 27°C. I don't remember if I've ever been digging on so high temperatures. I was completely wet.
Well at least this heat will help and dry my soil. Hope it doesn't dry it too much.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Edible mushrooms part 2

                                                    Hydnum repandum
                                  Sweet tooth, wood hedgehog, prosenjak

One of the very popular and easily recognized mushrooms is Sweet tooth mushroom.
Hydnum repandum is a mushroom that grows in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America.
It can't be mistaken for any poisonous mushrooms because of it's specific look.

What does Hydnum repandum look like?
This mushrooms grows in groups, scattered or in fairy rings. It has irregular shaped caps that variate from pale yellow to orange.

Caps are usually smooth and dry. Small and young mushrooms can be round but big mushrooms are always irregular. 
Hydnum repandums meat turns slightly orange color. 
What makes this mushroom special are spines under the cap. This spines are the reason why it's also called wood hedgehog.
Spines are from 3-10cm long depending of the size of mushroom and they easily peal off.

How to eat and prepare it?
Sweet tooth has a sweet nutty flavor. It is considered to be a good mushroom that stays firm after cooking.
Before storing the mushroom brush the cap and scrape off the spines. Cook them in boiling water before storing them.
The best way to store them is marinate them in vinegar or oil.

Can it be mistaken for other toxic mushrooms?

Hydnum repandum can't be mistaken for toxic mushrooms. It can be mistaken for other Hydnum varieties but all of them are edible and have very good quality.
Mushrooms can be mistaken for Boletus when looking at them from far away but after turning the mushrooms spines are very noticeable.

                                             Craterellus cornucopioides
                               (horn of plenty, black trumpet, crna trubica)

Craterellus cornucopioides is and edible mushroom recognized for it's characteristic black color and trumpet shape. It can't be mistaken for any toxic mushrooms.
It grows in Europe, North America and parts of Asia, usually in oak woods. In some countries it is considered a delicacy almost the same value as truffles.

What does Craterellus cornucopioides look like?
Some people say that when hunting for trumpet mushrooms is like searching for black holes in the woods. For their specific color they are hard to spot but since they grow in colonies. Because of it there can be found hundreds of mushrooms in only one place.

 Mushrooms looks like a small trumpet with curved edge that is slightly thinner than the rest of the mushroom. Trumpet doesn't have a real stipe. It's actually extended cap. It's color is very specific, dark gray to black with slightly lighter hymenium.

How to eat and prepare it?
This small mushroom is highly valuated between mushroom lovers. between people sometimes it's called "truffles for poor people". Since it grows in big colonies the best way to store this plant is drying it to keep it from occupying too much room in the freezer.

Before cooking them just soak the mushrooms in water for 5-6 hours. Mushrooms can also be crushed and the powder can be used to add favor to soups and sauces.

Can it be mistaken for toxic mushrooms?
Black trumpet can't be mistaken for any toxic plants. Their specific color and shape distinguish them from any other mushroom.