from today's forecast...

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"Today: A chance of rain and snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 48."
"Tonight: Areas of frost after midnight. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a low around 28"
good thing i got out and picked peppers and then i went around and picked any lima beans that were left as they make excellent shelled beans when they are still green also. took me about an hour to pick them and then another half hour to shell them out and Ma cooked them up to go along with the rest of supper. yum!
today i cleaned out the peppers so Ma can turn them into stuffed peppers. we already have a bunch in the freezer so some of these will be given away. while i was cleaning the peppers from the leftovers and the ones that weren't quite up to being stuffed i had a large bowl full of cut up peppers. which means i fried them up and had some to go along with my banana and peanut butter for breakfast/brunch.
otherwise, it is life as usual here, picking beans, shelling beans, sorting beans, and when the rain and cold holds off long enough i'm getting stuff done outside to seal up the house from the elements and the mice.
we had an area in the crawlspace entry where the mice could chew at the foam board that insulates the foundation and so over the years they'd been doing that and i kept telling myself to get that all chipped out along the edge and then fill it in with mortar so they couldn't get at it any longer. did that and so it will be nice to have no more chewing going on and the little bits and pieces won't be around any more. i still have to seal up about 50ft of gaps at the bottom of the siding, but that is minor and i think we have some nicer weather coming up next week i can get that started or finished.
the most vexing thing at the moment is that i have a dead mouse in my car and i can't find it. phew! looked all over, found one nest, but no mouse in it. will have to be a warm enough day out before i'll make much progress on that, but i suppose if i don't it will be freeze dried dead mouse eventually... trapped other mice from the car and found entrance they were using. hope this will take care of it for good. cars that sit outside too much can be used by all sorts of critters for homes (wasps, bees, cats, mice, chipmunks, ...) luckily, no skunks, raccoons or possums... yet...
songbird
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On 10/17/2015 08:54 AM, songbird wrote:

Lima Beans ?!?!?!?!? Oh no, no no no no no no no. Please tell me you only jest!
What next? Kale!
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T wrote:

no, we both love 'em! it is rare that i pick and eat them when they are still fresh in the pod (like green peas) because it takes time to both pick and then to shell them, but they do cook up faster (some i eat while i'm shelling them :) ).
they are a longer season bean so i was wondering how they would fare this year since they were planted a bit later than i'd like, but they seem to have done well. could eat a lot more of them than we do but i need the space to grow other beans.
as of yet i've not found many beans that i don't like.

no kale here. Ma is not very adventurous when it comes to greens. i don't mind it but i like spinach better.
songbird
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On 10/21/2015 06:40 AM, songbird wrote:

You are cheating! Fresh out of the garden is always 100 times better tasting.
:-)
I looked but could not find the name of the bean that Italian cooks use instead of Lima beans. Apparently, Italian cooks switches to Lima beans in the States because they could not find the ones they used in Italy.
Thought they might be an idea for you to grow.
-T
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T wrote: ...

there are: borlotti beans, cannellini, (chickpeas aka garbanzo beans), fava beans, and lentils common to Italian cuisine -- i love 'em all but don't grow them (tried chickpeas and lentils and didn't get much results from them) as a substitute for lentils adzuki beans are a close match for texture and flavor, but they also don't grow very well here. the cannellini beans are white beans and i'm not much into white beans (grew up on eating great northern beans and navy beans - very hohum on eating them now) except some greasy beans.

haha, i don't need more bean varieties to grow, but i'm always happy to trade or send out beans to people who want to try some of what i've got going here. at the moment i've not updated my list of named varieties, but it's at least 30, but the more fun is coming from the cross breeds (around a 120 and going strong) that are showing up and the work i'm doing to evaluate some of them for disease resistance, suitability for our climate and also for flavor/texture if i find some that seem hardy, prolific and do well in our soils. with my limited space i can't grow all of them out each season so i pick a few and see how they do and try to get enough that i can cook some up.
songbird
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On 10/23/2015 09:25 AM, songbird wrote:

Hi Songbird,
30! How do you keep them from cross pollinating?
Also, months ago you told me raised beds were not a good idea because you always wanted more space. Well ... I could ot afford the cost of water this year so I let my back lawn go. Now I have tomatillo and purslane growing where grass use to grow. So, now the plan is to just do as you said and turn the whole stinker into a garden.
Next year the game plan is to carve holes into the decomposed sand stone (very very hard soil) and make my own make shift pots (providing I don't need a jack hammer to go a foot deep), fill them with compost, and have my garden spread out all across the old lawn.
Since the cold weather started, my zukes now have the white powder mold something awful. And on both sides of the leaves. But, since I stopped watering the lawn this year, it took an extra two months to hit.
I think it is about time to start pulling the worst zukes out.
-T
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T wrote: ...

i don't. most beans will self-pollinate so most of what comes in is true to the original. once in a while a bumble bee or other pollinator will do the honors for me and i will get cross-breeds (which is why i now have so many that i no longer care to count them).

yeah, today i was out moving rocks and scraping the crushed limestone away that forms a pathway between two gardens. hopefully by next spring the two gardens will be joined together and i'll have several hundred more square feet of garden space. we turned the neighboring perennial garden back into a veggie garden and then are combining the two gardens and thus removing the separating pathway. i'm looking forwards to working in this new space as it is much easier on me to weed and plant in larger gardens and having more space also means i can rotate within a garden space and have subplots of different veggies.
and, well, having more space means i can have spots to dig holes and bury stuff more easily too.

good luck with that! sounds like a lot of good vibrations will be coming your way if you do need to use a jack hammer.

as the sun shifts south it's just that time of the year too when some plants take it as a signal that things are done for the season. diseases late in the season are not an issue i worry much about as most of the production is done anyways.

up until last week we'd not had a hard enough frost to kill off most of the garden plants, but that is no more. now everything that is not cold tolerant is dead and most of them are buried. finished up burying several loads of garden debris a few hours ago (before i started scraping the abovementioned pathway out).
we had some powdery mildew hit the cucumbers and squash plants this late summer but they kept chugging along up until it started getting cold.
songbird
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On 10/23/2015 01:22 PM, songbird wrote:

I have heard there is a such thing as "cold weather" vegis. Do you do any of that and do they survive the snow? Never been able to find any reliable details. I do have a row of garlic awaiting the snow. (Garlic from the garden is unbelievable.)
After the first freeze, my zukes look soooooo pathetic. And the club size fruit that was hiding from me show up.
I don't know if any got away from the this year as it is pretty easy to push stickery leaves aside with the watering wand you had me get.
I think the stinkin' squash bugs over winter under my house. I find a few every now and them at my foundation vents.
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On 10/23/2015 01:22 PM, songbird wrote:

Do you share the bounty with the neighbor?
How exactly does that work? You do the work, he gets half? Hmmmmm. :-)
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Probably not. We do not expect anything from the neighbors when we give them some of the harvest that we cannot or don't want to use. You usually get a helping hand with something that is too large or heavy to move alone. Sometimes keep an eye on the house if you are going to be away. Most neighbors will help any way they can if you need it. And why not give it to them if you can't use it.
--
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On 10/23/2015 5:06 PM, The Cook wrote:

200 lb grandson about two blocks away and he's always willing to help. Today he got a bag of sweet chiles, eggplant, and cucumbers. Walked away grinning. I also help him butcher his deer and feral hog kills. Plus we get a small share there.
Possibility of a foot of rain tomorrow. So far we've been getting millimeters frequently, very low millimeters at that.
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On 10/23/2015 03:06 PM, The Cook wrote:

Actually, he is sharing part of their land. I was not talking about neighborliness. I wondered what the arrangement was for use of their land.
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T wrote: ...

i think you misread what i wrote? i was combining two gardens next to each other separated by a pathway. there is nothing but farm field around us except for out back which is a field. all of our neighbors are quite a ways away (quarter mile or more).
(from a few years ago, but this is the general layout):
http://www.anthive.com/flowers/Way_Up_2013.jpg
we used to have neighbors that would take extra produce, but they have moved away and then passed away. some friends get stuff when i have extra, usually strawberries, the rest of the time we put stuff up.
songbird
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On 10/23/2015 05:09 PM, songbird wrote:

Yes, I misunderstood. I though you had combines yards with your neighbors for purposes of growing a larger garden. I will take the zukes and strawberries and you take the Lima beans and Kale. :-)
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On 10/23/2015 7:09 PM, songbird wrote:

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George Shirley wrote: ...

:)
that was from google maps satellite pic... a few years out of date.
songbird
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On 10/23/2015 3:22 PM, songbird wrote:

cucumbers. Probably won't be long before we get our first frost though.
The fall spinach, cabbage, beets, and carrots are up and growing too.
George
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On 10/23/2015 03:24 PM, George Shirley wrote:

I got one final greenish yellow eggplant. Something's wrong with that boy!
What is your trick to growing eggplant? I only get littles ones and very few at that.
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On 10/23/2015 5:55 PM, T wrote:

Green" and it is prolific.
Rich soil and lots of water, any kind of eggplant or squash needs lots of water. We have raised beds and they dry out quickly so everything gets watered at least daily. Right now by hose and sprinkler as the soaker hose's sucked and cracked quickly. I'm thinking seriously of drip lines now.
During the squash season this past summer we harvested green zucchini that weighed three lbs without a seed in them. At that time we were getting lots of rain on a daily basis. One day we got twelve inches or rain in less than 24 hours, lots of Houston and the surrounding area flooded heavily with more than ten dead from drowning. Weather forecast for 7am Saturday through Sunday evening is another gulley washer. I'm just hoping for an inch or two.
We have probably harvested twenty lbs of eggplant off three plants, two Ichiban and one Black Beauty. Lots of eggplant fritters in the freezer for later use and lots of family and friends got gifted, some reluctantly. <G>
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On 10/23/2015 07:02 PM, George Shirley wrote:

Except that my eggplant are black beauty and the other fruits were black. All the fruit have been really small, about 5 inches.
Maybe I did not use enough compost or water?
Do you know if your soil is acidic or alkali?
Mine turns my blue garlic red, which means it is alkali, I think.
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