Saturday, April 20, 2013

Saturday Farmer's Market - 4/20/13

Saturday Farmers Market is a weekly event originally created by the beautiful and nature loving, Heather at Capricious Reader. It's a weekly event that celebrates gardening, be it your own garden or gardens around you; local food, be that at your local farmers market or at a restaurant or festival that celebrates eating locally; a recipe that you've created using fresh ingredients or a whole cookbook; and veggies, flowers, herbs and farm goods galore. Anyone and everyone can participate. It was originally started within the book blogging community but I'd love to see it expand beyond as well. You don't have to have a garden or grow veggies to participate, just post about how veggies, flowers, local farms, etc. have impacted your life this week. You'd be surprised! It may be too cold to grow things and it may be too hot to grow things, but you may just want to post about the plans you have for when the ground thaws. Or maybe even share with us how your community aims to keep things more sustainable or even about the local trails and nature offerings around you! This will also connect really well with Mrs. Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking ;) Thanks Heather for letting me take over the reigns for this wonderful idea that spawned from your creative brain :) Feel free to leave the link to your post in the Mr. Linky below, spread the word, and come back to read everyone else's posts as well! 

So hopefully after this post I'll have something else to post here aside from just Saturday Farmer's Market posts :p Not that I dislike these at all! In fact, I love them....but things have been quite um...hectic? with life lately. As you've all been able to tell I've been a total stranger everywhere online for like the last month. My mom was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer about a month ago and it's been at the forefront of my thoughts since then and I haven't been able to focus on much else. But yesterday she had a lumpectomy and the doctor is very optimistic that he got everything out. There will likely be radiation for her in the very near future but she's so blessed to catch it as early as she did and we all are too. Without getting too deep here, my mom is my rock..she really is...and it's been scaring the shit out of me to see her that vulnerable and breaking my heart too to see her go through what she has. But she's just shown once again how powerful and amazing she is.

Ok...weepies aside! Lets get to some gardening! This week I'm giving you my little garden at my mom's house and my houseplants :) While I was at my mom's yesterday while she was recovering, I went outside and checked on the plants that I planted at her house. Here's how things are looking.

These are little strawberry flowers and it KILLED me to pluck them :p Let me explain why I had to do that :p I bought um...50 strawberry plants from Gurneys and planted half of them in my mom's garden and sent the other half to Debi! They're "whopper" strawberries which basically means they're going to be huge! I plan on stealing these plants when I finally get a house with a yard, but I'm keeping them in a bed at my mom's for now. The instructions were to pluck all of their flowers for the first year until July so the plants can focus on establishing their roots and then they can start laying fruit. So I had to pull all of these pretty little flowers :/

My mom's veggies are doing SO much better than mine. Or growing so much faster than mine I should say. I think that's partly because they're in the ground and partly because I gave them a heavy heaping of compost. I didn't plant much. Just two tomatoes, two bell peppers and an eggplant, but I planted hers like three weeks after mine and she has her first eggplant starting already and a decent sized pepper already!

And then she has so many gorgeous tomatoes growing already!!! Though I have to say I have quite a few on my bushes too but not nearly as many as my mom does. And this isn't even all of them! onto the house plants at my apartment :D

First, ignore the mess that I didn't bother cleaning on the counter before taking these pictures :p First up is my favorite little ponytail palm. I wish I would've taken a better picture. I got this little guy about two years ago. The little planter it's in is tiny...probably about two inches across. But the fronds on the palm go on for days!! It's such an eye catcher of a plant. I love it. On the right is Matt's plant..the one plant he's managed to keep alive for years :p I don't even know what it is, lol. But it likes it's little spot here and has done really well!! Matt will be moving though in a little less than two weeks so this plant will be going bye bye :( Trying not to focus on that though...yep...not going there >>

Um, ok...remind me to actually take some DECENT pictures next week...sheesh. These are the plants by my tv. The first is my poor little orchid next to an adorable little birdhouse that Nancy gave me for Christmas that is waiting for me to get a tree of my own at a house of my own :) I haven't quite killed the orchid, but I sure did kill the flowers. Surprisingly though, it's growing tons of new green growth along the bottom. Who knows..maybe one day it'll spawn some new flowers! And on the other side of the TV stand is a little jade cutting that I did a few months back that took well with some carrot and bean seeds next to it that still need to be planted :p

And here is "the corner" Basically the only little place in my apartment where I can put stuff that needs a decent amount of sun. So here in this little spot is a dracaena, my new favorite plant that I'm hoping not to kill, my fiddleleaf fig, my two little avocado trees in the making, a tomato in a bag and a little bonsai I've had for years. Let me give you a closer peek. 

On the left here is my little bonsai plant I've had forever...I got it at Whole Foods like three years ago and it does really well as long as it has sun. It's a trooper! I think I've thought I killed it twice and then just put it in the right spot again and it's come back just fine! On the right are my avocado trees in the making!! I'm excited about these :) What I've learned about these is that they take PATIENCE! I basically just took the pits, stuck 4 toothpicks in and sat them in water which I made sure was kept full and clean. Eventually they split at the bottom and after a few weeks they spit out a root which is pretty long now on each one! Both of them have leaves inside of them now that I can see that should be coming out annnnnny day now! They've been there for about two months now. It's a process :p But how cool will it be to one day have an avocado tree I grew from a pit?

Last two and then I'm done! First is this awesome little tomato that I got from Barnes and Noble! It's this little bag you buy and when you open it it has everything you need :) Seeds, soil, etc. You even get to color the little picture on the outside :p It's a special heirloom tomato called "red robin" and it's a specific variety that grows as a produces little cherry tomatoes and you grow it right in the bag :) All three little seedlings came up :) I'm about to pull all but one.

And finally is my fiddle leaf fig. I knew I had to have one after seeing my moms. I just loved it so much. So I went back to Home Depot where she got hers and there was ONE left! It was kind of sickly looking but I'm trying to nurse it back to health. I get scared I'm watering it too much or not enough. That it's getting too much sun or not enough. I put it outside for a few days and that was definitely too much burned the leaves. So I know it definitely needs to be inside. And I think it likes to be watered about once a week. But we're still getting acquainted.

Ok...I'm shutting up now! Tell me all about your adventures with gardening/plants/food/nature/the outdoors/etc! And if you post, don't forget to leave your link in the linky below!!! 



Beth F said...

I might have to move south! I can't believe you have veggies and we can't even plant yet.

My Weekend Cooking review today is perfect for gardeners, members of CSAs, and people who shop at farmer's markets.

Debi said...

We were hoping to get our strawberry plants planted this weekend, but I'm not sure if that will happen or not as the weather is ugly. In fact, it's snowing right now, but is supposed to turn to rain later. And cold. Just not the most fun weather for preparing soil. Anyway, I hear you on the plucking your strawberry flowers--I've thought about just how hard that's going to be! :P

You'd think I'd get over it one of these days, but it doesn't seem to be happening--the amazement at seeing you veggies/fruits growing away already, that is. OMG, the pepper and tomatoes look so yummy!!! I did get my tomato seeds planted this week. :P

DesLily said...

oh you are so brave plucking the flowers! I just know I would not have the guts to do it even though you are supposed to do it lol..
wow moms plants are spectacular (as is mom for having gone through a rough time!) hopefully this can be put behind her !

I love all the house plants..not happy to hear the news you won't talk about..but hope all will be good for you and your apartment.


Susan said...

Oh Chris, I hope all goes well with your mother. That is so frightening for her, and for you all, I hope it is all gone. No wonder you can't blog much, though I am delighted to see how much you are gardening.
your plants, indoor and out, are amazing!

Ali said...

First of all, I'm so sorry that your mom is having to go through this. It sounds like she's on the road to recovery, though, and that is awesome. So scary, in the meantime.

Second...I'm sorry that you're hurting. I sense there's a lot you're not saying here and so I'll just give you a virtual hug/shoulder pat and move on to say: Look at those veggies! Wow! (And thirdly, I don't have a Farmer's Market post this week--hopefully next week I will.)

Jeane said...

I love seeing your avocados sprouting! I have one I grew from an avocado pit, it's just over three years old now and growing just as much as ever.

So sorry to hear about your mom. That must be so hard. My best wishes for her recovery.

Nothing more cheerful than happy plants!

Becky said...

Wow Chris. I'm so sorry to hear about your mom! My dad (yes, my dad) had breast cancer, so I have a small idea of what you're experiencing right now. All my thoughts go to you, your mom, and your entire family!

Such lovely plant Chris. You're my inspiration to get my patio garden planned.

Melanie said...

The plants looks lovely; you're definitely far ahead than what I am. And best wishes for you and your family and I hope your mom is good as new soon!

Chris Howard said...

Thanks for the sweet thoughts everyone!!! And thrilled to hear about all this gardening and garden planning going on :)

Bookfool said...

We just finally planted a few things, this past weekend -- or, maybe the week before. Duh, can't keep my weeks straight, but anyway . . . . all are growing like weeds, so far, which is incredibly satisfying, isn't it? I wish we had more garden space but we're going to have to cut out a gigantic string of azalea bushes to make space.

If you think that's a messy counter, you will be TERRIFIED when you come to visit me. We'll just stay outdoors. Heh.

I'm just getting here awfully late. A week after we talked on Twitter, I think? Glad to know you mother's cancer was caught early. I know people who've had lumpectomies and done fantastic. It's nice that they don't whack off the boobies for any little thing, these days -- so much less traumatic. Sending healing wishes for her and strength for you. My dad was my rock. Damned if he didn't go and die on me when I was 27. I still think of him whenever I'm down. I hope your mom lives to 100.

Bookfool said...

Oh, also, the birdhouse looks so cute next to a plant! Love that! We have about a half-dozen birdhouses we've gotten from that place but we haven't put them up on posts, yet, so I'm thinking we may have to stash them. The red wasps have been checking them out. Ewww, do NOT want wasps in my birdhouses!!!!!