Vegetables

April Garden Update: A Sizzling Spring

Posted by on Apr 30, 2013 in Farm Blog, Garden, Vegetables | 26 comments

April Garden Update: A Sizzling Spring

The weather so far this year has been gorgeous. Although brisk in January and February, daytime temperatures have been quite warm for a number of weeks now, and we’ve had so little rain since January 1st (our driest start to the year on record), that winter is already a distant memory. In fact, for the entire month of April we’ve had a whopping 0.87 inches of rain. Quite honestly, it feels more like the end of June, which is probably why I keep thinking I’m falling behind in the garden, when in actual fact, I’m not…well, not too much anyway. The Orchard In the...

Read More

Seeds 2013: Something Old, Something New

Posted by on Jan 11, 2013 in Farm Blog, Garden, Vegetables | 34 comments

Seeds 2013: Something Old, Something New

Although we’re only a few weeks into winter, seed starting has already begun here on the farm.  Our long, mild, growing season doesn’t give us a lot of time off. Last year we were distracted through most of winter, and early spring, with bringing our first dairy goats to the farm, and sadly, due to my own lack of discipline, our tomato seeds were started late. In addition to the late start, we chose to conduct a tomato grafting experiment last season which set our transplanting times back even further. Although the garden did eventually catch up, due in part to an extended run of...

Read More

The November Garden: Kitchen Garden

Posted by on Nov 9, 2012 in Farm Blog, Garden, Vegetables | 24 comments

The November Garden: Kitchen Garden

This week began with afternoon temperatures soaring into the mid-80’s. It felt more like June than November. However, we knew that by week’s end the weather was forecast to change to a more cool fall-like weather pattern, so this week we decided it was time to finally, reluctantly, put the last of the summer garden to rest. A storm rolled through yesterday, and this afternoon our daytime high is a full 30 degrees Fahrenheit colder than it was on Monday!  Brrrr. I don’t know why, but I always find the summer vegetable garden to be somewhat daunting to clean up, and I’m...

Read More

Tomato Harvest 2012

Posted by on Oct 16, 2012 in Farm Blog, Garden, Vegetables | 18 comments

Tomato Harvest 2012

Last year, after two cold summers in a row, and our worst tomato harvest ever, we were tempted to throw up our hands, and admit defeat. Out of sheer desperation this spring we decided that rather than give up on growing our favorite heirloom varieties, we’d try grafting our heirloom plants to disease resistant root stock. We had experience grafting fruit trees, but the tomato grafting process was somewhat different. We sourced seeds for disease resistant root stock, planted both root and heirloom stock seeds, grafted the plants, and allowed the grafts to heal fully before finally...

Read More

The October Garden

Posted by on Oct 9, 2012 in Farm Blog, Garden, Vegetables | 22 comments

The October Garden

Except for a couple of unseasonably warm days last week, there’s no question fall has arrived. The mornings are crisp and clear, and as the sun tracks lower in the sky, the sunlight has a warmer glow than the harsh overhead sun in mid-summer. Native Garden Although most of our California native blooming plants are no longer in flower it doesn’t mean the gardens look desolate. Our reliable California Fuchsias (Epilobium canum) are still blooming, and most days we find hummingbirds nectaring among the flowers. All around the hillsides we’re starting to see the bright red...

Read More

The Kitchen Garden: A Plethora of Purple

Posted by on Aug 31, 2012 in Farm Blog, Garden, Vegetables | 18 comments

The Kitchen Garden: A Plethora of Purple

In the kitchen garden this morning it was clear that we had a prominent color theme emerging in the harvest baskets. Purple…a plethora of purple! Until now, we hadn’t really paid all that much attention to how many different purple varieties of vegetables we’d planted in the garden this year. The purple and blue colors seen in fruits and vegetables are primarily due to flavonoid pigments called Anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are believed to serve a number of functions in the host plant, including pollinator attraction [1], which may confer a competitive pollination edge...

Read More

August Garden Update

Posted by on Aug 9, 2012 in Farm Blog, Garden, Vegetables | 36 comments

August Garden Update

The busier we get, the faster the seasons seem to fly by. I’m sure that in mid-summer there used to be a lull, a time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the results of the spring planting rush.  Between goat shows, professional conferences, and various other distractions though, this year we seem to have skipped the ‘relaxation’ part, and now fall planting is already upon us!  Not to mention that as of last week, the Curbstone Valley Farm blog turned 3 years old!  Where does the time go? Native Garden We could almost set our watches by the native plant bloom cycles here. The end...

Read More

Grafting Heirloom Tomatoes: From Greenhouse to Garden

Posted by on Jun 5, 2012 in Farm Blog, Garden, Vegetables | 28 comments

Grafting Heirloom Tomatoes: From Greenhouse to Garden

In our last tomato grafting post we discussed why we’ve chosen to try grafting some of our favorite heirloom tomato varieties this season. Tomato grafting isn’t new, and many commercial producers rely on this method of heirloom tomato production to improve disease resistance, and increase fruit yield.  However, we questioned whether or not grafting would be worthwhile on a much smaller scale, even for the home gardener.  By the end of this season, we hope to have our answer. At the end of the last post, our newly grafted heirlooms were sitting in a darkened humidity chamber while...

Read More