2018 Tomato Growing: Ep4 ‘Suncherry Extra Sweet’ Tasting

First ripe tomato of the year! ‘Suncherry Extra Sweet’ (hybrid) tomato. The seeds were sowed on the 1st of February. In the greenhouse, the plant is allowed to grow multi-stem.

While the sweetness of the tomato falls short of expectations, there is hope that the upcoming crop will be much sweeter. Perhaps more heat is needed to sweeten the fruit. Maybe when May Gray eventually ends and things heat up will we get to taste a truly sweet tomato.

Additional notes: I believe the large presence of aphids on the tomato plants is due to the early start. Greens growing early in the year tend to have more aphids on them. It so happens that this is the period in the year when their natural predators like ladybugs are still dormant. As temperatures warms up, more and more the predators will arrive to feast on the aphids.

Speaking of aphids, the tomato plant growing in the greenhouse has been sheltered from aphids that blow in with the wind.

Thanks, to my brother and his family, for the t-shirt. I was hoping to be able to join them on their trip but was not able to.

Zone 10b / San Gabriel Valley / Los Angeles / Southern California / USA

Botanical Report: Growing K’uyu Chuspi Corn (in Southern California)

This video is a botanical report on growing K’uyu Chuspi corn in the Los Angeles area of California. The information presented is meant to be academic in nature. Please the enjoy this report.

If you like to skip ahead to the most interesting part, start at 7:54.
The synopsis of this report is:
K’uyu Chuspi is an ancient corn variety grown in Peru. Its natural climate is in the cooler regions of the Peruvian highlands. Because it is also a rare variety, there is not much information on its growth habit when grown outside its natural environment.

Using the mild winter climate of the San Gabriel Valley (Southern California) as a surrogate for the cool climate of the Peruvian highlands, the corn was sowed on the first day of Fall 2017 (September 22nd).

From 15 seeds grew 11 plants. Of the 11 plants, 4 overcame an unexpected October heatwave. Of the 4 plants, one good sized ear of corn was harvested. With this harvest, we have more seeds to grow with.

Zone 10b / San Gabriel Valley / Los Angeles / Southern California / USA

2018 April 24 — Garden Update

It is starting to warm up here in the Los Angeles area. The gardening space is filling in with more green.

For folks interested in this high-intensity growing and what is in the soil: in each planter, there is 1 cubic feet of chicken manure. In hindsight, we probably could have started with just 1/2. There is also rabbit manure.

Zone 10b / San Gabriel Valley / Los Angeles / Southern California / USA

Music: The 126ers, “Spring Wind”

2018 Tomato Growing: Ep2 A Little Tomato Drama

Video production is another hobby in the many list of hobbies that I wanted to get into. This is meant to be a fun video documenting the real life challenges that many gardeners experience.

On the last gardening outing, one tomato plant in particular looked a little thirsty. It was very strange as it should not be. A closer inspection revealed a desiccated trunk. Worst of all, it was the tomato that I had looked forward to the most– the Weissbehaarte heirloom sweet tomato. Luckily there is a back up plant. It was only a matter of digging it out of the ground and moving it. The back up plant was only transplanted a couple of days ago; leaving little concern that its roots would be disturbed.

As far as to what caused the original plant to be damage is anyone’s guess. I could not put my finger between: pill bugs gnawing the trunk, a furry animal or cat trampling the plant, the strong winds from a couple of days ago, or one of the kids accidentally knocking into it.

Zone 10b / San Gabriel Valley / Los Angeles / Southern California / USA

Music:
Doug Maxwell, “It Happens”
Quincas Moreira, “Bongo Madness”
Rondo Brothers, “Bravado”

2018 Tomato Growing: Ep1 Kick Off Episode

A video series for tomato fans. Follow along our year of tomato growing for 2018.

In this episode: An overview of the growing year. This is the year we finally satisfy our sweet cherry tomato curiosity by growing three varieties, Suncherry Extra Sweet (h), Sun Gold (h), & Weissbehaarte.

Additional new varieties: Black Vernissage, Golden Jubilee, Copia, Druzba, Kelloggs Breakfast, Principe Borghese, (semi-new) San Marzano.

Repeat varieties: Roma, Cherokee Purple, and Green Zebra

Music: Dan Lebowitz, “Lazy Afternoon Sun”

Zone 10b / San Gabriel Valley / Los Angeles / Southern California / USA

Mail Call: Baker Creek Live Plant Order

If you are as curious about the Baker Creek Rare Seeds Live Plant sales as me, let’s together unbox and look at what they send over.

This is our first live plant order from Baker Creek. Shipment was processed in the same timely fashion as their seed orders; which is pretty quick. Plants were sent from Florida.

Zone 10b / San Gabriel Valley / Los Angeles / Southern California / USA

Music: Chris Haugen, “Morning Mandolin”

2018 April 07 — Garden Update

Since the last update many of the plants are in the ground or planters. Here are many of them and how they are doing.

Last year’s look of my brother’s food forest:

Zone 10b / San Gabriel Valley / Los Angeles / Southern California / USA

Music: Aaron Kenny, “Desert Caravan”

Crazy About Citrus | Ep01 Receiving Bud Wood + Rainwater Ranch Visit

“Crazy About Citrus” is a series chronicling our connection with citrus.

In this episode:
As an avid citrus collector, we will reach a point where it is necessary to attempt to acquire the skill of grafting plants. The reason for this is that more varieties of citrus exists in bud wood form than can be purchased as trees. In order to add rare citrus varieties to our collection we must now try our hand at grafting. Today we receive bud wood from the Citrus Clonal Protection Program. Because of the Huanglongbing disease that is terminal to citrus trees, it is necessary to acquire bud wood from certified sources as a measure to contain the spread of the disease.

Part 2: In January my family and I went on a road trip and visited with family in northern California. While planning our trip, we were invited onto a farm by the good folks that I had gotten to know through social media. These folks happen to be citrus growers. There are a few clips from that wonderful visit. Special thanks to @rainwater_ranch.
https://www.instagram.com/rainwater_ranch/

Music: Dan Lebowitz, “Blue Creek Trail”

Permaculture Resort Garden Winter 2017 Update

The quiet before the storm. The weather system of the highest severity is to hit the southern California area the following day. Almost 5-inches of rain has been forecasted for downtown Los Angeles (which is not too far away).

In the meantime, this is how our Permaculture Resort Garden is doing this Winter 2017.