Monday, May 31, 2010

Biking to Urbana

Taking advantage of the long Memorial Day weekend I biked all the way to Urbana which is about 22 miles away. It is about 7 to eight miles away from Center Point which is the usual destination for me on my biking treks. This picture shows the street that leads to the town. Fortunately the weather was good and except for scorching sun the temperature was mild.
After Urbana there is Brandon which is another twelve or so miles further north.
The only section remaining on this trail that was not trekked by me is the part from Waterloo to Brandon, passing by La Porte. The total distance from home to Waterloo and back on the trail is about 112 miles, a little too much for a one day excursion. However, it might be possible as a one way endeavor, if I can be dropped off at Waterloo and bike back home, or park the car in Waterloo and bike to La Porte and back to Waterloo. Now that is manageable and it would be about the same as biking to Urbana from home, but the difference would be riding on a different section of the trail.

Harvesting Spinach

A couple of days ago we had the first spinach harvest. This picture was taken just before the spinach was harvested. It needed to be washed but it had to be stored dry so that it wouldn't wilt. It was already consumed with green salad. The taste was fresh and fine, and it is enough to know that no pesticides were used in this crop. It is said that commercial spinach contains one of the highest pesticide contamination as it is subjected to many insects that eat the leaves. That might be true but we don't use any pesticides and merely clean the leaves by hand. Some leaves get eaten partially though by the insects, and that is fine, consider it a fee you have to pay to the environment to keep the cycle going and the earth green.

Vegetables in Pots II

As you see the pot vegetables are doing great. The tomato plant that was started from a seed is actually doing better than the transplanted plant in the raised bed. This is due to amply sunshine on the deck as opposed to meager sun in the shady backyard. Notice also that the peppers are growing and there are new plants introduced.
We use organic Miracle Grow liquid to supplement the nutrition introduced to the plants and that also has a great effect on the growth rate taking place.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Vegetables in Pots

Since the deck receives more sunshine than the actual garden, we are trying to grow some vegetables in pots as well. The pictures shows another tomato plant started from seed inside and then transplanted in the big black pot shown. We started also some peppers from seed directly in the pot as well as a transplant bought from the nursery, the latter is the rightmost pot in the picture. The pot to the left of the tomato plant is parsley started from seeds indoors and then transplanted into the pot

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Vegetable Garden

Many plants have been transplanted already into the two raised beds as shown in the picture. Some plants were started from seeds, like the radishes. The transplanted vegetables so far are: Tomatoes (various kinds), peppers (various kinds), red and white onions, red and green cabbages, broccoli, spinach, and parsley. Unfortunately there isn't enough sun throughout the day thanks to the many trees around the yard, and because of that not many plants can tolerate these conditions, so I am not sure which plants will thrive and which will not. The total amount of sun needs to be at least 6 hours per day, but due to the shades of the trees we would be lucky to have four hours of total sun during the day. Other seeds did not make it like the beans, cucumber and zucchini, so we disregarded those for now. Maybe it is still too cold for them. Some plants are harder to grow than others, so it was decided to start with whatever is easier for now.