Friday, July 15, 2011

Good Tomato, Bad Egg.

***WARNING-- Contains graphic turtle embryo picture--***

We had our very first Cherokee Purple tomato, and I was thoroughly impressed with the flavor! I was incredibly surprised that this thing ripened the full way through as well, considering how strange it looked! It was absolutely delicious, and was a great "first tomato" of the season. It was the first non-cherry tomato type that we ate, and it definitely did not disappoint! I've got another ripening out there, and I'm considering bringing it in to ripen as well!

I had a Brandywine (the one and ONLY on the plant...) that was snacked on, so I brought it inside to HOPEFULLY get to ripen, so that I could eat around it.  No good. It molded, got really nasty and juicy. It worked for my neighbors with one of theirs, but I still don't think I'm going to get a Brandywine this year, and don't think I'll be wasting my time on them next year, unless I find a cheap one at a nursery.

This one was HUGE too... 

I picked our first cucumber yesterday, and will probably pick our first couple okra today for frying for dinner tonight. The cucumber plant is starting to look strange, so I'll be researching diseases with those too...

In turtle news...

A few days ago, I noticed quite a large crack in one of the known-viable turtle eggs, and some of the yolk contents were spilling out. I thought I would leave it alone in case it "clotted" up on its own or something, but upon checking on the eggs today, I decided that it was finished. It had a very unpleasant smell, and I assumed the worst.  I was able to tell that there are in fact TURTLES in these eggs, this one just didn't make it.

Hopefully, if you didn't want to see these pictures, you got the warning at the top!

These are Nadine's eggs, and egg B-2 is the one that was damaged.

Upon pulling back the crack...
The ridge along the back of the shell is pretty incredible.  Turtle babies do not completely absorb the yolk part until they are hatched, and once they do, they will start to eat.

I guess it was appropriate that I was still wearing my scrubs for this "procedure".  It's amazing to get to see this stage of the development. You can clearly see the shell section and the head and where the eye would have been. This makes me really sad that we lost one, but very hopeful with the rest of them, since this is the first time (after three years) to actually see truly fertilized eggs. The others have become more opaque as they are filling up their eggs, so hopefully in the next month or two we'll have babies.  

Monday, July 11, 2011

Harvest Monday

Thanks for hosting Harvest Monday Daphne-- head over to her blog Daphne's Dandelions to see what others are harvesting!

A few of the things harvested in the past week!

Bell peppers and bush green beans

Funny zucchini (another unpollinated-- though it has seeds forming in the FLOWER... picture below), basil and another bell pepper

I promise, this blossom NEVER opened... I tore it open!

A handful of cherry tomatoes (Sweet 100, Sweet Million, and Sundrop)

I'm loving the start of the tomato season!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Long time, no blog.

So it's been nearly a MONTH since I last posted. It's been an overwhelming (to say the least) thought of updating this the longer I go. I had over 80 photos to upload to my photobucket for it to even happen. I attempted that part while I made dinner, and food for church this morning, and by the time that was done, there just wasn't time left in the day.

I've been very busy! After a year of searching for a nursing job, I start my first real job as an RN tomorrow! Finishing up at my other job, and getting everything ready to go for the new job has taken up a lot of time! My brother-in-law was living here, and has left, we had to ask the 20 year old who was living here to move on, which was kind of a lot in itself. That also meant that I had to completely redo that room. (My new job means that I'll be working nights for a while, so I needed to make the only basement--no window-- bedroom livable)

I have continued to garden, and harvest, and eat plenty out of the garden (not as much as I would have liked) and still took many pictures (also not as much as I would have liked)

Here's a before and after of the room I worked on. Definitely still a work in progress. I'd like to refinish the dresser, and get some bedding for this room, but I didn't want to just leave a plain mattress in there and call it "finished".  Took about three or four coats of primer to cover up those Sharpee drawings on the wall-- note to self NEVER allow that to happen when you have kids.

Here's a sample of what has been harvested this past month. 

The three green zebras in the center are the only three we'll have. One has been eaten.  Both plants died from some sort of wilt, and I had to pull them.  I'm very sad about that, it was one of my favorite plants last year!

Some of the turtle eggs are definitely fertile, and we're very excited about it! I've been "candling" them. Those with chickens are probably familiar with this. I've done this with all of the eggs (though I don't actually pick them up, like you would with chickens). I shine the flash light up next to them, and have watched as veins are forming in 6 of the 15 eggs. I'm pretty certain all of Eleanor's eggs are duds (which is a bummer, she's by far the prettiest turtle) I've read different websites that have said you can candle box turtle eggs, and others that say that you can't, well... you can.

(Egg laid by Nadine-- June 5) Picture taken June 30

picture taken today-- July 10

Garden June 18

Garden-- July 2

Since the first picture, all lettuce has been pulled, it finally got incredibly bitter (after weeks in the 90s!), we pulled three of the four broccoli plants. I'm holding out for the fourth. Also pulled were the peas... much to the dog's dismay. They had a good run, and we ate as many as they gave us. No frozen ones this year, but we weren't good about eating the frozen ones last year. I'm hoping for a fall crop this year as well. I've planted and staked up pole beans, and planted more. We've had our first green bean harvest, though not impressive. We've had several handfuls of cherry tomatoes. I know that means that I missed my first tomato of the year post, but we've yet to have a great full sized garden tomato. We have had a severe issue with squirrels stealing them before they're ready. They're not discriminatory either, they take the green ones and the ones that are ripening!  I snagged this (crazy looking!) Cherokee Purple (thanks EG!) one off of the plant, and it's ALMOST finished ripening on the counter. I wasn't going to risk it any longer. I want to taste these!

Here's the "MESSIEST" part of my garden. The catch all of the extra plants within the turtle/compost pen... It doesn't get near enough sunlight, but there are several squash, zucchini, marigolds, and volunteer tomato plants coming up anyway. if I get food from back there great, if not it's just a place for me to be a bit "extra messy".

Here's the front of the house in bloom. The fuschia petunias to the right were planted from seed, and are only four plants! It's a "wave" variety, and I ran out of seeds so that's one I'll have to reorder for next year. They are GREAT bloomers!  I got to see my daylillies for the first time this year, and my glads are in bloom along with my rose of sharon.  

I think that's about all I'll fit into this post, and this evening... I've already gotten the "are you going to be off of there soon..." comment. So, hopefully I can do some catch up readings on some of the blogs I read as well!