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Surprising cucumber update, cucurbitacine natural poison & my “challenge plants” ;)


3.9.2015 surprise massive cucumber!-a--1-

I was so proud of a success never matched before in my home grown projects, the cucumbers came out relatively huge… that is until I got this very important information, which was like my balloon being pricked, nevertheless I am going on having a load of fun seeing it grow!
I have included a one mn video showing how to get rid of the poison. Personally, I’d rather not touch it. I rarely eat cucumber as I follow the guidelines of macrobiotic eating & it’s a nightshade(*see correction in comment) vegetable which means a big no-no. 🙂
I call my other plants a challenge as they are warm climate ones which I have to keep indoors all year round for the first two yrs then for many winter months.
A very gratifying experience. I always get a kick out of a good (positive obviously!) challenge.
Not many survive. I start off with a whole load then, left with one or two. Keep scrolling down to see my “exotic” plants 🙂
Out of precaution I kept my plants in a protected part of the balcony which is partially closed.
I wasn’t going to take any chances 😉

Have a great weekend!

Here’s the news I received…

“A 79-year-old German died after eating a home-grown zucchini. In the vegetable (probably one created by the plant itself) was poison. That poison can cause death in very rare cases.
The man and his wife were seriously ill after their meal. They were taken to hospital. The woman recovered, but the man continued to deteriorate and eventually died. The culprit is the substance cucurbitacine. Which was formerly naturally in courgettes and cucumbers to prevent animals from eating the vegetable. Growers have the past centuries with breeding programs managed to take away the poison. If people grow vegetables, it can still crop up. The advice is therefore (to home-grown courgettes) first to eat a raw piece. If the vegetables taste much more bitter than usual, then this are indicative of cucurbitacine. This also applies to pumpkins.”


Published on 27 Nov 2012
Cucumbers naturally can produce chemicals called cucurbitacins which causes the cucumber to be bitter. In large quantities, this chemical can make a person sick.

Did you know that?

And here I thought a cucumber was just a harmless vegetable.
I learned this method of reducing the bitterness from my mom.
The kids found this exercise rather amusing :).
Category
Science & Technology
Licence
Standard YouTube Licence

“Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favour of fair use.”

See all those cucumber sprouting everywhere?

See all those cucumber sprouting everywhere?

My beautiful Litchi plant! That's a very difficult one...

My beautiful Litchi plant! That’s a very difficult one…

Two pomegranate trees left :)

Two pomegranate trees left 🙂

So proud of my Kiwi tree which nearly died winter, had it wrapped up in a huge plastic bottle indoors as a greenhouse!

So proud of my Kiwi tree which nearly died winter, had it wrapped up in a huge plastic bottle indoors as a greenhouse!

A close up... See the huge leaves?

A close up… See the huge leaves?

My accidental date baby tree. I had thrown a pit in the earth & totally forgot about it... A beautiful summer surprise!

My accidental date baby tree. I had thrown a pit in the earth & totally forgot about it… A beautiful summer surprise!

A citrus tree. Out of all of them this is the only one truly picking up :)

A citrus tree. Out of all of them this is the only one truly picking up 🙂

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And with all the painting, there’ll always be some room for gardening!


©copyright2015owpp

©copyright2015owpp

Yes, I stop painting in order to treat myself to some gardening 🙂
I try to plant every year different vegetables so as not to find it monotonous. I enjoy wondering if I’ll be up for the challenge & like to see the difference stages between one plant & the other.
The garlic survived the winter (in a pot!) but came out tiny. The carrots were very small & the cucumbers are growing but die off before they are fully grown.
As it’s all on our balcony growing in pots with natural fertilizers as eggshells… I do it as a hobby I truly enjoy aware that the end result is not the goal.
Happy weekend to all of you!

©copyright2015owpp

©copyright2015owpp

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Weird beauty ©copyright2015owpp

Weird beauty
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©copyright2015owpp

My tiny garlic! ©copyright2015owpp

My tiny garlic!
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And last but not least... ©copyright2015owpp

And last but not least…
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hugelkultur – the ultimate raised garden beds


I received a post in my mailbox from an absolutely amazing blogger I follow from my beginnings in WordPress. http://theecograndma.blogspot.be/2015/03/wasteful-wednesday_25.html#more
I love getting them. I am always in for a surprise (Oh by the way her “Good news Monday” is sheer delight too 🙂 ) wondering what I’m going top learn next… this time was no exception, a treat was awaiting.
I got this link http://www.richsoil.com/hugelkultur/
A fascinating one, rich with information for those interested in organic gardening or farming with a video I posted here.
I hope this will be a source of enjoyment & use for everyone 🙂

“Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favour of fair use.”

Published on 7 Nov 2012
Sign up for my daily-ish email, or my devious plots for world domination: http://richsoil.com/email.jsp

http://richsoil.com/hugelkultur/
http://permies.com

Hugelkultur is raised garden beds that reduce or eliminate the need for irrigation and fertilizer.

This video shows the why and how of this type of raised garden bed. Hugelkultur can be built by hand or with machinery; urban lots or large acreage farms;

The focal point of this video is a project in Dayton, Montana where Sepp Holzer installed nearly a kilometer of hugelkultur beds in early May of 2012. Then the video shows the results in mid September.

Michael Billington is currently the land manager there. He explains how the beds have not been irrigated and goes into some detail of the qualities of the food from the different aspects of the hugelkultur: the north side tends to be sweeter and the south side tends to have more bite (lettuces tend to be more bitter and mustards tend to be hotter).

Special appearances by Christy Nieto from Bellingham, Washington (see her smaller berm / raised garden bed in the background – she reduced, but did not eliminate irrigation); Melanie and Brad Knight from Sage Mountain Homestead in Corvallis, Montana (building hugelkultur with a bobcat); Sepp Holzer adding branch mulch plus throwing seed; Jessica “Jessi” Peterson showing the mulching technique.

The recipie is: wood and brush covered with soil; immediately plant seeds; a bit of mulch helps.

Because the sides of the raised garden beds are usually steep, adding mulch is done by pinning the mulch to the sides with branches shaped like pegs (referred to as nails in the video) that hold on branches that hold on the mulch.

Once the hugelkultur beds get to be about three years old, the plant growth will be about five times greater. This is just the first year and the wood has not yet rotted much.

Hugelkultur also extends the growing season. Areas that have 90 frost free days can now have 150 frost free days!

Notice how ALL of these feature polyculture. Polyculture is one of many ingredients which help to reduce the need
for irrigation.

The end of the video features the attendees of the 14 day intensive permacultur design course offered in Dayton, Montana in April of 2012.

Relevant:
http://www.permies.com/t/17/permacult…
http://www.permies.com/t/15981/permac…
http://www.permies.com/t/12206/permac…
http://www.permies.com/t/15068/plants…
http://www.permies.com/t/12649/bugs/T…
http://www.permies.com/t/16366/permac…
http://www.permies.com/t/16405/permac…

music by Jimmy Pardo http://permies.com/t/6301#62570
Category
Science & Technology
Licence
Standard YouTube Licence

Our harvest & preparing for winter…


Our harvest! ©copyright2014owpp

Our harvest!
©copyright2014owpp

Today it started to freeze… I had to quickly bring in the last green tomatoes to go on riping indoors & try to protect the plants by wrapping them up with thin plastic sheets.
Without knowing if I was doing the right thing I cut the leaves & put them around the root to keep the heat assuming the plants needed all their energy to stay alive.
As we have many gardeners out there I’d like to ask if I did the right thing or did I weaken them by taking it off & is plastic enough to stop them from freezing as I have no place for the portable greenhouses suggested by other bloggers?
Here are photos of our “garden” & of our seeds drying system 😉

Our "garden" ready (?) for winter ©copyright2014owpp

Our “garden” ready (?) for winter
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Our leek seeds drying system ©copyright2014owpp

Our leek seeds drying system
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Oregano leaves drying too ©copyright2014owpp

Oregano leaves drying too
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And onion seeds...set for next year! ©copyright2014owpp

And onion seeds…set for next year!
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Brown spots & caterpillars… any suggestion?


At first... ©copyright2014owpp

At first…
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This is the story of my tomato plants… it started beautifully but then things went awry.
One mishap after another gave me the idea of seeking out your help, of all the (much more experienced than me) gardeners I follow, see if there’s a preventive measure I can take for next summer’s batch concerning those big brown spots coming out of nowhere and if those caterpillars are any threat to the tomatoes besides munching on my leaves.

Any suggestion would be more than welcome!

They thrived... ©copyright2014owpp

They thrived…
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And I was so proud with the result! ©copyright2014owpp

And I was so proud with the result!
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Then,I noticed this ©copyright2014owpp

Then,I noticed this
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Which produced this :( ©copyright2014owpp

Which produced this 😦
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And just when I thought it was over my leaves started to look like this! ©copyright2014owpp

And just when I thought it was over my leaves started to look like this!
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The culprit... ©copyright2014owpp

The culprit…
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And a future one ;) ©copyright2014owpp

And a future one 😉
©copyright2014owpp

Last but not least...all stretched out!!! ©copyright2014owpp

Last but not least…all stretched out!!!
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Oh! forgot to show you our tomato plants climbing no matter what :) ©copyright2014owpp

Oh! forgot to show you our tomato plants climbing no matter what 🙂
©copyright2014owpp

My tomatoes are out!


My jewel! ©copyright2014owpp

My jewel!
©copyright2014owpp

I have seven tomato plants in my balcony this year & finally have results! The tomatoes I thought would never come out, did just that!
Years of experience & mishaps have made this possible. My first plant was grown indoors & took nine months to give one tomato… you can check the link here https://oawritingspoemspaintings.wordpress.com/2012/12/22/my-self-grown-tomato-2011/
This time round I was wiser & knew I had to look out for our “friends” the green flies which I have been doing & removing nearly every day.
I was so crazy over the sight of these beauties that I took close ups of each tomato in order to be able to share our hard earned miracles with all of you!
Posted bellow are the photos from beginning to end.
I hope you’ll enjoy the process 🙂

P.S

In my last photo you can see my only surviving squash out of many shoots, my onions that had been forgotten & had germinated in the kitchen (!) carrots that I tried to grow from carrot tops (YouTube advice) but that just died 😦 a few green pepper plants & on the extreme left a plant that people wanted to throw out that I rescued…

How it all started... a small plastic box! ©copyright2014owpp

How it all started… a small plastic box!
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Growing in the kitchen in October! ©copyright2014owpp

Growing in the kitchen in October!
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A lot of care... ©copyright2014owpp

A lot of care…
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And... voila! ©copyright2014owpp

And… voila!
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After many flowers & beyond my wildest imagination! ©copyright2014owpp

After many flowers & beyond my wildest imagination!
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Isn't this quite a sight!? ©copyright2014owpp

Isn’t this quite a sight!?
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So very proud ;) ©copyright2014owpp

So very proud 😉
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And of my "garden" ©copyright2014owpp

And of my “garden”
©copyright2014owpp

Backyard Permaculture: Starting at home…


Published on the 25 June 2012

I found this video & watch it out of curiosity with no intention of posting it but was surprised to find myself so engrossed in it, having so much fun, that I decided to share it with you…
The gardening happens in Australia so not everything might apply to everyone but there’s a huge amount of valuable information to be preciously saved in our memory bank 🙂
It is indeed 1.12 mn long but well worth the time spent & very relaxing, it takes you away from the every day hassle…I hope you enjoy this!

“Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favour of fair use.”