06.04.20 Chauvin Produce Company 2020 – May Update

I truly had forgotten how much time and effort is needed to grow vegetables. And just when some are starting to ripen, the temperatures soar to the 90s which makes being out there really difficult.

The only fruit that has required anything has been our blueberries. Since those are necessary for my brain health plus I love them, picking them is a joy. Except for the pain in my back that picking them cause. Oh well!

Starting with the main garden. Each of the vegetables growing in the main garden is labeled below and above plants. Click on that picture and any of them to enlarge it.

Roy’s tomatoes on the right in the photo above are ripening and are delicious! However, only half of the tomatoes that ripen are good, without bad spots. The other half either have a worm in them which he has sprayed for but a few got through. The other problem is the blossom rot. Roy has just added some lime to the soil to help prevent that. The tomatoes below were picked in one day. We are having to pick them early in their ripening process so they avoid the bad spots. They are delicious also!

We have enjoyed a tomato and cucumber salad with our meal every day this week and love that!

My cucumbers are producing a couple of nice ones each day which are being added to the tomato and cucumber salad. These young cucumbers are nice and tender! I love seeing new baby cucumbers like in these pictures.

.The cucumbers at bottom of the vines have an odd shape since they hit the ground in their growth and curve around upward. Those growing further up on the vine have a perfect cucumber shape.  Either shape is delicious!

Green beans are closest to the bottom of the picture and cucumbers at the other end.

Green bean bushes on the left and cucumber vines on the right.

I haven’t grown green beans before. It was quite a surprise to me how quickly they produced and how many! The beans growing in the main garden produce the most. They produce enough every day to have a meal of them. I’ve fixed them with potatoes and bacon and also with bacon wrapped around the beans. The rest have been blanched and frozen for future meals.

The turnips are another surprise for me. They grow quickly and are delicious. I had too many planted together in a few spaces which crowded the size of the bottom. We are only growing them for the bottoms which is a good thing because the green part had a lot of bug holes thought I never could find a bug on them.  I just picked another batch of turnips today to cook.

 I planted more turnip seeds in two other locations and they are slowly starting to sprout but just barely. Our first turnip side dish was served in butter salt and pepper. It was delicious. I buy turnip bottoms from the grocery sometimes and these tasted so much better! Several of my Facebook friends shared their turnip cooking recipes so I think I’m set for more turnip growth.

Okra plants are strong and growing well. I’ve picked four so far. I took these photos late last week. When I went out there this morning to pick they were already much bigger.

The bell pepper plants have flowers and some have tiny tiny bell peppers growing on them. The plants in the upper right corner of the photo above are some of the bell pepper bushes.

Eggplants are in varying sizes and the biggest two have purple flowers which precede the tiny eggplants themselves. Nothing to harvest yet but the plant looks great!

My seven cherry tomato bushes are loaded with tomatoes and are starting to ripen a few at a time! Mine were planted a month after Roys so they are maturing later.

The garden down by the pond:

The green bean plants produce a few green beans each day though they appear to have been enjoyed by some animal from time to time.

Roy’s second set of 11 creole tomato bushes are doing extremely well. He picked the first one this week and we can see hundreds more

The “dog cage garden”

Several turnip seeds were added this week in the middle of this garden. They are already sprouting! Three of my cherry tomato plants were also added to this garden.  From the time they were taken out of their pots until now (being in the ground), they have at least quadrupled their size. They are not as big or as far along as their brothers and sisters in the main garden but where they are planted is an experiment to see how that area does for tomatoes.

The potatoes have several bushes growing which is really all you see until it’s time to dig up the potatoes that are underground!

The green bean plants down there are doing about the same as the ones in the garden down by the pond. They are producing, just not as much as the main garden.

Carrot seeds were planted early this month and the green leaves that come out of the ground are doing well. There are two rows of them. In the photo below the watermelons are at the top and the two rows of carrots are at the bottom.

The red meat watermelon vines are growing really well and have flowers on them which will eventually become watermelons. The yellow meat watermelon vines are not doing as well but they are growing and look healthy. Watermelons are something we didn’t do outstanding with last year so this new place to grow them is so far promising. In the photo below the watermelon, vines are on the right and the carrots are on the left.

Fruit trees

Pecan tree is growing well but no pecans yet, too young.

The two fig trees are loaded with green figs which will probably give us around a hundred figs.

The plum tree is pretty but not bearing fruit yet, too young.

Like I said at first, the blueberries are just going to town and I am enjoying them every day.  A lot of them were put in the freezer and I get to put them in my oatmeal or yogurt every day fresh from the garden! We are over half way into them all ripening. A few more days and they will all be gone.

It has been fascinating to see a bunch of little green one a branch one day and the next one of them has exploded into this beautiful deep blue plump ripe blueberry.   The in-between stages going from small green to ripe plumb blue is a bluish pink stage.The bluish pink stage will be the ripe ones the next day. Of the eight bushes, one does not have any berries on it and I am going to figure out why before next year’s crop!

I love enjoying fresh blueberries right off the vine in my breakfast yogurt or oatmeal!

https://rosalynandroy.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/20200525_105015.jpg Roy’s grape vines are growing. No grapes on those vines yet!

I think that’s about it for the month of May. Some observations want to note.

Each row is not full of that row’s vegetable.

The turnip seeds I planted at this end of that row came up very well and quickly. The ones I planted at the other end of the row aren’t hardly doing anything. Not sure why!

Even though this years rows are further apart than last yer it is still difficult to get down the aisles as the plants get bigger.

Most important is that we purchased most all of our seeds from the Seed Plant online company. Thiswas a change from previous years.

 

05.08.20 Chauvin Produce Company 2020 – April Update

Every vegetable/fruit plant has been in the ground at least one month now. Roy’s tomato plants were started inside a month before everything else so they are ahead of other plants.

Our blueberries are producing an amazing amount of berries. A couple each day are beginning to turn deep purple. I ate the ones that were ripe yesterday so there are none to be seen.

It is interesting that while they start out as pale purple (in the picture above they look green but they are pale purple) they are inside very green and red until they turn completely pretty purple and ripe.

Since it took me till several days into May to publish this blog post I’m going to include this update on the blueberries. At lease 30 blueberries were ripe this morning, 05.08.20. I enjoyed eating them in my oatmeal for breakfast!

Our bigger fig tree has figs starting to grow all over!

The smaller fig tree also has figs starting to grow on it!

DOWN BY THE POND GARDEN

All the green beans we planted down by the pond are producing green beans. The green beans I just pulled are laying on the ground in front of the bushes. I have six more inside that I pulled first. We have green beans planted in three gardens but this is the one that is producing green beans well. This is our first year growing green beans and I like it!

Two okra seeds were planted next to the green beans and they have sprouted and starting to grow!

Bo always wants to get out when he sees us. They have plenty of time out of their cage every day! They started eating on our tomato bush’s bottom leaves when they were out all day so they have to stay in the cage more now. Peep is nesting again on 13 more eggs so she’s in the small cage most all of the day anyway!

Tomatoes growing on a couple of Roy’s tomato bushes down there by the pond along the fence. There are many tomatoes on each bush.

The eleven bushes along the fence line are doing exceptionally well. This is a new location for growing tomatoes this year. So far so good. The azaleas originally planted along the fence line seem to be doing well with the tomatoes all around them!

THE MAIN GARDEN

The seven Creole tomato bushes in our main garden are LOADED with tomatoes.

These tomatoes are growing on one of the tomato plants in the main garden

Turnips are new this year and are doing well. Spinach seeds were planted at the other end of this row but after 6 weeks nothing has sprouted. This week I planted more turnip seeds so at least we’ll have two different timed crops of turnips!!

Okra plants are mostly doing well. Some have barely sprouted but most are around this size now.

Bell Peppers did so well last year but this year there are four that are doing well and the REST are still much smaller. I bought more seeds and have planted them at the other end.

These pictures are of the cucumbers and green beans at the end of the garden. They are doing well! Cucumbers on the right half of the row and green beans on the left!

Cucumbers have yellow flowers and some tiny cucumbers already!

Green beans are filling out and growing up!

My cherry tomato plants were started a month behind Roys but are doing really well with several buds. These are bigger size cherry tomatoes than we previously grew.

Pecan tree is growing well!

We have not started growing wine bottles. I’ll be writing more about them on a future blog post!

You can see from this picture that the middle of the garden (eggplants, okra, bell peppers) have smaller plants than last year. I’m hoping they wind up doing well. As far as I can tell I didn’t do anything different this year than last.

NEXT TO THE DOG CAGE GARDEN

The lattice arbor has a good bit of grapevine growing on it. No grapes yet but I think they produce grapes later in the summer.

In the dog cage garden potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, and watermelons (both yellow and red meat) are planted This is a new location for us to grow vegetables and I’m finding the ground there is holding a lot of water causing my feet to sink when walking through the area along the fence. But the plants are growing well.

Here is a picture of the whole garden. In the back are green beans, then in front of that potatoes, nearer the front is red and yellow meat watermelon vines. On both sides in the red cages and one on the fence line are the same cherry tomato seeds planted a couple of months ago. The ones in the main garden are a few feet tall but these in this garden were only planted in the ground last week so they are way behind the others.

Here are two of the tomato plants. See how much smaller they are than the ones in the main garden. They stayed in their little seedling cup a lot longer than their brothers and sisters!

Two groups of green beans

Potato plant. Only one is doing this well. Others are just starting to sprout. I take potatoes from the grocery that sprout and use them for my potato seeds. I planted two more sprouting potato pieces in the potato row yesterday.

Red meat watermelon vines. I forgot to take a picture of the yellow meat vines.

This is not a vegetable or fruit but… Our little cactus garden is near the dog cage garden and this cactus, which is our biggest, has three beautiful blooms on it. They don’t last long so I am glad I got these photos! I think the cacti in the blue pot next to these gorgeous blooms are getting ready to bloom their yellow blooms. I’ll grab a picture of those to share when that happens!

So that is our end of April garden update!

03.31.20 Chauvin Produce Company 2020 – March Update

This year we are again experimenting with a couple of new garden spaces and how we do our gardens. We’ve added spinach, turnips and green beans to this year’s crops. And we are planting a few crops in two or three different locations to see how that goes.

The area our renter’s dog’s cage was located is now the “dog cage garden.” I am hopeful we’ll find a better name for that garden but for now, it’s the dog cage garden!

The first pictures are Roy and I tilling the soil which should be good quality with all the dog poop mixed in.

I only did one row but I found out how difficult it is to keep that thing going straight!

Planted in this garden are potatoes, yellow meat watermelons, red meat watermelons, carrots, and militons, and green beans.  There is a fence at the rear so the green beans and militon vines will have a place to grow up and around. This garden does not get full sun like the main garden does but it does get a lot of sun throughout the day. 

Sunday afternoon I distributed a bunch of hay around this garden to help it stay moist when the heat of the summer hits. Bending over to do these things hurts my back so I only got the hay placed there. It needs a bit of work so the popsicle sticks and rock markers show up and that will come next!

The main garden closest to our house is slowly getting planted.  Roy is in charge of the regular size tomatoes which we call “Big Toms.” Here he is soaking the ground where they will be planted after putting the stakes in the ground.

My sweet frog metal art recently restored is watching over the garden!

Here Roy was staking up his growing tomato plants a few weeks ago. The second picture is a “contraption” he created to put these same plants in while they go through their hardening phase. Hardening is a way of getting the plants that were grown indoors to get used to the elements outside like wind, sun, rain.  When he started their hardening the wind blew over the plants so the need for his “contraption” became apparent. It is made of two round crawfish trays connected on top of each other with holes the size of his seed pots drilled out of the pans and the pots inserted. It worked really well so he’ll have these to use for future years of tomato growing during the hardening phase.

This is his new contraption to help his hardening tomato plants stay standing up. He made two of these for his 18 plants.

Here’s Roy all happy while planting in the ground the tomatoes he’s been growing from seed for two months!Look how nice they are! There is about a foot of stalk down in the ground so they are a really good size all put together!

Those tiny little plants next to popsicle plants are small cucumber plants. I planted half already growing small plants and half seeds planted directly in the ground to grow. 

I made an attempt to form rows and walkways in the dirt myself but that turned out pitiful. My he man hubby saw my pitiful attempt and took over! We’ve reduced the number of rows and widened the walkways this year. We learned last year the walkways needed to be easier to navigate. My balance isn’t too great so this should help make it easier for me to work in the garden.All the little popsicle sticks in the garden mark where the okra, bell peppers, eggplants, spinach, turnips, cucumbers, and green beans are planted.  In a couple of months, the garden will be filled with taller plants bearing vegetables above and below the ground!Here’s the hay all over everything in the main garden.  Monday morning my month old cherry tomato plants that were grown from seeds are now planted in the garden.

The area where Bo and Peep are living now was where we had our “garden down by the pond” last year so that garden has gone away. Near it, along the fence line are planted several plants. Green beans growing up the fence, cantaloupe, and okra. Two broccoli plants that randomly grew in the main garden over the winter were moved to this area and are now producing broccoli. There is one plant we don’t know what it is yet but it’s getting bigger!  Then along that same fence line Roy planted the rest of his BIG Toms between the azalea bushes. That is an experimental alternative spot to see how the tomatoes will do there.

Here are two of the 12 tomato plants along the fence line. They are doing really well!

The artichoke plant that we planted from seed this time last year survived the winter, was transplanted to a pot when the garden was tilled and is still there. Quite a puzzling plant to me but as long as it keeps living we’ll keep it and hope it grows sometime this year!!

Our blueberry bushes are doing PHENOMENALLY well! This is the fourth year since we purchased the eight bushes. The first two years they lived near the fence under a tree where they mostly got shade. Three berries were the total crop each of those two years. We dug them up and planted them next to our house last year where they grew well but again only produced three berries. Well, this year they figured out how to produce berries and I believe we will have hundreds of berries FINALLY!

I can’t stop taking pictures of the berries and had to narrow them down to these two! I’m already planning blueberry pies, blueberry cakes, blueberries on my waffles, pancakes, ice cream and on and on!!!

The fig trees are full of leaves and will hopefully be full of figs this year!!

Our grape vines have never produced. Roy did not cut them back this year so we’re hopeful that will do the trick. Their leaves are coming out really well now!

Our satsuma trees froze a couple of years ago and this one has grown back a bit. We figured it would never grow satsumas but it looked nice so we left it there! It now has several buds on it which we were surprised to see. We’ll have to see as time goes on if this actually turns into a fruit!  Our new plum tree purchased last year is full of leaves and blooms!!The pecan tree was purchased and planted the same time last year and is growing nice green new leaves right now!

I think that’s all the updates on the fruits and vegetables we have at our little slice of Heaven here in Amite. I plan to write an end of the month update each month on our garden adventures!

Ya’ll have a Blessed Week!

02.16.20 Chauvin Produce Company – The Seeds are Planted!

Saturday was a beautiful sunny 60-degree day at our home in Amite, Louisiana!  It was spent outside planting this year’s vegetable garden seeds in small pots.

Roy planted his creole tomato seeds a few weeks ago and they are doing very well. He planted those seeds differently than we did last year.

In past seasons I planted several seeds per pot and transplanted the healthiest plant into the garden. This year Roy planted only one seed per pot. All but two of his 18 potted seeds started growing well. He planted a fresh seed in each of those two pots and they are both doing well now.

This year he packed each pot also soaked each pot in water after packing down the potting soil. He then poked a hole about half an inch down and placed one seed in the pot covering it with dirt.

Since this seemed to work so well for his 18 tomato plants I did the same today for my 100+ plant seeds. From last year’s crop, I dried seeds for bell peppers, okra, eggplant, and cucumbers.    I might plant some of the watermelon seeds later on.

I purchased seeds for cherry tomatoes, carrots, spinach, and green beans. I did not grow spinach and green beans last year. I’ve never grown either of them so this is really new for me.  The carrots were grown last year in the garden near the pond. That location is not going to be a garden this year as it is the home of our precious Bo and Peep Ducks. The carrots are going to grow in the main garden this year.

I wrote the name of each plant on a popsicle stick.  I’m working on new rocks to identify the plant for each row in the garden. It takes the plant a few weeks of growth before I can tell them apart so the rocks serve a very important purpose.

We have four large white potatoes sprouting inside. Roy’s brother Paul brought us two mirliton plants that have nice vines already growing on them.

So the vegetable garden season has begun. At least inside it has.  The shelves and plant grow lights we purchased last year will be their home for a while now. Roy will till the soil before they begin their hardening process so they can survive outside.

So they are all lined up on the shelves and the germination process has begun!

Ya’ll have a Blessed week!