I am once again growing two kinds of beets this summer, Bull’s Blood and Chioggia beets.  Both varieties are heirloom and both date back to about 1840.

Chioggia beets were brought to the US from Italy, they are named for a small fishing town (Chioggia) near Venice.

Bull’s Blood beets are noted for their red foliage, its name hints of nineteenth-century origins when beets were known as blood turnips.

I harvested the first crop of beets last weekend.  Most were chioggia but I did harvest one bull’s blood beet, see if you can spot it below.

Bull's Blood beet

Chioggia and Bull's Blood beets

Chioggia and Bull's Blood beets

Summer 2011

Well it is now the end of July and I am just now blogging about the summer garden.  I realized that with all of the work that is required in a garden during the first 6-8 weeks it is easy to see why I haven’t had the time to blog.  For all of my loyal readers, I will be posting a couple times a week for the rest of the summer.  I will post updated pictures, give descriptions of the heirloom veggies that I am growing and much more…

Below is an image of what the garden plot looked like on Day 1 (May 8):

Here are some pictures of the garden taken just a few weeks ago:



Potato box

Tomato row

Jericho lettuce




Stay tuned, for more pictures and descriptions of the Summer 2011 garden

After much thought I finally picked out the 8 tomato varieties that I am growing this summer.  Most are varieties that I grown before but I will be growing 3 new varieties.

Rosso Sicilian

This will be the first year that I grow this variety.  It is an Italian heirloom brought to the US in 1987.

Cherokee Purple

Another new variety for 2011.  This is an heirloom tomato from Tennessee rumored to have come from the Cherokee.

Italian Roma

An heirloom paste and canning tomato from Italy

Currant Gold Rush

I have grown these currant tomatoes each of the last 2 years. It is one of my favorite tomatoes, the plant sets hundreds of 1/4″ tomatoes that are very flavorful and great on salads.  Here are some pictures from last year:

Currant Sweet Pea

Another variety that I have grown before, very similar to the currant gold rush only red.

Green Zebra

I have grown this green zebras each year that I have had a garden.  Very flavorful green tomato, great for making fried green tomatoes

Velvet Red

Grew velvet reds for the first time last year and it is my favorite cherry tomatoes.  The foliage of the plant has a silvery dust which makes it very unique. Yields hundreds of 1″ cherry tomatoes.


A great heirloom tomato, 10-12 oz. bright red globe tomatoes.


I sowed the tomato seed about 2 weeks ago, I will have pics of the seedlings soon…


Save the Bees!

On Saturday, I started 4 varieties of lettuce seed:

I picked up a seed packet for Freckles lettuce because of an article I recently read in Organic Gardening magazine about the history of this heirloom lettuce.  Freckles lettuce is also known as ‘Flashy Troutback’, an Austrian heirloom that dates back to 1793.

This will be the second year that I have grown ‘Jericho’ lettuce. Last summer I picked up some transplants from the farmer’s market and had great success with this lettuce. Here are a couple of pics. from last summer’s harvest.

The seeds are now living up on our loft for the next month or so.  Stay tuned as I will update the status of these lettuce seedlings. Here is a photo of the tray of seeds.



2011 Garden

The 2011 garden season officially opened today as I  renewed my community garden plot at Hunt Park.  Over the next few days I am going to  inventory  the current stock of vegetable seeds, and order seeds of new things I am going to grow this summer.

This weekend I am planning to start some lettuce, spinach, and kale seeds inside.  Hopefully, they will be mature enough to transplant when the community garden opens in mid-April.

Stay tuned, as I hope to have my seed list up in the next couple of days.

Last weekend we spent about 2 hours closing down our community garden plot.  This meant pulling up all of tomato, pepper, eggplant, and kale plans.  It also meant pulling up all of the flowers we used for our wedding.

This summer’s garden was much more productive than the garden I had last year, the hot summer may have something to do with that.

Peppers (bell and hot)

This year we harvested about 30 pounds of peppers (both hot and bell peppers).  Last year we only harvested a couple of pounds.


This year I probably harvested about 40 pounds of eggplant.  Last year, I only harvest a couple of eggplant at the end of the season.


The tomato plants were also very successful this year. We were able to make several rounds of pasta/pizza sauce.  Last year’s harvest was also successful but not like this year.


As I mentioned above the flowers we grew did very well. Some of the zinnia plants were about 5 ft. when we cut them down.  We were able to make several bouquets throughout the summer.

Stay tuned for pictures and recipes…

Check out this story about the McDonald’s Happy Meal Project.  Kind of makes you wonder what additives McDonald’s uses to make a hamburger remain unchanged for 6 months.


See the pictures here


When asked if their food was not biodegradable, McDonald’s spokeswoman Danya Proud said: ‘This is nothing more than an outlandish claim and is completely false.’

I agree with what this 11-year-old has to say.  Now if only we can get our government on board.