Depending on how the weather changes into December, I may go on hiatus for garden updates until March. I might have a few seed saving videos during that time, but video output should slow down during that time.
Meanwhile, I'm glad the weather has stayed just mild enough for my green vegetables to stay alive entering into early Winter. Last year, there was an E. coli outbreak for romaine lettuce around this exact same time of year so it helps that I have a clean supply of vegetables in case of another outbreak this year.
Timothy grass is not native to North America, but it has been extensively planted as a forage grass for livestock because of its pleasant flavor. Because the plant has a sweet flavor according to Green Deane (http://www.eattheweeds.com/can-we-eat-grass/), it might be possible to juice the plant like wheatgrass to make a pleasant tasting green drink. I have not tried this yet, but if I ever happen to find large quantities of fresh timothy grass, it will attempt to make a drink from it. The thumbnail for the video is from Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Illustration_Phleum_pratense0.jpg#mw-jump-to-license).
Not much has changed from the previous garde update. I have been continuing to monitor animal damage in one of my cover crop beds. I plant on putting up yet another fence around this bed in the hope that the fence keeps out any remaining rabbits.
What I really considered important in this update was my update on my leaf compost bins. Shredded leaves are one of the most readily available source of compost material in suburban areas and they add extra organic matter to the soil once they are done decomposing.0
Huauzontle (Chenopodium berlandieri nuttaliae) is a close relative of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) and common lamb's quarters (Chenopodium alba). Before the arrival of maize in eastern North America, this species was one of the main grain crops in the eastern agricultural complex. It was domesticated independently both in eastern North America and Mexico from wild pitseed goosefoot (Chenopodium berlandieri). Although the eastern North American domesticated forms eventually went extinct, the Mexican domesticated forms continue to be cultivated in modern times for their greens and young flower buds. Although less commonly done, the seeds can also be steamed and eaten like quinoa. Based on my attempts to sift the seeds, they appear to be almost as large as quinoa seeds. Since one plant yielded 3.5 ounces of seeds, this plant has the potential to yield at least half as much grain by weigh as maize.
Earlier in the year, I posted a video demonstrating the results of cold stratifying blackberry seeds outdoors over Winter. Although I showed the resulting seedlings, I didn't show the preparation I used to get the seeds to sprout. The following video is intended to fill that gap in my original video for those who have never scarified blackberry or raspberry seeds before.
The weather has continued to cool down this season. I have my first harvest of carrots for the year in this video and they are much longer and narrow than I expected. This may be due to the harder clay soil in which the carrots were growing compared to previous years when I grew carrots.
At the time I monitored my amaranth and huauzontle plants in this video, the seeds were still firmly secured to the plant. Even after the frost on November 2, the seeds were still firmly secured to the plant. Although the seed heads had never shattered yet, I ended up harvesting the huauzontle and amaranth anyway on November 3. I will show this in a future video.
When I checked on one of my three sisters beds with cover crops planted, I noticed severe animal damage that could not possibly be squirrel damage. I am unfamiliar with what animals tear up soil in the manner shown in the video, but I'm suspicious that it might either be skunk damage or raccoon damage.
The decreased day lengths have made it difficult for me to maintain my garden daily and harvest the greens. Nevertheless, I have still been able to harvest some of the greens as my plants mature.
I did not show my huauzontle plant in this video. It does not seem to have begun shattering even now. Maybe a harder frost is needed to get the plant to drop its seeds.
(This is my third time trying to upload this video. I wonder what was going on.)
Because my vetch hadn't sprouted yet earlier in the week, I wanted to wait until Saturday to make my weekly garden update. Other than the cover crop sprouting, the only major change from last week is that I have finally harvested my lamb's quarters (Chenopodium album) for seed saving.
Due to a frost that was forecasted later that evening, I spent most of the day pulling up my remaining warm weather crops and preparing the area for milkweed planting.
My cover crops have continued to mature, but some of the vetch plants showed signs of rabbit damage, so I erected a fence around the plants later that weekend.
Wild lamb's quarters (Chenopodium album) can be used much like quinoa and spinach. The plant continues to produce edible greens long after spinach has gone to seed in the heat of Summer. The seeds can also be sprouted for microgreens or strained and steamed like quinoa. In this video, I show my usual process of cleaning lamb's quarter seeds and my calculations for my harvest yield.
Note: I apologize for the delay since my last video. My garden update from last week didn't seem to upload properly.
Although I forgot to make a video of when I harvested the squash, I finally harvested my seed squash on September 26, 2020. Thankfully the fruit had already been on the vine for five weeks so there was little risk that the seeds would not be viable when I cut opened the squash on October 2nd. The squash only had 60 viable seeds in it and it had two squash vine borer grubs in the rind. I'm hoping I can get a chance to grow out the fruit from this squash next year along with some F1 seeds I cross-pollinated in 2019.
I have completely pulled up all remaining corn stalks and squash vines and planted a cover crop of Siberian Kale and Vetch. Whatever bean plants that are left over from Summer will likely be pulled up by the end of next month.
Meanwhile, my Fall spinach and mustard have begun to sprout and should mature in time for the weather to begin cooling down. This may be my first year in a long time where I'm successfully able to grow Fall spinach.
Do not rely on viral Blossom gardening hacks for advice on saving Summer squash seeds. Among other errors in these videos, they seem to perpetuate the myth that the seeds in a supermarket zuchini will be viable and can be used to plant zuccini. This notion is false and the zuccini fruit must be well past the usual stage of harvest in order for the seeds to be viable. In order to guarantee seed viability, the zucchini or Summer squash should be pick six to eight weeks after being pollinated and allowed to cure inside for two weeks.
Since pumpkins and acorn squash are the same species as zucchini and other common Summer squash (Cucurbita pepo), this method of saving seeds can also be applied to Winter squash. The main difference is that the seeds in Winter Squash are usually already viable by the time the squash is harvested.
As the weather begins cooling down, the corn has passed maturity, most of my squash vines have died, and I have almost finished harvesting my dry beans. So far, my yield of dry beans has been quite poor compared to previous years, but this may just be an artifact of me using poorer garden soil than in previous years.
By the begining of next week, I should begin planting my cover crop of vetch and Siberian kale for Winter to hold the soil in place and improve fertility.
I really should have posted this update over the weekend, but I must have forgotten. Although I was able to pollinate a second squash fruit, the weather appears to be cooling down so much that the second fruit isn't developing. At least I still have the other seed fruit for next year.
This is more of a chemistry experiment than a food preparation video. Although I posted this video mainly for a school assignment in a biology class, after looking at the procedure further, this pH indicator may be useful enough to test the pH of pickling brine or alkaline solutions required for the nixtamalization process in making hominy. I plan on making a follow up video in the future where I use this cabbage indicator to test the pH of a calcium hydroxide solution when I make hominy from dried corn.
As of last weekend, I finished harvesting my popcorn. Expect a video update on curing popcorn in the next month.
I apologize for not covering the second three sisters garden bed. I seemed to have forgotten. I still plan to post an update on the vining yellow squash in the second garden bed later this week.
As the weather continues to cool down this month, I will begin to plant spinach and collards for Fall greens.
This is probably the fifth video on this channel relating to cooking in some way and the procedure for cooking the mustard greens is not much different from other dishes I've made, but I still though it appropriate for me to share the procedure I used in case someone else doesn't knlw how to sautée mustard greens. Keep in mind that this channel is supposed to primarily be about gardening, so don't expect very many cooking videos unless they use produce that I've foraged or harvested from my garden.
This week, a few crops are reaching maturity and are ready to harvest. My cowpeas are drying out and my popcorn is finally approaching time to harvest. Because of the unpredictability of Fall weather in Ohio, popcorn has to be harvested earlier than in areas of the country farther south or the cobs risk becoming moldy.
Concerning my mustard plants, perhaps I spoke too soon about cabbage butterflies (Pieris rapae) not significantly damaging them. I found quite a few caterpillars on my mustard plants this morning while checking my plants. Thankfully, one of the caterpillars was covered in braconid wasp cocoons and already dead. As a precautionary measure, I put the infected caterpillar carcass back among my mustard plants for the wasps to emerge and infect any remaining caterpillars.
Although my carrots also had a caterpillar species on them (Papilio polyxenes), this swallowtail caterpillar species is actually native to North America, so I make every effort to ensure that the caterpillars reach maturity. If the caterpillars are at risk of stunting or killing my carrot plants, I transfer the caterpillars to a parsley plant I set aside for the caterpillars to use for food.
This weekend, I made a batch of honey locust powder for use in baking. I've read that honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) can be used to make a powder similar to carob (Ceratonia siliqua), but I've never tried making the powder until now. Theoretically, honey locust powder could be used as a substitute for cocoa powder in recipies that call for cocoa powder.
The process of making the honey locust powder was lengthy, messy, and generated a lot of dust in the air. Next time I make honey locust powder, I will grind the pods outdoors while wearing a dust mask to minimize my exposure to dust.
Powdery mildew is quickly overtaking the remaining pumpkin vines in my garden bed. I'm hoping the vines can still yield at least one fruit by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, my summer squash fruits set aside for seed are reaching maturity and should both be ready to harvest for seed by the end of the month.
My neighbor's sunflowers have fully matured so they should be ready for seed saving in a few weeks.
This update on my vining yellow crookneck squash project was filmed from August 24 to August 29. During that period, I attempted to pollinate a second flower on the original squash plant, but I was unsuccessful at getting the plant to produce a second fruit. Nevertheless, the original fruit is continuing to grow and as long as the plant doesn't die prematurely, I should have at least one seed squash this year.
My neighbors were roasting chili peppers during the weekend of August 29, so I decided to record the process in case I wanted to try the process at home. You may notice that I cut out sections of the audio. This is intentional. They wanted to make sure their names were not explicitly mentioned in the video.
I was not at all expecting to find corn smut on my popcorn this afternoon, but I somehow found a small, immature head on one of my corn plants. I have no experience preparing huitlacoche so I just sautéed the fungus with some summer squash I grew. Thankfully the corn fungus wasn't too overpowered by the spices I added, but I'll definitely use less spices next time. In the meantime, I hope I still get a reasonable yield of popcorn this year.
Created 11 months, 2 weeks ago.
Category DIY & Gardening
I created this channel in response to the increasing censorship on YouTube. The name for this channel is a Proto-Celtic form of my real name, Ryan Miller. Currently, I'm dedicating this channel primarily to gardening. Once I get enough content on my channel, I might split it up into multiple channels. Don't expect very many updates on this channel though unless I post otherwise.