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Posts Tagged ‘Tomato’

Wow!! I didn’t realize that it has been two full months – my Memorial Day post – since I have been able to update my little corner of the inter-webs!!

My little fuchsia is blossom happy!!

My little fuchsia is blossom happy!!

An unfortunate and unplanned two month hiatus from the world wide web was thrust upon me as I found myself without internet, television, or telephone at home at the end of May. Unfortunately; my finances were still struggling to recover from nine months of unemployment; three of which without the assistance of State Unemployment Insurance (thank you Mr. and Ms. Congress!) and I had to pick and choose carefully how I budgeted the little income I was able to make through taking odd jobs through TaskRabbit.com.

Lithodora diffusa 'Heavenly Blue'

Lithodora diffusa ‘Heavenly Blue’

The decision of course was that I had to refocus all of my income toward those thing which are absolute essentials; paying my rent and food for myself and my cat. I realized that everything else was a luxury; and that I would have to live without the internet and cable television for a short spell. Thankfully; now that I am three months into my new job, my finances are getting much better and it looks like I won’t have to rely on the garden to provide my food, which is a good thing as a diet which consists solely of pomegranates, strawberries, tomatoes, and some herbs seems somewhat nutritionally deficient for the amount of calories I expend cycling.

A pomegranate in the making

A pomegranate in the making

Pomegranate flowers are crazy looking!

Pomegranate flowers are crazy looking!

So what did I do with all of the ‘extra’ time I suddenly found after checking out of the ‘connected’ world?

For the most part; I spent a lot of time on the bike and starting rebuilding my old bike. I had noticed that since I broke my ankle last September that I had let getting saddle time on the bike take a deep dive. That issue needed to be rectified, and pronto! I created a training schedule for myself; taped it to the front door; and starting tracking my results, it was the motivation I needed.

A training schedule on the front door = motivation

A training schedule taped to the front door = Motivation!

I had been letting the ankle injury, and its impact on my mental state, guide how I approached cycling. This overly cautious approach was fine in the first couple of months following being cleared to ride again by my doctor; however, I never moved past caution. My ankle is healed; I needed get my brain to be okay with that concept and get back to cycling again. So; I decided to challenge myself, I set two goals for myself: 1) Try to ride 400-miles a month / 2) Complete a 100-mile charity ride/race by November 3, 2014 (my b-day). On June 6th, I got to work getting back to focusing on riding and not my ankle. I didn’t quite hit my goal of 400-miles in June – but I was close!!

June 6 - July 8, 2014 | 298.57 miles

June 6 – July 8, 2014 | 298.57 miles

Another benefit of the loss of connectivity was the realization of how much of a life vacuum the internet and television really are. I never really noticed just how much time I spent until I was suddenly without – it was a lot of time! Now that I have identified spending too much time online and in front of the tube as a barrier to living the life that I choose; I have moved fixing it for good right to the top of the list of things to work on about myself.

I kept busy though! 298.57 miles from 6-6 to 7-8-2014

I kept busy though! 298.57 miles from 6-6 to 7-8-2014

N+1; Achieved!

N+1; Achieved! New Bike meet Old Bike

Il Toro~Blu rides again! As I mentioned; I also set to work on putting my old bike back together by slowly gathering parts over the past two months. Right now, she is about 95% complete, I just need to find a means of putting power to the wheels – a track crankset, pedals, and a chain – to get her road worthy! I just couldn’t stand to look at her frame sitting on my dresser any longer, she has way too much sentimental value to me to end up a wall-hanger!

Il Toro~Blu (the Blue Bull)

Il Toro~Blu (the Blue Bull)

Gathering parts for the rebuild

Gathering parts for the rebuild

Finally; she is able to roll again!

Finally; she is able to roll again!

Of course, I also spent a lot of time in the garden. Mainly caring for my tomatoes and experimenting with how to support the plants without using the traditional ‘mater cages as I just didn’t want to introduce them into my patio – their aesthetic is dismal! I remember on an episode of The Victory Garden; the host visited a commercial tomato farm where they used a system of wires hanging down from a horizontal beam above the planters. The farm’s gardeners would wrap the tomatoes around the wires, which almost reached the soil, and the tension of the vines grabbing the wires apparently supports even the most tomato laden plant. So far, the system is working like a charm!

My Arkansas Travelers are growing nicely

My Arkansas Travelers are growing nicely

About 3-weeks from my first harvest

About 3-weeks from my first harvest

A bountiful harvest to come

A bountiful harvest to come

Grow babies, Grow!

Grow babies, Grow!

Now, it’s time to go out and enjoy life outdoors; the weather here in Oakland is glorious and I feel like pedaling! My next installment will definitely be more garden-centric; hopefully I will have found and planted a good array of late summer annuals to add some pop and color to the patio, right now, it’s kind of monochromatic and the focus is clearly the tomatoes. Another thing which I will have address. 🙂 Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Happy Weekend Friends!

Happy Weekend Friends!

Until next time…

 HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~ Noah

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My Arkansas Traveler heirloom tomato seedlings have been growing nicely and should be ready to make the transplant venture out to the patio next weekend! My luck with growing tomatoes here has been bad at best; only successfully growing two small Isis cherry tomatoes last year, this year I have planned well ahead and hope to have a great crop of garden fresh tommy’s throughout the growing season.

Arkansas Traveler Heirloom Tomato Seedlings

Arkansas Traveler Heirloom Tomato Seedlings

I have two planters ready to accept the seedlings; I moved everything around so they would be in the sunniest spot on the patio; and rigged together a bamboo tripod for the little seedlings to grow into without spending any money on single purposes cages.

Tray #1

Tray #1

Tray #2

The package of seeds came into my possession last November; as part of a birthday gift (a book on apartment gardening), and were stored in my refrigerator’s vegetable box for six-months until I started my seed trays on April 4th. I have long heard about storing seeds in the refrigerator; however, I had never tried it as I didn’t want something to go wrong and lose my seeds. Thankfully; I was watching an episode of the Victory Garden around the time I received the package, Michael Weishan had a segment on obtaining and storing seeds from your home garden; including tomato seeds, in which they mentioned that the fridge was a good place to store your seeds until the right planting season. If there is any garden advice I feel that you can trust, it is that of the Victory Garden and I am happy to report that the tip was spot on as each and every seed germinated and is growing quite well!

My seedlings all showing true tomato leaves; a good sign for transplanting!

I also have another Amaryllis v. Apple Blossom bulb which is just about to open its flower. This one is growing outside in the big yellow planter box and is the same bulb which provided my first Amaryllis flower back in 2012. This years flower appears to be significantly smaller in size than the 2012 bloom; however, I am willing to bet the flower will be just as big in the beauty department!

It's a Forest in Here!!

It’s a Forest in Here!!

A New Amaryllis

A New Amaryllis

Amaryllis' flowers pushing through!

Amaryllis’ flowers pushing through!

Elsewhere out on the patio; the Ornamental Ginger and the Hydrangea plants continue to dominate the big yellow planter in the southeast corner of my patio.

It sure is getting crowded in the big yellow planter box though!! With the Ornamental Ginger; Hydrangea; and the Creeping Rosemary pushing out at all corners; which is EXACTLY what I wanted for the view from my bedroom window! I can’t wait until the hydrangea are in full bloom and if I can ever coax a flower out of the ginger, the view should be spectacular!

The patio's southeast corner is filling out nicely!

The patio’s southeast corner is filling out nicely!

Though; it is definitely starting to look like both the hydrangea and ginger will need to be divided and replanted next year. I don’t want to risk impacting the Amaryllis bulbs ability to get sun or having the roots of both affecting the rosemary, ornamental strawberry (fragaria x. lipstick), and my happy little plant with the lovely little blue flowers!

The Ornamental Ginger plants continue to reach for the fence tops!

The Ornamental Ginger plants continue to reach for the fence tops!

Big Boy Avocado has really thrived since moving out onto the patio. The tree is now just over 4-years old and stands at 5′ – 6″ – which is nearly as tall as me! Not at all bad for a freebie which I grew from the seed pit of an organic avocado I picked up at Trader Joe’s!

Big Boy Avocado!

Big Boy Avocado!

Finally today; a trip indoors for a visit with the houseplants! The Dracena and Schefflera are battling each other to see who outgrows the house first! What exactly does one do when this happens?? I can cut the Schefflera down; however, the Dracena is all top growth and I don’t see where it could be pruned without destroying the plant?

The Dracena continue to head for the ceiling!

The Dracena continue to head for the ceiling!

The Schefflera is not far behind my Dracena!

The Schefflera is not far behind my Dracena!

Until Next Time….

 

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!

 

~ Noah

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