Random gardening topics

gourd plantersThis time of the year I am getting my fill of gardening on many fronts.  I have been helping teach the summer school gardening program at West Lake Junior High three days a week.  We have taught the kids how to compost, save seed, harvest vegetables, weed the garden and basic tool safety.  The kids also made gourd planters from last years crop which they painted and hung on the garden fence.

On a side note, the school has a pond and they have a permit to keep a snapping turtle.  The pond is drained early every summer and Mr. Snapper is caught and sent off to a reptile specialist for summer care before returning to the pond in the fall.  The only snapping turtles I have ever seen have been on “Swamp People” so it was interesting seeing one in real life.

snapping turtle

zucchini harvestThe biggest garden harvest so far has been the zucchinis.   The students have also been eating a lot of strawberries, we have transplanted tomato and strawberry plants for the kids to take home and we have cut, tied and hung cilantro plants in paper sacks to collect the dried seeds for replanting.  The students have been enthusiastic learning about nature and gardening.

On the home front my garden has been growing in the healthy, rich composted soil.  We have been eating the first of the raspberries, blackberries and strawberries.

raspberriesThe pole beans are growing up the wire cage I salvaged from a customer who was throwing them away.

pole beansAfter learning of the compatibility of fava beans and grapes during a wine tasting in Northern California, I planted fava beans under my grape trellis and both are doing well.

fava beansgrapesMy potatoes are growing tall in the potato bins and I recently planted a second potato crop.

potatoesI have harvested a few small heads of broccoli which I have added to fresh kale and mustard salads.


I have also harvested a few cayenne peppers.

cayenne peppersOn the fruit side, I have my first peach set on my dwarf trees that only grow about five to six feet tall.  The fruit dropped off in years past so I hope to harvest a few ripe ones this year.

first peachThe asian pears are abundant as usual.   It is amazing how much fruit you can get out of young trees.

asian pears

The chickens and the bees continue to peacefully coexist and they share a small bird bath.

chickens and bees

Lastly, we are going on the fourth week of the downtown farmer’s market.

slcmarketBusiness has been brisk, even with the competition from last week’s arts festival.  It has been good seeing familiar faces from the past in the crowd.   As I get older I seem to see more familiar faces in the obituaries then in person.  I have enjoyed seeing old friends prospering in life and doing well.  I look forward to more blasts from the past.


About urbancompostsystems

I am a retired law enforcement officer who is an avid gardener. I have a compost bin business named Urban Compost Systems. I believe strongly in the concept of growing healthy food and I utilize chickens and redworms in my "compost system". The only ingredients that I need from outside my system are leaves in the fall and some supplemental grass clippings from neighbors. I make hundreds of gallons of compost in my four bin system. I thoroughly enjoy the summer bounty I get from my yard and I take great pride in knowing that I am using my yardwaste to make healthy compost for my yard.
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