Sunday, August 28, 2016

Gratuitous Camera Roll

Even when it's completely unplanned, it's good to see local fauna making use of the trees and gardens.  I've been seeing quite a few collared doves.  I don't know what they get out of the purslane, but they seem to like grazing in it.

I see them often in the olive trees, too.

Or perched on the shade next to this pomegranate.

We're also seeing a lot of geckos this year.
I think they're feasting on ants.  We have more ants than I want, so keep it up, geckos.  While I appreciate the ants' work in the garden, they are problematic in some places because they like biting so much.  With any luck, using coffee grounds in those places will convince them to move.  I've started collecting coffee grounds from the cafeteria at work.  I get about 4 gallons a day.

Back on the subject of purslane, we had a zealous purslane overgrowing the sidewalk, so I cut it back and blanched and froze it - mostly as an experiment to see how it would turn out.

Haven't tried it yet, but next time we make a soup or something that calls for purslane, we'll see how well it kept.

 And finally, here's a recent picture of the Chunky Monkey patch (so called because it's where we grow bananas and peanuts).  The bananas are doing well, and I'm pleasantly surprised how well the peanuts have grown (most of the ground cover in the picture is peanuts).  The taro is struggling with the heat, but I think they'll make it through to the fall.  The mystery volunteer tomato in the middle is still producing tomatoes, and the turmeric is slowly stretching up.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Preparing for Olive Harvest

 We tried our new DIY olive picker today, in preparation for the olive harvest event coming up on Sept 10.

It worked like a charm.
It's handy to have a three-person team: a "picker," a "catcher" (to find the olives that are shaken loose and drop to the ground), and a "holder" (to carry a container for the picker to empty into).

We picked some black olives (to keep them from over-ripening) and started curing them in salt.

We also picked some green olives and started curing them in water.

I'm hoping that the green olives will be ready to taste during the event.