Update September 2015
Due to the milder climate the tomatoes continue to flourish along with the eggplants and peppers. We have started collecting seeds from some of the annuals in the garden. Plans are in the works for creating a greenhouse for later fall using pvc piping and clear plastic. We have also potted some perennials for the spring and will take clippings from the fig tree to root and pot. All these will be shared with the community.
Update October 2015
FOTO's Summer Garden's first year taught us that soil is everything. The more compost that was added the better things grew. Because we started in early summer our harvest was not as plentiful. However, we produced lots of tomatoes and jalapeno peppers, some green peppers, a few eggplants, and several types of herbs.
As the fall months approached we collected seeds from some of our flowers- Cosmos, Marigolds, Zinnias and a few others. We also discovered the Autumn Olive Berry. Though this tree is considered very invasive most people don't know that the berry it produces is a superfood that is 17 times higher in lycopene than the typical raw tomato. If we could get into the habit of picking and eating the berries we could get the benefit of this superfood, and at the same time decrease the spread of the tree. One can make smoothies, jams, sauces and fruit leather with the fruit. It can also be frozen for later use.
For the Fall Garden we added compost to the soil and planted winter plants to include: green cabbage, kale, lettuce, red cabbage, bok choy, and a few others. In the weeks to come we will create a greenhouse using bendable pvc piping and clear heavy-duty UV plastic. All green tomatoes were collected and stored inside until they turn red. Fried green tomatoes are also a yummy dish.
Update November 2015
FOTO's winter vegetables are coming along nicely. To prepare for the cold winter months construction has begun on a hoop house using recycled pvc piping.
Update December 2015
The Hoop House is near completion. To read more about the construction of the Hoop House click here. The month of December has had some unusually warm days. The plants are thriving and growing. With the near completion of the Hoop House the roots of the plants should be well protected for the coming colder months ahead.
Update January 2016
The colder weather has arrived. With some evening temperatures entering into the teens we are happy to find that the Hoop House is protecting the roots of the plants. However, the leaves were slightly frosted so we have decided to hang a light with a 100 watt bulb inside the hoop house to raise the temperature during the colder evenings. We will test this method and see if it works. Harvests so far include Bok Choy and lettuce. To find out more about the Hoop House click here