Saturday, February 28, 2009

Spring into Action.

Getting ready for my spring garden.....I almost can't wait! Well actually I'm not waiting as I've already planted 70 tomato seeds, 50 hot & sweet peppers, 12 cukes, 23 squash, 12 watermelon, 12 eggplant and 4 pumpkin. I've still got about 35 potato plants and 40 broccoli that need to be harvested before I plant my spring crop. It's going to be hectic! Here's some pics to put some visual to it:

Tomatoes bottom left, Cukes bottom center, Watermelon/Pumpkin bottom right, Squash top left, Peppers/Tomatoes/Eggplant top right.
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Potatoes & Broccoli need to get going....I plan on planting corn here in April.
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I don't think my onions are going to bulb. They went about 2 months with very little sun & I think it messed them up. I know next year they'll have sun. How do I know?.......................
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...........because I did what any good gardener would do.........cut some trees down! I love trees, but I needed sun! I use a lot of wood in my fireplace anyways, so it won't go to waste.
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I also moved my garden shed to make room for some soon-to-be new additions......Orange, Grapefruit, Kumquat & Apple trees. I'm pretty excited about the Apple trees. They haven't been around too long in Florida (I've heard just within the past 10-15 years) and are pretty rare, but they do grow here. Two kinds I'm looking at are called "Anna" & "Dorsett Golden". Hopefully I'll get them tomorrow!
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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Nicaragua Phase 2

Don't know if anyone likes to look at these but I did say I would post more pics from my recent Nicaragua mission trip. I probably take about 2 or 3 of these kinds of trips a year and this one went so well we actually had a free day to cruise around and meet people. Our main goal was to pour a slab for some new barracks that will hold future missionaries that will help with the food distribution program. As soon as we arrived (about 6pm Thursday night) we started working laying out the new addition and putting up form boards. We worked until 1am that night and busted our butts for the next 2 days and were able to pour footers for a food storage building as well. I'll let the pictures tell the rest:

The start.

Yours truly, The Plumber.

Concrete - old school.

You will get fed..........Beans & Rice, baby! Beans & Rice!....... day and night!

Bonus work.......footers for a food storage building.

Worth it.

Monday, February 23, 2009


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To all my Blog-a-Gardener friends. It's time......... need I say more?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Catching up.

With the mission trip taking up a big portion of my focus the last week and a half, I'm a little behind. I wanted to have my tomatoes & peppers already started, my second wave of broccoli already planted in the garden and soil in some unused beds turned and composted..........none of which is done! I've also got some pictures of the garden that I wanted to post but haven't. So I'm going to do some catching up. And yes I still have some Nicaragua pictures to post. So here goes:

First of all we have an emergency.................5 small, wrinkly, sad garden tomatoes left! Which is still better than any store bought tomato, but I've got to get started planting my spring! As soon as my wife has to buy one $5 tomato from Publix I'll hear about it (she is a vegetarian)............"doesn't taste like the garden ones", "it feels like plastic", "they have no smell".......... yadayadayada.
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In the mean time I hardened off most of my broccoli & planted them right before I left for Nicaragua. I'm hoping to harvest them in time to plant some corn in their spot by spring.
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I do have some more broccoli that I'm hardening off right now. I burnt some seedlings trying to keep them warm so I have a nice little gap for extended harvesting.
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My potatoes seem to be doing great despite about 5 days in the mid to low 20's and some frost bite.
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I've sowed some squash, cuke, watermelon & pumpkin seeds (we're from New England so we love pumpkin soup!). You may be thinking "wow, that's a bit early" but you don't understand that I have a problem..........pickleworms! If you don't know about pickleworms you're lucky. Moths lay eggs just after sunset (so you can't see them), then in the morning when you're checking your garden the worms are already hatched and on the move.....into the stems of the squash or any relative of the squash. Once they start burrowing, it's over. You just can't kill them. They are known to move up from south Florida around May and move up into the Carolina's where they usually stall out. So the trick is to plant & harvest before they move on through. This will be our third try at growing squash, I got 'em beat this time!
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After tonight's 25 degree low I'm going to sow my tomato & pepper seeds....a little later than I wanted but it'll be all good.

I'll leave with this cool tree I saw in Nicaragua........I was told it was a cherry tree and that it never has any leaves! Weird. I need to investigate to make sure I didn't loose anything in the translation. That happens from time to time. Anyway, I did eat some of the "cherries"..................I thought they sucked. But what do I know, I'm just a Gringo.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Well I'm back. I just spent the last 5 days on a mission trip to Nicaragua. I went with 6 other guys from my church and our main goal was to build a foundation for new barracks on the property of a missionary (Perry) who feeds about 15,000 kids a week. The new rooms have one bathroom each in them so the underground plumbing needed to be installed as well. Our goal was met earlier than expected so we also installed footers for a future warehouse that will store food. And we still had time to go out and make some new friends. I don't have time to post all the pictures I want right now so I'm going to do it in phases. This first phase is from the day we went and visited a community located in a dump.......yes I said a dump. Perry has a feeding center there and feeds about 200 kids. Check it out:

The entrance to the "Village" complete with grazing cows.

The kids.

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Dinner. The lizards are kept alive and their legs are pinned together to keep them under control.
One of the reasons we came- to bring bowls & cups for food distribution. This is the Pastor of the "Dump Church".
A different life than me & you.