November 14, 2016
A home’s landscape should be beautiful, low maintenance and include many beneficial and edible plants. Here are some of our favorite plants around the property.
Click the links to learn more. More plants and info coming soon.
False Roselle (Hibiscus Acetosella)
Strawberry Tree (Muntingia calabura)
Gandules (Cajanus cajan)
Mung Beans (Vigna radiata)
Miracle Fruit Tree
Milkweed (Butterfly Bush)
Little Ruby (Alternanthera)
Dwarf Oyster Plants
It’s that time again…
September 2, 2016
Time to trim back the oak trees again.
The shop is still full of firewood, so this time, we rented a 12″ wood chipper and mulched it into two 5 foot tall mounds of mulch.
Wood chips are a valuable resource and we are fortunate to have a constant supply. It is key to improving our soil quality.
I have been wheelbarrowing it out of the coop, into the planters, around the trees and along the fence. It is labor intensive, but once it’s in place, the mulch does all the work. It keeps weeds down, improves the soil, encourages earthworms and beneficial organisms, holds in moisture, adds carbon…all kinds of good stuff.
I mulched the plants running along the fence: red hibiscus, sweet potatoes, gandules, papayas, tomatoes, pomegranates, passion fruit vine and Colt’s Poinciana tree.
It is rainy season again too. We had 4.5 inches in one night and 3.5 inches a few days later. The pond overflowed and the field flooded, as it usually does with lots of rain. No worries.
I like it when the field floods. It’s fun to watch all the birds.
We saved these tadpoles from becoming bird snacks.
The tadpoles have joined our mealworm friends on the back patio. When they become frogs, we’ll let them go to eat mosquitoes.
We use the mealworms as lizard and chicken snacks. The lizards are entertaining to watch, and they eat bugs (mosquitoes)…so we bribe them to hang around.
This month, we continue to plant beans…Cow peas, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, lima beans, lentils…when gardening, it doesn’t get much easier than cow peas.
These are the Purple Cow Peas I planted 2 months ago, aka Black Eyed Peas.
You can eat the beans whenever! I eat them right out of the pod when green or purple: they’re good on salads.
Or, like Gandules, you can leave the pods on the plant to dry. Dried peas can be cooked or planted.
Thanks for checking in!
Chicken Little Cocoa
Fruits of our labor!
August 28, 2016
We average 10 eggs a day. You can tell which one came from a young chicken, it’s the perfect size for baby Jax…
We love harvesting the fruits (and vegetables) of our labor.
Lemon Grass and Mint for tea, rosemary, sweet potatoes
Cotton Candy fruit, so good…(aka Muntingia)
Moringa, Mustard, Cotton Candy fruit, Goji berries, Mulberries, Sweet Potatoes
June 9, 2016
We have been busy.
After posting some Gandules seeds and mealworms online for sale, we quickly sold out of everything. So, we are going to expand a little. We are growing lots of plants, collecting seeds and expanding our mealworm setup. I have been busy redoing the website to make it more business-like and easier to navigate. I’ll continue doing monthly updates. Feel free to leave comments and email us with any advice or questions.
We had a sad day a few weeks ago when a fox attacked our chickens, killing 6. Thank goodness for our neighbor. If she wouldn’t have run over, we would have lost them all. Luckily, we still have 5 layers left. Our 10 baby chicks should start laying in October. The sudden decrease in eggs has been rough.
This week, we began creating planters out of railroad ties. It is nice to have the plants contained in different areas. It’s been feeling pretty scattered around here.
Brad rigged up a pump for the pond! With the flick of a switch, we have pond water shooting from a garden hose. This is very exciting! It’s nice to have an endless supply of water. The pressure is perfect, strong enough to hook up a sprinkler to it. Game Changer.
Thanks for following. Keep checking in on the site to watch us grow!
Gandules AKA Pigeon Peas
April 20, 2016
Gandules trees are easy and fast to grow.
Plant your gandules seeds in a dry location. Once established, gandules have a long taproot that digs deep underground reaching water and nutrients. Hence, they don’t need much water.
Gandules become fairly large trees and only live 5-7 years, with the best production in the early years. So be prepared to chop it down one day. The long taproot will enhance your soil as it decomposes and releases all those nutrients it dug so deep to get. Then, use the nutrient rich leaves and branches for mulch. Win. Win.
Planting the seeds:
Poke a hole in the ground with a pencil and drop in a seed or 2 or 3. Done.
Cover with dirt. Water every once in awhile.
Germination time (how long until it sprouts): 5-10 days.
Once germinated, Gandules seedlings grow SLOWLY until it gets about a foot tall… then they grow more rapidly. Mine grow 3-5 feet each year.
They have beautiful flowers and attract lots of polinators.
The flowers turn into seed pods.If you want raw beans, pick the pods when they’re green and plump.
Or you can leave the pods on the tree to dry.The dry seeds can be cooked or planted.
There are over 11,000 varieties of gandules. I have several, as seen above by the different colors and shapes of seeds.
Want some gandules in your yard?? Buy some of our seeds here!