Salad and grapes

Today we harvested our first grapes and we had a wonderful salad:

I discovered today that one of our grape vines has RED grapes.   I know I planted 3 red and 3 green grape vines, but in previous years we got only green grapes.  One of the vines that had not been doing well for years FINALLY took off, grew like crazy and here we are with almost red grapes.   I harvested them a little early because I noticed the birds going after the grapes and they already tasted delicious.
And we’re finally having lots of salad ingredients again.  Out of nowhere (self seeded from last year) came the arugula in one of our raised beds.  Not hot at all, but very tasty.  The large green leaves are probably perpetual spinach (living up to its name).  Our kale must be perpetual too because it’s at least a year old.  We added a few nasturtium leaves (have to plant more, love the peppery taste), onion greens, beets and tomatoes.
The hot June left us with next to no salad greens, but now that it’s been cloudy a lot (still no rain), everything recovered and is growing like crazy.

William Engdahl: Bayer AG's neonicotinoids responsible for death of bee colonies and birds and impact on human brain development

Another great Engdahl article at  Death of the Birds and the Bees Across America
A few excerpts:

Some five to six years back, reports began to circulate from around the world, especially out of the United States, and then increasingly from around the EU, especially in the UK, that entire bee colonies were disappearing. Since 2004 over a million beehives have died across the United States and beekeepers in 25 states report what is called Colony Collapse Disorder. In winter of 2009 an estimated one fifth of bee hives in the UK were lost, double the natural rate.3 Government authorities claimed it was a mystery.

And in the USA a fact sheet from the Environmenrtal Protection Agency (EPA) on Bayer AG’s Clothianidin, a widely used neonicotinoid, warned: Continue reading “William Engdahl: Bayer AG's neonicotinoids responsible for death of bee colonies and birds and impact on human brain development”

Finally some rain and one lonely peach

After it rained today I went to check whether the swales or our holding pond had any water (they didn’t) and I was very surprised to see that our little peach tree actually had a little peach:

I immediately picked it and it didn’t even occur to me to check whether it was ripe.  Lucky for us, it was ripe and it tasted ok.  Next spring we should put a bamboo fence around it so the wind won’t blow the blossoms and little fruits off.
It’s a dwarf tree and I don’t think it has grown at all since I got it in 2008.   We just put it in the ground a couple years ago and it’s out of the way on the hill in crappy soil and I rarely think about it.   We should make an effort to water and fertilize more often, but the hill really isn’t a priority right now since we’re still working on screening dirt in the hoophouse. More on that in the next post.

Peaceful Valley (growOrganic) $10 off any order this week

I’ve been wanting to order some seeds and just last night I was looking for GrowOrganic coupons online, but I couldn’t find anything. So I was happy to receive their newsletter with the $10 off any order:

Money doesn’t grow on trees… but fruit does. Happy harvest!

$10 Off Any Order This Week
It’s easy! Go to, log-in, shop this week & enter LOYAL at checkout!

Please note that the $10 discount is applied to the merchandise subtotal (excluding sales tax & shipping). Limit one use per customer. Offer valid on internet orders only (store pick-up option available) through 7/20/12.
You must be logged in or create an account for the offer to work during checkout (as it will not work on “guest ” checkout). All online purchases qualify, except Gift Cards. Cannot be applied to past orders.

I had about $12 of seeds in my cart and after entering the “LOYAL” code I got a discount for the entire order and the shipping was only $3.50. So I checked my wishlist and saw the azomite I’ve wanted for such a long time. I added it to the cart and then got an about $22 discount. Looks like their software isn’t working right, but I’m not complaining and as so often, the pages loaded slow. But with this nice discount I’ll wait. Actually thought about making it two orders since the seed shipping is only $3.50 but this is very cool.
There is SO much I could use at GrowOrganic.
If you or someone you know drives from Grass Valley to Kingman, Bullhead or Las Vegas, we’d love to contribute to gas money for more rice hulls and all sorts of stuff that’s so expensive to ship. They have the best deals on so many gardening supplies and I just wish they weren’t so far away.
UPDATE 7/16/12: GrowOrganic called and emailed today to adjust the credit to $10 and I’ve heard that the coupon does not work. However, Sarah said that they WILL honor the coupon if you put it in the comments with the order form.