gabriola garden

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Giving Thanks, Shucking Beans, Feeding Plants

Last Monday was Thanksgiving Day in Canada, so it was time to harvest the remaining vegetables and give thanks for the bounty of the Creator. Jim and Hedgehog dove into the collapsed Scarlet Runner Bean House and collected the remaining, mostly dry bean pods. Then we sat outside on stools to shuck the beans, dropping the seeds into a large, stainless steel bowl.

Some call it shucking, some call it shelling, it basically involves cracking the dry pods with the fingers, and taking the beans out one by one. Hedgehog took to this like a duck to water, but Jim found it too boring, so he helped his mother clear out the pumpkin and squash plants, with their gigantic leaves.

I suggested that we should all guess how many bean seeds we would end up with for next spring’s planting, and Sara’s guess was the closest to final count—485 large beans. This is too many for planting, so some of it will be made into soup by yours truly. I have a great recipe for Greek fasolada soup, which requires just this type of bean.

We also harvested 175 tomatoes, 20 squash and pumpkins, and 45 cucumbers, which proved to be outstanding in size and quality. We promptly made a cucumber-tomato salad for lunch and the outdoor air must have increased our appetites, because the serving plate was soon empty.

The quality of our vegetables attest to the wonderful feeding regimen, suggested by the Advanced Nutrients tech info line. In addition to our base organic fertilizer—Iguana Juice, Grow and Bloom—we also add vitamins by way of Organic B and Vita Boost Pro, as well as root and growth enhancers, such as Voodoo Juice, Carbo Load Liquid, and Emerald Shaman.

Both Iguana Juice products have been thoroughly field tested and proven to give exceptional results during the vegetative and flowering stages. They worked miracles both with our vegetables and our flowers. The proliferation of buds on our bean and tomato plants (not to mention Sara’s asters, windflowers, clematis, and calendulas) were astounding this summer.

Organic B is great for hydroponic gardening, but it can also be used for soil-based horticulture. In addition to easily absorbed B vitamins, it contains amino acids and other organic enhancers that helps your plants resist stress and disease, both during the vegetative and bloom cycles.

Since I not only take a B vitamin every day, but also a multi-vitamin, I figured that our plants could use the same protection from pathogens and stress factors. So Sara and I give all our plants VitaBoost Pro, which is an excellent multi-vitamin formula designed to boost growth and yield. In addition to the vitamins, it also contains magnesium and calcium, and other components necessary for good plant health.

The beneficial microbes in Voodoo Juice not only create root mass for larger, healthier plants, but they also facilitate the absorption of vital macro and micro nutrients necessary for faster growth and higher yields. In last week’s blog, I mentioned how this miracle product saved the life of an ailing cucumber plant, turning it into a heavy producer.

A friend called me and said that he tried Voodoo Juice on a rhododendron bush that wasn’t doing too well back in May, and by the middle of June he was totally astounded by the huge purple blooms covering his previously unhealthy plant.

Mid-way through the bloom cycle, it is a great idea to administer Carbo Load Liquid to your plants. Around this time, many plants suffer from carbohydrate depletion. The natural sweetness of this product has saved a number of Sara’s flowers from becoming weak, with a low yield. My vegetables certainly benefit from the sugar-boost, which also improves their taste.

Emerald Shaman is a fermented plant food that is based on age-old techniques used in the Orient. We administer it as a foliar spray. We add two drops of this powerful liquid into a misting bottle containing a liter of warm, clean water. Then we cover both the top and the underside of the leaves. Rich with enzymes and bioactives, Emerald Shaman infuses your plants with new vigor.

We removed all our vegetable plants—squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, beans, potatoes, cucumbers—and added them to the compost bin. One pumpkin plant had a bit of mold on its leaves, so we discarded it. Never compost diseased plant material, it just perpetuates the problem.

Some of the tomatoes are still green, but they’ll turn red soon enough in the indoor warmth on our windowsills. It truly is a miracle that from tiny seeds grow the foods that nourish our bodies. We have a lot to be thankful for!

posted by Tim at 12:29 PM


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