Archives for posts with tag: Permaculture

Late Bloomer Show has moved! It is no longer hosted by WordPress. Late Bloomer Show is now a full-service website, and I invite you all to come, visit, look around and download my FREE e-book, “10 Steps to a Great First Garden!”

Kaye's Late Bloomer E-Book

Kaye’s new e-book, “10 Steps to a Great First Garden” FREE at http://latebloomershow.com/

18 pages of my colorful photos of veggies and critters, links, resources, and LBL’s, aka Late Bloomer Lessons, “10 Steps to a Great First Garden” is everything I’ve learned about growing food in my first year of gardening, distilled into one convenient downloadable PDF. All I need is your name and email address! Get it now!

I’ve been so busy since January with Season 2 of my web show “Late Bloomer” as well as writing this e-book, creating a new website, not to mention finishing up my winter garden and planting my summer garden, that it did not hit me till just now when I got a new follower on my old blog, that my old blog was even still out there, and more importantly, that my old followers have not found their way to my new site! Have no fear, every one of my original blog posts made the trip to the new website, and now all my “Late Bloomer” episodes are right there on my new site, as well!

Late Bloomer Show is now on Pinterest, Google+ and I’m having daily fun with Instagram. If all that wasn’t enough to keep me busy, Late Bloomer had it’s one-year anniversary last Monday, April 22, Earth Day! I celebrated by uploading my 25th episode of Late Bloomer! “Late Bloomer at Tomatomania!”

I welcome you to look around the new site. Please send me your feedback. Let me know you are still there! There are lots of exciting things to share with all of you. “Late Bloomer” will be hitting the road and filming episodes in Middle Tennessee next month! To receive my blogs and web show updates now, just fill in your name and email address at Late Bloomer Show and download my free e-book! Constructive comments are always welcome, and remember, it’s never too late to start growing vegetables!

One Mo’ Time! I won’t be posting to this blog anymore. All articles will be at http://latebloomershow.com/ Visit, sign up. I hope to see you there! And happy gardening! – Kaye

As requested, I am posting my recipe for the green vegetable juice I have made almost every week since 2000. I just call it “green juice.” This is an alkaline drink which our bodies desperately need, because, I understand, an overly acidic body leads to disease. Meat, dairy and many other foods are acid, which is why it’s so important to alkalinize.

Green Vegetable Juice

Late Bloomer Green Juice

(I use percentages instead of measurements, because I have no idea if you might be making a glass to knock down immediately, or a gallon to put in the frig.)

Late Bloomer Green Juice

– Ingredients, All Organic* –

50% Celery (Rich in natural Sodium – Read about the powers of celery juice)

25% Zucchini (Loaded with Potassium)

20% Carrots (Loaded with Vit A and Beta-Carotene)

5% Parsley (High in essential Vitamin K)

1 Heaping TBL of Raw, Unheated Honey Per Quart (here’s a great honey)

You may also add other fresh leafy greens of your choice, such as spinach, kale and chard.

– Instructions –

Preferably with a twin gear juicer, which crushes rather than scrapes vegetables, juice the desired amount of juice. Put small amount of juice in blender and blend the total amount of honey into the juice. Add the sweetened juice back to the whole amount and stir well. Distribute evenly between jars or glasses. If you are storing juice to drink later, fill juice to the very top and seal with tight seal lids, keeping the very minimum amount of air in the jar. Must be used within 3-4 days. When juice loses it’s bright green color, it’s lost its primary health benefit (and doesn’t taste as good). Clean-up of the machine is a bit of a chore, so I like to make enough juice to last for 3-4 days. If you are out of honey, don’t let that stop you from juicing! It is drinkable, but, quite, shall we say, stout! You can substitute a ripe organic apple per quart!

*Organic produce is grown in mineral rich soil without pesticides. Here is EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce. If you are making the effort to juice, make it organic!

What are you juicing? Thanks for stopping by! And if you haven’t already, and are on Facebook, please Like https://www.facebook.com/LateBloomerShow and add to your special interests, so you don’t miss out on interesting articles and photos from gardens around the world! Happy Juicing! 🙂 – Kaye

Please watch and share Season 2, Episode 1 of “Late Bloomer,” “Planting the Winter Garden.” Featuring the original guitar composition of “Late Bloomer’s” new composer, guitar man Jon Pileggi. I’m very excited to add Jon to our lean and creative Late Bloomer team!

I’ve been busy planting a garden, making Late Bloomer episodes, creating an e-book “The Late Bloomer Show’s 10 Steps for a Great, First Garden,” redoing my website, and dealing with my sprained ankle and all the other stuff of life. Sorry I haven’t been blogging lately, but I will get back to it very soon! Are you able to grow food in the winter? Thanks for stopping by! – Kaye

P.S. Did you watch the Super Bowl? My American Airlines commercial ran during the game. I play a waitress. I’d love to know if you see it. Thanks!

I have so much to do, I don’t know where to start. I’m getting a little overwhelmed. Spraining the ankle on New Year’s Day didn’t help me get off to the roaring start I’d planned.

I took a cup of tea out to the garden at noon to evaluate and meditate. It’s amazing what happens when you just stop. And observe. I wasn’t sitting for more than a couple of minutes when neighbor C.L. grabbed his cane and rambled over. As he chatted a bit, I spotted a wandering Monarch caterpillar four feet away on the driveway. When they wander away from the milkweed plant, if they are full-size (fifth instar), that means they are looking for a good spot for their chrysalis. I like to keep track of them, so I will know when the butterflies emerge. I moved this one back to the lone milkweed plant 12 feet away, and it got interested in eating again.

I’ve lost a few cats, and the cold and wind has been brutal for them. I’ve had no luck relocating them inside, or outside, to what I consider a good spot for a chrysalis. They have a mind of their own. This one died while shedding its skin to form its chrysalis. I had just watered the carrot barrels right beside it, and it is wet. I hope I did not kill it.

Dead Monarch Caterpilla

Dead Monarch Caterpillar Shedding Skin for Becoming Chrysalis

Today it is 63 degrees. Tomorrow it’s supposed to be 73, and 75 degrees on the weekend. It has been in the 50’s during the day and dipping in the low 40’s at night. With wind. This makes a tough go for Monarch caterpillars. I have chrysalises that are not mature after almost two months!

I sat back down and mused about how fast some veggies grow, while others take much longer. Most of my winter garden was planted early to mid-November. Radishes and lettuce and one barrel of baby finger carrots are mature, while it will be another month or two for kale, cauliflower and cabbage, a couple of weeks more for Swiss Chard.

Little Finger Carrots

Baby Little Finger Organic Carrots

Green Kale

Winter Bor Green Kale

Green Cabbage Seedling

Copenhagen Market Green Organic Cabbage

I could harvest beet tops right now while they are tender, but I’m more interested in the beet root, which will be awhile. It’s so hard to say with the wild fluctuations in weather.

Beet Greens

Beet Tops

I could make a big salad right now of spinach, arugula and red deer tongue lettuce. But, that would clean me out. I have about two big salads worth of greens out there.

Spinach Grown in a Pot

Spinach Leaves

Deer Tongue Lettuce Leaves

Red Deer Tongue Lettuce

So, Monday, I planted more lettuce, this time, organic Romaine. That’s a small row of snap peas behind it.

Freshly Planted Garden Row

Row of Freshly Planted Romaine Lettuce

Nasturtiums have self-seeded through my beds, so I pull them out when they start getting in the way. I opened the driveway gate to drop a few in the green bin, and spotted this tiny, metallic blue beetle on the gate key pad. It looks like a drop of metallic blue paint, no more than 1/8 of an inch across. But, this one had a problem, and was opening the wings over and over to get them all folded back under the blue helmet. A little piece was sticking out. It scurried across a leaf and my hand. Since I’m a beginning gardener, everything is new to me (I had seen one last year), so I assumed it was common. After I shot video and took a few shots, I relocated it to a rose leaf.

Tiny blue beetle with broken wing.

Ladybird Beetle, Halmus chalybeus, family Coccinellidae

I sat back down and drank from my cup. Postponing the inevitable return to my office to work. I have so much to do, I don’t know where to start. So, I sipped a bit longer. Then, I came inside, and sent the beetle photo to Dr. James Hogue, Professor & Manager of Biological Collections at Cal State Northridge, in charge of their 60,000 insect specimen collection. He immediately responded:

“It looks like this is a ladybird beetle called Halmus chalybeus, family Coccinellidae. It was introduced from Australia over 100 years ago for bio-control of scale insects. I had not seen this beetle before, nor do we have any in our collection. If you run across one again, it would be a good catch that I would like for our schools collection.

The hard blue things are its first pair of wings that, in beetles, are modified as covers for the more delicate hind wings that are used for flying. These covers are called elytra.”

WHAT??? IT WAS IN MY HAND!! And I let it go. I ran back outside and searched, but it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. It was in my hand!! I’m kicking myself. I really missed my calling. I should have been an entomologist, instead of an actress!

Thanks for stopping by! What bugs are you finding in your garden? – Kaye

Please watch and share my latest “Late Bloomer,” “Growing Corn Curbside,” the 20th episode and end of season 1! Also, the corn episode completes the corn, tomato and watermelon trilogy. Watch here, or higher resolution, including HD, on youtube.

Once again, I have to deal with my hard, clay soil, but, it was worth it. With corn this fresh, who needs to cook it?

What’s in store for Season 2? Well, more Monarchs, my winter garden, and lots, lots more! Thanks for your support! Comments welcome! – Kaye

I’m so glad I got the garden planted when I did in November. December was unseasonably cold for Southern California, and wet. I made an heroic effort on November 30th, remembering the six months without rain, to capture rainwater during the first downpour since April.

Gutter with Rain

Gutter with Rain

I ripped one gutter down pipe away from the house, and filled a 60 gallon L.A. city trash barrel, as well as all the plastic tubs from which I had just removed the Christmas decorations, and they all filled up within an hour. The problem was, it kept raining in December, so I didn’t need the water for three weeks! Christmas came and went and the decorations had to go back into the tubs, so I had to pour out half the saved water.

The weather, and the fact that there wasn’t much to do in the garden, kept me inside preparing for the holidays.

Off to the Rose Bowl

Stanford Sigma Chi and Friends

Since Stanford played the Rose Bowl, my son, Walker, invited his Sigma Chi brothers to stay at our house. They flew and drove in from all over. Our house is modest and there’s no guest room. Over four nights, we had 8, 12, 7 and 1 houseguest/s sleeping on various air mattresses and pallets on the floor. Here are most of the students off to the Rose Bowl, after a late New Year’s Eve celebration. You might have heard that Stanford won!

New Year’s Day night, while about 7 students were settling in, I dropped over to say “Happy New Year” to my neighbor, Zdena. She had just fallen on the dark steps at a friend’s house, and returned home and bandaged up her bloody, bruised leg. She was icing when I got there. I visited for a half hour and insisted she not see me out (she always does and turns the back step light on). Ironic, that, I went out in the dark and missed the bottom step, and fell and sprained my ankle! All that hoeing and digging and straining in the garden all year, and no injuries to speak of. I also lost the earpiece to my glasses, which I have searched for and not found. What an end to a celebratory holiday!

So, the ankle has kept me out of the garden except for short bits. It’s much better now, and I managed to get to an art opening in Culver City on Saturday (Donald Martiny at George Lawson Gallery, terrific!) after an all-afternoon inspiring, energizing and empowering meet-up with fellow Young Living distributors at a friend’s in Topanga Canyon. In addition to all that I am doing with acting and Late Bloomer and my garden, I am a distributor of the finest medicinal grade essential oils on the planet, Young Living. (more on that later)

So, it’s been busy and I have exciting plans for 2013! Checking on my garden today, here is what I found: 5 Monarch caterpillars on one nearly-bare branch, munching the last bits.

Monarch Caterpillars Feeding

Five Monarch Caterpillars on One Milkweed Branch

My milkweed is all but gone, and I’m moving caterpillars around to feed on the little bit left. I’m hedging that they all make maturity before the last bite is consumed. I counted about 14 today. I moved one chrysalis into the house on a particularly windy night, as well as two caterpillars, both of which died trying to form their chrysalises. I have eight viable chrysalises outside.

I harvested a bowl of lemons today. It seems they all ripened at the same time. No lemons for a year, and now I have 25!

Meyer Lemons

Bowl of Meyer Lemons

I pulled out a handful of small carrots from the two barrels. I need about 10 barrels to keep this family in carrots!

Home-grown Carrots

Baby Finger Organic Carrots

I have one small row of radishes and they are all pretty much ready to be picked. I need to plant more!

Organic Radishes

Home-grown Organic Radishes

As I was photographing the carrots, the resident flock of wild parrots flew over my head and landed in my neighbor, Gini’s, tall evergreen tree (can anyone help me identify this tree?). There were between 50 and 70 bright green parrots with black beaks. They are the Nanday Conure Parrots, and they are very sociable and like to hang with their group.

Nanday Conure Parrots

Nanday Conure Parrot Flock in Evergreen Tree

Now, I’m off to the Palisades Garden Club meeting. They are having a wildlife biologist come and speak, who takes much better insect photos than I do! Thanks for reading! Hope your new year is off to a great start!  – Kaye

I’m from the South, and there’s nothing I love more than corn, tomatoes and watermelon. I knew if I had a garden I had to grow all three. You’ve seen my tomato episode. Please watch and share “Kaye’s Watermelon Story” – Episode 19. Since I only had a 6’x6′ space, I had to grow baby watermelons.

If I had it to do over again, knowing what I know now, I would grow them in raised beds with trellises to save space. Hope you enjoy my little tale! – Kaye

Kaye Kittrell Holiday Card

Happy Holidays – 2012

As the sprouts surge from recent rain, the number of species left to sprout is winding down. A few more seeds have sprouted, with a few more to go. Check out the last post, if you missed it, to see what’s sprouting in my Late Bloomer garden. I sprinkled dill seeds on the parkway to fill in where my sunflowers were. It is sprouting up all over!

kk_lb-garden1219-17

Dill Bouquet Sprout

This buckwheat has self-seeded in my flower island.

kk_lb-garden1219-16

Common Buckwheat Cover Crop Sprout

These poppy sprouts are tiny and incredibly delicate at this stage.

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Hungarian Blue Bread Seed Poppy Sprout, Rare

Sort of looks like red tongues already! That’s a nasturtium top left. It has reseeded all over the former watermelon patch.

kk_lb-garden1219-12

Red Deer Tongue Lettuce

A packet of wildflower seeds of 14 varieties of annual and perennial species came as a gift for ordering seeds, so I sprinkled it between the milkweed and sidewalk to fill in. It will bloom in the spring.

kk_lb-garden1219-9

Wildflower, Alternative Lawn Blend

A fellow blogger in Ireland kept mentioning borage, so I thought I must try it. I planted it in the flower island. We shall see if it attempts to take over!

Borage Sprout

Borage Medicinal Sprout

Thanks for stopping by! What’s growing in your garden? Or, what are you planning for next year? – Kaye

In Southern California, growing food is a year-round activity, passion, and, for some, profession. There are no long, winter months to perfectly plan for the following year, we just do the best we can with what we have and keep going. This is a follow-up to Fall Sprouts – Part 1.

Here are eight more sprouts from my fall garden. It’s amazing that so many of the sprouts look so similar after just opening the first set of heart-shaped leaves. Only the next set of leaves begins to identify the plant. With the exception of the celery seedlings I planted on Labor Day, my entire fall garden was direct-seeded in November.

Various Baby Lettuce Sprouts

Mesclun Salad Mix

kk_lb-fall-sprouts2-13

Cascadia Snap Peas Hybrid

kk_lb-fall-sprouts2-16

Mei Quing Choi Baby

kk_lb-fall-sprouts2-17

Five Color Silverbeet Swiss Chard

kk_lb-fall-sprouts2-28

Redbor Kale

kk_lb-fall-sprouts2-30

Wild Farm Garlic

kk_lb-fall-sprouts2-32

Veronica F1 (Romanesco) Cauliflower Hybrid

kk_lb-fall-sprouts2-37

Cherry Belle Radish Heirloom

As you can see, I have some bug and slug damage on a number of the sprouts. I’m going to have to be very vigilant (didn’t I say this in Episode 8 of “Late Bloomer?”) to nurture these plants to maturity. Seeds are from Botanical Interests, West Coast Seeds, and Seeds of Change. I planted 18 cloves of garlic  from a head given to me by Lisa at Wild Farm in Woodside, California, Episode 15. I intermixed them with the leftover Mexican Sunflowers along the street, and it took about six weeks for them to emerge. Nothing was happening till we got three solid days of rain over a week ago, then they started shooting up. I haven’t watered the garden since it rained, as the ground is still wet. Just think how much Colorado River water (that we we exist on) would have been saved if all the homeowners turned off their automatic sprinklers for a week. Grow food, not lawns!

If you haven’t visited Late Bloomer Facebook page, please do, and subscribe by following the simple directions in the top post. There are lots of great links to inspire, educate and encourage, so please Like. And post your own garden photos! Let’s get the conversation going. You can see a clip of my small, front garden here. Thanks for stopping by! What are you growing? – Kaye

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