Sunday, October 11, 2009

First Taste of First Fruits

I'm so excited! Several of the tomatoes have turned ripe and it's time for picking!

I didn't realize that these stupice tomatoes grew small. The champion tomatoes grow larger but unfortunately those didn't really produce much. Only one grew and it never got ripe. Then I discovered this hole! What the heck! Something burrowed inside it. =(

I've got four ripe stupice tomatoes. The basil plants haven't fared well though. But I was able to get a few leaves. So I don't think I have enough to make bruschetta.

So I'm thinking, I'll make an omelet!

So this is it! The first taste of my first fruits! It was amazing! The fresh grown tomatoes tasted vibrantly juicy. The taste just exploded in my mouth! And the basil, oh what a difference! Yummers!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ripe Colors

OMG! The first tomato has turned orange!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Waiting, waiting, waiting

It's been a couple more weeks and I've got more green guys growing! I wonder how much longer it'll be before they start to turn orange!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sheet Mulching

We're finally ready to work on the backyard!

I mentioned in a previous video that I'd be sheet mulching the yard instead of digging up the dry grass and weeds. I'm told that I shouldn't disturb the soil by digging it up. So sheet mulching is a technique that one could use to quickly create a soil bed. Granted, it'll take a few months for the layers to decompose into good soil. However, I'm told that I can put a cover crop of peas and lettuce and such for the first few months while we're waiting.

My friend Ty is helping me out on this one as he teaches me and my friends this technique. He references a book by Heather Coburn Flores called "Food Not Lawns: How to Turn Your Lawn into a Garden and Your Neighborhood into a Community". (Check out and

Big thanks to Long Beach Organic's Wild Oats Community Garden for giving me the free mulch and thanks to my friend Michael for helping me get a truck full of mulch with his truck. Thanks to Ty for teaching us and Ofelia for bringing the food (she's the Catalyst mom!). Thanks to Tanya for the green matter and thanks to Jerry for the green matter and wood chipper. And thanks to my friends from Green Long Beach Sharon, Chris, Earl, Matthew (and buddy - the pup), Ana, Bree, and Sonia for coming to help out!

Here's Ty explaining what we're gonna do:

Here's some pics of our progress!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Blooming Tomatoes

OMG! So yesterday I noticed the first Stupice tomato baby guy thing growing!

And then today, I noticed a few more tomatoes formed.

There's also several other flowers starting to bloom!

Wow, this is exciting because I can imagine bunches of tomatoes eventually. It'll be so fun to pick them when they're ripe. I wonder how long it'll take before they're ready?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Planting My First Veggies and Herbs

I finally got to do some planting!

It's been 3 weeks and I have finally planted my first vegetables and herbs. Last week I shared a video with you about planting tomatoes and basil in a pot so I finally got a chance to do it.

Also since last week, I picked up some new plants that my mom gave me and I picked up some wood (and stuff) from a friend.

I went to Armstrong Garden Center here in Long Beach, California to get the plants and supplies and stuff. I found out that they have a frequent buyer program where you get 1 point for every $25 spent, and when you get 25 points you get a $25 gift card. Sweet! I'm sure that'll add up. So far I have 2 points! haha

I purchased:

4 tomato plants (champion/stupice at $2.99 each) $11.96
4 basil plants (sweet italian large leaf at $1.99 each) $7.96
7 flower & vegetable plant mix ($5.99 each) $41.93

Total: $61.85 -ish (not including tax)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cracked Pits

Cesar and Alonso are two weeks old. Cesar has cracked open quite a bit but I still don't see anything shooting out of him. Alonso just barely starting to crack open. I really hope these avocado guys survive!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Coco and Kiki

Meet Coco (on left) and Kiki (on right). I've always wanted to have coffee plants and I happened to see some at Trader Joes in these lil coffee cups. Cute.

So they are indoor plants and shouldn't be in direct sunlight. I'm also supposed to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Here's where I put them:

Friday, August 14, 2009

Bruschetta from Pot to Table

I'm really anxious to start trying stuff out but I think the yard is gonna take quite awhile to get ready. I came across this video that shows you how to grow tomatoes and basil in a big pot, then how to make bruschetta. It seems easy enough, so I'm going to try it out this weekend since we happen to already have two big pots in the backyard. I figure this will build my confidence and motivation. In the mean time, I'm still planning on digging up all the dry grass in the backyard. I'll try to make another video to show you how my tomato/basil organic garden in a pot turns out!

Here's the steps, taken from the article at Home with Lisa Quinn from Live Well HD Network:

Grow your own veggies! Plant tomatoes and basil right at home. It's a fun, cost-saving way to eat organically and locally.

Planting Tomatoes and Basil:

* Use a 16 x 16 pot.
* Buy new potting soil, do not use old.
* Try cherry, roma or early girl tomatoes.
* Buy basil of your choice.
* Use a 1" Stick.


* Fill the pot almost to the top with soil.
* Dig a deep hole for the tomato plant.
* Take off the bottom stems of the tomato plant so the roots can develop.
* Insert the tomato plant and steak it with yours stick.
* Plant the basil, but don't dig as deep as you did for the tomato plant.
* Water right away.
* Make sure it gets plenty of sun.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Cesar and Alonso

Meet Cesar (on left) and Alonso (on right). They are pals. They are also avocados. My friend Chris gave them to me and he said that I should first put them in a glass of water near the sun. I love avocados so I'm looking forward to growing these boys up to bear many more avocados for me and my friends! (yeah, i know it'll take awhile.)

I went online and found some tips for growing avocados from seeds into trees. The site was The Garden Helper. Once Cesar and Alonso start sprouting some roots in 2-6 weeks, I'm supposed to plant them in soil. I'll put them in pots and keep them by the kitchen window where they'll get plenty of sun.

Right now, we're renting this house. And while I've got free reign to do what I want with the backyard, I'm still mindful of what I would want for my own home. So believe me, I've no intention of planting Cesar and Alonso in the ground here only to have to say goodbye when it's time to move. But when I do move into my own place, by then I can plant them in the ground and it'll be time for them to bear fruit.

So for now, they'll be my indoor buds.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

New Tools for the Garden

Okay, so we're taking little steps here. Little itty bitty steps. Haha, well I couldn't exactly do anything in the backyard this past week since I didn't have any tools. So as little as a step towards creating my little backyard paradise it is, buying tools is still a step forward - but a necessary one.

So I went to Home Depot, found my way to the Yard and Gardens department and browsed the row of tools. Hmm . . . I don't exactly know what I'm doing so I just went ahead and got what I *thought* i'd need.

So here's what I got:

Shovel $9.97
Weeder Hoe $15.97
Broom $7.49
Hand shovel $7.97
Hand Trowel $7.97
Gloves $4.46
Water pail $8.99
32 Gallon trash can $17.99
Trash bags $13.96

Total: $94.77 -ish (not including tax)

Okay, so now that I have tools, I'll spend the next week digging up the old dry grass.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Day 1: Starting from Scratch

This is Day 1 of my new blog chronicling a new project of building a backyard organic garden from scratch. I'm literally starting with nothing - no tools, no knowledge of gardening, and barely any cash - to transform a practically desolate backyard into a cool green space where I can host connection events for friends and neighbors and to grow fruits and vegetables for me and my friends. I'll try to have a good mix of pics and videos and also my own writing to take you along this journey of mine.

This is it. This is what i'm starting with. Wish me luck!