Category Archives: DIY

Garden Fresh Carrots

One of my personal goals of gardening each year is to produce fruits and vegetables for my smoothies (carrots, apples, bananas, spinach/kale, blueberries & strawberries). I haven’t had any luck getting them all to harvest at the same time, but maybe one day. This fall our garden at the Barn at the Chastain Park Conservancy has featured smoothie ingredients carrots and kale. We had a big snow a couple of weeks ago and decided to get these beauties out of the ground. This bunch of carrots came out red, orange & yellow.

Garden Carrots-1

Thanks,

Carson Matthews

Runnemede Row at Farm Chastain

This year my friend Peyton McWhirter and I have been working a garden at Farm Chastain, part of the Chastain Park Conservancy. Life has gotten in the way of me posting about it from the beginning, but you can catch up through pictures at http://www.carsonmatthewsphotography.com/ChastainParkConservancy/Runnemede-Row-Farm-Chastain/

Today we got back from a week at the beach and things are coming along nicely. We definitely have a squirrel problem, and as a result no tomatoes. We probably have 100 on the vine, but they are eaten well before becoming ripe.

Farm Chastain

Farm Chastain-4The corn is pretty impressive to someone that hasn’t grown corn before. We have two rows of Silver Queen and the back row is Silver King. In the last week it has grown at least a foot and ears of corn have emerged everywhere.

Moving to the left and pretty much taking over all available space is the watermelon. At my last visit our first melon was the size of a fat cucumber, today it’s the size of a rugby ball.

To the left of the melons are cucumbers, squash, bush beans, pole beans and more beans. Only the first teepee of pole beans is producing, but I definitely got enough to feed the family.

Everything in the middle is getting rampaged by squirrels. I bet there were 50 cherry tomatoes half eaten on the ground, and a couple of peppers had been eaten through. It’s time to spend a day there weeding for sure. Here is a picture of what I walked away with.

Farm Chastain-7

All of these pictures of our plot at Farm Chastain and many more are on my website http://www.carsonmatthewsphotography.com/ChastainParkConservancy/Runnemede-Row-Farm-Chastain/

Carson Matthews
www.CarsonMatthews.com

Straight Eight Cucumber

After picking a few of the straight eight cucumbers this summer I have realized mine are not going to resemble either of those descriptions. A straight eight cucumber is supposed to be long and straight, about 7-8 inches. The first fruit was really fat and short, and while I waited on it to grow, it turned yellow and became compost food. This time I picked it when it looked about right, just not straight or eight. Here is the picture I got of it. On the right side you can see it oozing from the fresh cut. Click on the image below to see the hi-res version on my website.

July Cucumber (1 of 1)-2

Based on some articles online this shape is due to a lack of bees getting their pollinating on. I have definitely noticed a lack of bees this year for some reason or another.

Thanks,

Carson Matthews
www.CarsonMatthewsPhotography.com

We’ve Got Fruit

The Matthews back yard garden is starting to produce fruit in the way of tomatoes, cucumbers and squash. Below are some pictures of the progress. We are still waiting on the zucchini and green beans to start fruiting. Not pictured below are the bell peppers which are starting to change from green to red, and now have a purple tone to them.

June 18 Matthews Garden (1 of 6)
First Cucumber in the garden
June 18 Matthews Garden (2 of 6)
The flowers should stay above the grate with the fruit hanging down below
June 18 Matthews Garden (3 of 6)
Squash
June 18 Matthews Garden (4 of 6)
Green Tomato

May-June 2016 Garden Update

Over the past couple of weeks I have added some growing structures for the tomatoes, squash & cucumbers.

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I have harvested lots of strawberries, but for most of them a slug has been getting to them first. I added some natural wood charcoal ash around the raised beds as well as epson salt around the plants which will hopefully take care of the slugs.

I added some stakes to the pole beans, cucumbers & tomatoes and all seem to be shooting up as a result. The blueberries are starting to get their color which has the kids really excited, hopefully they will be ready to go soon.

Thanks,

Carson Matthews

Spring 2016 Back Yard Garden Update

At Matthews Farm, 2016 will be the year that I defeat the squirrels and chipmunks. Each year my garden has grown bigger and bigger, and each year more critters come out to enjoy the harvests the night before I come out to pick the fruits of my labor.

This offseason I decided to build real cages around each raised bed, and my strawberry & carrot bed has a hinged top as well. The other bed cages will be organic, as in they will grow with the crops as needed. I plan to build trellis’s for the tomatoes, cucumbers & squash, and keeping those caged in will be an ongoing process.

Below are lots of pictures of the evolution of the garden, the planted crops, and some early seed bloomers (pole beans) that will grow in a bamboo teepee. I am also quite proud of the set of sawhorses that I built thanks to direction from familyhandyman.com.

I’m looking forward to a summer full of fruits and veggies from the back yard!

 

Garden coming out of the Fall
Garden coming out of the Fall
raised garden cage
the first cage going in
raised garden cage
First Raised Garden Cage

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img_3552

Sawhorse
Right of Passage Sawhorses doing their thing
raised garden cage
Strawberry Patch Cage with Top

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Faithful Sidekick Cody
Faithful Sidekick Cody
raised garden cage
Nifty hinged top
raised garden cage
tools of the trade
raised garden cage
Finished Cage Top
Broccoli
Broccoli
Blueberries
Blueberries
Strawberries
Strawberries
Green Beans
Green Beans
Green Beans
Green Beans
Matthews Farm (1 of 5)
Strawberry Patch
Matthews Farm
DIY Soaker Hose
Matthews Farm
Strawberry Ready to Eat
Matthews Farm
Vegetables and diy soaker hose
Matthews Farm
Blueberry Patch
Matthews Farm
Matthews Farm

Thanks,

Carson Matthews

DIY American Flag Pallet

American Flag Wood Pallet
The Finished Product

After a couple of months of driving by a wood pallet on the side of Northside Drive I finally picked it up earlier this spring and set out to make some yard art out of it. I had been on the hunt for a pallet that I could make an American flag out of. The first one that I got didn’t have enough slats on it, so I now use it to store my garden tools.  The good folks at Ace Hardware recommended I use spray paint that has built in primer. So with red white and blue paint and some really thick masking tape I set out to create my flag. Here are some pictures of the progress, and the finished product below, just in time for the 4th of July.