Tag Archives: Garden

Fresh Cantaloupe from the Garden

This weekend I harvested 3 cantaloupes from our garden. Two of them were squishy so I was anxious to crack this one open as it was super pungent. It isn’t the sweetest cantaloupe I have ever had, so I should have waited a few days to open it up. This picture was shot with my 50mm f/1.8 at ISO 100, F/4, 1/8 sec.

Garden Cantaloupe (2 of 2)

Carson Matthews

Today’s Vegetable Harvest

I suppose it has been a week since the last vegetable harvest, at least for the pole beans. Today I walked away from our garden at Farm Chastain with enough beans for the family, 3 ears of Silver Queen corn, and one of Silver King. I also picked a cucumber for Martha and some squash for this week. The corn was a little early to be picked but it sure was good. I think it has another 10 days of fattening up to go, but I ran across several worms which made me nervous so I went ahead and picked some for dinner. Picking the green beans is a challenge for sure, they are super healthy so there is a ton of foliage to get through to find the beans.

I am most proud of the corn. If I were to be stranded on an island it would be a must have for me. You can also see a yellow pepper in the picture above. It needs a couple of days to sweeten up, but also looked in danger of getting eaten up out there, so I went ahead and picked.

We had two watermelons growing nicely only to come back today to find them totally rotted out. Not sure what got to them, but they were super nasty. I'll spare you that picture.

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

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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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

Matthews Back Yard Farm to Table

The back yard garden is still kicking and provided the Matthews family with green beans and tomatoes for dinner last night. The Atlanta summer heat was not very kind to the garden, and while we enjoyed lots of cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and cantaloupe, the green beans, full tomatoes and peppers just couldn’t get it going. With Fall coming, the super hot days seem to be behind us and the veggies seem to be thriving.

Here are some pics of our recents harvest of green beans (if you can call it that):

June Garden Update (6 of 7)     —–>

Matthews Green Beans  —–>

Matthews Garden Veggies

I’m hoping the tomatoes continue to flourish through the Fall!

Matthews Garden Tomatoes

Bite of My Tomato

  

Dear Mr or Mrs Squirrel, if you are going to take a bite of my tomato, at least do me the favor of eating the whole thing like you do with the blueberries. This was my first tomato of the year, ready to be harvested… The square off continues.

June 17 Raised Garden Update – We have Fruit

Strawberry growing on fork
Forked Strawberry

Here are some pictures of the garden today. The strawberries have been coming along nicely, but more than not the underside is rotting in the mulch. Apparently that’s why they call them ‘straw’berries, because they grow best when mulched with straw.  Well I found another trick that I did today that is pretty nifty and may just do the trick.  I found the idea on GardenWeb to put plastic forks under each strawberry or group of strawberries and drape the vine through the fork tines keeping the strawberries off of the ground.

Cantaloupe
Cantaloupe

Below are pictures of a bell pepper, cucumber, fat blueberry, and a bee hard at work on the cantaloupe. Speaking of cantaloupe I think this is my first fruit. There is a lot going on in there and this bulb seems to be the furthest along, and closest thing to an actual fruit.

July Update on Raised Summer Garden

Here are some pictures to give you an update on how the summer raised garden is coming along.  We have 30-40 tomatoes growing, one bell pepper which appears to be turning red, and some baby squash (I picked the first one too early and it was not ready).  We had lots of blueberries but those were eaten soon after harvest.  We can’t wait for those to mature so we can have gallons of blueberries in the summer!  Until then we have veggies…

Bell Pepper turning red
Bell Pepper

July Matthews Garden Update (6 of 8)
Tomatoes

July Matthews Garden Update (3 of 8)
Yellow Squash

July Matthews Garden Update (8 of 8)
Top of the Tomato Cage

July Matthews Garden Update (5 of 8)
More Tomatoes Coming

Lemon Basil Chicken on the Big Green Egg

Yesterday I was searching for a way to use some of the basil that I needed to harvest from our garden.  When I searched for a low fat basil chicken recipe, the first three results pointed to a Lemon Basil Chicken recipe on a blog called Eat Yourself Skinny.  Here is the link to the recipe: http://www.eat-yourself-skinny.com/2011/03/lemon-basil-chicken.html.

I followed the recipe just as it is, but instead made it on the big green egg using the plate setter and cast iron grate.  Let me tell you that chicken was superb, juicy like no other I assume due to the brining.  Anyway it’s a simple recipe using household items plus some basil and a lemon.  I also used some basil to top some tomatoes.  mm good!

Lemon Basil Chicken

Hanging Mason Jar Impatiens

Hanging Mason Jar ImpatiensIn February I made some DIY hanging mason jar candles for the backyard of our house.  With daylight savings I knew we wouldn’t be putting them to good use over the summer so today I bought some impatiens at Lowes and set out to make some hanging plants for the backyard.

Off the bat I know that drainage will be an issue since I’m not drilling a hole in the jars, but the impatiens cost less than a bottle of Gatorade so it’s worth a try.  In an effort to prevent a soggy jar I broke up some old concrete that I had laying around and put about two inches of rock in the bottom of the jars.  On top of that I put planting soil in and created a space in the center for the impatiens to fit inside.  After placing the impatiens inside I filled any remaining spaces with potting soil.

With that I converted diy lanterns into diy hanging plants.

Hanging Mason Jar Impatiens  Hanging Mason Jar Impatiens

Thanks,

Carson Matthews