A note to Men-ards

It’s 2012, and it’s time for Menards to update the old stock photos to include men canning. Maybe you don’t think men can can. Yes, we can.  Agridudes are here to stay.  And by god we are purchasing the canning kits that are on sale.  Your blatant sexism cannot stop us in our inexorable march towards freedom, jams, and jellies!

Cape Mayhem Gardens Update June 27th

Agridude - Cape Mayhem Gardens Full ViewI went over to the garden this morning after my bike ride to take some pictures and water.  As you can see, the garden looks pretty good.  Our tomatoes are green,tall and bushy, the pepper plants are doing great.  We have started getting sunshine at the beach too!  Since last friday, we have had the sun out all day.  It has been very nice and I’m sure the plants are loving it.  I gave them a nice deep watering this morning.

Agridude - Potted Omars LebaneseMy Omars Lebanese tomato was struggling in the dirt.  I was debating just ripping it out and throwing it away since it was not nearly as tall or healthy as the other plants.  I decided to pull it this past weekend, but my friend Peter talked me into potting it to see if we couldn’t save it.  I planted it in an old pot that we had lying around and we’ll see what happens.  I am going to have to add some fertilizer to get some good nutrients in the soil for it to have a chance.  I’ll give it some leachate tomorrow and see if it won’t turn it’s fortunes around.

Agridude - Beat Up Cucumbers

My cucumber leaves are still covered with powdery mildew.  I did not apply anymore neem oil to them today.  I will have to do it tomorrow.  I was debating pulling these and putting in new plants.  I might see how they do over the next week or so.  There are a lot of new leaves, but the mildew is all over the vines.  I’ll wait to see what happens with the fruit production.

Agridude - Serrano plantTo the right is a picture of the serrano plant.  This thing is going absolutely crazy!  We have always had good production from our serranos, but the plants have never gotten this tall before.  Sorry for the bad picture, didn’t realize the sun was going to bleach out the top portion of the pic.  There are tons of flowers all of the plant and there are around 5 peppers currently growing.  One cucumber vine wrapped itself around a serrano branch so I cut that loose and staked that branch up.


Agridude - Cherry Tomato turning red

I did some pruning of the tomatoes today as well.  I removed a lot of yellow leaves from the bottoms of the plants.  I noticed that we have a cherry tomato that is beginning to turn red.  There are also a ton of other cherries growing.  I can’t wait for these to be in full production so I can snack on them while doing garden maintenance.

Agridude - Cherry Tomato turning red  Here is a cluster of Crnkovic Yugoslavian’s tomatoes on our heirloom tomato plants.  These should turn out to be 1-2 pound red fruits.  Since I added the worm leachate two weeks ago, I have noticed that the leaves on this plant are growing uber large.  I am excited to taste these and compare them to last years varieties of tomatoes.

Agridude - Jalapenos

The jalapenos are continuing to put out quite a few fruits.  Here is a picture of 2 of our plants.  They are actually larger than what we have had in the past.  We like to make some stuffed jalapenos and we have been unable to do them with them from the garden because they do not grow large enough.  We might be able to give it a try this year though!  If we do, Ill post the recipe with pics.

Here are some other pictures that I took this morning.  The first one is a close up of the right half of the garden.  Basil is looking good.  2nd photo is the new homepage banner and is a full view of the garden.  Last pic is of some pickling cucumbers that I pulled.  I need to pickle them soon…

Agridude - Basil Jalapeno

Agridude - Cape Mayhem Gardens

Agridude - Cucumbers picked

Agridad Here!

Hey readers, I’m the Agridad on this blog.  Maybe not the only dad, but I don’t know  the other ‘dudes yet.  Maybe we should go disc golfing (I’m not a ball golfer).   As a dad I’ll try to keep my life wisdom to myself, and just stick to all things Agridude. No promises though. My first post has been a long time coming, but the Agridad has been busy. I had to get a babysitter just to write this post. Not really. Here’s me with my oldest (Eva) and my new toolbox. Never had a toolbox before last weekend.  That’s me – Nick.

Happy DILF Day!

My posts are going to be a little different since I am lacking a vital component most Agridudes possess: a garden.  Though, I should add that I have some plants on my balcony and giving a shot at growing tomato plants this year.  I live in a condo in the Minneapolis North Loop neighborhood with my wife and two ilttle girls (1 and 4 y.o.).  I do 99% of the cooking and food planning/shopping in my house. This year I decided to add a new wrinkle to our eating process by signing up for a CSA. So, my focus on the blog will be how I use my CSA shares weekly, share some recipes, photos, etc. with an emphasis on minimizing waste and learning to work with what you have.   Later in the season I will document my attempts to learn the fine arts of food preservation, hopefully culminating in an Agridude canning party.

I want to share a photo of the CSA share this week, the quantity is really picking up after mostly greens the first few weeks.  Can’t wait to watch this thing grow in the coming weeks.  I’m glad to be here Agridudes, thanks for having me!

CSA Share Week 4: Kale, kohlrabi, bok choy, broccoli rabe, salad turnip, spring greens, snap peas, arugula (bag), spring greens (bag)


Nate’s garden in Portland

Hey all,

Overgrown Yard

The overgrown yard a couple months before we closed on the house...and before the blackberries took over during vacancy.

So, I’m pretty excited to get the invite to the big show here. I’ve had a garden most places I’ve lived for the past 10 or so years, and since my GF Ky and I bought our house here Thanksgiving 2010, that was one thing I’ve been excited to make happen. We dug up a wildly overgrown flower garden planted who knows how long ago to make a strip about 8 x 20 feet in the backyard. Unfortunately, summer never showed up in PDX last year, so we didn’t get much out of it – actually it was so pathetic that I began to doubt my gardening skills.

So this year, I vowed to improve on that showing – as long as the weather cooperates…

But, there is a complicating factor – I gave Ky a dog for X-mas. And not just any old dog,

The "innocent" pup and 1 of 2 garden boxes post-construction. Don't let him fool you...

but Charlie the rambunctious Aussie/mutt that loves to chew anything he can wrap his chompers around. (Don’t ask about the helmet, shoes, door trim, more shoes, etc…) So I thought this was a perfect excuse to put in some boxes in the backyard to get the garden a bit out of reach.

I mean seriously, what’s more manly than a bunch of cedar, a skill saw, and half-dozen Tecates? I think the boxes turned out pretty sweet, and now they are full of dirt and some plants. My neighbor was also tearing up some sod from his yard, so I packed that in around the boxes for a more pleasant barefoot gardening experience. I even put up a little string fence to try to encourage the pup from digging elsewhere. He’ll find a way if he wants to – hopefully the toys elsewhere in the yard are more fun. Now all we need is summer…

Paul mentioned the “June gloom” thing going on in sunny SoCal – well PDX is in the same boat. After 2+ weeks of awesome summer teaser weather in May, we’ve slipped back into mostly cloudy and rainy skies for the last several weeks. The starts (spaghetti squash, cucumber, 6 different peppers, and a cherry tomato) and seeds (cilantro, basil, beans,

A few weeks in - things are coming up. Slowly. If only the sun would shine for more than 15 minutes at a time.

kale, and beets) came up fine in the sun, but aside from the spaghetti squash haven’t done much since. In fact I think one of the peppers has actually shrunk and may not make it another rainy week. I also saved some heirloom tomato seeds and started them late. Hopefully they catch up.

At any rate, I’ll keep you updated on how things go if summer ever shows up. Hope it does, since I wouldn’t mind getting rid of the mildew from under my fingernails…

Got Crazy With It

I had a big day today.   I made an indoor planter box for the winter.  Megan said it would be cool if it looks nice.  I am looking into a grow light for the winter!  Any help would be welcome.  Below are some pictures of the birth of the planter box.

There are two parts.  The top box which is 5 feet by 18 inches and is 1 feet deep.  The bottom with the legs is 6 4 by 4s.   To make it look nice I add some trim to the front of it.  I had a hard time with some of the angles.





I then stained the planter box. 

I will show finished picture soon!

Larson Work Garden after Weeks of Rain

Drowned some little plants.  Hope the rest survive.  Been too wet after these pictures, but looks like my weeds are taller.  These are pictures after this last monsoon.


Larson Home Garden

Strawberry and raspberry plants are very prolific again this year. The last two falls I have sprinkled fertilizer in these two beds. We are planting some cucumbers under the trellis and a few tomato plants. The two little bushes are blueberry. Had three berries off these two plants  last season and doesn’t look good this year.Delicous Raspberries