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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Rotting Onions - a Cure

 Tortuga Thursday
In 2012, on the plains of Northern Arizona, two families joined forces and began the trials and tribulations of building a small family farm with nothing in the bank but love.
Sadi in the cucumbers
Grasshoppers this year are in locust biblical proportions. I exaggerate only slightly. Lance has tried every natural/organic way possible to get rid of them but they thrive. Although we've been much more successful this year at keeping the weeds down in the garden, a few other areas have gone ignored. Weeds harbor grasshoppers as well as other unwanted bugs so I went on the warpath. All good sized weeds met their end. The potatoes are the most bothered.

We had little black bugs and aphids in the greenhouse a month or two
back. A bucket with some water and rotting onions set inside the greenhouse was the cure. Stinks awfully - I guess the bugs don't like it either.

Pickle jar processing
The cucumbers are beautiful this year. The jars of Pirate Pickles look great. We perfected the point at which to harvest so there will be more pickles in each jar. Consistency is important and demanded by the head Pirate, Lance.

Some of our other veggies, like the zucchini, do not get the same manic attention. Most of the zucchini goes in the dogs' food so we aren't that concerned about size. You zucchini lovers out there are probably screaming "what?" but, yes, most of it goes to the dogs.

Giant and normal zucchini
But not all...

Like tonight we had grilled veggies which is about our favorite on Tortuga. If you haven't purchased a grill pan for vegetables, you really should. Tonight we had zucchini, yellow squash, onions, bell peppers, kohlrabi, and patti pan (the patti pan and yellow squash from our neighbors and the rest from our garden). Cut the vegetables in chunks or thick slices, toss in a bowl with olive oil and lemon pepper and grill on the barbecue for about 45 minutes. Sooooo good.

The monsoons continue. The wind is the killer. We've lost about 30% of the cayenne pepper plants to the
Monsoons mean mud
storms. The rain has been great for the crops but the wind is bothersome. We're a windswept prairie. We are very happy to have the rain because the Big Chino Aquifer was in desperate need of replenishing. Wouldn't want the well to go dry.

Butternut Squash Plants
In case some of you don't know about our Pirate Pickle web site, here is the link. Hope you check it out.

And we now have a Tortuga Flats Farm Facebook page. Please drop in and "like" us!


  1. I always liked baked stuffed zucchini when the buggers got too big and seedy. Cut in half - seed - stuff with everything under the sun including breadcrumbs and cheese - then wrap in foil and bake on the grill. Yum! Hope the wind dies down and the rain continues for you.

    1. I should try your suggestion, Ashantay, because other than grilled I don't care for it. I find it blah in flavor. Thanks. PS the wind rarely dies down here. It's either no wind or knock you over.