Yomogi is a plant that grows as weed around the orchard, especially in watered areas under trees and around the edge of gardens. It was first intentionally planted because the leaves are used for coloring mochi. That was decades ago, and the plant now grows almost invasively in the area of the orchard around the house.
I haven't minded it growing at the edge of my garden though, because usually it grows and spreads so thickly that it chokes out grass. In the loose soil of the garden, its roots are easily pulled out, if it gets in too far.
During the past week I noticed another benefit of having yomogi around; its flowers are very attractive to bees. The yomogi plants that were never cut back at the edge of my garden have blossomed. When I've gone to turn water on in the mornings, I see and hear bees buzzing the the flowers. With fewer flowers from vegetables and fruit trees in the orchard during the fall, it must be helpful for the bees to have it growing, too.
Above is a honey bee gathering nectar from yomogi flowers. Click on the photo to enlarge it and see the bee.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
- Pomegranate--white variety
- Peaches--Levi (clings)
- Apples--Koyama's Northern Spy
- Asian pear--2oth Century, New Century, Shinko, Yoi
- European pear--Comice, D'Anjou
- Figs--kadota and black mission
- Winter Squash--butternut, delicata, Fordhook acorn
- Tomatoes (regular and cherry), tomatillos, eggplant, green beans, cucumber, zucchini, summer squash, bitter melon, peppers (sweet and hot), basil, garlic, onions
- Honey-from bees at our orchard
Thursday, September 24, 2009
The 2009 mail order form is now up on our web site. The mail order form shows the hoshigaki (dried persimmons) and fresh fruit we have available through mail order. This year, along with five types of persimmons, we also have Asian pear and mandarins for mail order.
Of course, fresh fruit is only available when it is in season. Asian pear is in season now and mandarins are usually ready around Thanksgiving time. We expect that the different types of fresh persimmons will be in season and available for mail order during October and November. We don't accept credit cards, so to make an order you will need to print out the form and send it with a check. Click here to go to the mail order form.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Although the hot days still feel like summer, evenings are colder and feel like fall. We had our first rain in months on Sept. 12th. The last summer fruits have all been picked, and fall fruits and vegetables are ripening. In the fruit stand we are down to the last variety of both peaches and plums.
Winter squashes have mostly been harvested, leaving only the latest growing ones in the gardens. Zucchini, summer squash and cucumber plants are growing much more slowly now, and most are starting to die off. The eggplants though, are still putting out an amazing amount of eggplants during this second and last harvest time for them. Maybe the hot weather during the day has helped them out.
Some of the earliest type of persimmon, the maru, have just gotten orange enough to pick. Jujube, quince and the first white pomegranates are ripe now, too.
Above is a photo of Christy with a Hokkaido winter squash, and a wheelbarrow of Waltham butternut, red kuri and delicata squash from the garden.