Saturday, September 6, 2014

Dahlia Show #1

Today was the Portland Dahlia Show in Canby Oregon. I left the house at 6:23 AM and headed north. I arrived in Canby a little after 8:00 AM and brought my 10 entries into the show and set them on the appropriate tables. Then it was time for the judge's meeting and then the judging of the entries. My team judged all 3-bloom BB entries as well as all 1-bloom and 3-bloom Orchid entries. At 11:30 I had to leave and head back home before the judging was complete. But soon I had a voice-mail with some exciting news. I had placed two entries on the head table!

My first head table entry was my 1-bloom "Martina". It won the best 1-bloom Miniature in the Show. I also later found out it was one of two blooms that battled for overall Best 1-Bloom in the Show. My entry lost by one vote! So close! But I was still really happy.

My second entry to make it on the head table was my 1-bloom entry of "Joal Louisa". It won best 1-bloom waterlily in the show. I was especially happy about this win because "Joal Louisa" isn't grown very much anymore and had fallen out of the classification book. This big win will put it back in the book for another two years.

I was also really pleased that my entry of "Majestic Kerkrade" did so well. While it fell short of making the head table, it did score a Blue and a Best of Type. This win will keep this little-grown variety in the book too. Not bad for a variety hybridized back in 1977.

On Sunday I drove back up to Canby so that I could see my entries on the head table and take a few photos.

It is always hard to get a flower on the head table and especially so at the Portland Show where there are always many, many talented growers exhibiting. This was a really terrific way to kick-off the Show Season for me. Even if I fail to make it to the head table for the rest of the year I will still be really pleased.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Getting Ready for the First Show

This morning I got up extra early, so when the sun rose over the hill at 6:15 AM, I could head down to the dahlia garden. The reason? The heat! It hit 97 degrees today and I have the first dahlia show of the Season tomorrow up in Portland. I knew if I wanted any decent blooms to take, I would have to pick them before they sat out all day in the scorching sunshine, fading and wilting.

I ending up picking five blooms in the morning and another six blooms after work, right as the sun set. Then I got to work staging them for tomorrow's show. Considering how many 90+ degree days we have had this Summer, and how bad the cucumber beetles have been, I was happy to have anything to stage at all. I think of everything I am taking, my best shot for the head table is my "Martina". It is my first bloom of the year, so it is large and nearly perfect. Close behind it is my white "Joal Louisa" waterlily. It is also the first bloom of the year from that plant, but it unfortunately has 3-4 petals with some serious bug damage. I have done some delicate plucking where I could but there are still two petals on the backside with a small hole that I couldn't pull. Hopefully the judges won't notice!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Weekly Harvest - Welcome September

As Summer slowly fades, the pace of harvesting and preserving increases. Each week it seems more and more of the fruits and vegetables in the kitchen garden are ripening and needing immediate attention. This week, for the first time, I had ripe tomatoes on all five plants. I was able to pick a platers worth to bring into work and share. I pretty much stripped the "Bloody Butcher" plant of all of its fruits. This might be the end of the harvest for that variety. But it started producing back on July 14th so I can't complain. It has been a nice, early variety for me. In contrast, I was able to pick the very first two "Indigo" Amethyst Jewel Cherry tomatoes this week. They are a shocking hot pink color with dark purple shoulders. Unfortunately, the initial review back on them was less than stellar. "Bland" and "Tasteless" were my co-worker's thoughts on this new cherry. Maybe it will improve as the season progresses. Here is this week's tomato harvest:
  • "Bloody Butcher" - 19 fruit - 1 lbs. .4 oz
  • "Moonglow" - 1 fruit - 7.5 oz
  • "Indigo" Amethyst Jewel Cherry - 2 fruit - 2.8 oz
  • "Bumblebee" Sunrise Cherry - 11 fruit - 4 oz.
  • "Black Plum" - 12 fruit - 12.1 oz.

I spent part of Sunday harvesting my main onion crop. The "Candy" sweet onions have been ready to pull for a while but the weather has been so hot and dry they were just fine staying in the ground. The tops on the "Frontier" yellow storage onions had fallen over recently, so it was time for them to come out now too.

I planted 15 "Frontier" yellow storage onions back on April 30th. All 15 plants settled in and grew well. The largest onion in today's harvest weighed 11.7 oz and the smallest was 6.7 oz. The average onion size was 8.29 oz and my total  "Frontier" harvest was 7 lbs. 12.4 oz.

I had planted 12 "Candy" sweet onions in April and still had 11 of them in the ground today. The largest onion was 9.2 oz and the smallest was 4.1 oz. The average size onion was 6.9 oz. and my total "Candy" crop weighed 5 lbs. 2.8 oz.