Posts filed under ‘Farm and Garden’
We haven’t been in the garden lately. I’ve been blessed with rain and extra hands but I’ve missed visiting on a daily, sometimes twice daily basis.
Here is what has been going on while I was away.
I discovered that not all of my beans died and they have even begun to flower.
I have two different varieties of corn that are doing well. The one above is an heirloom sweet corn called Clem Bennet. Below is a Blue Pop Popcorn Variety.
I even spotted a couple ears beginning to bulge and show silks!
I love how the cucumber flowers have mini cucumbers sneaking up behind them on the stem.
But even better than that is a cucumber ready for one of my Thinglets to pick for tonight’s salad!
Eggplant flowers are amazingly pretty and I have two varieties to pick from. I can’t wait to make Barbequey Ratatouille with my garden fresh eggplant.
This jalapeno was so well disguised beneith the dark similiarly shaped leaves I didn’t even spot it until it was near seven inches long!
Below my re purposed crib rails protect the lettuce from the hot sun and provide a trellis for the cucumbers to climb.
Okay I know I’ve always got some crazy idea cooked up that my husband has to help me either justify (plan, save and eventually possibly DO), magnify (look intently into the pro’s and often con’s of said project) or on occasion build-ify (just do it)! I’m hoping this might be in the build-ify department.
This way cool earthbag dome can be constructed using mostly materials I have here at the house…
bags (animal food bags in my case)
I can’t wait to try it out! Hopefully it won’t have to go under the microscope first and I can report back on construction at some point! 🙂
I mentioned in another post about a story I had told. I decided I’d better get my kicks and share it here too and hopefully in less that half an hour, for your sake! 🙂
A couple months ago the big boys and I were at a friends birthday party and I got to talk horses with their grandpa. He told me through teary eyes that his health was failing and despite his love for horses, haying and helping out his grandkids, he was going to have to neglect his hobby farming and move out of state for the summer to undergo cancer treatments. I was horrified since I had brought up a subject that he was obviously frightened about. I mentinoned it to my friend, his daughter-in-law and we had a nice conversation about it. I told her I’d pray for their family and she began to tell me about her plight with the horses that had been his and she was now in care of.
To make a very long story somewhat shorter… she was having difficulty caring for and keeping weight on them and asked if Iwould like to have one.
I of course was extatic. I’ve got three horses of my own but it’s a strange motley crew. One 16+ hand draft horse (tall and WIDE) a short mare (Mountain Mare) I’ve had since she was a baby and an even shorter pony/mare for my kids. None of them are well suited to your average, everyday, friendly guest who might want to have a tour of our local mountians. I love taking people for rides so I was excited about the chance to have a regular sized horse.
I told her I would “work on” talking to my husband about it and she should keep me informed on how things were going.
Over the next couple of months I worked hard at trying to figure out a way to reduce our horse expenses so that I could justify feeding another large mouth, to my husband! Also over the next couple of months my husbands job became less and less stable seeming and a raise became a dream of the past.
Sooo, my friend called again this week to ask if she could bring the horse over for me, complete with hay and a round pen.
I asked Matt, thinking that after the conclusion of the pig incident I had this one in the bag! Not really, my husband is not a push over and I am not a horrible manipulator. I’m sure on occasion I’ve used my womanly charms to get my way but let me tell you I’m not proud of those moments and they usually come back to bite me. We do, both want what is best for our family so it serves us well when we hear eachother out and submit to God’s authority on matters.
This time Matt wisely said “No!” Not in those words but still the answer was no and I had no rebuttal because I knew he was right. We really could (can) not afford another horse! I was crushed. I had really hoped I could make it work.
I hate it when my husband is right!
I reluctantly called my friend back and broke the news to her. She understood but still tried to “sweeten” the deal with more hay and the use of a horse trailer they would no longer be needing.
Just before hanging up the phone I remembered something Matt had said, “I have no problem having another horse at the house it’s just not a wise money decision.” He had even told me I should ask her to board the horse at our place so we could ride together. I offered this option to her and through a series of details and more phone calls her and her husband decided to give it a try.
The next day Sunny showed up at my house looking like this…
I had no idea she had fared so badly. She is quite old, mind you (great for the kids) but her health and weight are far beyond what I had realized when we first talked. Upon her arrival I tried to hide my shock. Since my friend is aware of the problem and is now trying to do something about it there was no reason to rub it in and embarrass her but WOW! This poor mare will have a long road to health and an expensive journey at that. Thank the Lord and thank my Hubby she is not our financial burden. It will be a blessing to be a part of helping nurse her back to fat and happy and help my friend learn how to avoid this in the future!
I love it when my husband is right!
In my garden this week I found a few volunteers so I though it would be fun to show you and see if you can identify the impostors.
Maybe this isn’t a scavenger hunt. I don’t know what to call it but the object is to look at my garden pictures and find which thing does not belong.
One of these things is not like the other.
1. Here is my mint patch, can you find the impostor and identify it?
2. The first picture below is a sweet pepper and the second is a volunteer in the pepper row, can you identify it?
3. I have ten red onion plants with another stray plant in that row too, can you tell what the second picture is?
4. In this picture you might see leaves of another plant happily growing in the shade of my cucumber.
5. Here in the cilantro is a happy imposter that I promptly pulled out after taking this picture.
6. Below is the corn field and a plant that I purposely put between rows to save room, can you identify it?
7.You may see yet another inter-cropper in this picture.
8. Here is one more plant I intercropped at the other end of the corn field can you name it?
Happy hunting! I will mail seeds to anyone who can correctly identify all of these plants by Monday 7/13/09. If you get all eight correct I will email you to get your address. Have fun 🙂
I wasn’t going to post today but I had a little surprise in the garden and I couldn’t wait to share it with you!
They are green still but I’m so thrilled because these were transplanted from my mothers raspberry patch this (yes I said THIS) spring! Can you believe they are producing?
PeeWee spotted one and…
We did several different transplants and the ones that were planted with long wooden stems (that looked spent) produced leaves first and now raspberries in their very first season at our place! Yipee!
I did remember in my “mom brain” archives learning that rasberries fruit on old wood. Now I have the proof or a miracle but either way…thanks Mom!
Oops, she got one!
It is time to add on to my potato bed and I realized that the lincoln log system wasn’t going to work because the material I had laying around is old cedar fence posts. When you try to notch the end it splits and falls apart.
Here is my new and improved potato bed system! This would work well for any raised bed but with my potatoes I will continue to add rails until they are ripe for harvest and then take them down collecting loads of potatoes (I hope) along the way! 😉
Don’t you love the weeds? Actually I have a volunteer sunflower (top, far left) and tons of marigolds (to help deter the deer) about to bud.
We found 4 long pieces of 2″ x 2″ cedar (one is pine so it will rot in a couple years and have to be replaced) and a bunch of old cedar fence boards. Any 1″ wide (or less) material will work best but if you don’t use cedar you will need to paint or seal it and replace in a year or two. Cedar should last longer and withstand the moisture. I’ve used Hardy board (cement fiber siding) but it is hard to cut and work with. Our fence boards are about 6″ wide.
Place the 2×2 corner inside of the slats and insert two screws through both boards on each side. You may prefer to predrill the holes.
I have burried most of the plant with a mixture of straw and dirt and will put up a new rail so that I can add even more dirt. Each time the plants get about 6in more dirt and when necessary, more rails.
I made a big boo boo the other day. I spent a good part of my day in the garden and though I don’t usually let the Bubba in with me he was especially curious as to what I was up to. The boys all wanted a tour so I let them follow me around while I took a bunch of pictures of my new plants and since I can’t harvest yet it was a nice distraction. We have some new things in the garden this year that I’ve never grown. I had no idea what the red onions would look like…
Thing 1 took one of the “leaf thingies” chopped it up and harvested it away in a small bowl with tin foil. It is in the frig waiting to go into a stir fry or some soup. The tops are very strong and Thing 2 spit it out saying “SPICY!”
Of course, the Bubba couldn’t wait to get in to the action so he snagged a couple leaves, half chewed them up and then spat onto the ground saying “Ack, ick!” just like he had seen Thing 2 do.
I had no idea how quickly I would be adding on to my potato “cage”…
Ack, we can’t have flowers! I’ve actually got to re-build my frame because the original one is not working. Hurry hurry, I’ve got to get those buds burried! That’s a job the Thingles can do, they love to play in the dirt.
I am hopeful that the new varieties of corn that I purchased specifically for their short growing season will yield some sort of crop this year. I have a 4×6 area of three different varieties!
I’m a girl, I couldn’t make up my mind!!
I love the red stalks on this heirloom black mexican.
My cucumbers have a long way to climb up this repurposed crib rail and will hopefully provide shade so I can have a longer season of harvesting lettuce.
My peas also have a long long way to go. The boys can’t wait to play in their tepee fort!
The boo boo was when I came to the herbs and showed the boys how to chew on a sprig of mint. Now I’m having to follow the Bubba around everywhere, “NO not THAT leaf,” then in two seconds more when he has a handfull of weeds “NOT THAT EITHER!” What a dumb idea mom! I’ve now spent the better part of the last few days teaching him that not all plants are safe to eat!
“You have to ASK first!” I scold. Its scarry, I was dumb! I’ve put the big boys on “plant patrol” and poor Bubba can’t quite get it he leans down to every green thing napweed, sunflower or otherwise then obediently looks over at me and asks “Please!?” just like I told him to do.
I think the tomato buds are pretty in a strange sort of way. The big boys couldn’t resist touching the tiny green tomatoes on the sweet 100, they are now with the bowl of onion “leaf thingies”.
Despite the toddler sized setbacks I am quite please with our garden and Thing 1 claims to know all the plants by name! I couldn’t be prouder…
…well maybe just a little, I AM quite proud of this tiny plant since until this year I’ve never had luck growing cilantro!