Thursday, June 30, 2011

What's happening around here

I have been picking green beans galore & discovered 10 foot pole beans don't work too well on a 5 foot trellis.  They were a tangled mess and I pulled the vines today.  There were lots of blossoms, but they were just too much of a headache to pick. 

Today I planted a 2 x 4 box of carrots, a 2 x 8 section of Ambrosia corn, several squares of bush Roma beans, some mixed gourds for the grandkids, and lots of late cucumbers, Boston Pickling and Marketmore.

The corn in the first section is almost finished and it sure has been good.  It was a new variety & I won't grow it again, but when Lowe's had their seeds BOGO I bought several different varieties.  This one was Early and Often that matured early, but just was not as sweet as Peaches & Cream.  I've got 3 other sections planted at various intervals, all different kinds, but right now I don't have my garden map available to tell you what kinds.

The blackberries have been outstanding!  Out of my little bitty patch I have made 3 cobblers, made 10 pints of jam and have almost enough in the fridge for another batch of jam.  Tomorrow's picking should be enough to make jam.   The berries have been HUGE and we have enjoyed them so much.  I have some branches that I weighted down to root so I can expand my garden and they seem to be doing fine.  These pictures were taken in May and the plants are about double this size now.  As best I can tell there are 5 plants here.  It was supposed to be a temporary holding spot when I planted them, so they are quite crowded.  DH built a frame for bird netting and it was worked really well.

I had also harvested onions and garlic a week or two ago and I am very pleased with the harvest.  I ordered garlic from We Grow Garlic.  You can order individual cloves (last year's prices were $1.45 to $2.90 for the varieties  I ordered).  It was an economical way to try different varieties.  They shipped large bulbs and I will order different varieties this year.  I will have a dedicated box for garlic, potato onions, shallots and leeks.

Varieties I tried last year:  Shandong, Thai Fire, Vostani, German Hardneck, Red Toch, Persian Star, Krasnodar white, Italian Mountain Red, Italian Late and Early Portugese.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

June is busting out all over

Boy, that was an old song, but it is true.  My flowers are really putting on a show & I thought I would share some pictures.

I haven't had gladiolas in years, but I bought a mixed bag this year.  They are just starting to bloom and I love this color combo.

Cleome, AKA spider flower

Dwarf dahlia  from seed.  It's about 2 feet tall, so not so dwarf, huh?

Another dahlia

Love Lies Bleeding (amaranthus).  This is one of my all time faves.  The only drawback is that bugs love the leaves and they look like lace.

One of my garden totems I bought at Homestead Apple Festival last year.

Publish Post
A view of the border from the front porch.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Blackberry harvest now totals 1 gallon

It may not sound like a lot to anyone else, but I'm tickled pink (black maybe?)  From today's picking I made 5 pints of blackberry jam plus about 2 inches of jam in another jar  I hid it as soon as it was cool since I plan on using it as gifts.  The little bit I will sneak out of the back of the fridge for toast.  It really was pretty jam. There are still lots of berries to ripen, so hopefully I can make another run of jam.  We have had 2 cobblers & even using gluten-free flour mix, they were excellent.

We are having green beans for supper from yesterday's picking, and cukes are coming in pretty steadily now.  Too bad DH doesn't like cukes.  Also there are lots of baby peppers, but none near big enough to eat.   I might have 2 more small tomatoes to pick & I'll have to check my Ping Tung eggplant. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I'm just waiting

Well, the grandkids were here this weekend and they love nature.  When I got back from the grocery store they came running to tell me they had found a box turtle.  Guess where they put it - yep, in my flower garden, which is connected to my SFG veggies.  We can't find it and I keep waiting to see big bites taken out of my tomatoes or beans.  I love the kids dearly, but......       

I have a huge Dixie Sweet tomato ripe & will pick it tonight. I can't wait til supper.  Beans need picking again, and so do the blackberries, but I've had a bad sinus headache today & wasn't able to go to church this morning, so those may not get taken care of until tomorrow.

Gertrude is doing fine, no one else around here likes her name,so I'm sure it will get changed.  She is only about 1/4 the size of the other piglets and one eye stays matted up, but she is back with her mom. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thank you Lord

Thank you Lord for sparing us damage from the storms and for the wonderful rain that we needed so badly.

Yesterday evening we had a series of severe thunderstorms with hail and LOTS of rain.  My corn usually gets blown over with a storm, but not a stalk was blown over this time.  The hail didn't damage my pole beans or cucumbers, no tree limbs down in the yard, just a wonderful rain.  I had left the wheelbarrow out and it is over half full of water from the storms.  

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Well, I never!

I would never in my wildest dreams have thought I would ever be sitting in the kitchen with a baby piglet wrapped in a towel trying to feed her a bottle!   Mama Pig and siblings were being mean & wouldn't let her eat today, so she had to be rescued since she was laying in the dirt with a chicken walking on her.  She ate a little bit, but perked up after coming to the house. 

Her name is Gertrude and she was born on Sunday, 6/12 and is a pot bellied mix and absolutely adorable. I never gave much thought about pigs as we have never had any.  My son adopted Bella when her owners didn't want her anymore and she lives in the chicken lot.  My son then somehow came up with a boar, type unknown, just a plain black hog with white markings. 

I'll keep you posted on her progress.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Today's Harvest

I had every intention of blogging at least once a week, but alas I just didn't make myself do it.  I was also going to keep a tally of my harvest this year,  but I'm behind on that too.  I didn't keep track of the lettuce, carrots and sugar snap peas, but today I am on target.

Don't let anyone tell you you can't get a decent harvest using the SFG method.  They are SO WRONG!  I planted McCaslan pole beans, a long, wide Italian type bean, in a 1 x 4' section.  I used a metal frame & strung string (sounds cute doesn't it?) for the vines to climb and planted on both sides of the trellis.  The string was a bad idea since the vines are so vigorous they just wrapped around several strings at a time, grew up, over and back down the other side of the frame.  Out of this 1 x 4' section I harvested 3 lbs of beans this evening!!

I also graveled out 2 3/4 lbs of red potatoes from one end section of the potatoes.   A lot of the vines are starting to dry up, so I will be able to dig pretty regularly now.

Another thing I am excited about is my garlic.  I bought several individual bulbs from We Grow Garlic last year.  They sell varieties by the individual bulb and I tried several different varieties.  I harvested it this week also and most of them are huge.  I am going to try and keep them separated so I can compare the different varieties by taste, but I can't promise anything. 

Today I got to eat the first ripe blackberries.  I didn't make it back to the house with too many of them for DH, but I certainly enjoyed them. 

I took some pictures to share:

My almost-83 year old Mom with Hannah Beth, her great-granddaughter,and posing next to my corn.  She hates to have her picture taken so I was quite pleased she let me, plus she SMILED for the camera.   Hannah Beth felt the need to play in the last batch of Mel's Mix DH fixed last night for me.  I know the feeling, it's irresistable.  The hens made a nice contribution with 10 eggs over the past 2 days.

God is good and I am truly blessed. 

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