It’s Been a Year…

It’s been a year since I started this blog. What reminded me of this fact was seeing the cicada killers buzzing frantically around my garden trying to scare me, like I blogged about  last August…

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I think this drawing  looks a lot like me… It especially shows how I feel most of the time when I go outside to do anything…It’s a war zone most of the time…

Here’s me, braid and everything…just like the top pic, except I don’t have any shoes like that 😉  I either wear flip-flops or barn boots depending…

me

And here is the cicada killer that was resting on my basil after trying to scare me this morning…

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This one wasn’t the only one. There were about 10 of them. So can you see the resemblance?

So they are back, but so far they have not turned my garden into a mine field, in other words they haven’t started burrowing yet. Here’s a great little video so you can see what they are like…

This year my greatest enemies so far are these sweet looking deer…

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Three spotted fawns and one mama have made their home in my gardens. Amazing how cute these creatures are…but how destructive they can be. I think they have delayed both my bean crop and my cucumbers by eating on the new leaves as they were beginning to grow. My solution was to hang CDs and human hair around the garden, and it seems to be working. 🙂

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Comparing last year to this year weather wise…we were having a drought of epic proportions last year and the temperatures were over 100 degrees for 6 weeks. This year we are having the most beautiful summer ever…plenty of rain and cooler temperatures.

Last year I was starting a fall garden. I started this blog as a type of journal to keep track of what worked and what didn’t.

I planted Lavender, only 4 plants survived, but they are still growing strong and I started a couple plants from cuttings…

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I can’t believe I propagated this lavender from tiny little cuttings…

The Parsley was amazing in the greenhouse, but this year I have none, as it has all gone to seed. I still hope it will reseed itself in that same bed in the greenhouse where it thrived so well.

I need to replace about 6 Asparagus plants that didn’t make it, and actually it would probably be good to make another bed to have enough asparagus to feed our large family. Right now the asparagus bed desperately needs weeding. 😦

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Basil always does well. This year the basil went in a little late, but I have planted lots of plants so we will be able to make and freeze pesto.

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This is the first year ever that I have not had a lot of chigger bites and it could be due to the unusually late freeze we had here in May, the one that killed all my tomato plants, but also made this summer the best ever. We haven’t had a lot of Squash Bugs either, and come to think about it I haven’t seen any Bees…That’s not good…

Last year I began to work out the  Problem in the Greenhouse. Even though I made some progress there is still a lot to be done.

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That’s it for today. Hope you all are having a great summer. 72 followers in the past year… who would have thought, and it has been so nice to make friends with you all… I’ve learned so much from you about gardening and raising chickens and I’ve laughed and I’ve cried and I’ve prayed…Hugs to all of you. 🙂

A Little of the First Harvests

Here it is almost June…it is just starting to warm up and get muggy. The weather has really influenced the garden. We are just now harvesting the very first peas…

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Lettuce, parsley, cilantro, spinach, asparagus, peas and radishes…very disappointed in the radishes this year. They usually never fail me, but they are going to seed and not producing, I think it must be the weather….my dwarf Bok Choy did the same thing.

Ever seen red lettuce go to seed?

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I’m hoping these two will reseed themselves in the same bed. They look so fabulous together…the deep red and the bright green.

Basil seeds sprouting…

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Oh, and lavender…

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I’m really excited about this lavender bush…I’ve had it for 3 years…It survived 2 years of  drought and now it is full of spikes that will blossom.

Moved the potatoes outside the greenhouse…

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Still comparing them to the ones in the row outside…

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The final analysis will be the potatoes, of course.

Eggplant that was transplanted in the greenhouse is finally taking off…

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Love a hint of color amidst all that is green…

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The Farm Keeps Going On…

So sad what is going on…the Boston Marathon Bombing… the West, Texas Explosion… my prayers go out to these families, and those injured still in the hospital.

It seems so trite to journal about what is going on here, but that is what this blog is for…a journal… and the farm keeps going on…

Tomorrow, we are expecting another freeze, a late one here in the South, so I’ll be covering up the hostas and the tomatoes in our new bed…

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These milk cartons with the bottoms cut off are excellent recycled cloches to keep  tomatoes nice and cozy warm until the weather gets more tomato friendly. I always keep them on until the tomatoes start growing out of the top. But I didn’t have enough to cover all the tomatoes, so I used a plastic tarp for tonight…

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A little peek inside this minnie greenhouse…

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Still have some tomatoes inside…

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And peppers…

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We have our first asparagus shoots today. Had them for breakfast with some really good fresh farm eggs. 🙂

And…they were so sweet. I’ve never tasted asparagus like this…

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Have to update on the chickens too…

Mr. K and Emma

Mr. Knightly and Emma…still hanging out together…

Hens chatting…

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Copper is definitely the head rooster…

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These chickens are all doing well…it just seems like they act more like spoiled French aristocrats than healthy barnyard chooks…   No matter what time of day it is when I go down to collect eggs or make sure they have water,  they all just act like they are starving and want to be hand fed…

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But I do know they spend a large part of the day foraging for all the wonderful spring greens and tasty little bugs and worms.

That’s it for today… Hoping for a better tomorrow…especially for those in great trials today.

For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. Isaiah 49:13

It’s Been a Good Day

Got a lot done today, actually yesterday now…completely cleaned up the chicken coops. Put new organic feed in the feeders and water with a little Bragg’s Apple Cider vinegar in the water…Chickens are happy and doing fine. We are getting 3 to 4 eggs a day.

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I hauled two loads of pine shavings and chicken poop up to the compost pile. This is what our compost looks like…Wild isn’t it???

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This is my husband’s menagerie of compost bins…He really knows how to make excellent compost! The tallest bins are old pickle barrels and then there are two black trash cans, all of which have holes punched in them for aeration and then we inherited the round one from the neighbor next door. He fills them with veggie scraps, grass clippings, manure, and hay and rolls them around. It goes a little slower in winter when it is cold…

The old dried up asparagus ferns needed cutting so I did that and also raked out the leaves from the bed…Can’t wait until we have fresh asparagus!

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Inside the greenhouse, I weeded all the beds and picked a couple of handfuls of kale, and handful of spinach and then watered…I just don’t think the Brussels sprouts are ever going to produce…I think that perhaps the best thing to do next year is start them inside the air conditioned house under grow lights in the summer and then maybe they will have a head start in the fall when it’s not so hot. Starting a fall garden when it is 100 degrees outside is impossible, I think.

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I transplanted some red lettuce that overwintered outside into the parsley patch… Our parsley has finally thinned itself out. There are not too many plants left.

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I already noticed some of those little moths that were a problem last fall. So I need to go back and give everything a good dusting of DE.

Inside the house we set up the grow lights…

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This was just a 4 foot fluorescent shop light that costs about $18 at Lowe’s plus two 48″ plant and aquarium bulbs that were about $10 a piece. I will be making up another tray of seeds…

Went out to buy some blueberries and found these at Lowe’s for $10 a piece…

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Got all this done yesterday and it snowed today…Yay! We have so much need for moisture here and this is really the first good snowfall all winter!

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A little side trip…on our way to get blueberries we went to Cafe Evoke…Yum!

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And to Sprouts where we saw the cutest recycled bags…Anyone remember this???    It will really tell your age…; )

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For those of you too young to know Dick and Jane. They were the little characters in our first grade reading books back in the 50s.

Signing off again with one of my blurry photos. I can’t figure out why my camera does this…but I like these artsy blurs…

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October in the Garden

It’s October 1st and this is what is happening in the garden…

Pumpkins…

This pumpkin vine is trailing along the side of the greenhouse next to the asparagus ferns. I love the way this looks…

A little further a way you can even see what is growing inside the greenhouse.

Inside the kale is about 8-10 inches high. I’ve been thinning it and I think it needs more thinning and of course it is covered with DE to try and get rid of the cabbage worms.

A Brussels sprout plant …

A bok choy plant…

Inside the greenhouse from a distance…

We have some volunteer tomato plants that I put in a pot. Maybe they’ll make it maybe not???

Outside we planted cabbages and cauliflower…

We’ve had some good rain the past couple of days. Here is a picture of my yellow home-made sticky trap and those are some Spotted Cucumber Beetles.

The fact is though that they all didn’t just land there by themselves. Maybe 3 did. I took the stick and waved it around until they stuck on there.

This vine is taking off and has wrapped around the purple bean plant…I think these are some baby zucchini…

These gorgeous peaches are from Idaho and were bought at the farmer’s market…just had to share how beautiful they are and they taste wonderful too.

That’s my update for now…

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Last night Anna and I weeded the rest of the Asparagus bed… Yay!!! : D

Last night I didn’t sleep very well, because my chigger bites were out of control… Boo-hoo!!! :’ (

This morning Anna and I had planned on putting a four inch layer of mulch on the bed. She did it all by herself, because I won’t go out of the house… Thank you a thousand times, Anna!!! ❤

Anna, you are going to love this little video… : )

 

 

Seeds

My seeds came in the mail, and I am so excited about planting them for the fall…

But…the next 10 days are showing temperatures of over 100 degrees, and no rain in sight, so how are my little seedlings going to do in that extreme heat and dryness? Well, I’m going to try, otherwise this fall gardening thing will fail.

I planted seeds of Little Fingers Eggplant and Bennings Green Tint Scallop Squash, small squashes that will be mature in September. That should work.

I also planted dwarf Bok Choy, spinach and radishes. So, we’ll see how they do…I’ll have to diligently water at least twice a day.

I’m sure you are all curious as to how the asparagus project is coming along. This morning I rewatered the patch and weeded quite a bit more…with Anna and Tera’s help at different times, it is about 2/3rds weeded now. My advice is NEVER…EVER…EVER…let the weeds take over your asparagus bed! Especially Bermuda grass…it is very difficult to pull out!!!

Found this wonderful video about asparagus by our dear Bunty… She has great advice!

Tomorrow, hopefully I’ll have a picture of a beautiful asparagus bed. : )