This and That…

Got some of this and that to post…Starting off with my chicks that ever so slightly came out of their coop today for a bit…

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It’s dangerous out here though,  Mr. Knightly is not the nicest dad and the auntie hens are jealous and cruel.

But these are not the only birds strutting around our place…

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It’s getting to be turkey time… 🙂

And does anyone know what this is?

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These grew as volunteer plants in the compost by the garden along with some cantaloupe. Inside it looks kind of like a cantaloupe, but tastes more like a cucumber.

This fall is so lovely…have to post some more golden yellow and red…

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OK…that’s enough of that. 🙂

Now, I want to introduce you to an extraordinary quilter who has started to paint wonderful whimsical watercolors…

You are going to love Pamela Jeanne Studio. This is the painting I have that she made…

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I just love it. I know she is opening an Etsy shop. So if you are needing some really cute gifts made in the USA, visit her blog…  Pamela Jeanne Studio.

Hope you all are having a wonderful fall…

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A Flower Garden and a Tornado All Mixed Together

My daughter-in-law planted a very large wildflower garden in the very red clay soil of their little Oklahoma ranch in Moore, Oklahoma. Yes, you read that right, Moore is famous now, because of the  devastating tornado that went through a couple of weeks ago. Her wildflowers failed to thrive with all the Bermuda grass that is choking them out, so I thought that for her birthday we could plant a flower bed for her. Looking forward to a day of planting beautiful flowers with my daughters, playing with my grandchildren, and a hamburger cook-out with a delectable chocolate layer birthday cake made by my gourmet cook daughter, I headed to the flower store and bought lots and lots of flowers. And these gorgeous lilies were half price…

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This was on a Friday and we were going to Moore on Sunday afternoon. My car was stuffed with flowers and I also dug up some Stella de Oro daylilies, Sedum Autumn Joy, Bearded Iris, Monkey Grass, and an ornamental grass from my own flower gardens.

I had written a post on my other blog about the tornado that ripped apart Moore where my son and his family live – Oklahoma Tornado. They were spared from that one, as their land is situated  about a mile north of the devastation. But Saturday night another tornado, the largest one ever recorded as it was going through El Reno, 2.6 miles wide, swept through their yard and tore off half the roof of their barn.

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Amazingly, it did not touch the house. This was their pergola, deck and hot tub. Behind this wreckage you can see their storm shelter.

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Notice the glass table top left of the storm shelter door. It did not get broken… and remember this broken pot…

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We all are so thankful that the house is in tact and no one was hurt. We got the go ahead from our son to stick with our original plans for Sunday, but they now included putting up a tarp over the barn and cleaning up all the debris.

We not only had the back of the car full, but we brought our little trailer too, with bags of soil and mulch…

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My son added a couple of tractor buckets of composted horse manure to the red clay soil and tilled it in…

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Then he went to work with the guys fixing the tarp over the roof, while we placed the flowers out…

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All done…

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Remember the broken pot?

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It sits nicely by the lilies, a remembrance of God’s mercy on our little family and oh, and the cake was fabulous!!!

Tomatoes and Potatoes

Went to the nearest family owned greenhouse and bought 30+ tomato plants to replace the ones that froze…

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While replacing them in our new tomato bed, I noticed some bermuda grass coming up through all the newspaper and compost and mulch we had generously piled up to suffocate any weeds or grass from growing.  We hadn’t planted the peppers yet, so while Anna was digging she realized the bermuda was thriving under the mulch. After raking back the mulch this is what we saw…

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This method wasn’t working! We decided to put some landscape cloth down and cover it up again with mulch…

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I hope this will work much better!

The most beautiful thing in my garden right now are the potatoes in the big black pots

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There is no question in my mind that this is the way to grow potatoes. Check out the ones I grew outside in the same soil that I put in the pots…

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They are just beginning to come up and some of them had a little freeze damage. It must be the warmth in the greenhouse that makes the difference.

My Potato Experiment

Thelma from My West Coast Garden comes up with such great ideas and this one was from her blog that I reblogged on here a couple of weeks ago. Now that I finally have time to sit down and write a post after spending a week in the mountains moving out of the house up there and hauling  all the boxes and furniture we packed back home…

I was truly exhausted, but nothing like the exhaustion that hit me after my 3 adult children left Colorado the next day in a blizzard of a storm that howled across the plains and shut down the highways. These three kept coming on back roads until about 1 o’clock at night when the 4-Runner rolled and they were stuck by the side of the road in the freezing cold blowing snow for 5 hours while their hero-dad risked his life to come to the rescue in his big trusty 4 wheel drive truck.

In the meantime I am fighting fear and anxiety, praying continually all through the night. But it was a miracle. The 3 came out without a scratch, but the car is totaled. We are all praising God!  I just don’t snap back from all that like I should.

Finally today I am feeling normal and I did plant the potatoes a couple of days ago…so here we go…

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I had these 3 great 15-20 gallon buckets leftover from my son’s landscaping business and straw from the barn…

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Placed the straw in the bottom of the pots…

Then I added compost from our compost pile…

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And a mixture of Organic garden soil…

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Peat moss…

potatoes 3 And Vermiculite…

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This is the first time ever that I’ve used Vermiculite…very interesting!

I cut the potatoes…Yukon Gold…

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And placed them shoot side up on the soil mixture…

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And then topped it off with 2 more inches of garden soil. I have seed potatoes left over so I’m going to put out a row of them in the garden next week.

These buckets are in the greenhouse right now, and when it gets too warm I can move them. So cool! I’m really excited to see how this goes.

Thank you, Thelma, for sharing these great garden ideas.

Back to Eden Film

My gardener daughter Anna and I are both sick with a cold today, soooo we are sneezing and watching the movie Back to Eden together. 🙂

734422_473897765980478_994174007_nIf you haven’t seen it, you can stream it at their website Back to Eden. There’s lots of sage advice on mulching, watering, composting, etc.,etc. …incredible film!

Working Before the Storm

I just love this website… Old World Garden Farms. I have been learning so much from them, such as putting in a spring cover crop. “Unheard of” was the attitude of the feed store owner to my husband when he asked about rye grass for a spring cover crop. He didn’t have any so we went ahead and bought clover, and I sowed it into my new pumpkin bed today. I’m excited to see how this works!

Today Old World Garden Farms had a wonderful article about Cutting Back, Dividing and Preparing Ornamental Grasses For Spring. The following picture shows the ornamental grasses behind their patio…just gorgeous and totally inspiring!

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One of my sons was into landscaping a couple of years ago and planted some grasses and leftover plants from a job in our backyard still in the pots so he could use them for other jobs someday. He has moved away now and these ornamental grasses have been growing in the same pots sunk in the ground for years.  What I did today:  cut back the ornamental grasses, pulled them out of the pots, divided them and replanted them. These pictures are not pretty, but we are going to see how they progressively look better as I work on them this year.

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I divided 3 plants into 6…Here is what it looks like from a distance…

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For years we have talked about putting a gazebo up…now I’m definitely inspired to do just that. So this is the “before” pic. 🙂 Hopefully my “after” pic will look as pretty as Old World Garden Farms.

I also worked over  in the greenhouse. Spread compost in all the beds and then put DE over all the veggies. It was 90 degrees in the greenhouse and 60 outside, but we are expecting a storm…rain tomorrow and maybe snow the next day. I say “bring it on”! We need all the moisture we can get.

Sarah used some spinach and pansies from the greenhouse to decorate the tomato salad that she served this evening with lentil soup and rice.

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We’ve been buying hydroponic tomatoes from Urban Agrarian. I like supporting these guys. They are located down at the old OKC Farmer’s Market.

Another project in the making is turning our backyard into a fruit and vegetable garden. Here is what it looks like today…another “before” pic…

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Pretty boring…Anna and I have big plans. 🙂

OK, now for the weekly update on the grow lights…

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Looking good…So, how’s your garden coming along?

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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