Friday, June 28, 2013

Storms

Today we had some crazy weather. Two storms back to back that knocked down tomatoes, beans, squash and corn. 

I wasn't happy. But then the sun broke and out front was an amazing rainbow.

The tomatoes were saved, the beans and squash will bounce back and tomorrow I'll come up with an idea about the corn- some sort of windbreak (any suggestions??)
Tonight I'm grilling the first squash from the garden and eating some steak.
Life is good

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bean Trellis


We like beans around here,  
but I only managed one measly row of bush beans in the garden.
So I decided to find a spot to fit in a bean trellis for some pole beans.

So I hiked to the back 40
which is really only the back 2.
Or Tick Haven as I came to call it.
It needs to be mowed.
I found some straight locust branches growing on the stump of a tree 
we cleared from the fence line
and cut them off. 
I'm guessing they were around 10 feet long.
I dragged them back up to the garden and cleaned off all the smaller branches and leaves
and cut them to about 8 foot lengths.

Abby watched, 
probably waiting till I turned my back so she could mess with them
(don't leave iced tea cups on the fence while you garden, she sticks her tongue in them)

I ended up needing 2 more poles
and the help of Big E because he's taller.
We tied the poles together and buried the ends in the ground a few inches for stabilization.
I planted the beans.
Now I just need to tie twine around it for more area for the beans to climb.
We'll see what happens.
The end result should be a crap load of beans in a much smaller space.
In fact, Big E thinks we need to go with pole beans entirely if things go well with this one.
I agree since I discovered the chickens have trampled some bush beans
because they were impeding their route between the shade of the cucumber trellis
and the shade of the squash plants.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Looking Good


I'm so tickled about how well the garden is doing.
After coming home from a weekend of Cub Scout Camp,
the weeds had sprouted everywhere 
and the task of weeding the garden seemed gargantuan.
Impossible even.
And that's usually where the garden takes a wrong turn and it's downhill from there.
But
my little Mantis tiller makes short work of the weeds between the rows
and this year I have the help of Big E 
and the combined teamwork of man and machine has this garden looking great.
Time to order the canner.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cucumber Trellis

Last year I saw something on Pinterest about a cucumber trellis.  
I have never been able to grow decent cukes in my garden- ever- 
and never knew anything about growing them on a trellis.  
But I figured what the heck.  
Last year I did get a few cukes- more than I have before.  
So this year I decided to plant more and make the trellis again.
I used some garden stakes for the frame. 
They work, but if you want something really sturdy
or something you can reuse each season,
I'd suggest using wood that is a little stronger.
(Next year I'll be buying better wood).
With the frame built, I stapled chicken wire to the frame.
Then attached stakes at the appropriate height and secured it in the ground.  
Not sure why it seems to work- maybe the increased air circulation- but it does work.
Hoping for enough cucumbers to pickle and have in my salad.
(Left trellis is pickling cukes, right is burpless for salad)


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Evening Primrose

We have an Evening Primrose growing in the garden here.
The blossoms open at night
and take only about a minute to open.
Last night, there were several blossoms ready to open 
so I pulled up a lawn chair and waited.


Here is a photo of the flowers completely open.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Someone is Eating the Sun!

As a kid, I enjoyed reading a book called Someone is Eating the Sun
It's about some farm animals that freak out because the sun is disappearing.
They think someone is eating it, only to learn at the end of the book that it's just a solar eclipse.
  It starts off with Hen who is picking at corn when she notices
 the sky getting darker and she takes off with a 
"flippity flap and a flutter".

Lately the chickens have been randomly taking off with 
a flippity flap and a flutter 
and I think about that book every time.  
Only my chickens are running for no apparent reason.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Because You Can't Have Just One

So I got another German Johnson heirloom tomato....

They better produce and taste as good as their name!



Thursday, June 13, 2013

Progress


The rows have been weeded
(and weeded, and weeded...)
the trellises are up
and there are blossoms on everything there should be blossoms on.
The garden is looking better than it ever has-
neat and orderly.
Hoping that the storms moving through today 
don't wreak havoc on my poor plants-
namely the squash and broccoli.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Jalopy


We don't just have cats and horses in the barn...

This is my dad's old Morris Minor that originally belonged to his grandfather.
 
Photo of my dad in the middle with his grandfather left and father right and the car

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Garden

I got myself a new tiller.  I went with a Mantis 2 stroke.
I have high hopes for this tiller.
It's going to make this garden produce bumper crops
and keep me canning all summer long
(provided I learn to can).


It got the job done (and nearly did me in- I couldn't move for a couple of days)

Big E and I mapped out the area and marked our rows.


Can't wait to see what we manage to harvest!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Almost Roadkill

Saved this little guy from getting run over (the turtle not the brat child). Luckily he didn't move as fast as that bullfrog from a few days ago. Currently Turtleman (named for the crazy guy on Animal Planet that the brat and I met before he had a show) is chowing down on some tomatoes and lettuce.  

Friday, June 7, 2013

German Johnson

While out shopping for tomato plants for the garden, 
I came across an heirloom variety I hadn't heard of before- 
the German Johnson.  
Because my humor tends to run along the same lines as an adolescent youth, 
I immediately purchased one for the garden.  
Just because it was called a German Johnson.

My German Johnson growing in the garden
I did do a little research on it out of curiosity.
It was brought to Virginia and North Carolina by immigrants.
It is one of the parent plants to the Mortgage Lifter tomato.
The fruits are pink and low in acid and seeds
and it's perfect for slicing or canning.
The tomatoes get to be about 3/4- 1.5 pounds.
It's said to be the best tomato for BLT's.
So basically, an awesome tomato with an awesome name.
First German Johnson tomato
So far, I love this plant.
How many other plants make you laugh?
Case in point- this conversation heard at the nursery:

Guy #1: I used to have a German Johnson.
Guy #2: Me too, they're big.
Guy #1: Not many bigger than a German Johnson
Guy #2: Yep, I miss my Johnson, I think I'll have to get me another.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Bathing Beauties





Chickens like to take dust bathes.  
Here Bertha and Martha Stewart choose the area right next to the tomatoes to bathe

Wednesday, June 5, 2013