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Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Twilight Walk Through the Garden II

The brassicas are growing nicely.  They are large enough that I can take the chicken wire off of them.
I can already taste the pickles....
Mr. Blueberry Eyes is particularly excited about the garlic scapes.  He likes them pickled with the cucumbers.
The herb garden...
The elderberry plant is setting on quite a few berries.  I hope to make elderberry syrup for medicinal purposes.
A baby Bartlett pear!  It will be my first year for pears.
A first for golden delicious apples, too!
The three currant bushes are getting large and lush.
The grape vine is starting to twine up the fence.
Emmert wheat.  This should be a fun experiment.
There is so much more, but that is for another post. - Nanette

A Twilight Walk Through the Garden I

Come walk with me through my garden.  Evening is my favorite time to check the progress in my plot of Earth.  This is a cold, rainy year and some of my crops are doing great and some are not very happy.
I think this is the best year I've had for spinach.
I planted about 4 kinds of kale.  This is "Ragged Jack"
Snow peas in the making...
I'm so excited over the progress of the asparagus patch. 
Blueberry crop in the making....
I had to replant the zucchini, so it is a bit behind.
I'm trying a new potato method.  I laid the seed potato on top of the ground and covered it with straw. As the potatoes grow, I layer compost, leaves, etc. on it.  If huge green plants are an indication, it will be a good harvest.
Good Mother Stollard pole beans will grow on the fence.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Splendid, For Short

 I've wanted to try my hand at bee keeping for a long time.  I know NOTHING about bees and wasn't at all sure how to start.  But, about a year ago, we had some great, new neighbors move in.  Mr. Blueberry Eyes was delighted because they have kids he can play with.  I was delighted because they enjoy experimenting with plants and creatures like I do.  And they keep bees. 
 This spring they offered to help me start my own hive and I was delighted. So now we're on a learning curve.  I have a little hive tucked in by the corner of the garden.  We have plans to paint cute things on the hive, but we'll see....
 This is the queen as she arrived.  She took to the hive and it is now thriving.  Like most creatures around our place, we felt compelled to name her.  So, I'm pleased to introduce to you Her Majesty Lady Regina Maria Elizabeth Splendidopolous LXXVIII.  We'll call her Splenda for short.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Life is Like That

      I'm sitting at a new coffee shop in a strange town that oddly feels like home.  I've brought my kids here to see their friends and to participate in spiritual refreshment and community service.  I'm supposed to be in a meeting, too.  But I'm playing hooky.  Today didn't suit sitting in a meeting.  It called for soul nurturing. So I'm reflecting.  I'm thinking about my garden and what a metaphor for life it is.
      This is a particularly yummy year for my garden.  Some of my perennials are starting to flourish and I'm realizing some long held dreams for this spot of earth.  My pear tree is blossoming (above).  I bought it as a spindly little thing a few years ago.  Now every graft has set on a flourish of blossoms.  I'm told I'll have to pick off much of the fruit this year.  Its best for the tree to put more energy into the roots.  It also makes the fruit that is left bigger.  I don't like culling and thinning.  Its not in my nature, but it is an important skill every gardener must develop. How like life!

 My apple tree also blossomed.  Those are golden delicious apples in the making.  I got so excited I popped down to my favorite local nursery and bought two more. You can roll your eyes.  Its okay.  I know I need help.
 We found some great sources for garden amendments this spring.  A local dairy boasts hormone/antibiotic-free, well-aged manure, so some gardening friends and I lined up trucks to be loaded.  Then Brother Schnickelfritz found a great source for llama manure.  We hauled a lot of wheelbarrow loads of poop onto the garden.  One day you are wallowing in poop.  The next, good things are growing.  Life.
 My strawberry patch is having mixed results.  Half of it is crazy productive.  Within a week or so, we'll have a heavy crop of juicy berries that are completely unmatched by anything you can find in the supermarket.  Half of the patch got a bad start last year and I had to replant.  Life is like that.
My father-in-law gave me a large amount of raspberry canes last year.  I planted them and watched them anxiously while they decided whether (or not) to put down their roots.  I couldn't be sure.  Last fall the visible part was so-so.  But in the turning of winter to spring, life burst out of them You can't be sure what is going on underneath, you know. Life is like that, too.