Monday, May 1, 2017

Our new seedlings, and a big fire!

Hi! Tame Dame #3 here! Also known as amara, and We planted seedlings!!!!! They are growing amazingly, and we have the plastic off of them now. We fill up the tubs with water, and it soakes into the plant!!!! A couple days ago, we were pulling up the dry weeds from the side of the house, and we lit them on fire! Jax, our friend came to watch it too.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sea Of Putrid Purple Posies

"They're pretty," I remember saying the year I moved here. "I love purple flowers, and there are so many of them!"

"Oooohhh no!" The woman standing at my door from the Jehovah's witnesses contradicted, "Those are the stinkiest flowers you've smelled, they last for a week, then they turn into monsters with inch-long thorns!"

Sure enough, I witnessed the deception of the pretty purple posies as they unveiled​ their true identity. The putrid flowers fell (yes, they really do stink) and thick, inch-long thorns portruded abundantly from every stem, the little weed bushes drying up and covering the ground with a mass of hard, pokey spines!  It was a hot mess of spiky-ness!  

I don't like those purple flowers anymore. I've been fighting them every year. Over conference weekend (first weekend in April) I tackled bunches of them that were over running my garden. An hour of hard, heavy pulling, and I only got a corner of the garden weeded. The ground was still so very wet that the mud just clung to the roots, heaving up so much earth and worms that it made the process slow going. 

It's been a high water year for us and the water table has caused flooding in our subdivision since February. We've been pumping out our crawlspace pretty much every day until just recently. Here's what it looked like conference weekend:

I paid for a service project from the Young Women at our church fundraiser and I decided that they would be my weeding helpers. I arranged to have them come a couple weeks after I tried tackling the project on my own.  They gave me 2 hours of their hard work and I was so blessed to have been the winner of their service project. 

They pulled, picked, and piled every one of those pukey purple weeds, leaving 8 large mounds of the things to die and dry and eventually to be set afire. 

With the help of my daughter, we hauled the piles over the fence to be burned, thus leaving the ground ready for the black plastic to kill the other weeds. 

I was so sore the next day, but it's all part of fighting for a garden in the Wild West!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

SEPT 2016- Warm Days, Harvests, Preservation, and Floods

 We enjoy the outdoors a lot in September.  My family is learning photography, and we took several opportunities to practice what we're learning.

This cloud was right above our house.  I've never seen one like it!

September is a good month for harvesting!

Yukon gold potatoes- a meager harvest for as many plants as we had.

We neglected the strawberries, but they still produced some for us.

Here we see romas, baby romas, italian determinate, yellow pear, purple grape heirloom, brandywine heirloom, and rutger tomatoes!

Chard never disappoints.  It has a long growing season and the bugs don't bug it too much.

Our pole beans of 3 varieties- emerite (Green), rattlesnake (stripey ones), and golden filet (yellowish)

We began to harvest beets.  We should've planted more and gave them more attention.  These were so good roasted.  The tiny ones are a pain to deal with, so I'd really thin them better next time.

funny tomato

Our little gardener!  Harvesting her haul makes her happy!

Wowzers!  Those brandywine tomatoes are unpredictably large.

Not all our tomatoes did well.  This plant had blossom end rot, and I believe a tomato horn worm as well.

The plant next to it was giving us pretty tomatoes though.

diseased and dying

Madi and Amara head to the garden with the wagon and a box to start harvesting.

Then, one day, the rains came down and the floods came up!

I thought the rain made our chicks n hens look pretty!
 All that rain called for a warm meal with all those garden veggies.  Here we have crockpot chicken and veggies in a Sweet-Thai-Chile Sauce

The weather was also cause for creating a flotation device.  Lily and Amara invented this lovely ship to sail the seas in our front yard.

 It was featured on KSL News facebook page!  I had posted pics on facebook and a friend of mine asked if she could feature them on her facebook page for local news because most of the stories about the flooding in Roosevelt were depressing, but ours was a nice spin on it all.  Then she gave me a link to send the pics to KSL.  I did just that and 2 hours later, they were featured!

While it rained and rained, I used my new pressure canner to preserve 20 pints of tomatoes.
 Our property gets flooded quite a bit whenever the snows melt or the rain pours or the sprinklers in the farmer's field above us leak.  I got brave and wrote up a letter to the city council and presented it at one of their meetings.  I was nervous, because I really wanted to persuade them to put in a culvert to divert water from my property, but I didn't have a lot of confidence because the secretary didn't seem to think they would rule in my favor.  The day came, I gave my speech, gave them my best proposals and they agreed that something needed to be done.  They couldn't tell me when, but they agreed to do something about it.  Yay!

The rest of the photos in this post are a part of our photography practice in September.  Many were taken and processed by my kids.

P.S. our corn harvest was meager and the corn wasn't tender.  I think our tough kernals problem came from cross pollination of the 2 varieties. I ended up husking and shucking it all and blending it up to make cornbread, which was tasty.  The strawberry popcorn were cute kernels, which popped up fine, but they were probably the smallest little popcorns I've ever seen.  They're a little hard to shuck off the cob when they've dried sufficiently, I may need to find an easier way to do it.  1/4 of the ears were being eaten by plump caterpillars.