Wednesday, September 6, 2017
My daughter video called me while I was on vacation to show me that the watermelon was finally ready to pick! They weighed the watermelon and it ended up being 30 lbs. Last I heard they were going to cut it open soon. I can't wait to see what it looks like inside! They promised that they would take pictures or video call me when they cut it open. It is our first time growing a normal sized watermelon, and I'm not sure what it's going to be like since the sugar baby watermelons we grew last year never seemed to be right; they were either over ripe or not ripe enough. I hope we have better luck with these large ones. Stay tuned for an update.
Monday, September 4, 2017
This year we grew four varieties of beets. We have red Detroit, cylindra, golden, and chioggia. Oh how I love beets! They are so tasty and look like jewels on the plate. I like them every way I've had them- boiled, roasted, pickled, and juiced.
10-year-old Tame Dame # 3 likes pickled beets. Her dad and older sister prefer their beets cooked and plain.
Ever get a sneeze right before a pic? Did it look something like this?
Dame Dame number 3 pulled up this beet that happened to have two beets growing together as one. While her sister was trimming and stringing the green beans in the house, she was pulling the rest of the mature beets from the garden, pulling off the greens and placing them in a bag for our neighbor, and hosing off the dirt before bringing them into the house to be canned.
Preserving the garden never seems to be a convenient activity, and it is a lot more work then you would anticipate if you have never seen or done it before. On this occasion, it was the day before I had to leave on a trip and I had a church activity to be to that evening, and there was homeschooling to get done, and chores, and packing, but the garden produce would spoil if I didn't take the time to preserve it that day, and all that hard work of planting, nurturing, watering, weeding, and caring for the garden would have been wasted. Thank goodness I am a homeschooler because there is no way I could have canned all the green beans and beets on my own! My daughters were a very huge help, and they got to learn a lot about preserving food! This was a hands-on school day activity where they learned many things including capacity, measuring, proper food handling, sterilization and why it's important, and cooperation! I would say it was a very successful and educational experience.
The things that have ripened and we have been harvesting are our corbaci peppers, aspabroc, cantaloupe, string beans, beets, turnips, onions and chives, and a few carrots, tomatoes and potatoes. Wahoo! We've canned and frozen green beans and beets so far. And it's all organic! Our hard work is paying off.
This next month there will be heavier harvesting, so more preservation is to come. I'm so thankful to have the health to garden and the support I get from friends, family, and others.
Thursday, June 1, 2017
We've raised seeds for the last 4 years, and I'm continually learning more. This year I realized that I don't need a 6 inch pot for tomato plants, a 4 inch would be sufficient, and actually, I believe it would've been preferred. Even a large plastic cup would've been about right. Here's what our seedlings looked like at the end of April.
They grew to these beauties by the end of May.
Now, let's get on with the tour. Our batchelor buttons are thriving along the edge of our path. We don't water those and that's just how they like it.
Monday, May 1, 2017
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
"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
|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.|
|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!|
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.
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.