Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Hostas Out Front

On Monday Adam did some work on our ugly flower beds in front of our porch.
First he brought lots of mulch -- all the mulch that was inside the big potato bin -- and piled it in the beds. He'd also lined the beds with bricks.

right side
left side
I had one hosta my sister-in-law had given me in the spring. 
I'd put it in another spot, but I moved it up front. It's on the far left.
Tuesday morning first thing I dashed to the local nursery and bought three more hosta.
I figured four big hostas out there should fill the beds nicely, eventually.

I bought two of these, one on either side of the steps -- "Honeybells" hosta.
On the far right end, I put one of these:

It doesn't match the single on the far left end, but that's all right.  I'm not into "matchy matchy" anyway. Now the beds look like this:
Much better! They will fill in that space, prevent weeds, bloom prettily, and require little care. The beds get some sun now (maybe more than a hosta would prefer), but when we put up a privacy fence sometime in the next year, they will be in nearly full shade, which is why I chose hostas.
Here's the spot where the lone hosta was living before today. It's the ugly spot around the house, and I'm still trying to decide what to do with it.
It's right next to the back deck; we walk past it every day, all day. It's in nearly full shade most of the time. Hmm. I had a friend in Alabama who had a huge bed of impatiens on either side of her front door, in full shade. They reseeded and came back year after year - can you believe that? We're not quite that warm and subtropical. The first thing that'll have to happen is for Adam to till it up and make it into a place with deep, delicious soil. Maybe that'll spur my imagination. What do you think? What would you plant there?

Monday, June 27, 2016

Foggy Morning

 Adam went out to scythe the field. Hundreds of little spider webs dangled like twinkle lights between blades of grass.
 Ned loves to play in the field's tall grasses. He pounces on whatever is scurrying down there.
 His tail curls and bobs above the grass.
Adam filled the truck bed with grass to mulch the garden.

He had a productive day: scything, mulching, digging new beds, salvaging two pallets at my workplace that I noticed leaning against the dumpster, putting strings on the beans, among other things. Having buddies along always helps.
Kisses from Ned.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

More Things Growing

Digging up garlic, hanging it to dry
Our first yellow squash, and many more coming along.
We have gourds growing in unexpected places.
This single gourd plant is enormous. See that 55-gallon drum? It gives some perspective.
The zucchini are flourishing, and we've harvested several.
Our watermelon vines are also spreading out nicely. I wonder if we'll get any melons? Wouldn't that be exciting?
Adam usually has these vining plants surrounded by grass mulch (see below), but he's behind on these tasks because his ankle, which he injured nearly two weeks ago, has continued to trouble him.
He had to return to the E.R. on Saturday; he has an inflamed nerve (quite painful) and an infection in his wound. He's on meds and mending slowly.
Another mysterious item appeared in the garden behind the peas, among some tomatoes.
I'm thinking it's another gourd from some seed spread by our rambunctious puppies.
Adam and I decided this morning was a good time to empty the potato can.
The potatoes grow along the root; this is a tiny one. I'd never actually seen a potato straight out of the soil before.
We found some very nice sized potatoes!
A small haul from that trash can, but a good start. We're still learning.
Some of y'all already saw this on facebook, but for lunch today I had my first-of-the-season fresh tomato-and-mayo sandwich, and it was fabulous! There is nothing like a fresh, home-ripened tomato for tangy flavor and firm fruit. May there be many more.
One more thing - today's (Thursday) photo of    tomatoes picked:
The big ones are Great Whites. The small yellow ones are White Cherries and Yellow Pears. So much delicious!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Things Grow In June

We've had a few perfect days: low humidity, reasonable temperatures, beautiful skies. And everything's growing (especially the grass and weeds).
Tomatoes continue. We're picking lots each day. We love these tiny cherry toms, Matt's Wild Cherry, an heirloom type.
The corn's growing. It's not as high as an elephant's eye, but it's as high as a farm wife's thigh!
Ned and I traipsed through the tall weeds in the field to see the rows of sunflowers. They're blooming.
Some are still small and just opening.
The few apples we have this year are lovely. I think we have -- truly -- about ten apples on two trees.
 Our fig tree from a different angle because I want you to see how there's new growth from the bottom, where a big limb was cut off because of disease.
 Right in the middle of my herb bed is a volunteer cucumber. Really? C'mon, guy! Plus, it looks like his is adversely affecting my sage plant, just left of the cucumber. Grrr.
 Our dill is enthusiastic. That's good because we have lots of cucumbers coming on, and Adam will turn it all into refrigerator dill pickles.
We have at least two pear trees and lots of pears this year. I do hope they taste yummy with good texture. We shall see.
Now onto the plants that grow for beauty's sake only and don't "earn their keep." The lily bed is such a joy to see each day.
The blooms are huge!
Right next to the lilies I found this large broadleaf plantain. I don't have many with the broad leaves, so I plan to encourage this one.
 The six knockout roses along the front are doing fine. I long for them to be HUGE and obscure the road a bit more. I'm impatient.
Isn't that a sweet little face?
Finally one of our elephant ears came up! We've not had much success with them here.
 My hostas are happy ...
 ... and my lambs' ears are blooming too.
Last but not least, we have a few daisies that have made an appearance.
What do you have growing and blooming in your yard?

Friday, June 17, 2016

This and That in the Farmy Life

Adam planted hundreds of sunflowers to feed chickens, and they're blooming now. He took this photo last week sometime.
The big project right now is a solar dehydrator. Adam's been researching these for a long time, and it's part of his long-range farm plan. Dehydration is his way of storing and keeping excess produce that we can't eat or sell immediately. Eventually he hopes to grow mushrooms and dry them. It'll be good for drying tomatoes, squash, zucchini, fruit.

 Paint choice on the left.

This is what he'd finished after working on it all day yesterday in the heat. He sweated out two sets of clothes, and he utterly wore out his sore leg. It's kinda cool looking, yes?
The back of it will open to receive trays of food. The front, that looks like a kiddie slide, will have a glass panel to collect solar heat. It will have vents to produce air flow.

He bought more fencing to strengthen some of our chicken yard fencing. The chickens are doing great, and they love their yard and coop, but we want more than just regular chicken wire between them and Ned :)
Adam still hopes to get strings on our green beans.
Don't they look pitiful? They were being eaten by a little beetle, but I bought some diatomaceous earth, put it in the soil and on the leaves, and they seem to be on the mend now.
Today, however, Adam is in the house with his foot elevated. He really overdid it yesterday, and the mowing and the green beans and the dehydrator will just have to wait!!

So. What's happening on the farm today? Nuthin!!