Sunday, May 12, 2019

Mother's Day Farm

Happy Mother's Day!
It's 6:00 a.m. A little sprinkly rain is welcome this morning. The pasture lies under a thin blanket of clover and buttercups still, and the pecan boughs overhead make everything lush green.
The spinach is bolting.
 The peas are coming along nicely. We "trellised" them this year using the string trellising method that worked so well with tomatoes and cucumbers. It does NOT WORK with peas! They don't like to grab onto the strings; they need something sturdier.
 Lots of lovely lettuce this year, and we've enjoyed salads many evenings.
 I bought only two tomato seed packets (Amish Paste and Matt's Wild Cherry) from Johnny seed company. They ALL germinated, and I have over 200 tomato cells, 2 plants per cell. ((sigh))
The paste plants have grown quickly.
 If I can't give them away, we'll compost the extra plants. I don't have enough room in my garden beds for them all.
The cherry tomato plants will soon be going in this bed (below) that is overgrown with weeds.
The bed covered in straw has potato plants coming up nicely.
 Adam has finished lining all the raised beds in metal. It's hard work, but will cut down on weeds in the future. The bed on the right (below) should already have cucumber seeds in it, but I'm slow. The bed next to it has spinach (bolting), collards and kale (why do we plant them, again?) and peas on the other end.
 And here is our garden friend. We've each seen him once. He's about 4 feet long, and I'm hoping he keeps the rabbits out of the garden. He's just a harmless black snack, and very docile. He's far from the chickens, so no worries there.
 I'm still painting cards. I sold 8 cards at the market yesterday (Yippee!!!) This is a chicken card I painted this week and it sold yesterday.
 It makes me extremely happy to see my little artwork walking away down the street in the hand of somebody who will do something happy with it :)

Adam and I went to Williamsburg for the last time on our annual passes. I told their gardeners, who were weeding so nicely, that they could come to my house next. This (below) is the terraced veggie garden beside the governor's palace.
 Adam planted a plantain bed for me, and it's doing very well.
 I think this is the last photo I took of Arthur, our rooster. He was a very mean, aggressive rooster, and I think it led to his demise.
 On Thursday Adam found a few feathers near the garden gate, and then a little mound of feathers at the base of a pecan tree. Arthur was gone. We never found him, so I think he started a fight with Ned, leapt over the pasture fence for a duel, realized his opponent, and skeedaddled behind the barn and over the back fence into the wide world. Poor fella. I don't miss him much; I always had to carry a very large stick around him. But his hens are now at a loss of how to conduct themselves. He was always in charge and told them all what to do!
I bought a small elderberry at a plant sale. Adam made a big tire bed for it, and it's doing wonderfully! I want to make elderberry jam.
 I sold all my basil plants at the market this year, a very good year. I saved 27 plants for my herb beds so Adam can make basil salads for us this summer. They were all started from last year's seeds that I saved.
The basil plants grow nearly 4 feet tall. I let them go to seed and dry thoroughly, and then harvest the seed heads and freeze them to use again early next spring ... to start the process all over again. When I stand in the garden in December next to those tall, dead plants, it's hard to believe they hold so much life in them. My hand smells strongly of basil after clasping the long, brown stalk and pulling my fist along it to strip the seeds off. We enjoy the bright, tasty leaves all summer, and that's good. But perhaps the most important gift the basil plant gives us is the seeds, which nobody notices. Most people would pull the dead plants from the soil and toss them on the burn pile. When you garden, consider the dead plants. Look at their tiny seeds. And think of spring!


  1. You have an amazing number of tomato plants and Basil too. I sowed Basil seeds this week but of course they're not up yet.
    I consider Summer Savoury as an absolutely vital herb. It grows best and hardiest when self-sown. Last year only 2 plants appeared ( amid the flowers). I remembered to wait until one was all dried up and scattered the seed. I have LOTS of plants growing now!! Only a few Dill plants so far. They also seem to do best when self-sown.

  2. Your plants are bolting and we haven't even begun to plant here! I wouldn't miss Arthur either. Some roosters just aren't nice to have around. Glad you cards are selling so well! Lots of good green stuff to eat at your place! :)

  3. Your productivity in the garden is making me green ;-) I wish it were the right kind of green!


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