Saturday, June 22, 2019

The Garden

Adam's been keeping up with the vegetable garden and things are looking good out there! 
My gourd plants are flourishing.

We planted okra this year for the first time, and it's coming up nicely!

These three beds are doing well.

Sweet potatoes:

White potatoes. They're ready to come out.

Matt's Wild Cherry tomatoes:

My cherry tomato plants that overwintered on the porch are bearing well:

Our zucchini and cucumber plants are taking off:
I bought some lavender plants this year that are supposed to be hardy in our area, which lavender usually isn't. Our rainy weather just kills most lavender off. See this raised tire bed?
The dead lavender plant is one I bought at Lowe's, an ordinary lavender. It thrived as long as we were in a drought, but as soon as the rain came, it died. It really died.
But the lavender plants that resist our humidity and rain overload? 
All 3 of them look like this -- so healthy!
I've also been drying more mint, lemon balm, and tarragon for my herbal tea.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Rain, At Last!

We've had weeks of drought, of watering the garden, of pulling out dead plants, of thirsty chickens and dogs. And today -- it's raining, good and hard and long.
That's our fig tree bush, finally fully pruned for good picking access.

So what's up on the farm?

Chickens are doing well. 3 chicks are now 8 weeks old. I suspect I have 2 roos and one very pretty hen, but I'm not certain. I rely on careful observation of saddle feathers as my preferred method for sexing a chick. Round feathers = hen. Pointy feathers = roo.

The vegetable garden: Adam is doing a fabulous job this year of keeping ahead of weeding and making the beds tidy and healthy. We still have trouble with tomatoes. I like lots of tomato plants, and it's hard to find spots for them where they weren't planted last year. Planting them in the same place 2 years in a row is a no-no. They are suffering from drought too. But I have a pretty bed of Matt's Wild Cherry plants, and hopefully some Amish Paste plants that will survive. 
Strawberries are healthy. One squash plant with tiny squash fruit that are delicious. Lots of onions for the long haul. Adam's white potatoes and sweet potatoes are looking fabulous this year. We have cucumbers and zucchini coming up. Peas are all gone and those beds cleaned out; okra is now planted there.

My lavender plants are so happy in their tire beds! And our one elderberry plant is growing very fast. I'm hoping for a big shrub/tree that will give fruit for jam.

Adam has used all his straw stored from last year, mostly covering beds, so he's starting again with his mowing. He's moved his compost pile back near the barn where the dogs' playing will help keep it turned over and breaking down.

My herb beds are doing fine. Basil suffered a bit in the drought too, because they are annuals and newly put in. My cilantro and dill are beginning to reseed, so lovely! And here's a tip: green cilantro seeds (early coriander) is absolutely DELICIOUS. Pick them early, pop them in your mouth for a burst of cilantro flavor, and enjoy the light crunch. They would be great in avocado dip or salads too.  My thyme, oregano, tarragon bush, and mint varieties are doing well. My lemon balm is a bully and is taking over. I must dig large clumps of it out or he will take over the entire old herb bed. It even beats out the cilantro! My tarragon planted last year did not overwinter, in a very mild winter at that, but my old tarragon bush continues to return each spring, a full round shrub. I'm still drying tarragon, mint, and lemon balm to make tea, and it's delicious.

That's about it from the farm. I've been very dull and sluggish lately. Adam is working on a new business venture which keeps him inside on the computer when he's not weeding the garden. No big new projects on the farm right now. I hope your summer is going along very well!