Thursday, March 1, 2018

Ides of.............Well March

Happy March to everyone. I know the Ides are on the 15th but I thought about getting a head start.
Here on the homefront a few things have taken place. I finally reached to big 50 yesterday. No big deal for me, just another day. But I guess a milestone nonetheless. Well Bailey and the cat have had their rounds and rounds. She hates the cat. Period. After some time of trying to get it worked out it never did. So sadly we called and gave her back up to the spca where I got her. Maybe again some day.
On the garden front I finally got some seeds started. One platt. Beyond planting cucumbers, green beans, everything else is in one platt. We decided to go small this year to give ourselves more time to do other things.
I spent last weekend mowing (yes, mowing in February) and tore apart some of the beds because they were rotting out a lot. I'll have to replace them with something but not sure what yet. Also found plenty of my buddies, the fire ants.

Overall shot. Bad garden.

Ants galore.

Apple trees really blooming out.

Bed remains waiting to be burned.

Garden sign needs some attention.

A nice video to close everything out. 

Busy weekend coming up. A lot of work to do. On a side note we are in the process of setting up an Etsy shop so stay tuned for more information on that as well.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

New Year of 2018

Hello and welcome to my 2018 blog posts!
We've had an interesting few months so let me catch you up.
1. First and foremost we had to say goodbye to The WOF. She developed a rare type of skin cancer. We tried several treatments but weren't going to do anything too extreme due to her age. It eventually caught up with us so we made the call and stayed with her for the last moments. She was with us a long, long time and I have to admit it was one of the hardest things to do. But she's better off now.
2. Christmas: My sister, niece and her husband spent the holidays with us. We had a good time although interesting for the cat as two new dogs were traveling with them. They left on Christmas Day back for WV. December 26th I got the same virus I had the previous year. On the couch for three days before I was able to move again. I didn't wait this time and sought our treatment from the emergency room. A long wait later and I had a few meds but not anything over the top. I made it to work that Friday, the same day my boss made it back in from his illness. As of today I'm still on the mend with a bit of a cough and congestion. Trying a few new OTC meds now and they seem to be helping. Hopefully get through this soon.
3. First snow of 2018. I drove into it in South Carolina. I was coming up from Alabama at the time. Took me 12 hours total for a 9 hour drive. People in the south can't drive in snow.
4. New WOF. Much to Amy's hesitation I had to have another WOF in the house. Her name is Bailey. She's a 6 year old lab mix we rescued from the SPCA. She and the cat are having their rounds but I think they'll slowly work it out. I saw her on our local county animal control website early Thursday morning, called 3 times before I got through to someone. We went over her history and I told them my son would be around after lunch to check her out. He calls me and says that the dog was moved. We found her at the neighboring county SPCA so I spent Friday afternoon tracking her down and finally got her. She looks like she has part greyhound or whippet in her. She has seemed to taken over the WOF torch for the farm.

Well that's the Cliff notes version. As far as the garden this year I still have to repair/replace the garden beds and plan everything out for this year. Tomorrow I plan on testing some seeds I saved from last year. More on that Monday. Also have a list of things we need to get updated around the house. We've lived here since 2012 and haven't done any updating so now it's time.

Quick post so I'll see you soon.

Miss Bailey.

Im memory of The WOF.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Monday, September 11, 2017

Harvest Monday; September 11, 2017

Happy Harvest Monday. Harvest Monday is hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres.

We made the decision a few weeks ago that the garden in it's current size was too much to take care of with the two of us. Our commutes to work are long (ie. mines at least one hour each way), leaving us not very much time during the weekdays to do too much, which leaves our weekends filled with chores. After a while we got burnt out and said "enough is enough." We are downsizing other aspects of our lives since our youngest will hopefully heading out on his own adventure towards the end of this year, and the garden is downsizing with us. We've finally decided on 8-10 raised beds, which will be built in the same locations as the current ones, but out of block instead of wood. I'll be tearing out the current beds and have a bonfire this fall. I also plan on replacing the soil with new and tripling the landscape fabric and adding plastic, and maybe cardboard. The wiregrass we have here is crazy strong. Crap will grow on a rock. With our new size we'll be growing only the basics that we want and I'll have to keep a good eye on placement of crops to make sure I get the rotation correct.

Well with the downsizing in mind I mowed down everything in the field. No worries as the beetles had done some damage to most of the plants. I didn't lose any sleep over it. The remaining plants in the beds were under attack too so they weren't doing too well themselves. And the cucumbers had their run and were drying up. So I pulled all of the onions and left them out to dry and called it a year. Sad to say but we have other things that need our attention and gardening isn't one of them.

My harvest Sunday. Some small and medium Copra onions and two green bell peppers.

What we have now. I'll clean everything up this fall. 

Since my last post my wife traded off her jeep on a Honda Civic which she likes alot, I was hit in the rear end of my truck turning into our office parking lot so I've been waiting to get it back, my annual golf trip is coming up this week and we lost a few guys (they didn't evacuate deciding to ride out the storm; they're alive just stupid) since they live in Clearwater and didn't leave, I managed to strain my back (again) at the gym last Monday so I've been taking it easy to make sure I can go on this trip, our son was medically denied for the Coast Guard so now he's focused on the Air Force, my in-laws celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, and we got Roku Saturday since we don't have network TV. That and with the west under fire and Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hitting the south, things are definitely interesting. 

Happy Monday.
September 11th. Never Forget.  

Monday, August 7, 2017

Harvest Monday; 8/07/2017

Happy Harvest Monday everyone.
Due to the lack of rain recently things have been sorta slow in the garden. The tomatoes have finally starting coming in nicely and the onions are doing well to. Cucumbers seem to be finalizing their supply for this year but we have had a good harvest from them so no complaints really. There have been discussions between Amy and myself about the garden for next year and we have definitely decided that we are going to scale back to about 9 or so raised beds and be done with it. Our schedules leave us no real time to work on them throughout the week, leaving our weekends full of gardening and not much else. With our youngest off on his new adventures later this year it seems we need to slow down some, doing some of the other things we liked to do before. We also plan on doing some traveling next year to here and there. No place too exoctic, but just scoping out some areas where we would like to spend our remaining years. Climate is a big check on the list for us. We do have a few areas picked out but we need to spend more time researching and asking questions before we get too far into it. May be asking questions of the fellow harvesters here :). Anyway off to what's happening in the garden this week.

As I said before, tomatoes have really come in on their own. Amy's has been able to get a few of here favorite, Solar Flares. We also get a smattering of romas and grapes, a few Better Boys thrown in. I am excited that the new variety I tried this year have set nicely and I have a few to eat. They are called Red Pear (or Pomodoro.) They are obviously pear in shape and they do have a rich taste. Not so much acidic but I'd say close to a Mortgage Lifter. I got the from Seeds From Italy. They sell only heirloom varieties. Between that, the previously- mentioned Solar Flares, Better Boys, Romas, and Grapes, I've picked a few Mortgage Lifters and Boxcar Willies. A few of the plants are pretty much dead and a few are going strong. In looking around at other gardens in the area, everyone seems to be in the same boat. Earlier we got a lot of rain and the past week and a half, nothing.

Red Pear

Here's a picture of the harvest Amy picked Sunday.

A little bit of everything. I was hoping to get enough ripe tomatoes at once to make some salsa but they may not happen. If not we'll hit the farmers market for a box of Romas and make it then. Still save money in the end and the recipe we use tastes great. And low cal snack if you eat it right.

A few weeds here and there but I'm keeping it fairly trimmed back as I can.

Here's this week's (and last weeks, sorry) harvest totals.

I did start some more bush beans in the raised beds as we wanted to get some more quarts canned, but do to lack of rain they haven't done too much.

Onions. Yes not hard to grow these things.

Closing up I finished the last Viking book, read another book called Behind the Scenes by Elizabeth Keckly and now am on A Walk in the Wilderness, about the Appalachian Trail. Some day I plan on walking it. Amy may not know it yet...

WOF of the Week. Why not. Scrounge for snacks during meal prep.

Harvest Monday is hosted at Our Happy Acres. With my reducing my duties in the garden hopefully I'll post more. Have a great week everyone!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Harvest Monday; July 24, 2017

Happy Harvest Monday!

It has been overwhelmingly hot here the last few weeks. So much so that the plants have been taking a beating. Tomatoes are so to ripen and some of the plants are not looking too good, peppers are doing so-so, but cucumbers are doing great. Go figure. I know I haven't been on here for a few weeks so I got a lot to catch up on.

Picture of a harvest.

What a mess.

Weed mess. I didn't get out to the garden last week and it shows. 

Morning glories. 

Volunteer sunflower.

Cuke got squeezed in the fence.

Amy took some pictures of our helpers. 

Green peppers abound but not big enough to pick.

Planted some green beans in the beds, hoping nothing eats them. We want to try to can some more.

Watermelon doing great. Hope we get to eat it within the next few weeks.

Hope all is well with everyone. Sorry so short but work comes calling. Harvest Monday is hosted at Our Happy Acres

Monday, July 3, 2017

Harvest Monday; July 3, 2017

Happy Harvest Monday to everyone. Harvest Monday's are hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres.

Well, this week has been somewhat of a slow one in the garden. My wife and I took a long weekend which has been nice but it seems I'm still not getting everything that I want to get done, done. As I sit here typing this on Sunday evening I am already planning tomorrow ans Tuesday, although I may go golfing or paintball Tuesday as well. Gotta half some fun, right?

As you can see it was slim picking this week. One thing I am kinda surprised about are the cucumbers. The past few years we haven't had good luck with them. Now it looks like pickle making tomorrow. Beyond that everything else is taking its time. Green beans are slowly dying off and I may get a few picked Monday but that's pretty much it for them. I did get the pole beans planted and they have come up. Reminding myself now to spread out the slug killer. I also have a few tomato plants that are struggling a bit, yellowing leaves at the base. One thing I have been particular about this year is weeding and fertilizing. Not sure what it is but I'm keeping my eye on it. I am trying a compost tea from the Blak Cow mix to see if it will help. Onward to other things.

Speaking of compost tea. Filled it with water and stir it once in a while. Pour it out Tuesday and a few plants.

Bee getting his/her thing on.

Pulled the garlic out of this bed and cleaned it up for fall crops.

Guess what? I have a squash plant.

Amazing cucumber bed.

If you look close enough you'll see some green peppers there. 

Second bed of cukes. 

Started cleaning out a few bush beans and got welcomed by some fire ants! Lovely little creatures. 


Tied up the tomatoes and weeded out between them. 

The bush beans are having their last picking soon. 

Garlic I picked. Idiot shadow too :)

Our volunteer onions. They were turning brown on the bottom parts so time to pull them.  

Got a few nice sized ones. 

My volunteer watermelons. 

Those pole beans.

Not sure why a took this crooked? 

Banana peppers starting to set too. 

Front daylilies finally have bloomed. These smell great!

Praying mantis cruising the inside of our umbrella by the pool.

Cabbage and broccoli starts are doing well. Probably transplant the broccoli tomorrow since it's growing so quickly. 

WOF of the Week. Must have fallen asleep reading her nook. 

That's it for this week. Happy gardening.