what’s new around here

Well lots of things have been growing on, here’s a few pics from the last week or so.

gardenJune09 002Miracles terrific sunflower is blooming. It is now 8 feet 6 inches tall.

gardenJune09 004The small fruited tomatoes are loaded. These are the Princepe Borhese. But the kids and I eat them as fast as they come in so we haven’t gotten around to drying any of them yet.

gardenJune09 005The new bunny condo in the works. This one will hold my four does. Later I will make another one for the two bucks with space for two more grown rabbits or to hold fryers that don’t gain weight fast enough and need a little more time to grow. I suspect that rabbit will replace chicken in our diet this winter.

gardenJune09 006The small seeded sunflower plants are beginning to really take off and grow.

gardenJune09 007The King of the Garden lima’s are beginning to bloom at the bottom. The tops of the vines are hitting 9 feet and still going.

gardenJune09 009WHOA! HELLO THERE! I came around the corner of the house the other evening to discover this guy on my patio. It looked like this rattlesnake had just eaten [big belly bulge visible just past the coffee can]. I hope it was that pesky squirrel! I hated to do it after it did me such a favor, but I did shoot it. With small children around the house it was way too risky to let it keep hanging out, especially just a few feet from the back door.

Pesky Critters

Grrrr!First a mouse was eating the bean and sunflower seeds right out of the soil blocks in the house. Then the birds were pulling up young seedlings outside. Then a rat ate some of the pepper plants to the ground, just as they were blooming. Now a blasted rabbit has been eating up the cantaloupes and blue jays are stealing the tomatoes! Very Very aggravating!

I did get some bird netting over the strawberry bed and finally got a couple more strawberries [the jays steal them before they even turn pink!] Today I’ll be getting some more netting to put over the tomatoes. I’m not sure how to solve the rabbit problem as the melons are growing on the compost and there’s so much junk sitting around up there it would be hard to put up a fence…..

Tomatoes are a comin’ on!

Well, we’ve been picking and eating tomatoes for a week or two now, just a trickle of ripe ones. If Harmony has her way they disappear nearly as fast as I can pick them.

gardenJune09 007These are the Princepe Borghese tomatoes. I’m afraid the blue jays have discovered them though. Now I have to buy more bird netting.

gardenJune09 006The west side of the patio is beginning to look like a jungle, potted potatoes on the left, tomatoes on the right. More potatoes in the background. The orange pots have pepper plants in them. They are sitting on the 55 gal drum which is the sand filter for the grey water from the washing machine.

gardenJune09 005Here’s a new compost pile. It is built over several tree stumps that I’m trying to get rid of. I’ve managed to kill an oleander by building a hot compost pile on top of the stump. This pile was built of horse manure and sawdust, topped off with some leaf litter, then some finished compost on top of that. I’ll be planting watermelons on it soon.

gardenJune09 004The Kabocha squash in the grey water tub is going strong. On the right is a canna lilly.

gardenJune09 001King of the Garden Lima beans on the arch trellis. The tallest one has hit 5’6″ and still climbing.

gardenJune09 003The new garden beds out front, with Bloody Butcher corn, popping sorghum, broom corn and quinoa. In the foreground are some madder plants.

gardenJune09 008The trombocino squash has hit the roof and started sideways.

gardenJune09 009The greenhouse looking from the outside in. The sugar snap peas have been pulled out and replaced with various beans. A volunteer squash plant is taking over the corner. You can’t see them in the pic but lots of Malabar spinach in there too. Left side of the pic you can just see part of Miracle’s sunflower and the bed of baby corn.

gardenJune09 011Another view of the greenhouse. Looks like I need to do a little housekeeping in there! The big green bushes are the huckleberries I grew from seed. They are beginning to bloom. I’ve never grown them before, but they are supposed to taste like blueberries.

gardenJune09 010On the right are large paste tomatoes. On the left Burgandy Okra. Some of the okra seedlings didn’t make it and were replaced with my 6 Beauregard sweet potatoe plants.

Growing, Growing, Growing!

wow, lookit that thing Grow!

gardenjune09 008This is Miracle and her amazing sunflower. She is holding a 6 foot tape measure up to it and the plant is taller than that!

gardenjune09 006The trombocino squash in a tub. Unfortunately today I discovered that the vine tip had grown into the crack at the top of the wall and in trying to get it out and bend it over to grow along under the eave I broke it ;-(

gardenjune09 005The Princepe Borhese, an heirloom Italian drying tomatoe is loaded with little green ‘maters. Can you spot  the one that ripe?

gardenjune09 003Here’s a long shot of the raspberry bed, the long green strip center left. You can’t actually see the raspberry plants from here, they are still pretty small. The 3 Heritage plants are just little green twigs. The Baba is doing much better [you’ll see in the next picture]. Most of this bed is covered with the buckwheat and a few wild sunflowers. The sunflowers were the only thing that sprouted from a pack of wild flowers years ago. They have really small seeds but the chickens might like them. Towards the right is the chickens pen in it’s new spot.

gardenjune09 001A Bababerry ready to eat mmmmmmmmmm my first homegrown raspberry mmmmmmmm


Being the last day of May I’ve tallied the harvest, 125 eggs, 31 pounds of produce and 17.6 pounds of rabbit meat.  Most of this months harvest was snap peas and spinach type greens. But we also got 5# of regular garlic and 4# of Elephant garlic. Totals do  not include grazing by small children, nor the single red currant tomato that was the size of a pea or a couple of strawberries that I snuck.

I also have a lot of seeds drying off, but won’t know their actual weight until they dry out and I get them cleaned up. I’m hoping June’s numbers will be at least double that, tho it could be much better, since the potatoes should be done in June.