Sunday, August 7, 2011

The State of the Garden

Mia having some outdoor time.
This sums it up...a lot of weeds :-).  I just can't seem to get ahead of it. Even with this dry spell we are having, the weeds continue to grow.  The veggies are still growing. It's just hard to find some of them. I have almost totally lost the leeks. I found the row, but there aren't very many there. I think I pulled some as weeds. Carrots are also a problem. A few weeks ago, I weeded a partial row, the rest are lost in there somewhere. It all started by going on vacation for a week followed by an intense garlic harvesting. The weeds just got out of control. You know, if you get them while they are little, it is easy to chop them with a hoe. When they are a foot tall, you need a machete :-). So I have been pulling & chopping away every day, making some headway. I can now see the cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, basil, oregano, pinapple sage & parsley. Some of the corn is visible along with the potatoes & squash.  Speaking of potatoes & squash, I have had bug problems. First was the potato bugs. Lots of them. Then the squash started wilting & the leaves turned yellow on a few hills. That was caused by the vine borer. I dug them up & put them in a plastic garbage bag to cook in the sun. Hopefully, the rest of the plants will be okay.  I do have three cantaloupe on a vine which is a first. I have never grown it before. I hope the lack of moisture doesn't affect it. We have harvested a few potatoes (there is nothing like fresh hash browns for breakfast), lots of cherry tomatoes (red & yellow), about 6 large tomatoes (they are just starting to come in), a dozen or so peppers, peas, cilantro, basil, oregano, thyme, chocolate mint, orange mint, only a few cucumbers & zucchinis (not sure what's up with that), a few summer squash, lettuce, spinach, radishes, onions and of course, the garlic. On my list this week to pick is beets. I have never canned beets before, so I intend to learn how. I also need to buy some sweet corn from the Amish down the road to freeze. I am growing corn but not enough to do anything with.
On the fruit front, I have picked loads of strawberries and Nanking cherries, a fair amount of blueberries. A smaller amount of raspberries & about a cup full of jostaberries. Almost ready to pick are the blackberries & elderberries. Apples will be next after that, then the rose hips.

I have purring kitten on my lap now. He has been such a joy to have around. That's what we think, not Mia. She is having a terrible time adjusting. I know it takes a while. I have never heard such a low growl out of her before. Growls & hisses every time Tigger is near.  She is camping out in the bathroom now with her water, food & litter box.
Tigger playing in the window.

Tigger out hunting bugs :-)

Vinnie & Brutus (neighbor's dog) got into a big fight today in the basement. We have a bank barn so you just enter the basement through the garage doors. Well Brutus wanted a drink from Vinnie's bowl & Vinnie showed his teeth & barked. Brutus didn't back down so they were biting each other. Steve broke them up & sent Brutus home. The problem is (I think) is that they are both alpha dogs. Not knowing the history of Vinnie, we can only guess at why he is the way he is with Brutus. Vinnie guards the house & his bowls from other dogs. People are fine.
Vinnie in front of the garlic bed.

Besides the animal disharmony, we had a nice weekend. It was my birthday on Saturday. Steve took me out to eat Friday night & I gardened on Saturday while he shingled the chicken coop. We ordered pizza & made a strawberry-chocolate malt for desert. Yum. Then we sat in the lawn chairs and watched the sunset while Vinnie, Mia & Tigger played outside. 
Sunday, putting the hardware cloth around the bottom of coop.
Today we put the hardware cloth around the bottom of the coop. The screens made of hardware cloth & chicken wire for the run are laying on the ground in front of the coop. That is next week's project. We might finish it yet.
Steve brought up the last cabinet for the kitchen. My favorite cabinet. Worth waiting for...
The new "hutch" cabinet
It is a beautiful piece of furniture. I love the three small drawers. As you can see, I have already started to fill it up :-).
This week I'll be in the garden for more weeding chores & am starting on the wood flooring. It all needs to be scrubbed & dried then stacked in the house to be installed this fall or winter. I am still working on a garlic description & price list for sales coming up. I did sell another 15 pounds to the restaurant in town on Friday.
Another awesome Driftless sunset!

Time to get to bed..have a great week!


Lois Evensen said...

The animal pecking ordering seems pretty normal. It's cute how the newest, tiny one really doesn't seem to care. It's the old ones who get all out of joint. I can understand that.

I've given up on the weeds around here. Of course, we grow flowers, not much food, so there is a big difference. If we were home more of the year I would make a go at food again. While we are home this time we are busy with redoing the whole first floor and all the hallways so not much time to be outside anyway.

Love your updates. The last image of the sky is beautiful. :)


SkippyMom said...

The cabinetry is amazing. Breathtaking. Must be so wonderful to have the feeling of satisfaction of making them yourselves. Lovely.

Sue said...

Happy Belated Birthday to you!
Sounds like you had a perfect day.

Don't get discouraged about the weeds. Every year it gets a bit easier. I'm fortunate (?) to garden in sand-the weeds either just burn up in it, or pull out with ease. But, it can't match the richness of my clay-ey soil I had back when I lived in IL. I guess there's advantages and disadvantages to everything-LOL!

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Your kitchen is really beautiful, the cabinet is a lovely addition!

I know what you mean about the weeds, but what a harvest you are getting despite them!

Have a great week!