Friday, April 11, 2014

Ouch



Only good news is I am going to a garden party tomorrow and my lovely little planters will undoubtedly be filled with lots of goodies.
I am bringing agapanthus, African Lillys and African irises as well as dwarf birds of paradise. All extra tubers that have exploded around here.

I can't wait!!!!

See you soon.

Barbie~Obviously I am back into the garden. Unfortunately I think it's really mad at me and has decided to fight back.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Harvest Monday

It may be 11pm but gosh darn it - it's Monday still!

The last couple weeks have gone by so quickly that I think I've lost track of time completely. I have had a few successful harvests at least.

I have no idea where the pictures will go once I post this but I will give it a go.

I've harvested cauliflower a few times. Lots of cabbages a few baskets of broccoli a couple pounds of green beans the last of the citrus with exception to the key lines that come all year round one at a time.
Some mint was eaten and the mulberry glut has begun.

Here are (hopefully) some pics.

See you soon!

Barbie~

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Nearly a month. WOW!

Time really does fly. but in this case - not when you are having fun.

I really thought that I would have been able to pick up my computer and transfer some pictures for a short blogitty blog by now. But, plans change and complications get in the way. You spend almost a week in the hospital and come home one uterus short and gain a couple pints of someone elses blood and all you thought you were going to do with your 'scheduled personal time' well, it goes out the window. Fast.

It's been 3 weeks now and thanks to surgery complications and then healing complications followed by an infection I am just now really able to do anything other than the absolute necessary. Shoot. It took 2 weeks before I could shower myself and not be completely utterly out of breath and have to to a nap afterward. Who knew showering should be an Olympic sport!?

Once I was able to get back outside and see the world again I really realized that the best laid plans of mice and men? Are meant to be destroyed. My yard will most certainly be getting a notice of violation from the homeowners association and the garden? Oh the poor garden. The only thing out there doing really well for themselves are the perennials that have been in the ground for several years. Even my yearly persimmon tree is looking like it might be lost. The grape vines were always fragile things and 3 weeks without water sees them defoliated and possibly dying as well.

It's sad when just a month can ruin so many things. The tomato plants are all gone but one. The bean plants had a single half harvest and succumbed to their neglect. Broccoli? Well they look like the dessert. Ho-hum. It's time to recenter my efforts, but I don't have the ability yet to do anything but mourn the loss. The grass took over a good third of the garden in my absence. So now it comes time to choose. Do I just go through and wipe everything out or try to nurse what is left? Guess I will have to wait to make that decision anyhow. Good news is that 4 heads of cabbage were harvested in my absence. Just knowing some of it went to good use makes me feel good.

So, it seems my time here is short - I'm heading back to the couch to put my feet up and be a good girl. I'll keep you posted on the gardens recovery. As for mine? Well, if the garden is recovering you know I can't be doing to poorly.

See you soon!

Barbie~

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Whirlwind

It's been a bit of a whirlwind around here lately.

To say we've been busy is an understatement. All I know is I can NOT wait for the clocks to change...and that is a major change from my norm. I usually can't stand when the clocks change because it throws off my day for weeks afterward. But this time there is so much that I need to do and the extra hour in the evenings will be so very helpful.

This has also been rather helpful:

We are now the proud new owners of  this heavy duty diesel truck. It's shiny and pretty and best of all it has an 18,000 pound towing capacity. This purchase is the third in a (long)  list of purchases that will be more than helpful in the long term. Not only will it make our trips to and from the property in Alabama easier, but once we are living up there permanently it will be indispensable. 

So, not only have we managed to make one more step towards our goal, but along with it we've been speaking with a few contractors and making leeway in that area as well.  

Speaking of whirlwinds, my little whirlwinds are going to be off on Spring Break in less than 2 weeks. That is the start of the real Spring season around here. We'll need to make a trip up to the property as the Division of Forestry was supposed to be out to do a burn of the underbrush this month and we need to make sure that no other damage occurred while they were there.

Between all that is going on and needs to happen so I am also doing my Spring planting, and trying to figure out a simple solution to a rat problem that started this month as well. Once our temps got warm around here the rats decided to move into my chicken coop. This hasn't been a problem the last 2 years, but now suddenly I have to do something fast! I've found a feeder that would work but at $80 after shipping it's kinda pricey. I am not confident enough in my ability to make my own treadle feeder so now I'm seeking other options and considering confining my hens to a much smaller enclosure than can be managed with hardware cloth to prevent this from continuing. 

Ho-Hum... Still trying to keep up.

See you soon!

Barbie~

Monday, February 24, 2014

Harvest Monday 2.24.14

WOW! Time is certainly flying around here. I picked up mulch this weekend and didn't even find enough time to get it spread out. It just seems like there are never enough hours in the day right now.

This weeks harvest brought some lovely additions to the lineup. It's definitely not winter any more here and while I'm quite sure we will see a couple more days that cool off I don't think we'll see 40's at night any more and certainly not below 60's in the day.

Why do I think this? Because this weekend while I was trying desperately to beat the clock and get some of my planting done - it was like soup outside. Normally we have a few weeks of warm (OK, hot) weather without the humidity. It's our version of 'Spring' around here. It only lasts for a few weeks, but once the humidity steps up it's officially Summer. I'm thinking we may have bypassed that whole Spring thing instead.

OK- So what did this warm weather bring to my line up?


Why the first tomato of the year. This was the plant that took the few frosts we had and kept kicking! It was the only plant to not succumb to the freezing temps and I only covered it twice - only the nights when it truly froze and not frosted. It thrills me to know end to have it on my table, but... DARN it's not a slicer. I am so ready for some slicing 'maters. This year I'm turning to hybrids mainly for my tomatoes. Burpee's Big Boy and the small salad tomatoes (Fast girl or something to that effect) for me. I'm sure to plant a few others along the way but these are the the plants I"ve chosen for the main crop. I'll need a few sauce tomatoes and cherries for salads when I plant those I might pop in an heirloom just because they are such lovely tomatoes. 

ANYWAY- I also got to harvest the first green beans of the season! WHOOT! I wasn't sure these plants would survive, and indeed and entire crop of flowers was frozen off of them, but the plants managed to make it through with only some of the outer leaves frozen and the fruit drop as well. Now that the warm up has occurred they have flowered over and over. I'm so glad I took the time to figure out the best place to plant these and protect them from the weather. 

Another 6oz of broccoli...again. For whatever reason that seems to be the magic number for these plants. I'm OK with that. 'd rather get 6 oz a week that none! :-)

That's it. Only one picture with a couple harvests.

See you soon!

Barbie~

Monday, February 17, 2014

2/17/14 Harvest Monday

Hey there! It's Harvest Monday again! This weeks harvest includes most of the things you've been seeing here this winter. But this time I threw in something different, just for fun. LOL.

Cabbage made it on the list! Finally something different. I adore broccoli, but it's nice to have something else coming out of the garden, too. 

I got 2 of these bowls of broccoli from side shoots, and my head of cabbage as well. The hens are still giving me a decent supply of eggs. I've only gone 5 or 6 days the whole winter without one or the other of them giving me a little present. Good hens! I'm considering chicks right now, but it's such a catch 22. If I get chicks I have a better chance of being discovered. SO it's get new chicks, get rid of aggressive hen - BONUS... get chicks, get found out - BOOO!!! What's a gal to do? Additionally something has been getting into their pen lately. Food consumption has tripled. I'm thinking it's probably rats, and there isn't much I can do about that. I can't afford a $150 treadle feeder...so I'm not sure what else to do. :-( 

My first set of green beans is due this week. I can't wait to eat them!

Thanks Daphne for hosting, as always! Don't forget to check out her blog for loads of other harvests from around the world.

See you soon!

Barbie~

Monday, February 10, 2014

Harvest Monday 2/10/14

It's harvest report time! 

This week the picking have been somewhat meager, but when you can harvest anything in January and early February I consider it a lucky draw. 

This weeks harvest looks much the same as the last few weeks...


Lemons grace my table again. There is one single honeybell orange that is almost ready to pick soon and a couple limes. I keep thinking the citrus fest will end and yet it continues... (I am so not complaining!)
4oz of broccoli this week. I did catch Savannah out there chewing on some. I will never know how much because she wont even admit that her mouth was full when I caught her! 
Another pomegranate graced our table as well. This one was hiding on the wrong side of the fence. These are the best poms because they escape my notice until they are at the bursting point. SOOO juicy and delish!

I lucked out and managed to keep one single tomato plant alive through the several freezes we've had. Turns out it's a roma and I'm now rather anxious to get some of the fruit ripened and on the table! I could use some fresh maters right now.

It's nearly Spring here and our temps lately have been getting into the 80's again. I am hopeful that it means our freezes are over for the year and I really want to get some more goodies in the ground. I did plant out a 3 or 4' section of peas, mostly sugar peas and some snow as well. They should be peeking up above the soil line today or tomorrow and that makes me HAPPY! :-)

See you soon!

Barbie~

Friday, January 31, 2014

Little bear/Big bear

My little bear is growing up. It's times like this I have to swallow past the lump in my throat, when I realize it's only a few short years until he could be out on his own. It's hard to believe it's High School dances and no longer birthday parties he's going to. He's turning into a wonderful young man and I'm proud of him. He's not my little bear any more. I guess now he's my big bear... but still my bear.



(selfie with my bear - I mean everyone else selfie's right?)






This is Abby, my bear's girlie friend. Interesting back story - but suffice to say that this was something that her mother and I dreamed of doing when they were little, and then it just happened all on it's own. How perfect could that be? Marie (Abby's Mom pictured here) has been one of my best friends for nearly 30 years. She's a beautiful, strong woman and her daughter is just like her. Complications or hazards along the way? Not with these two - those are just speed bumps. :-)
While we were waiting for Abby to arrive I snapped this shot of him. I <3 This picture. It shows just how serious and intense my boy really is.

I did follow him up to the Hall where the dance was, but restrained my self not to take pictures of them up there. I only took a picture of the entrance to the dance because it was truly a magical feeling they had going on there.

My how the time has flown. 
*Shaking head in disbelief*


See you soon!

Barbie~


Monday, January 27, 2014

Harvest Monday 1/27/2014

Sad as it is to say this is the first Harvest Monday for the year. It's not that I haven't been busy in the garden. It's that I haven't had access to my blog or emails until this past week. It's really amazing how dependent you are on the providers. Even when you think you aren't. I rarely used my Yahoo account or gmail either. But, when they went down simultaneously I discovered that a lot of my other accounts are based on those not only existing but functioning. My email server on my phone, this blog, facebook, my address book....etc. So even though I only used each account minimally it still affected me in a big way.

Now that I have a new gmail account things are looking up again. This harvest report is long overdue. So I will show you what I can!






Woah- turns out the picture uploader has changed since I was here last, too. WOW. That was much faster than the old way. LOVE it! 

So loads of fruit, and a few veggies, too. 

Pomegranates are absolutely beautifully sweet this time of year. Just the right balance of sweet and tart. They are darn good in the summer, but the winter ones are sublime! Lemons continue though the tree is looking bear now and I'm almost ready for it's annual trim-a-thon. The tree is still suffering form greening but the aggressive pruning and fertilizing seems to be keeping it going.  Once this tree succumbs I will not replant citrus outdoors. I have a few indoors (Key lime and red lime) That will have to do for now. Our area is just too infested with this disease. 

Purple sweets were pulled after the first frost took the vines down a notch. The one featured int he photo by itself? Monstrous. That sucker weighed over 2 pounds!

I harvested a head of broccoli at 6.8oz... so deceiving to see something so large be so light weight. Unfortunately my hens harvested 3 heads of broccoli as well as 2 plants of just forming brussel sprouts. They did some damage to the cabbage plants but nothing that will ultimately affect those harvests. (lucky for them!) 

Figs are coming one at a time every 2 or 3 days. It's a small harvest, but a sweet one. I have a new (purchased a few months ago) Celeste fig that will be added to the fruit trees this year. I waited to transfer it as the plant was having some serious issues. Wilting being the most worrisome, even right after watering. Once I decided just to up-pot it I found the problem. The root ball combined with the crappy soil in the pot was shedding the water faster than concrete, so water I might but the roots weren't getting anything to drink or eat. Now that it has had it's first re-pot it hasn't wilted once so I am now quite hopeful. I'll be looking into propagating figs soon, as we really want some in Alabama as well. Oh! Speaking of which, we planted out the first 4 trees into the orchard there. I'm so excited I could pee myself... oh wait.... *nevermind*
;-) 

Believe it or not I still have one tomato plant hanging on. The frost cloth has been wonderful for it - even though the rest of the plants have all succumbed to the cold. It's a toss up on if the cage is helping more (allowing the cloth to barely touch the plant) or if it's the location (in the high beds) of the plant. Either way I'm not complaining! The fruit may be small, but they will be ripening soon and I'm all for home grown tomatoes!

WOW, that's long. Sorry for the length. I guess after being gone for so long I had a bit to tell y'all. I'll be back shortly with pictures of my boy.


See you soon!

Barbie~