Garden Tour… Flood Update…

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The flood waters have finally succeeded and I was able to go into my garden without sucking down into the bog…  There are still a good deal of squishy spots but it was okay to walk about in.  It was really a mess for a few days.  I just avoided it so that I wouldn’t make big holes.  Besides, what could I really do until it all drained away, anyway?  Maybe a bit of weeding, but still, I would have made such a mess and then just the cleanup of my boots and pants and such, it just seemed smarter to stay away and let nature take it’s course.

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As you can see, most everything made it through alive.  Including the weeds!  I am definitely going to be spending most of my holiday weekend out there pulling up weeds!  Just going to do my best to try and get it back to just the veggies I want!  And I need to replant a couple boxes that didn’t do so well…  I tried to plant a bunch of garlic that was getting a bit old… most of it didn’t come up.  So I want to add a bit more dirt to those boxes (3) and probably plant beans in them.

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But I do have some lovely peppers doing their thing!   The plants are not big but they are trying to set fruit.  I love the shade of that pepper!  It’s so purple…  I do love purple!

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This is one of the first big tomatoes on my little herd of plants.  It’s a little weirdly shaped.  I suspect it’s from the overload of water or something.  Not totally sure.  It is a little weird for sure!  Another thing I need to do is stake up a few of my tomatoes that are kind of flopping all over.  I only had so many tomato cages left, so that is something I need to work on a bit.

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Jessy loves cauliflower and well, we all do.  So I tried to get some heads going.  But aside from this lovely purple fancy one, most are not doing too well.  I think the weather and rain is not the best for them.  But maybe they will pull through.  You just never know.

DSC_0999Zinnias are doing really well.   I have a bunch in the courtyard as well.  I would like them to be a little taller, but I guess they just took their own time.  It’s okay, I’ll have flowers soon enough. 

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Radish are going to town.   The bunnies and I are the only ones that really enjoy them but I always plant a box full.  They grow so well and so fast, you can get several crops of them from a single packet of seeds.   And the bunnies like all the greens as well!   It’s an easy crop and fun.

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My squash, melons and pumpkins are in various states of growing.   Some are doing pretty well, like these acorn squash.  Yet some of the same plants in other areas are not doing so well.  It really just seems to be down to location, location, location!  The new compost bed that we put in at the top of the garden just must be a little too hot.  Some of the plants in it are kind of, well, weird.  A little stunted.  I was afraid of that, but still, it’s all okay.  They will either catch up or not.  We still do have at least 90+ days of growing time left, so it’s all good.  My garden is still at a point that it’s extra food and fodder for us, not totally sustaining us.  Maybe in a few years as we keep adding to it and getting it all nice and set up.  It is lovely, though, to be able to go out and get materials for a fresh salad right there in your back yard!   Or to pick cherries or other fruit and enjoy it.  Very nice.  Worth the effort.

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Zucchini!  I have about three plants that are doing pretty well.  Each have several nice fruits already.  They are not super leafy, and looks a little sparse to me, but I will give them a little bit of good plant food and that might help to perk them up a bit.  The rain water and flood really gave everything a run for it’s money.

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In among the creeping Charlie, my sunflowers are giving it a good grow.  I just love sunflowers.  I would love to have a super thick row of them all along the back fence of the garden!  I tried this year and about half have come up.  I do have another pack of seeds, I might give those a try and see if I can make it happen.  Just a lot of weeding to do for sure.   My friend Justin is coming over tomorrow to help out, and maybe we can make a good day of it.  We shall see!

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Look!  Little pickles!  I love little pickles!  I really want to can a bunch of pickles this year.  Bread and butter and tiny dill and just whatever I can get my hands on.  I will probably get a big load of them from the farmer’s market…  a little later on in the year!  Love canning pickles.  Just always turn out pretty darn good.

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I bought 4 grape vines when I got my fruit collection.  And I am so happy, they are all doing well.  Not super huge or anything and that is fine, but setting good leaves and such, so I am happy.   I really don’t expect any fruit this year, but I do want to get some trellis put together real soon.  I have an idea… we shall see if I can make it happen!

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Of the raspberries I bought, 8 are doing great, 2 didn’t make it.  Still, I am happy.  They are setting good growth and I’m trying to mulch them up with grass clipping and such, to cut down on the weeds and grass around them.  Again, I don’t expect much fruit this first year, but I hope they do well and really set a lot of new canes that will hopefully bear fruit next year.   Fruit in your garden is one thing that needs a lot of patience.   I really wish I had the time and resources to get more in when we first moved here, but that is the way it goes.   The saying is that the best time to plant a fruit tree is 20 years ago.  The second best time in now.  I am hoping to get some late season deals on fruit trees and I think I will take any that I can find.   I can plant them all over the place!   Last year, I passed on some apple trees that were $3 each!   I still kick myself over that.  There were about a dozen and I just didn’t have the budget for it.  Oh well!  There are always deals like that to be found and I am patient.  Perhaps this year it will work out.  We have had some good inquiries on our second litter of hogs, perhaps that will be the budget helper!  DSC_0009

The flood waters made a bit of a mess around the place.  Knocked all our lovely rocks around, and just have left things muddy!   I hate to say it but I would like a quick, brief downpour to clean everything up a bit!   Oh, okay, maybe just a light a rain shower.  Yes, that would be nice.  It’s kind of weird, some of the areas where it was very flooded, the grass is all dirty brown looking and awful.  A good rain would wash it up a bit.   We shall be putting rocks back in neat lines and raking up a few areas of dirt and such.   Darn flood.

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Well, this was such a sweet surprise!   This is a little cherry tree that was here when we moved in.   Just not doing very well, it was scraggly and damaged by an ice storm and didn’t produce any fruit the first year.  Second and third…  well, I think I got a little teeny bowl full.  So last year, I just whacked it all back and cleaned it up.  And surprise, surprise!  It is COVERED in cherries!   They are small and tart but oh so good.  And so pretty.  Buttercup and I ate a whole bunch already!   They are just about ready to pick.  I might start tomorrow, getting the really ripe and dark ones.  I don’t want the darn birds to strip it clean.  If I had some netting, I might consider covering it.  We have several mulberry trees around the estate and the birds have been doing a number on them.   I don’t really like the mulberries, so they are welcome to them.  It’s my peace offering to leave the cherries alone!

We have an ancient pear tree in the back pasture, and a lovely three in one apple up front.  Had a couple little crab apples but they were pretty old and the sheep killed them.  Girdled them one winter before I knew what they were doing!  But we do have a lovely English walnut as well, and I just love that tree.  It gives us at least 10 gallons of nuts when it sets fruit.  It’s kind of weird…  we have been here now four growing seasons and it’s given nuts every other year.  This is a nut year.  We shall see how it goes!  I hope it’s good!  I’ll have to go and take a peek, see if it’s setting out those little nut balls.  We have a black walnut as well, but that thing is not as nice.  Those walnuts are super hard to harvest and all, super tough!  I like the English walnut a lot better.  I would like to try and plant a few more nut trees here and there…  hazelnut and perhaps a pecan?  Not sure if they would do well up here, but we are zone 5 and I suspect there are a few hardy varieties.  I would be planting those for my grandchildren, I suspect.   Still, it’s a great idea…

As you can see, we are recovering nicely from the flood.  The whole county is pretty pretty well, the St. Joseph river is back down to a respectable level but there is still a lot of fields underwater.  And a few roads are still blocked.  It was sure a lot of rain!   So glad to have a few days of sunshine and pleasant temperatures…  Sure hope some of this rain moved out west where they really need it!   I won’t mind at all!

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Kids Need Farms and Animals…

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Ran across these pictures of my buddy’s nephew enjoying some of our animals and a friend’s farm..  kids need a little country in their life!  Everytime we have kids out at our homestead, I just love how excited they get, to see the animals and run around… collect eggs, chase a chicken, pet a pony!  It’s so cool.  So many kids just don’t seem to get as much outside time and time to just run around and be a kid!  It’s so important and so cool…  do it!  Get your kids to a local u-pick farm or anything, find someone you can visit and do it…  it will build memories they will hold on to for their whole lives!   I can’t tell you how many people will tell us that they remember visiting Grandma and Grandpa’s farm or someplace like that and they still remember the sights and smells and sounds of it…  it’s just part of our roots…  it’s important!!!

 

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Attention Web Site Owners!!!

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Hey, just a heads up folks…  if you have a website and you are registered with a decent hosting company…  don’t fall for this scam out there.  There are several companies that will send you these very official looking forms that say your site is ready for registration…  it’s always double to quadruple the normal price and it looks so official!  Don’t fall for it.  Check with your hosting company first, or whoever maintains your website.  I see it a lot…  it’s just not fair.

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