Walk through the garden 6/16/17

It has been quite a hot spell this week with temperatures almost in the 90’s everyday. Therefore, I have not bothered the bees because they are already hot and I’m not one to anger already angry insects that sting.

I’ll start off with our tiny harvests! I picked a ton mulberries off the neighbor’s bush to make a pie! (Unfortunately, it turns out that I am not a huge mulberry fan! But, it wasn’t absolutely terrible!)

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Garlic straight from the garden
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Our first onion and some other yummies

The garden has seemed to enjoy this warm up! The tomatoes are full of blooms, as well as other plants!

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Tomato blooms! 
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Cucumber blooms
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Zucchini plant
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Green beans (plus lots of weeds!) 
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Pumpkin blooms 
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Tiny cucumelons 

While I was in the garden, I found a chicken behind me checking out everything!

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Rogue chicken

And the solar panels have been making tons of energy with these sunny days! Already over a megawatt by the middle of the month!

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Solar + longer days = loads of energy

We are hoping to be harvesting some more from our tiny homestead this month! Are you harvesting anything from your garden??

Walk through the garden 8/31

Slowly I see the summer slipping away. The tomato plants are slowing down and the pepper plants are too. I’m not sure how many more veggies that I will be harvesting. But tonight, it was still great!

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Great harvest!

I was pretty excited to find a friend policing the garden! With so many other bad bugs, it’s great to see some good ones!

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Praying mantis 

I am still shocked at how the butternut squash have taken off! We might just get one this year after all!

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Butternut squash

Finally the couple of loofahs that I planted in the garden are doing something!

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Finally a loofah!

And the loofahs around the fence are starting to get ready to be harvested! At first I was concerned that they were diseased or something! But, they eventually turn almost brown before harvesting!

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Getting closer to harvest! 

And due to the 13 pounds of tomatoes picked every couple days, we have been canning a lot of nights. Last night we worked on some pizza sauce and they all sealed!

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Pizza sauce! 

And im still making some hair ties to put in my etsy shop! So, I had my sleepy and totally non-resistant model Sherman try one on!

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What a pretty boy! 

Looking forward to a holiday weekend and probably the start of cleaning out the garden for a cover crop and lots of canning!

What a weekend (of work)

The first week with my 24 new students was pretty exhausting, but we are all getting in the groove of things! So, instead of relaxing, I got to work!

In the garden I’m working on pulling out the plants that don’t look great and harvesting the goodies that remain!

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Garden harvest Saturday

That was over 16 pounds of tomatoes! Plus we got over 10 more pounds from the grandparent garden!

Then we started working on processing some of the harvest! We turned several pounds of tomatoes into tomato sauce!

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Tomato processing!

And then I made some chili sauce. My dad has been talking about how much he loves this interesting concoction, so I made him some! I believe that I need to make a good bit more!

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Chili sauce cooking!
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All canned and preserved!

We also put up some poultry netting around the cook to let the girls free range a bit! The hens are loving more freedom!

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Out free ranging!

While the chili sauce was cooking forever, I got some much needed sewing done! I hemmed a few pairs of pants, finished some bibs for a couple kids at school and then worked on an idea. I made bandana headbands, and still do, and now I whipped up some bow tie hair ties!

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Bow tie headband

And we did manage to work in a little swimming with my momma! Kids grow up too fast and you can never spend too much time with family!

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Chilling in the pool

I’m going to tryo utilize the evenings this week to get so much done! Enjoy your week!!

Thursday walk through the garden 8/25

Have I said how crazy the beginning of the school year is for a teacher? Well, it’s the busiest of busy times! We attended a back to school night with our middle schooler one night. Then, attended a seminar on solar energy last night. But tonight, nothing! Well, other than working in the garden and working on some sewing that needed done!

The harvest from the garden was really amazing! Around 15 lbs of tomatoes, 3 lbs of green beans, a few zucchinis and a green pepper!

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Today’s harvest!

And after bringing in all of this yumminess, I had to endure Sherman crying because he needed some tomatoes!

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Just staring at the tomatoes!

The butternut squash that wasn’t doing anything all summer started taking off! It is actually growing out of the raised bed!

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Butternut squash

We are still having lots of beautiful sunflowers blooming!

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Love the light yellow sunflower

The sunflower has become a trellis for the luffas, and there is a huge one growing in there!!

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Luffa on the sunflower

I had to show the beginning of the season chicken coop, and the way it looks now! The gourds growing around provided lots of shade and privacy for the hens!

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Beginning vs. now!

The wildflower garden didn’t turn out the way that I expected, but there are lots of yellow, purple and white flowers! And I see lots of pollinators enjoying all of it!

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Weedy wildflower garden!

The bees are also looking great! I added another super to the yellow hive to give them extra space!

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Busy bees!

I’m hoping to have a busy weekend processing green beans and tomatoes! Oh, and maybe a yardsale! Enjoy your end if the week!!

Too busy weekend

I have this weird quality to always saying yes to helping someone else, even when I really don’t have the time. This weekend has been filled with crafting for others, holding a produce stand with the boy, taking care of a friend’s store for the day and going out for an anniversary dinner.

This doesn’t even include doing fun things like laundry, grocery shopping, canning and cleaning.

And, I managed to overfill a bucket and break the handle right off! Nice, right?

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My garden fail!!

But to focus on the positives, the boy’s sale went well and he had lots of customers! He even delivered to a few close neighbors!

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Owen’s produce sale! 

The chicken coop is being taken over by the birdhouse gourds, zucchini and sunflowers! I think that it looks perfect!

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I love the coop right now! 

These pretty tomatoes grew themselves this year:

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Heirloom somethings! 

I think they are black krim, but I’m not sure!

We took what seemed like a million tomatoes and cooked them down and they turned into 3 quarts of tomato sauce! Do you ever wonder how store bought spaghetti sauce is so cheap??

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Tomato sauce! 

I thought that I should end this post with some beautiful sunflowers:

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2 on the same plant!

So, basically I’m going to work on relaxing more on the weekend and enjoying family. Oh, and totally saying no when I really don’t want to do something!

Have a great week!!

Sorta kinda walk through the garden 8/17

I’m not even going to lie. I had a rough day going back to school. I love summer and spending time with my boy and gardening. Summer is just amazing. But, today was my first day and I survived.

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Day 1

In the garden things are growing! I still find it amazing how quickly plants grow. One day you think they are never going to do anything and a week later, everything takes off!

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Birdhouse gourd

We harvested our first cantaloupe from the garden and it was pretty close to 4 pounds! And look how amazing it looked when I cut it open:

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Beautiful cantaloupe! 

And the garden at the grandparents is still looking amazing! I harvested a ton of corn (what the bear didn’t get) and half a bushel of green beans. Also, a few tomatoes!

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Whole bunch of deliciousness! 

The  mister spent some of today canning the green beans that we snapped last night. They look amazing!

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6 more quarts of green beans!

And my tomatoes are kinda out of control! I need to work on some spaghetti sauce this weekend! I’m going to be a busy girl!

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So many tomatoes! 

And I think I’ll finish off with this post with some pictures of the beautiful flowers that are still blooming!

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Enjoy the rest of the week! I have so much to do before my students arrive!!

Wednesday walk through the garden 8/10

What in the world was I thinking when I signed up to take a class the full week before I return to work? Obviously I wasn’t. The class is intense, but it’s all about gardening. So, that’s a plus! I’m hoping to start some sort of school garden!

But here at this garden, I’ve been busy. Staking tomatoes, picking green beans, getting pissy with a groundhog, etc.

Last night I picked beans for over an hour! This is 10 pounds of beans!! (And 2 cucumbers!)

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Lots of canning in our future!

And I must say that the birdhouse gourds around the chicken coop are creating so much shade for the girls! Plus, the gourds are growing pretty well!

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Beautiful chicken coop
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Birdhouse gourd

The zucchini plants by the coop were planted later, but are producing some fruit!

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Little zucchini

The luffas!!! They are multiplying and growing huge! I have a big hand, but it’s nothing compared to these!

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Luffas! 

They are growing along the side fence along with a few some tomatoes and a few sunflowers.

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View along the fence

I can’t believe how far the sweet potatoes have come! They were really slow going, but are doing great now!!

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Sweet potato vines

The later planted cucumbers are trellising quite nicely along with the pole beans.

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Cucumber trellising

I have some beautiful flowers providing some pollen and nectar for my bee friends!

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Gladiolus flowers in bloom! 
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8+ ft sunflowers! 

Gardens are never perfect, but this one is perfectly ours. I keep telling myself that anything that isn’t perfect is a learning experience! Keep doing your gardening thing!!