Monday, June 30, 2008

Massive Bee Balm

I happen to be 5'6 1/2" tall, and I took this standing on the ground, looking straight forward. What do you think? I personally have never seen Bee Balm get quite this tall. It could be the plentiful amount of rain we've had this year, or maybe I should check the seed packet label, you think?
I am having a terrible time with the vine borers this year. I have sat on my knees many times trying to dig the little worms out of my giant pumpkin plant. That poor thing is not looking good at all. And I will definitely have to replant squash this year. I picked my very first ripe tomato today!!!!!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!! I am still trying a remember to write everything down in my notebook as I harvest. I have picked two okra and two yellow squash, and of course more green beans. I think I will definitely have to plant a fall crop of beans if I want to have enough canned for the winter. But the potatoes will be done soon, so I should have enough room to start another big patch. I tried to till the bottom of the garden the other day, but it is still way too wet. I would love to have it dry out so I can till and harvest the potatoes, then it can rain again after I get the beans planted. I have heard it is just going to be a wet year, so everything might not happen just as I hope.
Jeff and the kids helped me weed the garden, and I must say, it is looking very good. There are still a few places to finish, but at least now there are more plants than weeds.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Punkin Head

(Last night after supper)

I (punkin head) wanted to play in the dish water some more. Mean Mommy said no, I had already played in it for thirty minutes, and the floor was soaking wet. I got mad and went to find my blankie. When I found it on the dining room floor I sat down with it to pout, and accidentally fell asleep. If you look closely, you can still see my halo.

John Deere tractors and Catalpa trees

I took this picture of our Catalpa tree a couple of weeks ago, then forgot about it. I was scanning through my cameras storage and figured I had better post it before I forgot about it again. It's a beautiful tree, but it has long bean like seed pods that make like a million seeds. I am forever pulling trees out of my flower beds, but this is not the only culprit. I also have elm, maple, mimosa, red bud, and a few oak. We cut out the mulberry tree in back so I don't have any of those here, just in front.
Look what my deary beloved found at a garage sale last weekend! One tractor runs, the other has a motor, its just in pieces. The yellow thing in front on the left is a mower deck and on the right we have a tow behind tiller. We actually have been looking at the tow behind tillers at the local farm store, but they have their own motor and are quite expensive. This one tills by means of a belt hooked to where the belt would go if using the mower deck. Wow, I'm not very mechanically minded, I hope that makes sense.
In other news, I have vine borers already. I've had to rescue the giant pumpkin plant already, and the other vines are very close behind.
Jeff was SO happy, I managed to get a cooker full of green beans, potatoes, and onions cooked tonight. Everything was from the garden except the little bit of bacon grease I added. Boy, was it ever good! I also canned 7 quarts of green beans, and as late as it is, I'm here on the computer waiting for the pressure to go down so I can take them out. Hope your garden is growing up a storm!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Another hollyhock photo

Hey! I managed to get a good photo of the hollyhocks. I took it on one of those few days here lately that it hasn't been raining, and that definitely isn't today. Oh well, it's a good excuse not to be outside weeding! I could complain about parts of my garden drowning out, but I have to look at the bright side- we haven't had to turn our air conditioner on this year yet. And I don't think my tomatoes have ever looked better this early in the season. And one variety already has tomatoes, and if we could get just a bit of sun, would ripen within a week. I walked through the garden yesterday, and a big pot of new potatoes, green beans, and bacon is very close. The potatoes show signs of dying down, and the green beans (even as weedy as they are) are sporting lots of beans. I planted two different times, and the first planting of beans is as weedy as they come, but the second planting has hardly none. I guess if I had waited a week on the first batch, I could have tilled under most of these weeds that sprouted and be further ahead. Live and learn I guess.

These poppy's are new to me this year, and I almost can't wait to see what other colors bloom. They are so pretty!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Giant Pumpkin Plant

Well, here it is, the giant pumpkin plant. I ordered the seeds, there were six in the package, and this is the only one the germinated. I was a little disappointed, but at least I got one. We have a terrible time with vine borers and squash bugs, so we'll just have to see how far it makes it.
And here are the tomatoes. They look really good, I already have a lot of little green tomatoes on the vine. I plan to can a ton of them so I don't have to buy tomatoes for the next year. I have the jars, I just need the tomatoes, and the time to get it all done. Jeff and I were talking of setting up a place for me to can on the covered back porch, so I don't heat the house up. All we need is an electric hot plate thing to set the pressure cooker on and we're in business.
The green beans are looking good, too. I should have some green beans to pick in a week. My onions are almost a total loss, they sat in a wet spot all spring, and haven't grown much at all. I might be able to add them to a stew whole, that will be about it. And I pulled one carrot yesterday just to see how they were looking, and so far it looks like we'll have carrots to harvest, too. The head lettuce got mushy, but the good new is the chickens were happy to get them!
Hope you gardens are doing good, too!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Puddles, puddles and more puddles

Sorry, it was raining and I was trying to take the picture and hold the umbrella and dodge the tree limb right above me. It's a wonder I got anything at all. Anyway, my hollyhocks are blooming, and they looked beautiful. They're not horrible now, but from last Monday on we've had either forty-fifty mile and hour winds, torrential rains, or both. Needless to say, my hollyhocks don't look quite as good as they did last Monday, when I should have taken a picture. My bachelor buttons were fabulous, but now are pretty much lying on the ground.
These look cheery, though. Last week was a rough one- I took the kids to Fredonia all last week to Bible School at a Mennonite Church. I had to have them ready and leave by 5:30 every evening. Then Saturday I took Nick to the airport so he could fly to Indiana to spend the summer with his Dad. Boy, I'm going to miss him. Then Sunday evening was the Bible School program, and we drove home in a huge rain/lightning/thunder storm. Today I'm babysitting two extras. It's still raining, and I have five buckets in our leaky room (will get fixed just as soon as it stops raining for more than two days in a row) and the dog doesn't like to "go" outside when it's raining, and Emily is in training panties today. Needless to say, I've seen my fair share of puddles today!!! Hahahahah. We really do have to have a sense of humor in life, don't we?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

My Mom's Garden

Hey, I've missed you!!!

I took this picture at my Mom's house. No, I have no idea where I got my love of gardening from, either. In this bed she has bachelor's buttons, larkspur, perennial snapdragon, bluebells, hollyhocks, and daisy's. And this is just one of many! It was so beautiful, I just wish my camera was a better one, this picture doesn't do it justice.

I have been canning jam- I made 12 pints and 6 half-pints of cherry, and 3 pints and 3 half pints of strawberry. Jeff and I decided that strawberry jelly is cheap, and frozen strawberries are not. So we made mostly frozen strawberries with sugar. I have even made five bags of cherries with sugar- each with four cups of cherries and ready for a pie. The garden is looking good, we even have a few green tomatoes! The farmer that owns the other half of our block did plow up a spot and we tilled it and planted his corn seed. We planted something like 15 or 16 sixty foot rows. Even after sharing we should have plenty for the freezer.