The Garden Starts Paying Back . . .

from all of the hard work that went into getting it ready this year with fence moving, cardboard placing, hay spreading, digging of mint, planting and then replanting. This morning as I do every dry morning, I took my pointed hoe over when I gave the hens their morning treat and let them into the run. Half an hour of hoeing and pulling and the garden stays neat. I am very pleased with the results of the efforts.

Bush Green Beans blooming with Tomatillos in the back, also blooming and starting to fruit.
Potatoes with purple flowers the bees love.
Four of the 6 tomatoes, reaching up the 7 foot poles.
One of the many Comfrey for fertilizer and salve making.

After the garden maintenance, most of the peas were harvested. The plants are no longer blooming, most of the pods filled. There are still 2 or 3 meals of peas left to mature further, but two baskets picked.

It took a couple of hours to shell the gallon of peas, blanched, iced, and packed in pint jars for the freezer. I still have a package of seed, so I may try to plant fall peas this year to add to the vegetables for the winter freezer.

The corn is sprouting and the pumpkins have primary leaves. It took three tries, but if we get corn it will be terrific.

The big orange one in the last picture is the cultivar from my late Daddy’s garden. He loved the orange Daylilies and Zinneas.

I do love my gardens, both vegetable and flowers. They keep me busy from early spring to late fall with planting, maintenance, and harvesting, and provide many meals during the off season. I have never done much with fall gardening, but I am going to try to do a better job this year, putting in some cool season crops, mostly greens, and see if I can extend our harvest up to or even after the first frost.

A neighbor saw the big bear this morning up near our mailbox and the outdoor dogs in the area have been barking all morning, so it is either still near or at least it’s scent is. I didn’t see it this time.

Busy, mostly away, socially distanced day

When my hearing aid began to bother me last week, I did all the at home troubleshooting that I could. I called the hearing clinic on Thursday as that was a day that the audiologist was in that office before COVID. The assistant suggesting that I bring it in to have it checked out on Monday, the next time the audiologist was in that office. My audiologist is furloughed and the owner/chief audiologist is rotating in the offices. I took it in Monday morning and didn’t hear anything back only to learn that the hours there are short on Monday. Yesterday I got a call back that the Doctor couldn’t “hear” anything wrong with it and I should come in to see if it was wax in my ears, so an appointment was made for today at a different location (actually closer to home). We went in to town earlier than the 2:30 appointment, did drive through lunch and took a 2.3 mile very brisk walk on the old rail grade trail. A few times, we had to mask due to the volume of people in the area, but it was a good walk. Masked and over to the audiologist’s office, my ears are fine, my hearing aid needs a new amplifier and they didn’t have one in stock. I have it back until the part comes in and they will get it repaired.

The last week or so, I have been knitting the last of the yarn spun from fiber from the estate of a friend. The yarn was all spun on spindles.

The pattern is Close to You, and is now blocked and drying.

The morning started with a tiny bird flying into the garage and right into the lift door window. Poor little thing knocked itself silly, but I set it in a planter and it flew away later.

Still no corn, tomorrow is day 7 and hopefully, I will see it emerge soon.

The one that didn’t get away

Last year about this time, grandson 1 came to spend part of the summer with us. He enjoys doing so because he gets to use the riding mower and drive the tractor, but he also has to help me with farm chores. He helped move some fencing, work in the garden, and just about anything I ask him to do. He cooks some as well and gets lessons and new recipes to add to his book of Grandmom’s Spells and Magic that he got for Christmas a couple of years ago, a loose leafed recipe book with cards that can be filled out and filed, all in my handwriting that my kids and he call a font that should be on the computer. He and I were about to start work on some project last summer when I looked in the egg door of the coop and a 6 foot long Black Rat Snake that I had seen outside of the coop about a week earlier was in one of the nesting boxes. It had gotten eggs the first time and had come back for more. I wasn’t going to have that happen, so without telling him why, I sent him to our tool area to get my leather garden gloves and an empty 5 gallon bucket with lid. When he returned with them, I had him open the egg door from the other end from the snake while I reached in and grabbed it behind it’s head and snatched it from the coop. His eyes got huge and his response was, “Grandmom, what kind of magic was that.” We put the snake in the bucket, put the lid on and he held it from falling over while I drove a bit more than a half a mile away to the woods and turned it loose.

Well, because of COVID, he can’t visit this summer and I miss his help. This afternoon, I got the part of dinner that was going in the oven prepared and put in the oven and grabbed a basket to go gather peas and whatever eggs were under Miss Broody and when I opened the egg door, I spotted movement in an empty nesting box. I hurried back over to the house, grabbed the same gloves, a 5 gallon bucket with lid, and called up to hubby to grab his keys and his phone. He questioned why and I gave him a quick explanation as I dashed back to the coop, opened and hooked the egg door up and snatched this one out of the coop just as he arrived to snap a couple of pictures.

Not as long as last year’s, this one was only about 5 feet and where the one last year was lethargic, this one was a writhing mess, trying to wrap around my arm. Once calmed down and picture taken, it was plopped in the bucket, lidded and back to the same spot the last one was taken. Last year, I had to dump the snake out of the bucket and it didn’t even move away very fast. As soon as I got the lid off today, it went over the rim and off into the woods. While there, I spotted these cool black mushrooms.

I love mushrooms, but I would never gather them for food. Back home, the peas were picked and shelled in time to plunge them into boiling water for 3 minutes to enjoy with our dinner. The plants aren’t blooming anymore, but there are still many peas to pick, enjoy, and freeze.

I would never kill a snake that wasn’t directly threatening me, the dogs, or a family member, but they don’t get to be in my coop and eat the eggs.

Be safe. I wear a mask for your safely, please wear one for mine.