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.

Rainy Day Activity

Bertha has been providing us with rain all day long. Another front has stalled over our area and we are looking at 3 or 4 more days of rain on our saturated soil and full creeks. Another flash flood warning is in place. We are high above the creeks and sloped, but flat enough hopefully to not have mud slide activity, though there has been a lot of that including destroying a property and making a home uninhabitable in our tiny village.

With my spindle spinning, I am participating in a spin along using only the Jenkins spindles. Since I had filled them all a couple of days ago, I elected to report my results for the month and wait until June 1 to work with them again. I have a new to me spindle due in the mail tomorrow or Friday and received a gorgeous braid of wool a few days ago that I am anxious to begin spinning. To occupy my time, I have been using my wheel to try to make a bigger dent in the pound of gray Shetland that I have been spinning on spindles for two months. And knitting on the shawl that has been on the needles about that long. The first Shetland bobbin is nearly full and I will fill another before plying. The shawl was finished tonight, soaked and is pinned out to dry. I played a bit of yarn chicken with it and finished with only about a yard left, not enough for another row.

I have enough yarn spun to begin my sweater, but knitting a sweater when the weather is hot is not something I want to begin. With the current pandemic cancelling events daily, knitting more items for my shop seems futile, there won’t be craft shows and holiday markets this year. Most people don’t want to buy knitted or woven garments online without being able to handle them, try them on. I have a knitting request from a family member, but it will need to be superwash wool, which I haven’t purchased yet, and it is another sweater. Maybe I will just work on the Shetland, perhaps even one spindle that I can clear before the first of the month. We are going to be indoors for a couple more days, but I did get a bit of weeding done in the walled garden between rain showers today.

When the rain ends, I plan to make a compost bin to put in one corner of the garden. If I can make it sufficiently large, I will gather the composting material from where I moved the chicken run and use it as a base to finish composting along with kitchen scraps to have it ready to supplement beds as they get harvested and replanted. I really hope to fill the freezer and the canning shelves with homegrown produce for the winter season.

The Garden Thrives

Between morning showers and afternoon thunderstorms, some garden work has been done. Daughter provided a windfall of cardboard boxes. The upper edge of the west side and the north side were done one day. Then she appeared with more boxes and today I got about 2/3 of the east side done and dug the Creeping Charlie from the last third. The potatoes have sprouted nicely so I shoveled a new layer of soil over them. Planted and tied up 4 Tomatillos, and weeded the planted beds.

As soon as I came in to shower and start dinner prep, daughter showed up to return our trailer she had used to move her furniture back into her house now that all the repairs are completed, and she brought me more cardboard. There is enough to finish the job and have a good path around the perimeter of the garden covered and mulched to help keep down weeds. While I was out there today, I also strung the electric wire to make the top of the fence hot. The new battery has been in place charging for about a week. The bush beans have sprouted with some damage where the hens scratched when they last got in the garden. Some of the cucumbers have sprouted and so have some sunflowers, but I still don’t see corn. The peas have blooms, so soon there will be pods and fresh peas.

Yesterday we got some flowers from the nursery and I planted half barrels and also Zinneas, which my Dad loved, in the bed along the back of the garage. I need to get a couple bags of mulch to spread around them. We have a curbside pickup scheduled at Tractor Supply for dog food and coop bedding so I will add a couple bags of mulch to the order.

I started digging out the area to be terraced where the mint bed was. Every time I go out with a digging fork or shovel, I dig up so much mint root still in that area. I hope that if I keep at it, I will win that battle.