I’ve put the gardens (my 2 vegetable gardens) to bed for the year.  Since I won’t be planting a vegetable garden next year,( I did things a little differently.  After pulling the last leeks and carrots from the old garden and pulling the last kale from the newer garden I added all of my remaining compost, some lime and then seeded them both with clover.  I have never planted a cover-crop before.  My Dad always planted winter wheat in the fall and tilled it in, in the spring as a green manure.  I’m hoping letting the gardens rest for a year will discourage the cabbage worms and a blight that my beets and Swiss chard get.  I’ve also dug up a couple of parsley plants, potted them and have them in the south facing living-room window for fresh parley all winter long.

last of the leeks and carrots from 2013

last of the leeks and carrots from 2013


pulled kale plants hung in the run for the chickens

pulled kale plants hung in the run for the chickens


old garden

old garden


newer garden

newer garden there is 1 turnip plant left



I grow sweet potatoes in containers that I hang off of my deck.  I like the foliage all summer and the small purple flowers.  I grow my own slips. Here is a link to an earlier post with the starting of the sweet potato plants,

I have 1 large round container and 4 rectangular containers (kitty litter buckets).  To harvest I just dump them out into my wheelbarrow and pull off the potatoes.

large round container on side of deck

large round container on side of deck

4 kitty litter buckets with sweet potato plants

4 kitty litter buckets with sweet potato plants

sweet potatoes

sweet potatoes

sorry, it's a little fuzzy. sweet potato harvest 2013

sorry, it’s a little fuzzy. sweet potato harvest 2013

Not a bad harvest, some large ones and a lot more small ones.  I have them spread out  on cardboard  by the wood stove to cure before I store them in the cellar.

In my last post I wrote about pulling up my tomato plants.  I want to add, that I DO NOT compost these plants.  I bury them away from my garden.  This is to help control the tomato blight.  This blight would survive a compost season.  It probably is in the soil but I feel better not mixing it with my compost.




I’ve mentioned before that I didn’t get my squash plants started early enough this year and didn’t know if I would have a long enough growing season for them to produce.  The summer squash were all a disappointment.  I got a couple of patty pan squash but no yellow or zucchini.

I did wonder if getting the plants in so late if I would miss out on the vine-borers.  I had heard that if you are late enough you miss the egg laying cycle.  I didn’t miss it, still had the borers.  Fortunately the butternut isn’t  as effected by the borer.

Well fall is coming, my butternut and pumpkin vines have all succumbed to a leave blight or mold of some kind.  This is what I got.



Not too bad.  Does anyone know if the pumpkins will continue turning orange now that they are off of the vine??

In the picture, bottom right side is one of my 3 melons.  It didn’t look too good on the outside, some rotten places.  So I brought it over near the chicken coop figuring to cut it open for them.

melon  9/16/13

melon 9/16/13


DSCF0004 Looks pretty good.

sorry it's a little fuzzy, tasted OK.

sorry it’s a little fuzzy, tasted OK.

I did give my chickens the seeds.  My wife and I ate melon with supper.


Jasmine went broody July 2nd,  We tried ice packs and then just pushed her out of the nesting box.  She would stay out for a while and then run back in.  She lost a lot of weight and her comb is a sick looking pale pink, not the red that it was.  After 40 days of this I decided after everyone else has laid their egg for the day, I would push Jasmine out and close up the coop.   This worked. Or, she was just ready to stop. She was broody till August 18th, 48 days.  She is now eating better and not broody BUT, she is molting.  Jack had destroyed many of her feathers so this should be a good thing, but, she isn’t laying yet.  She needs to produce feathers not eggs at this point.

Broody and molting, two more things, I didn’t know about.  CHICKENS!!!

August 4th was the First anniversary of our first egg. Care of Jasmine.  The total number of eggs produced from our 5 hens for the year is……………..1675.  That is a lot of eggs.

I posted a mystery flower picture,, in this post and no one made any guesses.  With that success I will do it again.  Anybody know what this flower is?



I made a very short video of Ini when she was in the big house after the fox attack but I don’t know how to post it.  Will ask for help and try again later.

I don’t always read all of the information about things, like directions or seed descriptions.  I ordered an organic cucumber seed this year called Silver slicer or something like that.  Well, after cucumbers started to form I wondered if they were alright, they didn’t look right.  So I went back and read the seed description.  This is what they look like.

Silver cucumbers and one regular pickling cucumber.

Silver cucumbers and one regular pickling cucumber.

They taste fine.  I made my cold cucumber soup with them.  These leeks, the first of the year, were also used in the soup recipe.

Leeks 8/21/13

Leeks 8/21/13

I got a late start with my squash seedlings this year and didn’t know if I would get any.  The summer squash didn’t do very well, two Patti pan squashes and no others. But my pumpkin and Butternut squash look real promising.

Butternut  8/21/13

Butternut 8/21/13

Pumpkin 8/21/13

Pumpkin 8/21/13

That’s enough for now.


I have TOO many things going on in my world, somethings have shifted to a lower rung.  My blogging is one of them, to my 3 faithful followers I apologize. I will try to update how my garden has been doing first.

These pictures were taken on July 28th, I meant to post sooner, just didn’t get to it. My gardens have suffered from lack of attention also, the weeds are larger than the tomato plants.

I harvested my garlic on July 28th and as usual it was very successful.

Garlic harvest 7/28/13

Garlic harvest 7/28/13

Beets needed to be thinned, this is a second planting, the first planting did not survive.  So this planting is in the other garden. (I have 2 main vegetable gardens on each side of the driveway).

Beets needing to be thinned

Beets needing to be thinned

This is old news now BUT back in July is was BIG.  I have ripe tomatoes.  I don’t have any pictures of my Black Cherry Tomatoes because I eat them before I’m out of the garden.  Maybe later on when there are more of them.

First tomato  8/28/13

First tomato 7/28/13

I also have tomato worms.

First Tomato worm 7/28/13

First Tomato worm 7/28/13

My first planting of lettuce has gone to seed and I have pulled them, maybe I planted too many, the wheelbarrow is pretty full.

Pulled bolted Lettuce 7/28/13

Pulled bolted Lettuce 7/28/13

I did get a picture of my Black Cherry Tomatoes. Actually this was my salad last week.



I missed 1 of the tomato worms and didn’t go looking for him until I noticed not only chewed leaves but the actual stocks of the plant were being eaten.  Found him.

Big Guy,  8/14/13

Big Guy, 8/14/13

That’s the update on the garden. Next post will be Ini’s update.

This is one of the things that I have been busy with, it challenged me and was a joy to work on.  It is a free-standing cabinet made in Walnut and Carpathian Elm Burl.  Very pleased with how it turned out.DSCF0002




Let’s do the disclaimer first.

There is never enough time for the garden, ever.  This season even more so.  I injured my knee in April, which slowed me down.  Had it operated on in June, which slowed me to a stop.  I am on the mend and trying hard to follow my Doctors advice. But laying about isn’t something that I’m very good at.  I did go play in the garden last week, nothing strenuous.  But not a bright thing to do, my knee hurt real bad that night and I spent the next day on the couch with ice and my leg raised.  So now I am trying to follow my Doctors advice.

So on to the garden.

My spinach is done.

I’ve cut my last asparagus and it was a very good year for asparagus.

My beets have stopped growing and seem to be shrinking into small red seedlings so I turned them all under and planted carrots in their spot.  These are in my mouse-proof bed beside the first planting of carrots that are doing very well.  Maybe you can’t plant carrots and beets together.

first planting of carrots, beets were planted in front of and beside them  6/23/13

first planting of carrots, beets were planted in front of and beside them 6/23/13

Lettuce crop is just starting to bolt (go to seed).  Have planted some more and they are coming up.  I only plant 10 or 12 at a time which is generally more than I use.

lettuce  6/23/13

lettuce 6/23/13

The 3 types of kale are doing well, my wife made her favorite chicken and baked kale last night.  Our second cutting.

from the bottom, turnip, kale, swiss chard, kale and a wall of peas  6/23/13

from the bottom, turnip, kale, swiss chard, kale and a wall of peas 6/23/13

I was very late getting my squash, pumpkin, melon and cucumber seedlings planted, they were small and very yellow.  Some of them, now that they are in the gardens, have turned to a nice dark green but they are still small.  We just have to wait and see, I think I may have started too late for some of them.

butternut squash seedling   6/23/13

butternut squash seedling 6/23/13

My corn is being over run by weeds. Because of how close I plant them, with a sore knee I just can’t twist and bend right to do the weeding.  No one else has applied for the job so the weeds are taking over.

My tomato plants are suffering also. I haven’t been able to tie them up yet.  There are small green tomatoes on some of them.

tomato plant  6/23/13

tomato plant 6/23/13

My peas have been spectacular.  I planted them very heavily and they just grew into a mass of vines and pods.  After hand picking a couple of times, I pull the plants right out of the ground and sort through them on my potting shed table.  I started freezing them for this winter.

first peas  6/24/13

first peas 6/24/13


potting shed table, sorting peas with the ladies helping  6/30/13

potting shed table, sorting peas with the ladies helping 6/30/13

My chickens enjoy watermelon on the first of July and it is hot and humid.  My deer, well maybe “mother natures” deer, enjoy the blackberry patch.  How do they eat the plants thorns and all??

Chickens with watermelon  7/1/13

Chickens with watermelon 7/1/13


Deer eating blackberries  7/1/13

Deer eating blackberries 7/1/13

Last item, anyone want to guess what this flower is??DSCF0001

Hint, it makes a very tasty jelly.


My chickens are spoiled, pampered and have a pretty good deal here.  Well, I think so.  I try to set up feeders and think of ways to keep the treats that the ladies and Jack get  from getting dirty.  I wouldn’t want to eat my treats off of the ground.  They love watermelon on a hot day just as I do.  Have you ever seen  watermelon that has just been thrown into the run ??  It is quickly covered in dirt, a dark brown mess.

Corn on the cob is very much the same, it quickly becomes a dark brown mess.  To fix this I stuck 4 short dowels into a short slab of pine, drill a hole into the end of the corn cobs and slide them onto the dowels.  The ladies love it.  They pick them clean.

corn cob feeder  6/13

corn cob feeder 6/13

I’m trying to grow turnips for the first time this year.  I’ve grown rutabagas with limited success in the past and they are pretty much the same thing.  I plant a lot of different things but not a lot of one thing.  So I thinned my turnips to 10 plants and they were doing well.  Then one of them started to wilt and then another.  I dug them up and the root was eaten into a honey comb by ants.  I’m trying DE (diatomaceous earth) sprinkled around the plants to see if this will get rid of the ants.

young turnip eaten by ants 6/13

young turnip eaten by ants 6/13


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