Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Roller-Coaster Spring

It's been a little while, my apologies. Spring is a roller-coaster for everyone I think. When the rain stops we make mad dashes out the door to try and get everything done and accomplished: both things we WANT to do and things we really NEED to do.
On top of that, our neighbor has started back up complaining about us. It is really quite laughable (you know, the complaint because we had a hay bale), but it is also quite emotionally draining. I'm a "why can't we all just get along and if you don't like it piss off" type of mama, but when someone is hell-bent on making your life miserable .. ESPECIALLY when all you're trying to do is live the green life, well, it can drain you.
But, on to the fun stuff:

There's the potato garden, in the process of getting some more straw put on it. We were blessed to be given all the potato seedlings from friends who had extra. They're coming up like mad and will be very grateful for the forecasted rain.

This is a shot of the Cascade Hop vine, reaching up into the sky, as it has already out-grown it's post (which is about 10' tall). We had planned to do a full hop garden this year, but much was needed to dog-proof it - which was the fatal flaw in last year's garden. Time and $$ never quite lined up. But we do have the Cascade back, now in it's 2nd year. And, as I always say, it's better to start with one small thing than not to start at all.

Here's a close-up of one the Cascade Hop Cones. These are the babies that we'll harvest and then put into our beer. If you've seen our brew-blog ( you'll know that brewing is a passion, one we intend to turn into a business in the near future. Growing our own for that is as important to us as it is for growing our own for our pantry.

Here's the back, main garden. Justin put up the picket fence this past weekend - it's been something we've wanted to do since Day 1, but again .. funds. As usual though, we never let that stop us from having a garden, but getting the picket fence in is definitely a proud moment!! You can see the tomatoes in the foreground. They're heirloom breeds from Victory Seeds: Cherokee Chocoalte and Sausage. We have the cherry tomato plants up front since they'll cross pollinate. Behind the tomatoes are the pepper plants: mainly red and yellow bells for now. We have more that need transplanting, more varieties. Next, going back, you can see the poles for the bean trellises. We have five different varieties of beans going: Mitla Black Tepary Bean (from Seeds of Change ~ certified organic), Boston Favorite Bean (Seed Savers Exchange), Hidatsa Red Bean (Seed Savers Exchange), Charlevoix Dark Red Kidney Bean (Seed Savers Exchange), and some Roma II Garden Bush that we picked up locally. Finally, in the very back of the garden, we have two Black Beauty Zucchini plants, and one Charleston Gray watermelon (that's in the far left corner of the photo, but you can't see it yet). We're REALLY excited to be adopting the Ruth Stout Method of gardening, and will let you know how it goes - so far so good though (aside from the complaint about the hay bale). All the junk behind the fence is now gone too. Yay!

The above three photos I took on June 1st. It is our cherry tree in the front yard, and this was our first time ever harvesting anything from it. That evening we collected 1lb. 4oz. of cherries. Standing out in the front yard, harvesting cherries, waving to neighbors and passers by .. it truly is a wonderful feeling.

Blue Cornflower, growing at the corner of the front fence, meeting with the gate.

Calendula, growing along the front gate as well. I do intend to harvest some of the flowers from this to use in my next batch of soap. Since these flowers run parralel to the road though, I may harvest from some growing in another bed, further away from the road.

And finally, Harvest Tallies:
Egg Tally For May = 112
Egg Tally For the Year = 491!
Garden Harvest (including strawberries from Scott's Farm & spring onions from the Farmer's Market)= 18 lbs 2 oz produce! YAY!! ~ we know it doesn't begin to Path to Freedom, or even other urban homesteads, but we're still very proud.


Carole and Chewy said...

Why would anyone care if you had a hay bale in your yard? We've had our share of obnoxious neighbors too - the first year they lived next door they complained because our flower beds weren't color coordinated, like theirs (you know, an all pink bed, an all yellow bed). So of course I planted morning glories and the birds too the seed sover to her yard, and that really ticked her off.... we just live to please, we do... Your yard looks great!And you've got me wanting some chickens now.

Carrie and Justin said...

Because your flower beds didn't color coordinate??? Ok, and I thought the hay bale complaint was bad! hahaha
As far as the chickens go .. seriously can't rave enough. I do wish we could let them roam free in the yard, but there are too many "dangers".