Monday, July 11, 2016

The Garden As of July 11, 2016

Here are new pictures of the garden.  Here is an overview to the North.
Our pinto beans and weeds in the middle of the row, specifically lamb's quarters, which you will see up close below (I did weed them out after I took this picture, but thought it more realistic to show a picture with weeds in it :)).  Our garden soil was full of lamb's quarter seeds and at first I had a hard time keeping up with them (the garden was covered in the stuff), next year won't be so bad since I harvested most of them before they went to seed AND the garden is mulched better now.
A close up of the North end where the potatoes, sunflowers, buckwheat is planted, among other things.
Black oil sunflowers.  We will harvest the seeds for eating.
I thinned the carrots and they are looking very nice. Carrots and celery are your litmus test for your garden and if they taste bitter or tasteless, something is missing or needs to be altered in your garden soil.  The one I ate tasted quite sweet, so I think we are heading in the right direction.  Plus, you can see the soil is nice and airy since they are longer without hitting rocks or hard soil. We put all the bedding from the barn last Fall on the garden (ok, I did not do that, thank you Steve and the McVicker clan, I was in bed with my broken ankle mending) and then put a layer of very nice compost on it this Spring that had been bedding pulled out of a barn about 7 years ago.  I'm going to get a soil test done this Fall, but so far so good.
Here is one row of our broccoli. If you click on the picture you can see a different color of green under the broccoli leaves.  We do a lot of companion planting and the broccoli is shading the lettuce a bit that is growing underneath it.
Here is our buckwheat which is on the North side.  Besides growing for our needs of buckwheat flour it is also a wind block on that side.  It is an herb so it is a very good alternative grain if you cannot do gluten. We make a lot of pancake batter with buckwheat. Yum!
This is a close-up of lamb's quarters, which covered the garden, it is also edible.  We ate a lot of it in salads this Spring and cooked like spinach.
Another example of companion planting, horseradish in the middle of potato plants. They are all very happy together. 
The same picture as below, but the radish flowers have taken over.  I think I over did it on the radish, which protects the squash from the striped cucumber beetles and those pumpkins are surely covering that teepee.

You know the one thing I forgot to photograph is the asparagus in the midst of the tomatoes, basil, borage, calendula, parsley, etc. (you know, that companion planting thing, in some places I went over board with it). The asparagus is only about 6 inches tall because it's in its first year, but they are such cute little ferny plants. :) I just love this picture. You have the dill in the back, the tomato in its cage with a stick as its post holding it in place (thanks Steve for your ingenuity and resourcefulness) and the borage in the front. is good to have a producing garden again.
Here is our fence to keep out the deer and when I get a chance to keep in the ducks, as they can eat the bugs for 3 days at a time before they start eating my plants, or at least that is what I have read. Thanks in large part to Steve for the fencing. It is very nice to look at as well. :)
The well constructed gate on the South side.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

June Family Pictures

 Breakfast at home.  The girls love to snuggle and chat with Steve after breakfast since mama is usually cleaning up after Steve generously cooks breakfast almost every morning. :)
 James got his Stormtrooper costume that his dad sent.  For a couple weeks he rode his bike around town in his costume and had a blast talking to people about it.
The girls got dressed up on Father's Day for a picture to send their dad. Such cuties.

June Garden, Ducks and Rabbits

 This is the garden before we put up our fence.  I will put more pics up of what it looks like now in the next few days.

 A view of our teepee for the pumpkins to grow on, now they are half way up that structure.  It'll be neat to see the difference when I post the next pictures.
 Out at the river Steve kindly put up a tree house for the kids.
 and a sand box in the middle, yellow seated swing to the left next to tree house.
 Hi Steve. :D Looking good as always.
 One of two tire swings, the other one might not have been up yet when I took these pictures.
 The ducks in one of two duck tractors.  They move every 24 hours to new grass.  Purely pastured. :)
 Since no one lives out at the river property we have to put electric fencing around them. Just in case.
 Happy ducks.
 Here is an overview, garden far left, ducks in the middle, cottage on the right.
 One of our 6 new apple trees, I think this one is the Jonathon apple.
 Meet our new does.  I bought them at an animal swap at the end of May from a breeder that is trying to preserve 30 different breeds.  Out of most of the rabbits for sale these were one of the best taken care of and the lady and her son were so patient with all my questions.  I hadn't had rabbits since high school and they make such great compost and are good for meat. These 3 breeds are all meat breeds. They can also be shown by the kids if they want because they are purebred.  I want to get another buck to add to our colony like the one you see above on the left.  She is a Creme 'd Argente and on the right is a Sable doe. Maggie has claimed the Creme and named her Daisy Mae and she loves to give furry kisses and James claimed the Sable and named her Bonnie, she loves her greens.
 This is our buck.  He is a Cinnamon buck that Sarah has named, you guessed it, Cinnamon, I would also like to add a Cinnamon doe to our colony as well.  He is super sweet and loves to be pet just like our Creme doe.  The sable is a little more shy.

 A basket of duck eggs, radishes and yarrow I harvested.
 Hello duckies.
 They are so happy when we move them to a new spot.
 Ducks and the cottage at the river lot.