Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Peaches, weeding, and tomato cages

I am still waiting for the cool down!
Out at 6AM:

First thing I did this morning was check the beetle traps, only one was completely filled and overflowing. I am thinking they hold a gallon of bugs. We emptied that one and left the others to catch even more.

New Garden Plot
I planted 2 rows of Cherokee Purple Pole beans and one of Kentucky Wonder Pole beans.
I planted the seed by pushing a few down at the base of a stalk of the OP corn. I had let the corn get over 12 inches tall first. Should be very interesting to see how this works.

Field corn is much sturdier and taller than regular sweet corn which can barely support a bean vine....I have tried that before I found out they are referring to open pollinated heirloom corn when they talk about using them for pole beans.

The next work there will be tilling again. I think it will be good training ground for DH who has never run a tiller in his life! Nice wide rows where he can make turns easily and also deep soil. Should be interesting.

Backyard Garden:
We propped up another two limbs on the overloaded peach tree. They still aren't growing much. I laid the hose on the ground under it and just let it run for a while this morning.

I hoed out the row between the sweet corn and the pepper plants. I was afraid to use the tiller.

DH helped me and we made 6 tomato cages with woven wire fencing.. I need 4 in the new plot and will use the other two in the backyard garden. I decided to just let the volunteer bed of tomatoes stay on the ground. I was able to weed them and place flakes of hay around the base. I will probably loose a lot but will risk it.

I could pick a dinner of pole beans and should; maybe later this evening. I think they are going to be a hybrid of the Ky. Wonders and my flat bean Kwintus. I grew them next to each other last year before I knew they would cross.

Inside Work

I brought the peaches in from the Milk Parlor. I had pulled them early to save them from the JB's. I was pretty pleased with how they worked up. I froze 6 full quart bags and we had a dish for lunch. They were very tasty. I don't think they are Red Havens though....they didn't seem to be freestone. It is a mistake to buy from small tree nurseries or the big box stores; you never know what you will end up with!

After lunch finished up the plum jam I had cooked down. I didn't use pectin so I wanted to be sure it would be thick enough and let it sit 24 hours on the stove.
I thought it should be a little thicker so I cooked it another 4 minutes and then bottled 4 jars. I love the tart/sweet flavor.

The next project for tomorrow will be to try the sauerkraut...........after I get DH going on the tiller.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Saturday, June 26

71° this morning at 3 AM. The high is supposed to be 94°. Very little chance of rain.

Well, I emptied the beetle traps yesterday morning and half filled a 5-gallon bucket. I dumped some inside the chicken house before I let them out; they cleaned them up quickly. I rehung the traps and will be interested in seeing how many are in there this morning.

Our neighbor lady to the east stopped by and says she doesn't have any. Of course, she has no fruit, no Elms, no redbuds, no rose of sharon, no flowers to speak of. I would have to cut down most of everything here to get rid of favored species!
It does seem that they weren't swarming quite as much. I am hoping they will be dead by the end of June.

I spent yesterday morning trying to tame the backyard garden's berry patch. I am almost done. Hoed out the sweet corn. That will be the last time for it. I watered some.

The heat is affecting lots of plantings even though I am watering. The heat just cooks the leaves and things just don't look their best. I need to harvest cabbage and onions soon.

I am seeing lots and lots of black and brown woolly worms too and a long slender insect with a pointy head and rear end.

Watering is taking a lot of time. Yesterday at one point, I had three sprinklers going at once.

Sunday, June 27

Rain still avoiding us and very hot during the day.

I picked another small bucket of plums and cooked up 5.75 cups of jam with them.

There will be several far, the beetles haven't bothered them after I sprayed.

Speaking of beetles, we reset the traps and I didn't have to empty them last night. I probably will this morning whether they are filled or not. The stench is not pleasant..........

I watered the other end of the new plot yesterday morning and tied up all the tomato plants to the cattle panels. Next job will be tilling again to keep the pig weed under control in the bare parts. DH mowed around the area and in the orchard for me.

I think that catches me up to this morning.

We missed another opportunity for rain, it was headed in our direction, got very dark and windy, some thunder..........then passed us by with just a few drops.

We are due for a cooler week which we be very welcome.

Plans for today:

Work up the peaches that I pulled from the tree early to keep the beetles from getting them. Several have gone bad, but I will have plenty to process for us. I left some on the tree which were too green. I am hoping the beetles will be gone before they are at "eating" stage. I am letting them have the rest of the blackberries.

I may try a small batch of sauerkraut soon. I got the 2-gallon crock jar cleaned up yesterday. My sis thinks I am crazy to do it!

There is not much photo worthy because of the heat and drought, but the vitex is in bloom and I am so happy about that that I took a picture anyway.

From June 2010

I have just watered this little area one time so it certainly could look better. I think I will do that today. I had to cut back some of the Snow-on-the-Mountain surrounding it because it was taller than the vitex, Shoal Creek. The sotm hasn't reached variagation stage yet. That is when it is the prettiest.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Plague of Beetles; Disappointments;

Weather the same, hot and dry.

I am frustrated, slightly depressed and extremely annoyed..........but will eventually come to just go with the flow of gardening life.

This was to be the year of the food garden. Last year was so bad for tomatoes so I had these big plans for a new garden. Tomatoes on new ground should be disease free since the diseases reside in the soil, another reason why they should be rotated in gardens. So I had DH break new ground, worked like the dickens to get it tilled and planted. So far, it looks good.

But alas, in the yard and backyard garden we have been hit with a plague of Japanese Beetles. I have never seen anything like it. University of Ky. suggests not using traps which I used last year and trapped 5 gallons. I have been spraying the fruit trees regularly and they have been bug free until this morning. The little plum tree was so covered I couldn't believe it. I should have taken a picture disgusting though it was but I didn't. The remaining cherries are covered; I found a few on the pole beans and they found the black berries.

We quit everything and picked 1.5 gallons. At least they won't get those! They are not on the peach trees. I did see a few on the corn. Tonight I will drench the garden with Sevin. There is a very short waiting period before harvest with Sevin and if you spray in the late afternoon, bees are not visiting. There is nothing blooming to be sprayed anyway. I try not to spray flowers because of bees and butterflies.

I hoed the row of sweet potatoes and checked everything in that garden. Something had been eating on the OP corn, not JB. I will spray them too.

We installed the 6 panels for the tomatoes in the new plot and I got bread made....that was it on my list.

We decided late in the afternoon to make an errand run into town. We needed cat and dog food and I wanted to get the beetle traps. We bought 4 and I put them together and went out back to hang them. This is what greeted me.

From insects

They were swarming the west end of the backyard garden and on the old apple tree. I didn't go inside the garden to see if the Sevin had kept them off the plum tree...will check this morning.

I was afraid to open my mouth fearing one would fly inside.

Now because of the drought here, I am fearing grasshoppers..........

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cattle Panels (gardener's best friend), Backyard Garden, To do List

We are still hot and dry. The nights are staying around 78 degrees; days are hovering at the 93 mark. Still no rain for us. Lots of near communities are getting rain just not our area.

Very early in the morning while DH does his farm chores, I worked in the backyard garden. I hoed the cabbage, pepper, and purple hull pea rows. Then decided to tackle the overgrown south fence. It was full of weeds and a salvia that self-seeds rampantly. I have planted a few cherry type tomatoes along that fence too. I soaked the tomatoes and mulched most of the fence. I also watered the sweet corn. I need another sprinkler for this garden so I can just leave the good one out back in the new plot. I will water again today.

By now DH is back to the house and we clean up and go to town to buy a lot of cattle panels. He came up with the idea of fencing the new plot with cattle panels. They are 16 feet long. I hadn't thought of that but the electric fence worries us......if it went out and the cows discovered that.........they would feast. I thought it would be too expensive but he pointed out that to hire it fenced traditionally would cost way more; I think he is right. We ended up buying 20 which should be enough to fence and have 6 left to stake the two tomato rows. I hope to get the tomato ones up this morning. I plan to make him a hardy breakfast of his choice first! A little bribery never hurts.

I love these panels bent hoop-house style for growing pole beans. It is lovely to stand in the shade inside and pull handfuls of beans. They make wonderful trellises, greenhouse frames, and I am sure lots of other things I haven't discovered yet.

We lucked out; they were on sale $3 off.

I will take pictures when we get all done.

To Do:

Stake Tomatoes
Hoe sweet corn or till.
Plant more cucumbers (bought seeds yesterday at farm supply)
Plant pole beans on OP corn (they are about 12 inches tall now)
Water strawberry bed preparatory to re-working it.
Mow yard and inside gardens
Clean flower Beds

No. l

Make bread this afternoon; we are out.

I know all this will not get done in a day or even in a week, but I am a list maker. I love lists. It seems to keep me motivated.

Picked up another Dennis Lehane novel at the library yesterday.

Oh, I almost forgt. I made FlowerLady's Oatmeal Cake with Coconut Frosting for Sunday when we celebrated Father's Day and MIL's birthday (next weekend, but I cheated and did both at once). It was a great success and we all loved it.

Thank you FL so much. You can find it on her Blog

Pictures for the day:

When I call the chickens they come running. They are headed for me in this one.

From Chickens

and almost at my feet. They are expecting a handout.

From Chickens
I have said over and over how we don't have butterflies except for hundreds of white cabbage butterflies, moths and dragonflies.

I caught this dragonfly on the astilble next to the smokehouse. They don't flutter like butterflies and are much easier to capture.
From Chickens

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Plum Butter - Fruit Trees - New Garden

It is 71 degrees this morning; another hot day promised and , as always, a chance of pop-up thunderstorms.

New Garden

I finished trimming the fence row yesterday morning very early. I then set the sprinkler for the end furthest away from the hydrant. I had to add another hose to reach. I don't think the sprinkler had watered that area very good last time.

Fruit Trees

I had tried to spray the trees a few days ago and couldn't get the sprayer to work. It is a 15-gallon, battery operated type that can reach to the tops of all the fruit trees. DH put a new motor on it, but still it just worked intermittently. It was a slow job, but I got it all done. I used all the spray so it would be light enough I could get it out of the garden cart. I need the cart to pick up debris I had let lay from cleaning a couple of flower beds. I may need to buy a second cart! This one seems to always have to be unloaded before doing something else.

While at the plum tree, I picked the ripe ones, maybe ten or 12. They are a small, very dark red plum, not freestone.

Fireblight is still taking its toll on the pear trees and some apples.

I think this peach tree is a Red Haven. It is just beginning to give a little to a firm touch. I won't spray it anymore.

From Fruit


I decided to cook the plums and make a jam or buttery type thing with them. I don't think I have ever processed anything with a cling pit. I put them in a pot with just enough water to keep them from sticking, mashed them with the potato masher and turned to stove on low. When they got really soft and some seeds were showing, I poured them into the Foley food mill and let them drain until they were cool enough to pick out the seeds. There may be a better way to do this; if anyone knows about it, let me know please.

I ran the remaining pulp through the mill and poured it back into the cooking pot along with about the same amount of sugar and just cooked until it was thick. The consistency is more like a butter than a jam but it is very tasty with a little tartness.


Yellows are the dominant color in the beds right now, followed by blues in several shades. My rudbeckias have all crossed and recrossed and are now just doubles, semi-doubles and a very few singles. I love them all.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Garden and Orchard - Bouquet

New Bouquet:

Another wonderful opportunity for rain passed us by yesterday afternoon late. We got another little shower and some serious lightening with a flash that looked to be right outside the kitchen window. Scared me out of my chair! DH , foolishly, was on the porch swing; he came in very quickly.


Japanese Beetles:

I began the day by checking for these dreaded insects. I found way too many to pick. I always laugh at those recommendations. Instead I sprayed with Sevin. They still haven’t found the blackberries. I think I will begin picking daily even if it is just a handful at a time.

These bugs can strip a rose bush overnight. It is amazing. They seem to favor certain plants: Roses are number one. They also like KMOTGG. The blackberries would be tops if they ever find them! They are not interested in the overly ripe sour cherries.


I said I wouldn’t pick anymore but the dark red ones are calling to me. I can just see them in a pie. They getter darker and sweeter as the days go by; maybe just one more big bowl full……………


They are beginning to turn color. I ate one yesterday mowing. It is a small round plum and deep red inside. I don’t know which variety it is.


Red Havens are showing beautiful color but are still very firm.

The other tree seems to be at a standstill and the fruit isn’t increasing in size. They were thinned properly. Hopefully, they are just a very late variety.

Yesterday I got the new orchard and garden tilled. It took just over an hour. I did it around 6:30 in the morning so it was lovely and cool. I still need to hoe around the tomatoes.

I found beetles on the new fruit trees so will spray them this morning. I also need to pull weeds from their base and water.

This is the first year in about 3-4 years that we haven’t received timely rains. I had forgotten what a nuisance it is to keep things watered.

I went out very early to finish up the new garden. I got the fruit trees sprayed and cleaned the weeds away and soaked them good. Then hoed the two long rows of tomatoes and thinned the corn. Things are looking pretty good. I wish I had taken a picture of the side of the concrete building so you could have seen the tall weeds there were behind the hot wire. I decided to string trim all that. It is 80 feet long and was quite a job, but I got it done. Now there is just the short section of fence left to do.

I took pictures but it is hard to get an idea of things so I will try to explain. The area inside the hot wire is about 125 feet long by 65 feet wide. I left a 5 foot bumper strip around the garden so I could mow. The orchard
section is on the north end. We planted 5 trees back there and could put at least one more. The garden area is about 50 x 50 feet or so. I haven't tilled all of it as you can see.

This is standing at the north end (sweet potatoes running left to right in foreground) showing on the left the op corn patch and the two rows of tomatoes.
I have two hills of Seminole Pumpkin just beyond the sweet potatoes. The untilled section is just to the left of the corn.

I show this just to brag about how neat the wall looks without all that tall grass after trimming. That is a Shiro plum tree.

and what I am especially happy about is the two rows of tomatoes on new ground! So far, no disease. I have hilled them up and am still pondering how to stake them.

The hybrid Park's Whoppers were the first to set fruit. I think I have about 6 plants of them.

This is a little closer and shows the wide space between the corn and tomatoes. I should plant something here....thinking about it.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I slept in this morning. It was almost 5:30 AM when I got up. Another cool, drizzly morning. Still no significant rain. They say our chances are gone for the week and it will be hot! 72°, overcast.

I love sitting by the open window. The cats are on the porch so I had to step out and feed them. Cat-like, they sniffed at it and then walked off. I hope the eat it soon or the Jays will be free-loading again today.

The grass finally dried yesterday afternoon so I took advantage and mowed everything but the garden area.

I picked up another bag of apricots. This time I decided to go ahead and make a batch of jam instead of waiting for fall. The recipe calls for 5 cups of crushed fruit. I had another 4 cups I froze. There won't be many left now. The tree is almost bare. I noticed the leaves were drooping yesterday. I hope just due to the heat.

From Food

When DH got a loaf of bread out of the freezer this morning and I saw it next to the jam, I thought "breakfast!".

Continued from yesterday:

A cool morning today, just 68°. Heat wave is predicted this week with no rain in sight. The water hoses will be in action....again.

In Bloom:

The rudbeckias are in full glory; heliopsis, some early daylilies, the other lilies are ending their peak, still a trumpet lily to go; salvias still looking good, shastas in bloom (got way too tall this year), gaillardias, feverfew, a new red (really, really deep red) cosmos, poppies are finished and the persicaria polymorpha is not prime now; there are still a few clematis, especially Huldine which blooms a very long time for me.
From June 2010
I almost forgot hydrangea Annabelle, probably my favorite shrub,
From June 2010

I am heading outside early this morning to do some tilling before the hot sun is out.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Another cool,cloudy,rainy day. We have a chance of heavier rains which I hope we get. Right now just a shower every few minutes.

Well, my Sunday day of rest didn't turn out quite like I planned. Does it ever?

After my walk-about checking for Japanese Beetles (none so far), I came to find my Aunt had left a message that the deadline to remove vases, etc. from the cemetery was today and she wanted to do it yesterday (my Sunday day of rest). She lives very close to the cemetery and we are about 40 minutes north. Lots of years I have let her pick up mine, but she is older and the heat really bothers her and I thought it was time I began doing it for her! So, we headed south. It was actually nice to get out of the house and I do love visiting the cemetery. Crazy I know, but in doing my genealogical research I realized I am kin to most of the people buried in the cemetery and my GGG grandfather donated the land for it and it is named after my mother's people, McConnell. We picked up lunch on the way and ate in the shade of a large tree at the cemetery before picking things up. Of course that meant a visit a little further south to my Aunt's. Bless her she is becoming more eccentric as the years go by and she was pretty eccentric to begin with. She will not turn on her AC unit and the place was like an oven, not even a fan blowing the hot air around. I took her a bag of that days apricots. She called later to say she had a dish for supper and that she had never tasted them before. She really enjoyed them.

I guess most people don't even do Memorial Day decorating anymore, but it is still very much a country thing and my family is big on it. Mother was so worried that no one would decorate the graves once she was gone. I am the only (willing) relative living here now so I do it. Somehow it makes me feel good knowing I am pleasing Mother.


I usually just love self-seeding things but sometimes the colors just do clash! Here is a good example. I probably should move the daylily but knowing me won't get around to it.

From June 2010

This week will begin THE GREAT GARDEN CLEANUP. I have let things go for so long, I now have small tree size weeds to get rid of.

Here is a start on the Driveway Border.

From June 2010

more to follow..........

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday - Bouquet - Day of Semi-Rest

It is a very hot and humid day. I made an executive decision to do very little to day! Yesterday was too much and even though there is much gardening to be done, I shall not do it.....

Nell, did a blog about bouquets a few days ago and it reminded me that I should pick one here is this Sunday's offering.

From Bouquets

I processed the rest of the apricots I had in the house, froze 9 quarts and then made a cobbler. Mom loved them so much but never had fresh ones; she bought the large cans and made the most delicious cobblers. She also did that with canned blue plums.

I had never made one before but it was pretty much like any cobbler except it doesn't require as much flour for thickening.

The flower beds have been neglected for a few weeks because of cherries and apricots and strawberries so I will have to begin cleaning them of tall weeds tomorrow.

Until then, I rest.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Little Rain - Harvest - Apricots and Cherries

This morning was same as yesterday, very warm, 72°, and muggy. About five minutes ago it began to rain, not just a shower, but a rain! I hope it last for a while.
There is a lovely cool breeze coming in through the window. DH is sitting out on the porch swing with his coffee.......talking to the cats. He is the true cat lover.

First things first: Tour of the yard after the rain (1/4 inch total).

This is Harlow Carr, a great clematis and a white lily.

We had a busy day yesterday.

I picked up 3/4 bushel of apricots........a first. The most we ever got was enough for a batch or two of jam. Some are faulty, but I worked them up first and froze 4 quarts for jam later this fall and winter. The best ones are waiting to be processed.
From Harvest 2010

I don't know if this is the way apricots do for everyone, but mine drop to the ground when ripe. The slightest breeze causes them to fall. Half the tree is leaning over the concrete pen where the cows waited to come into the barn/ aka the Holding Pen. Yesterday after harvesting the ones I used for jam, I spread two bales of straw over the concrete to keep the new falling ones clean and hopefully not bruised. This is what I picked up this morning. I did pull a few before they fell.
From Harvest 2010

We also picked cherries. The tree is heavily laden this year, most ever. We were shocked to see a huge limb had broken and was laying on the ground. It looks to have rot in the center. Sure made picking easy on that limb. We stopped at two large bowls full. I processed one and got 6 quarts for the freezer. I still have another bowl to do, I am guessing 4 more quarts. We may stop at that amount.
From Harvest 2010
I was all set to spray the roses and the dratted sprayer wouldn't work. It has been a good one so must be something simple. I really should have two of everything just for such breakdowns....I see some blackspot is beginning on the two old garden roses.

The rain will be lovely for the blueberries (even though I watered them yesterday) and will catch the places the sprinkler missed in the new plot. I was so late getting the OP corn planted I watered to get speedy sprouting.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It is a very warm and muggy morning here. At 4 AM, 70°, 93% humidity. It isn't supposed to be quite as hot today as yesterday.

I am enjoying a slice of the new whole wheat bread with strawberry jam with my coffee. We think it is a good bread.

I forgot to add the dough would give it even more rise.

Our little shower yesterday was just that, little. More is promised Friday.

I will be watering again today.

The New Bed, now known as the neglected wild bed, is full of miscellaneous poppies, all somniferums.

From Gardening 2010

and the hydrangea, Endless Summer, saved herself by finally blooming nicely. Only one bloom as a touch of blue...tells me we have limey soil which I already knew.

The first thing we do each morning is turn out the chickens. They come bursting out of the chicken house they are so anxious to be outside.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A cloudy morning on the farm

Still almost dark at 6:23 AM. We are getting a light shower; I hope it turns into a full blown rain which we need badly. I chopped some weeds yesterday and the hoe almost bounced off the hard ground.

I am slowly getting my 'must do' garden chores done. Yesterday I watered the new plot (part of it....I have to move the sprinkler next). Hopefully the rains will pick up and do that job for me.

I planted a hill of Black Beauty Zuchini.
I did a row of zinnias down the garden row of cabbages. They need to be hidden. Cabbage loopers had done some serious eating on them.

Very late with it, but planted some Yvonne's salvia plants in the back of the cellar bed. I hope they grow so tall that I can see them between the rudbeckias there. I have three left and will plant them in the hummingbird bed.

Picked another bowl of strawberries. I made one batch of jam and froze two bags of unsweetened crushed berries. It was so hot in the kitchen yesterday (90° outside) that I decided this could be put off until fall or winter.

In between I made a flying run into the nearby town to pick up pectin and stop by the library for some new reading material.

Todays Plan:

Pick cherries with DH's help
Work over the strawberries again. I think I can get another bowl full. The big project then will be to work over the strawberry bed. I hope to start a new long, single row in the new plot. Mulching will have to be done immediately because of the seed bank in that virgin soil!

Bake Bread.

But right now I am enjoying a computer morning feeling a cool breeze through the open window and listening to the rain falling gently on the parched ground.

Well, the rain let up but it is still overcast and too wet to pull cherries from the tree....unless you want a shower.

So...........making bread. This time I am doing just a simple whole wheat recipe using half white and half whole wheat flour (Wheat Montana). I discovered it has a lot less calories per slice. That can't be bad in our case.

Got the dough rising in the dough bucket. I found a perfectly acceptable Rubbermaid cannister set for about half the price of a regular dough bucket. I am happy. It holds my 3-loaf recipes and could hold a 10 cup batch too. I mark the half line and then I truly know the double. I also like that I don't have to cover it except with the lid. It's working for me.

Yesterday our local store had the only brand of chicken we will eat, Pilgrim's Pride (no Tyson in this kitchen!). So far this brand has been very flavorful. So I bought 4, 3 in the freezer and fried chicken dinner today. While I had the mess from the bread, I cut up the fryer. I always put the wing tips and back and ribs and any skin and fat into a pot with cold water, salt and pepper and boil for broth....dumplings will be a side dish. We make an interesting dumpling in our family. It has nothing but broth, milk, flour, some fat and seasonings, no baking powder or eggs.

I have the fryer in salt water in the refrigerator.

And now the fun part of cleaning up the mess.........including mopping the floor (on hands and knees...thank you glucosamine!)

Earlier when I was checking things in the yard and garden, I saw this in the east field. The dog was stalking a bunny and the calves were going to check out the dog. The bunny was unaware.

Calves dogs  bunny
The bunny escaped.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Cool Day -

This is what it looked like when I went out this morning early, a little like rain. It was supposed to be our last moderate day so I decided to finish spraying the trees and start the mulching and weeding of everything I have neglected while trying to get the new garden tilled and planted.

I hoed out the hoophouse of Kwintus beans and watered them (via an irrigation ditch I dug while hoeing. Next, I mulched the volunteer tomato plants that sprung up at the end of the sweet corn patch. I think there were around 9 of them. I used wet newspapers and a bale of straw. They look pretty good and required zero effort until now on my part.

About this time (after I sprayed you understand) it began showering in earnest. I tried to out wait it but only got pretty wet and had to give it up.
DH had been on the tractor to do some more clipping in some smaller areas that the custom man didn't get. We met at the garage and decided to come in and make a pot of coffee and take a break. I had some pumpkin muffins with streusel topping in the freezer so we treated ourselves to one. The rain has stopped but it is still very dark out so don't know what it is going to do. We certainly need the rain.

The lilies are in bloom. I would have to look up old orders to see what they are. I think I got them on sale years ago from Bluestone.

I don't remember mixing the colors!
They are in front of my garden shed that is attached to the west side of the smokehouse. No charming sheds here! Just farm buildings.

I love this soft pink one,

I have noticed that lots of the perennials got way taller than normal this year; due probably to heavy rains in May. The red flower in front of the seedling peach tree is Jacob Cline; it is probably 5 foot tall this year.

Remember my mystery plant?

I solved it myself sort of...when my sis in Iowa took a look, she kept saying it made her think of a mallow. Then when it bloomed out wide like a poppy. I thought poppy mallow! A few years ago a friend gave me some seeds, callirhoe involucrata, poppy mallow, winecups and probably some other common names. It is a native in Missouri and does well with little extra water. Well, my seeds never germinated! I don't know if I dumped the pot here........or if a bird carried a seed or what. Another curiosity is they bloom the second it had to be here last year. It must not put out much growth the first year and it looks so much like another weed that is common I just didn't pay it any attention.

It needs to be moved but I will wait until fall or next spring. It has a very long tap root and I don't want to loose it.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

House Bound - Cherry Pie- Heifers-Cats

Two posts in one day! That is because I am basically housebound. It is 92° with high humidity outside and I do not work in those conditions.

This morning I processed the cherries that DH picked. I ended up with 5 packages (5 cups each) to freeze and enough to make him a pie.


While doing my walk-about of the yard in the very early morning light, the heifers came up to the fence of the west yard and I couldn't resist taking some pictures.

As you can see this pasture hasn't been clipped and they are over belly deep and staying fat on grass.

The spotted lovely is my Milk Cow's 2008 daughter. She is a pure blood Milking Shorthorn. Her name is Annabelle.
All these girls should calve later this year. They are bred to a Black Angus bull.

We lost Willie last week, but we still have part of her litter. Our daughter has the other two.
From Kittens

Friday, June 4, 2010

Harvest - Poppies - Mystery Plant

I took the day off to process the strawberries and broccoli.

The Premium Crop broccoli was huge this year. I had two heads that were 8 and 9 inches across and two smaller heads. I think the four plants will make all we need.

From Harvest 2010

I haven't been happy with my frozen broccoli for some time; it seems to be almost overcooked when I serve it. This year I just blanched it until it turned bright green; not even l minute. I dumped it immediately into a sink full of ice water. I hope this works.

This is the color I was looking for:

From Harvest 2010

I also slice the longer stems into pieces that I can add to stir fry or soups. I like it better than cabbage. These I blanched a little longer, chilled, towel dried and placed on a cookie sheet to freeze. Then I will bag them up in bulk and freeze. That way I can just take out what I want to use.
From Harvest 2010

Bless his heart, DH decided to pick some cherries for me! He did the bowl full and decided they needed to ripen another day or two. I am too tired today to do them, but they will be fine until tomorrow. I plan to make him a fresh cherry pie too. There is nothing better than fresh cherries right off the tree in a pie.

From Harvest 2010

Here are two indispensable kitchen tools. Funny, how I just discovered the spider recently. I use it almost daily! Great, great tool. The colander type pan came in my little electric cooker, another wonderful addition to my kitchen. Between it and the electric skillet, I hardly need my range except for baking.

From Harvest 2010

Do you see the pepper, salt and butter in the background? I always dip whatever I am blanching in butter and salt and pepper and eat a few while I work. I love broccoli this way and sweet corn and green beans!


Brush hogging should be finished today! Praise be.

I am needing to do some errands but we don't want to leave until he is finished. I need freezer bags and some netting to throw over the blueberry bushes. I may get about a quart off them this year. I picked a cup yesterday. I don't want the mocking birds and jays to steal any of these. I share strawberries and cherries and that is all!


More poppies are opening,
From poppies

Early in the season I spotted this plant and didn't recognize it as one of my usual I have cultivated it (just weeded around it). It is getting ready to bloom. It grows close to the ground and sends out a runner like growth. I don't have a clue what it is. If anyone recognizes it, let me know. I think the bud will be open this morning and I will take another picture and post.
From mystery plants
From mystery plants
From mystery plants