Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How Does Our Garden Grow?

Grover loves tomatoes......
Yes, Grover loves tomatoes.  Grover loves to eat many things I think are strange for a dog to eat, like watermelon rind.  He also loves to eat burrs once I pick them from his coat or Rowdy's, which I find exceedingly weird.  Now if only I could get him to just remove the burrs from Rowdy's coat instead of involving the middleman (or woman as the case might be!).

Things are kind of quiet on the farm right now.  Our garden is starting to produce.  So this week, I am posting lots of photos of the garden and what is coming from it.  This photo is taken form the end closest to the house.  The squash is literally taking over.  To the left rear are lots of tomatoes, starting to come ripe in larger quantities.  I hope to be able to do some canning soon.  There is corn in the center rear, which we planted late and it is just now in tassle and forming ears.  We hope to beat the raccoons to the corn this year.  We have not grown it in several years due to the fact that the raccoons got more of it than we did.  We saw little point in doing the work for them.  But this year we had extra space and figured, why not?  Maybe we could have Grover stay out in the garden at night and keep the 'coons away.  In truth, he would likely eat all our tomatoes....

 Here are cornstalks with the silk of newly forming ears and tomatoes in the background.

 Peering into the squash jungle we find butternut and acorn squash sharing space.  

And here is some of what we have picked.  We have been eating tomatoes on a daily basis.  BLTs, hamburgers with fresh tomato, a favorite Cooking Light recipe: Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce (the sauce includes only tomatoes, fresh basil, a little salt and crushed red pepper), fresh salsa (made by Sam) and an omelet with eggs fresh from the nest box, tomatoes and chipotle cheddar cheese.  We have also had our first baked acorn squash with butter, brown sugar and a bit of pure maple syrup.  Yum!

In other news, Sam is mowing hay today, so on Saturday, we will be baling and stacking again.  Since we already have all the hay we need, this will likely go up for sale.

I am getting 8 new pullets (young hens just coming to laying age)  next week since my current hens have really reduced production.  

The biggest news, which somehow I neglected to post last week, is that older son, Ian, and his long-time girlfriend, Michelle, have decided to get married!  The wedding won't be until September 2014, so there is a lot of time to make plans, but I know it will be here before I know it.  The wedding will be in Oregon.

 Fibery stuff:  my wool/bamboo cardigan had a setback on Sunday.  It was a beautiful day and the weatherman had said NO RAIN til at least Monday or Tuesday and I was taking advantage of that  by spending time on the deck knitting on my sweater.  Beautiful sunny day, no clouds in the sky.  At about 6:15 it was time to walk the dogs up to the pond.  When I got up there I discovered the neighbors, who Sam had been helping to clear a path from adjoining property onto our property, were up there and the teenage girls were wanting to zip line, so a pond party began.  There were drinks which miraculously appeared from coolers on 4-wheelers and I had a swimsuit at the pond and the girls went home and got theirs on and we zipped into the pond.  No sooner had we started this than clouds appeared and shortly it was raining and then pouring.  At which point I realized I had left my knitting on the table on the deck.  No point running home in the rain, it was already wet.  I was just glad I had not left my MP3 player or tablet out there!  When I got home, I wrapped the sweater in a towel to squeeze out water and then spread it on my sweater dryer over my bathtub to dry.  In the morning I took it outside in the light and to my horror, once dry, I could see stripes of discoloration!   I could not imagine what had caused it.  My best option was to remove the needles and cut off the yarn and wash the sweater with some wool wash and put it out to dry again.  Which I did, hoping for the best, fearing the worst.  Half empty glass......I need not have feared, once washed and dried, I can see no sign of discoloration.  I can only guess that the rain coming through the maple leaves which shade our deck picked up some pigment of some kind from the leaves and deposited it on the sweater.  Whatever it was, it came off, that's all that matters!

I am also thinking ahead to the Wool Gathering in Yellow Springs which happens Sept 21 & 22 and at which I am vending.  All my yarns are dyed.  I have been carding up some dyed alpaca and am planning to make some layered spinning batts with 2 colors of alpaca and dyed silk.  We'll see how those turn out.  I have one color carded and am working on the second.

Our Labor Day weekend party is also  coming up soon.  Only a little over 2 weeks away.  This year it is on Aug 31 and if you are reading this, you are invited!


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