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Shoveling manure

You know you live in a crunchy area when the free horse manure is fought over. I'm currently grabbing the precious organic matter when it's only a couple of weeks old and letting it mellow on our farm to make sure I'll have enough.

Sweeping manure

And, yes, I love my manure so much I even sweep out the truck once I'm done.

Dumping manure

That last wheelbarrow goes a long way toward creating new garden beds! These will be planted in lettuce and kale next month.

Posted Fri Jul 20 06:00:38 2018 Tags:
Cucumber cage

The extra bits of wire from our fence project make great cucumber cages.
Posted Thu Jul 19 06:00:27 2018 Tags:
Transplanted strawberry

When we moved in here last October, I brought along some strawberry plants. With no idea where I'd later want them, I just stuck them in the ground near the trailer.

Fast forward ahead to the present day, in which deer are dining like crazy on anything outside our garden fence. So rather than just transplanting runners into a new spot the way I usually would have done, I dug up every single strawberry plant.

Summer-transplanted strawberries wilt like crazy the first couple of days after they've been moved. But a little water morning and evening quickly pushed ours over that hump. Some of the older leaves won't make it (and a couple of the plants similarly bit the dust). But the rest are now resilient to normal summer temperatures and should fruit for me next year.

Dormant strawberry

Meanwhile, I expanded the planting with twenty almost-dormant Mara Des Bois from an online nursery. Most of my favorite sources had already stopped shipping bare-root strawberries for the season, so it's possible these little guys won't fruit next spring. However, they're everbearers, so if nothing else we should taste this much-lauded variety a year from now.

Posted Wed Jul 18 06:00:37 2018 Tags:
Zero-G hose

Hose technology has improved since we last went shopping.

This hose looks so high-tech that Anna gave me the fish eye when I brought it home. "How much did it cost?" she demanded.

After learning that the price was half of what she'd guessed, she fell in love with its light weight, flexibility, and easy connectors on either end.

Posted Tue Jul 17 06:14:33 2018 Tags:
Ripening peppers

Mark's hose hookup has pushed the garden into much faster growth over the last week. The peppers are ripening...

Roma tomatoes are the first few tomatoes. We're starting to harvest cucumbers in multiples now rather than one per week, and the summer squash are holding onto their female flowers rather than aborting them before they can turn into fruit.

Summer garden

On the other hand, this garden is still much less turbo-charged than my Virginia one. A decade of soil building can't be replaced overnight. But blight has been minimal, the fenced acreage is perfect for keeping me sane, and I suspect I'll love this garden even more than my previous one within a couple of years.

Posted Mon Jul 16 06:00:31 2018 Tags:
Kitchen floor replacement of a section.

Our kitchen floor demanded some attention this week.

Luckily the leak was easy to track down but the damage was not good.

Posted Sun Jul 15 06:00:32 2018 Tags:
Oyster mushrooms

We haven't had any appreciable rain for a week and a half...but apparently it's mushroom season anyway. I'm guessing the cooler weather is what brought out this flush of oyster mushrooms at the park. All I know is that I could only fit a quarter of the available caps into the scooped-up front of my shirt without exposing my belly button. Clearly I need to start bringing a harvest bag with me into the woods!

Posted Sat Jul 14 06:00:29 2018 Tags:
New strawberries.
Planting new strawberry plants always puts a smile on Anna's face.
Posted Fri Jul 13 06:00:39 2018 Tags:
Patio baby eggplant

Three weeks later, it's time for a followup on my eggplant varieties post. How have Patio Baby and Black Beauty fared now that summer is in full swing?

Patio Baby is both better and worse than expected. The plant is so heavily loaded with developing fruits that I had to stake the stem upright, and we've enjoyed a handful of tasty meals picked from the single plant.

On the other hand, I can tell it hasn't bothered to send roots out into the surrounding soil. If I don't give it a daily half gallon of water, the plant wilts like crazy by the middle of the afternoon.

My conclusion? If I had to do it all over, I would keep Patio Baby on a patio where it's easy to water and keep an eye on.

Eggplant flower

Black Beauty, in contrast, is slow and sure and just now blooming. I haven't watered the plants at all except when I happen to be hitting the nearby bush beans in the same row. But Black Beauty is fine with the neglect...I'm just not sure if the plants will manage to set fruits before winter frosts come to call.

Among both varieties, though, there's a major success to report on --- flea beetles haven't been much of a problem after the plants spent their first three months in pots. I always love it when a type of produce I thought wasn't worth growing organically is suddenly easy with a simple tweak, and that appears to be true in this case.

Posted Thu Jul 12 06:00:34 2018 Tags:
Garden hose hook up onto washing machine out through dryer vent.

We attached a garden hose hook up point to our washing machine intake.

Anna and I have a debate about hooking up the dryer. She is fine with not hooking it up....I want to have it available on cold rainy days when we don't want to hang clothes outside.

It might take me a while to win that one. Meanwhile we will use the dryer vent door to access the new garden hose hook up and push it back inside when Winter comes.

Posted Wed Jul 11 06:00:36 2018 Tags:

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