Much needed rain was in the forecast for Sunday night and throughout the day on Monday. We were becoming discouraged as we watched the radar and saw storms to the west fall apart as they crossed lake Michigan. Throughout these days the National Weather Service forecast also changed with chances of rain diminishing from a 70% chance of rain to only a 20% chance that we would get any.
We were so happy Monday evening when the rain started to fall. We had just come from the gardens where I had taken many pictures, that I used in my previous post, and we picked Swiss chard, beets and cucumbers.
As the rain poured down we sat on the barn porch and offered prayers of thanks.
It rained for about 30 minutes or so.
And by the time it was done we had puddles on the driveway.
When the rain was coming to an end we looked to the east for a rainbow – the symbol of hope. The white spots are caused by rain drops. I know the one looks like the moon, but it is not.
It was a complete rainbow – I just couldn’t fit the entire thing in one photo.
The sun was low in the sky as the clouds moved out.
We are so thankful for this life- sustaining rain.
Note: In the early morning hours of Wednesday we had more rain arrive. It started sometime before 3:30 A.M., when my husband got up to let Ranger out, and ended around 6:30 A.M. Our garden should not need to be watered for a while now. 🙂
We will start the garden tour in what we refer to as the main garden. This garden are is our largest and is part of our back field. In addition to annual vegetables that we plant there it contains 4 apple trees, our blueberry patch and for the last several years our strawberry patch.
Lets see how some of the annuals are doing there. This year it is mostly corn, pumpkins and squash growing there. There are also buckwheat that has mostly gone to seed and sunflowers that have not blossomed yet.
Then we move on to garden three. This area is in the front of our property and this is our first year using it as a garden. My husband started planting strawberry runners in there last summer. Then in the fall we planted garlic in there. In the spring this is where he planted many more of our annual vegetables. Lets have a look.
These pumpkins which are planted with corn have grown through a row of sunflowers and are now climbing out of the fence.
During the dry season, when it is a challenge to keep things alive and productive, we look for innovative ways of watering. This year my husband used zip ties to attach the hose to this long 1×1 board. He could then reach areas that he is not able to get to otherwise. It’s not a perfect solution but will buy us some time until the rain comes.
For several weeks we have been enjoying the fruits of our labor. Thus far we have eaten Swiss chard and beet greens, green tomato, banana peppers, beet roots, and green beans (with garlic butter). We also picked our first cucumbers and they are on the menu for today.
Do you have a garden this year?
Do you enjoy fresh locally grown produce when it is in season?
Click here to learn more about my “55 Things” and here to view previous posts in this series.
It’s so easy to let little things that happen stress us out, put us in a bad mood and even ruin our entire day. My husband and I often use the phrase “If this is the worst thing that happens today…” to overcome this by reminding us that life is good and that we are truly blessed.
We have a few different ways that we might finish the sentence.
If this is the worst thing that happens today then life is good!
If this is the worst thing that happens today then we are blessed!
If this is the worst thing that happens today then Praise God!
Thanks for reading and remember gratitude will change your attitude. 🙂
Yesterday while walking around the back field I spotted Honey bees on several different flowers. I first noticed a bee in the white clover, then another foraging in the birdsfoot trefoil. I spotted a couple of bees on Canadian thistle blossoms and there were many buzzing about in the sweet clover.
I then walked by a patch where we planted wild flowers several years ago to see what they might be foraging in there. While the mountain mint that grows in that patch was not part of the seed mix that we planted, it has become a favorite of the bees when it blossoms.
Back at the prayer garden I found many bees in the oregano and a few on the anise hyssop.
The bee in the above photo is a bumble bee. Honey bees and bumble bees often forage the same flowers.
In addition in all of these plants my husband has reported seeing the bees pollenating the squash and pumpkins and I have seen a few foraging in the marshmallow plants.
The beauty in the bees foraging such a wide variety of plants is that each time we harvest honey the result is a deliciously unique blend of various plant nectars that the bees have collected. I dare say that we have never had two batches of honey that were exactly the same.
Last Monday was the perfect summer day for doing anything outdoors. I started my outdoor tasks mid morning by mowing our lawn at the house. Our weather had been so dry in recent weeks that it had been about three weeks since we had to mow the lawn. Then after lunch, while my husband went to the farm to work in the garden, I returned to the yard to work on trimming and weeding.
I had been working for less than an hour when my husband called. ” Are you married to doing that yard work today or do you want to come out and play?” he asked.
I hesitated briefly because I had weeds and branches laying around the yard that need to be picked up, but I quickly decided they could wait until later. I left my garden tools and gloves on the deck, slipped my bathing suit on then put shorts and shirt over top. I grabbed a couple of cold beverages and my husband was there in about 10 minutes to pick up me and the boys.
When we got to the farm my first order of business play was riding the four wheeler. Last summer I didn’t get to ride at all and I really missed it. This year my husband committed to getting it running for me, so with some help from my son-in-law, he got the carburetor cleaned. He then replaced the air filter and it’s running again. (THANK YOU SWEETIE!) For about 45 minutes I zipped around the back field and down the winding paths that run through the woods on the 4- wheeler. So much fun! 🙂
When I had my fill of riding I decided to go for a dip in the pond. I stopped by the garden, where my husband was having his own fun caring for the plants, to let him know I would be in the pond. I grabbed my innertube, took off my shorts and top and waded into the refreshing water. I spent the next 45 minutes or so floating and paddling around the pond on my innertube. Since the pond is not visible from the garden where my husband was working playing, every once in a while he would yell “Marco” to which I had to yell “Polo” in reply (otherwise I’m sure he would have executed search and rescue operations).
After my refreshing time in the pond it was time to go home and make dinner. When we arrived back at the house my husband said “don’t worry if you don’t get the weeds and clippings picked up tonight. They will still be there in the morning… unless” “somebody steals them,” I quickly chimed in. He laughed and then said “or the Yard Clipping Fairy shows up.” We both laughed at that.
The next morning I found out that I apparently haven’t been good enough the deserve a visit from the Yard Clippings Fairy, but thankfully the weather again was pleasant enough for me to finish the job. 🙂
What recreational activities do you enjoy in summer?