Category Archives: garden

Too Much of a Good Thing

Last week, when I took you all on a little garden tour, our gardens were doing well. We had gotten some much needed rain and did not anticipate having to water anytime soon. Now we have gotten too much rain, and our gardens are suffering .

June 27, 2021

It is called wet wilt. The ground is simply too wet for the plants and they are basically drowning.

June 27, 2021

We have lost significant amounts of tomatoes and peppers and the entire row of green beans. Today we noticed that the cabbage and potatoes have also taken a hit.

June 27, 2021

On June 27th, when we first discovered that we were losing plants, my husband removed all of the straw mulch in order to give the ground an opportunity to dry out and prevent further damage, but with showers and storms adding water to the ground each day there has been no chance of that. We now have about five dry days in the forecast so hopefully the worst is over and all is not lost.

While this is discouraging we must remember –

Do Not Worry
(Matthew 6: 25-34)25 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air: They do not sow or reap or gather into barns—and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28 And why do you worry about clothes? Consider how the lilies of the field grow: They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was adorned like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles strive after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own.

As soon as the ground dries up some we will be placing some of the lost plants. My husband was able to find some tomato and pepper plants at a garden center and he also bought more green bean seeds. 🙂

Early Summer Garden Tour

Well summer arrived this week – incognito it seems. It came disguised as spring of all things. It showed up as the rain storms that were absent throughout April and May. They dumped over two inches of rain on us in about 12 hours Sunday and Monday. It also brought cooler temperatures that dipped down into the 40’s in the overnight hours.

The rains returned today and it seems as though we have gotten at least two more inches. If there is any accuracy in the forecast for the next 10 days our drought problems should be over since there are some chances of rain everyday over the next 10.

For some crops. such as our strawberries and blueberries, it’s too late to make a difference but other crops should be served well by the rain.

Shall we take a look around?

The apple trees have some apples, not a bumper crop, (we had several days of frost while the apple trees were blossoming) but hopefully enough for a pie or two.

The blueberries are beginning to ripen. Again this won’t be a bumper crop. I suspect these were impacted by both frost and drought but we are grateful for what we get.

In garden 3, which now has become the puppy playground, these cabbage and onions were some of the first vegetables to be planted. They are doing well.

Also in garden 3 the potatoes (above) were also planted early. They have blossoms.

We also have a row of potatoes in the main garden (above). These were the first to be planted and despite being hit by frost on several days they have flourished.

The above photo was taken as I enter the main garden and look to the north. Sweet corn, pie pumpkins, cantaloupes, tomatoes and three different types of squash are growing in this area.

The photo below is from the same spot looking to the south.

Pumpkins, cucumbers, hot peppers, sweet peppers, eggplant. tomatoes, okra, green beans, beets, swiss chard, and dill are growing on this side of the garden.

We have several varieties of tomatoes. Some have begun to blossom and make fruit.

Jalapeno peppers are starting to bear fruit

as are the bell peppers.

It will be a while before we are picking green beans (above) but just the thought of them makes my mouth water.

We also have sunflowers planted in several areas along the fence, some of which came up as volunteers.

Thanks for joining me for a garden tour. Are you enjoying any home grown produce or looking forward to doing so?

Yesterday’s Harvest

From the garden we harvested green beans, tomatoes, beets and cucumbers.

From one hive we harvested 8 frames of honey and wax. Now the bees are cleaning up the frames.

Honey is our oldest hen. She turned 7 this spring.

From the coop we collected 11 eggs. Only 8 of them made it home though. It seems that Ranger learned a new trick. He figured out how to steal eggs out of the egg basket. They didn’t break until he stepped on them. I’m not sure why he decided to take them – either he thought he had found a new toy or he was telling us he wanted to eat. Crazy Dog! LOL!

When The Rains Came

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. 🙂

How has you weather been this summer?

Dog Days Of Summer

According to almanac.com the dog days of summer run from July 3 through August 11 which is normally the hottest and most humid time of year in the northern hemisphere. Around here every day is a dog day. Just ask Ranger and Trooper. But, yes, the HEAT IS ON and it is accompanied by a dry spell so keeping the gardens watered has been the main focus for the past week or so. If you are curious about how we manage that on our off-grid farm you can check out our off-grid irrigation system here.

In the mean time I put together a collection of pictures that I’ve taken over about the past few weeks to share with you.

This is how Ranger cools off on these hot days. (Did you know beagles can swim?)

and Trooper enjoys laying on the beach after a swim in the pond.

The grandbabies love the water as much as the dogs do.

Dragonflies are yet another creature that appreciate the pond.

This one is drinking water from the sand. Check out the honey bee (on the left) that photo bombed this shot. She too was coming to the beach for a drink of water.

This beauty hung out with us on the beach, for a couple of hour yesterday evening, fluttering about and pausing now and then to rest or perhaps get a sip of water.

One last pond picture because we can never have too much cuteness. LOL.

Speaking of cuteness, here is a double dose – twins.

The lavender is gorgeous this year and the bees and butterflies are all over it.

We have transitioned from strawberry season to blueberry season. On the same day that my husband, and (daughter) Kara, picked the last of the strawberries, I took (daughter) Tina, and Jackson and Addy into the blueberry patch to pick the first ripe berries. While Kara took her 3/4 of a basket of strawberries home. Addy couldn’t wait, so she ate all of the blueberries we picked while they were still at the farm.

Start them off young – that’s my motto. They posed for a group photo then dad took Jackson and Addy, one at a time, for a ride on the tractor.

The garden is flourishing. I have harvested basil and calendula flowers twice so far.

We have green tomatoes, peppers starting to develop, blossoms on the eggplant,

blossoms on the green beans and the corn is knee high.

We cut garlic scapes (check out this post to learn more about scapes) about two weeks ago and will be digging garlic soon.

It seems that every summer our back field is dominated by different plants. This year it is full of clover and birdsfoot trefoil and I think it is just gorgeous. It’s also great bee food.

I’ll leave you with one last photo of this pair who stopped by our deck for a short visit last week. They were kind enough to stay so I could get a photo then they hurried on their way.

Thanks for visiting and remember – stay hydrated, breathe deep and stay well.

Are you having a heat wave?