Thursday, May 28, 2009

Time for desert

I have posted pictures of the apple and peach trees but not the other fruits we have growing. Enjoy.
We have cherries, peaches ( see the lady bug), and strawberries.
Others include but not photoed are watermelon, cantaloupe, blackberries.

Garden in May

Our garden is really full. Some would say too full but nah we don't think that. With the recent rains( every day for 4 days) its very hard to get into the garden to pull weeds but I will post the garden pics anyway. So here you go.

In the photo on the top the veggies are 8 zucchini, 83 tomato plants, 10 rows of corn, then the potatoes. The picture to the right of the page is from the other side of the garden. First this way is the dreaded weeds that are growing everywhere in the garden, sunflowers the kids planted (heavy), 2 rows of onions ( 2 different kinds), melons, cucumbers, peppers, then the potatoes.

The potato box in the right is on its 3rd run. It is really growing well. I am excited to see how many spuds are In there. If they do well I am wanting to make an extended box to fit the garden better. A lot of people who have used the potato boxes say they grow a lot of potatoes in them so I am waiting to see how many more the box has then just the ones in the garden.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A true sign of summer

is picking cherries around our "bit of soil". We planted 2 cherry trees about 3 years ago here, last year we managed to grab around a handful off the trees before the birds got to them. This year we have around 2 cups up there waiting for us to pick them. But while ours are not fully ripe we went to hubbys dads tonight, his tree had wonderful red ripe cherries just waiting for us to gobble them up. My FIL said we could pick them in exchange for a cobbler. I can do that!! We picked 3 pounds 4 oz. tonight. One cobbler is cooling on the table and the other is still in the oven.
I love cherry cobbler as the rest of the family does also. Hopefully soon we will have enough off our trees to get enough for a cobbler or two and can or freeze some for the winter. I truly don't know how we live without the warm wonderfulness of cherry cobbler all year. I start wanting it in winter and some how survive until now.

3 pds 4 oz. cherries bartered for cherry cobbler

We have peas

This is our first year growing peas. So please excuse me for being very excited to see the pea pods growing every day.

In the beautiful sun

The other day I got this wonderful photo of the colts laying in the sun. They are growing really fast and are so very smart horses.

a day of rain

means a day of baking. We had a great deal of rain fall on us today. The water barrels are full again and the gardens are watered. It truly was a beautiful day!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

And so it begins

the watering with more. More then the precious water coming from the heavens and into the water barrels we strategically placed for holding water to use on the garden, pet baths, rinsing outside things. etc.Yes we had to drag out the hose. Oh the thud in my great watering setup the dreaded hose. For anyone else this would be the greatest gift ever, yes for most. But for me it is much more then that. It's the reason I have water barrels. I have them to prevent me from using the clean, treated, fairly priced, drinking water. I love the fact that I can go right out into the big glorious barrel and dip out some of heavens goodness. Okay okay before you say there is nothing wrong with water from the hose, I agree. there is nothing wrong with it, it's wonderful. But I prefer to use our re purposed water as much as i can for the outside watering. Also I have this really huge over sized yard and takes forever to drag the hose around to every small or large plots I have to water.I do not water our grass and no I am not complaining, yes I will drag that huge hose around rather then going to the store to buy the things that need watering. But today as i was watering I realized we have 2 rather long water hoses threaded together and opps its not enough. I told you I had a big yard. So I have one water spigot on our property I have been asking for another by the garden, shoot I would be happy if it were just in the back yard. One in the front one in the back. Sounds reasonable enough. But I make do with the one in the front and long that one day to have another strategically placed were 2 water hoses will be enough when the water barrels are dry. or maybe around 30 more water barrels. Which ever would be great. But for now I am thankful. Thankful for the water I have.

Monday, May 18, 2009

500 pounds of produce

That is our goal this year, to grow 500 pounds of produce from our own land. We hope to go over that but 500 pounds would be just fine.
To date we have had
10 oz radish
8 oz of onions
6 oz of lettuce
3 oz of spinach
TOTAL for May so far - 1 pound 11 oz
This is the first year we have grown spinach and much to our surprise everyone loves it. We are pleased that all the kids will at least try everything we grow.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A gander through the raised beds

As mentioned before the raised
beds are growing great things at alarming rates. In the first picture is the carrot bed. The tops look healthy and green. I hope the roots get big and long.

Next is the potatoes I am trying of a different variety. I placed them in the raised beds rather then the garden area to see which beds grow potatoes better. These seem to be doing well with no potato bugs.

Oh yes these are the peanuts. I planted a few seeds to see how they might do. These seem to be growing good. I hope they grow enough peanuts for seed for next years planting.

Peas, carrots, and onions. Might I say the onions are really good. I couldn't wait any longer and snuck a few last night for our dinner. The peas are blooming and the carrots are growing in between rather rapidly.

Please disregard the windy blow Brussel sprouts. The wind is high today, they are really handsome plants. Green, lush, and rather tall. The kids love them so I hope we have a good size crop for eating.

And for the last of the pictures is the lettuce. And a volunteer of sunflower and tomatoes. This lettuce will be on the dinner table tonight with a few more snatched onions and some radish's I harvested earlier. every time I go to the beds I rip off a leaf of lettuce to eat as I work. Doesn't it look yummy?
A few things I didn't take photos of are the spinach, cabbage, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and beans. Save those for a day that I won't get caught in the rain.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Where it all starts

is way more important then it being homemade here on our bit of soil. I cook with the best ingredients when it comes to feeding my family. And the best, to me, means the closest and organic, pesticide free. We do not have chickens yet but we are making plans to raise our own chickens only for eggs on our land. Before we moved here we had around 20 chickens. The boys enjoyed them and were glad to help then. Now that we are more then settled in here we can't wait till the chicken tractors are ready for there new occupants. As for the eggs in the photo we are happy to have neighbors that have plenty and we purchase our eggs from them on a weekly basis. They are wonderful and completely fresh, most of the time they were gathered that morning. So our eggs come to us with really low food miles and that alone makes them wonderful to us.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

a time for color and babies

Yes that is Spring. With Spring in full swing I thought I would share a few pictures of just a few things that are happening around here.

On the left are the kittens that were born under our porch. The photo on the right shows a baby robin bird, just emerging from the nest. Preparing to take its first flight. A robin has eggs in the tree out front every year. We are pleased to be able to watch them emerge every year.

The animals and the garden are not the only thing growing. Our flowers that attract the bees are blooming and keep us in beautiful flowers all Spring and summer long. We plant just enough flowers to keep the bees happy and just enough food to keep us happy around here.

With the rain falling, sometime which felt like buckets, we were also able to capture some in our homemade rain barrels for the garden and raised beds. It seems to rain, fill the barrels, then quit raining long enough for us to use what we saved then rain again. I hope to add around 3 more barrels this summer.

The apples are growing faster then last year. We have a total of 5 apple trees now. Two of which will provide us with wholesome apples this fall and winter. This is the yellow delicious in the picture above. The other one, not pictured, that will grow apples this year is called a Jonathan apple. The peaches are bigger already then in the past, hope to have pictures uploaded soon. We pruned the peaches this year at the end of winter and they are so much happier.
While we still have grass we are taking alot of time to reduce our lawn every year. I hope to have the front yard grass free in the next 2 years. Have a wonderful day!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Poop on Mothers Day???

Oh my what a wonderful Mothers Day we had here on our Bit of soil. The weather was pleasant and calm. I am very blessed to have such wonderful kids and a terrific husband. We visited each of our moms and even was able to shovel up some ready to spread horse manure. Yup that's right, I needed some for the garden and raised beds so while visiting hubby's mom we loaded up a truck load. I am truly blessed that everyone was willing to help with this not so neat chore.
We came home and spreaded the free fertilizer where it needed to be. We went and visited my mom when she got off of work and of course came back home to finish up our weekend chores before bed time. Yes mothers day was wonderful.
The kids and hubby also showered me with much needed gifts. First all the hugs and love I ever need. Hubby also took the kids to the store before Mothers day and built me a couple of small planters. They are special to me because they are made by them. They gave them to me early in the day, also was gifted a new short handled shovel, garden hose sprayer, flowers ( rose bush, marigolds, pansies) The kids all pitched in and helped me plant the bush and flowers. Everything was wonderful.

Hardy Kiwi- May update

As you can see the kiwi seedlings are growing slowly but steadly. They now have 4 true leaves on them and all 6 are still alive. I had to transplant them into single small pots for themselves own space. In another month or so I will place them into bigger pots. They will need to be inside for this winter to make sure the roots do not freeze. Even with the slow growth the kiwi seedlings are healthy and from what i have read they tend to grow at a slow yet steadly pace.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday movie night

Love Comes Softly - Is the first to a great series of movies that reminds me a bit of the Little House on the Prairie. The movie shows how you can do anything as long as your willing to learn. Also shows how God has control and all we can do is ask that we are strong enough to endure whatever comes our way. Its a great movie..... wait its a great family movie. The kids could not take there eyes off the TV all through this one. I hope you have a chance to view it and when you do please leave a post and let me know what you think. Have a great night.

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to all Moms - whether you have human kids or furry ones!!!!

How to tell that the last frost has passed?

You can almost sit down.

Okay so I have said it before, several months ago, that we will have a last frost but not when expected. We have not had a frost here for several weeks. I think all the rain has made the frost not happen. I am happy , that just means more work for me a little sooner then expected but I am pleased. Pleased to have almost everything in the ground. If the rain would just stop for a few days I could get everything planted and let the rain do the rest. But no such luck. I have been going out every morning and planting as much as I could until the rain starts later on in the day. We have about 33 tomato plants in the ground as well as 25 pepper plants. There is still plenty more that needs to be planted. But it too must be done according to the weather.

FIrst harvest of 2009

Our Radish's!!! Do this day we have had 4 ounces out of the raised beds. They are so yummy. Can't wait for more things to get ready to eat. The kids all actually tried them and they said "mom they are different from last years". Last years were really spicy hot so I tried to tame the nip a bit. Seems like I triumphed over that hurdle.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Is it May already?

I can remember just a few short weeks ago begging for Spring to come and shine it's loving sunshine down on our yard. Much to my surprise it has come and come with hot weather and much needed rain. Most of our garden and raised beds are planted and all of the veggies are growing beautifully. The peas are starting to climb the trellis I made for them and the cucumbers are peaking through the ground. I know it seems early to have all this out and planted on the first day of May but I believe, as previously mentioned on my garden journal on FGers site, the last frost is gone. But if the threat comes honking down upon us we are well prepared.

Today is raining and expected to rain on the Derby tomorrow as well. It seems it rains every year on the Derby. The rain is more then welcomed in our yard as our 2 rain barrels are depleted through the 80+ degree tempts earlier this week. They both are about half full now.

Much like all my other month to month updates I try to tell you about how well or poorly the things are growing around here. The carrots finally are showing there green tops and the radishes should be able to pluck out of the ground in a couple of weeks. With any luck they will be ready before the really hot and humid weather comes to stay. We now have 7 rows of potatoes planted and they all are showing off there green tops just above ground level. All the beans have sprouted as well as the squash, cukes and zukes. Lettuce and spinach are growing with leaps and bounds every day. Oh I can't wait for the green salad that we grew on our own land. Most excitingly the peanuts have sprouted and the kiwi have 3 true leaves on them. The kiwi are growing slowly but all the research I have done on growing them, they are a slow growing vine. I need to find a better way to grow the celery as they were doing great until the rain beat the little things in the ground a bit more then they should be. They might come back but like I said this is a year of trials. Cabbage and brussel sprouts are doing great as well as the onions.

Also on another side of the "bit" hubby started his new job today. He was a bit nervous this morning but he is a hard worker and I know he will do fine.

The kids planted there pumpkin patch and they have yet to sprout but I know with the kids' caring hearts they will grow and flourish. So I believe it is 27 days of school left which I will be thankful when they get to have a bit of a summer vacation. Although it will be short I am sure we can have some fun during the break.
Not much more has happened in the month of April, other then the day to day events that keep us busy and content at the same time. Have a great month of May!!!

Tomorrow is Derby Day!

So tomorrow is the 135th Kentucky Derby. As like any other year we will not be attending. My hope for tomorrow that all the horses and jockey's have a safe race and may the.... ummm... fastest horse win. I will not say the best horse because to get that far and actually be in the Derby my opinion is that they are all the best horses. So congrats to them, for having the opportunity to be apart of history!!!