Monthly Archives: June 2012

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Nature Scavenger Hunt
  • So, this post isn’t so much about the garden, but about kids.

Regular readers know that I have four kids and that I homeschooled all four. The two oldest two are 20 and 21 the younger are 14 and 8. Having things for kids to “do” has been part of my life for twenty years. Today, I want to tell you about a fun game we would play that I’ve modified a bit to be more garden friendly.

Have a Nature Scavenger Hunt! Give your kids a list of things to “scavenge” or find around your yard or neighborhood. This is really fun to play when your kids have friends over as well, split them into a couple or more teams and let them go.

I found a great site that had some good ideas, you should check out Scavenger Hunt Things or Diva Scavenger Hunt Read the rest of this entry

Comfrey, and the Livin’ is Good!

Comfrey, and the Livin’ is Good!

In a rather neglected part of the yard, over by the treeline of the woods, I have three Comfrey plants that seem to like their arrangement. I like them there as well. They have pretty lavender and white flowers and they will come back next year even though I’ll cut them down to two inches this year.

As a Green Manure, Comfrey is a workhorse. As a natural fertilizer, it will be your “go to” plant food. You may even come to depend on it as you do your Aloe or lavender. This hardworking, often overlooked plant can really do wonders in the garden, and in the home.

I grow Comfrey for three purposes: compost, herbal medicinal, and as a nice border.

 

Comfrey Border by the woods.

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Throwback Thursday: Cornflower

Throwback Thursday: Cornflower

Last year I had one garden bed at the side of the house that was designated for winter squash, but it never got planted.

I realized that I really don’t like staying too long on that side of the house because it is near the road.

Seaweed or Woads, 2 months old.

I have this silly cat, Woads, that was abandoned by his mom at three days old, that I subsequently, bottle fed and raised. Now, when I’m outside, he’s right at my feet. If I’m on that side of the house, he’s too close to the road, because when he gets scared, he climbs me.

Now do you see the dilemma?

Every time a car goes by, I become Pepito from Madeline. (If you don’t understand this, you really must read the Madeline books by Ludwig Bemelmans. Go now, I’ll wait.)

So, this year, I tripled the size of the bed and planted flowers. The idea was to be able to attract pollinators, beautify the public side of the house and have a bed that I could plant and let be. It was such a good plan.

Three days after I planted, we had torrential rains. While the rest of the beds loved the rain, the flower bed with it’s tiny seeds, took a beating. The result?

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Convincing the Cucumbers and Other Feats of Wonder

Convincing the Cucumbers and Other Feats of Wonder

Today I had to spend the day convincing cucumbers that they are happy in their own neighborhood.

My cucumbers have decided that the manure is better on the other side of the trellis. I pretty much had to take them in hand and convince them that it was all the same poop no matter the side. Some of those boogers actually required twine and a few well placed knots that would not have been sanctioned by the Boy Scouts. Stubborn, to say the least.

Have you ever done this? Today, I’m rockin’ along, minding my own business, pulling grass from around naughty cucumber vines trying to persuade them that they really will be happy in their own little corner of the universe that I have so carefully prepared for them, and whoops, up comes a whole cucumber plant.

Then I spend the next twenty minutes trying to 1) decide if I could possibly re-root it and 2) convince myself that they probably could use a little more room anyway so it’s absolutely fine that I did that horrible thing.

In the end, I composted it, (in not a very cheerful manner). Acknowledge and move on..

Now, to the success of the day. I was getting all my darlings where they needed to be and Jonathan was bringing me one of many, many cups of ice water (15 in all today) he noticed baby cucumbers on the White Wonder plants. I said, “Next week we’ll be awash in cukes, yay!” After he left, I moved a leaf and found this…

White Wonder Cuke on a bed of basil

 

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Making Hay

Making Hay

The title of this article is deceiving as I am not going to talk about making hay. This is what you would want to do when the sun is shining.

Instead, I want to talk to you about what to do when it’s raining, especially if it hasn’t been raining enough.

When we moved to Tyler, almost exactly one year ago, we were told that the area was having the most severe drought in a hundred years. But, it really didn’t seem that “droughty”.  There were trees that seemed fine, the grass was a little frayed but not dead, and it wasn’t until August that we were officially issued a “burn ban” in our county.

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Are You Involved With A CSA?

Are You Involved With A CSA?

Country Gardens has a wonderful article about a young lady that runs her own small business as an organic gardener.

She started when she was very young, like 12, and now has a rather profitable, sustainable business. She sells garden “shares”. For nine weeks during the spring and summer, those that buy a “share” get a bag of organically grown produce, herbs and flowers. Those that get large “shares” get larger quantities. It’s a very interesting concept.

I’m wondering, do any of you participate in a CSA either as a producer or a consumer?

What is your experience with them?

Tell us your stories, good or not so good.

Have a paisley Friday!~KeriAnne

Rain…Then More Rain…Finally, More Rain!

Rain…Then More Rain…Finally, More Rain!

Yesterday, we had a 50% chance of rain. That should have been the first clue. Monday we had an 80% chance of rain and we didn’t get a sprinkle, not even a drop.

The skies opened up last night and unleashed every bit of pent up frustration they’ve been holding back. The result has been three inches of rain with thunderstorms forecast for this afternoon. I have to go get some things in place to protect some seedlings that are seriously disgruntled with my lack of protection yesterday.

On the up side…more food will get put in jars today, since staying out isn’t in the cards.

Yesterday I managed to can six quarts of radishes, and made two quarts of refrigerator pickles. Most excitedly,  the verdict is in…

The Spanish Black radishes do NOT turn black or gray! They are lovely!

Spanish Black Radish Pickles

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