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Archive for the ‘garden’ Category

tea-towelA new tea towel for Spoonflower’s contest Home is where the heart is. I couldn’t resist this contest as I love designing tea towels.  Voting starts October 13, 2016. There should be lots of wonderful designs to see and vote on.

I have the image set on it’s side because that will be the way it shows up in the contest. We lay them out that way as it fits on the linen-cotton fabric and if you want to order one you can order just a fat quarter of fabric.

 

fresh-produce

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My family with the exception of our son loves Lima beans. Even our grandson loves them! They are great for you so I am happy that they do love them. I have to confess I am still trying to compete with my mother-in-law. She raised a garden in Tennessee. When they moved to Arizona she took a ton of canned goods from her garden with them. They lived on that until my father-in-law got work. They had four small children at the time and my father-in-law was sick with asthma. So all the canned goods were a blessing.
I had a good crop of Lima beans this year not the best, just pretty good. We planted later then usualDSC03738.JPGDSC03745.JPG so I was surprised we got as many beans as we did. This is the second picking and not too bad. Sometimes the weather just not want to cooperate with the planting schedule! I like to blanch the beans then freeze them so we can have them all year long. I am still terrified to use a pressure cooker for canning.

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potato plants 2

potato plants 2

Potato plants 1

Potato plants 1

Gardening in the wet Spring

We should have all our garden in by now. Unfortunately we have had spells of it being too cold and too wet. It is still too wet so hopefully this weekend it is dried out enough to finish planting.

Everything is late this year. Last year our blueberries were all ripe by the end of May. This year it is June the 6th and they still aren’t ripe. We have been getting some strawberries not as many as we would like. Next year should there should be a lot more as we have doubled the size of the strawberry bed. Our blackberries are blooming. The pear and peach trees are loaded. This year we have apples coming on our apple trees, yeah. There are signs that we might get some elderberries and currents. The cherry bush our daughter Sara got us has cherries on it, I can’t wait to taste them.

We have had luck with our potatoes but they are later this year too. We had planted extra this year to send some home with family that came all the way from Arizona to visit. Last year we sent some home with them and they were a big hit. Nothing quite as good as home grown fresh produce. Unfortunately they weren’t ripe so we will ship them some. My sister-in-laws Pauline and Donnia are so much fun to have visit us, I just wish they stayed longer.

Our cabbage is coming along, we planted just a few plants. We are trying cone cabbage this year. I don’t believe I have seen them before. I will let you know how they taste. Oh by the way that is clover growing with the cabbage. I thought I would leave it grow with the cabbage as it is keeping the other weeds down. We plant clover with our hay to add nitrogen naturally to the soil so I thought I would see how it does with the cabbage.

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Hollyhocks & Golden Privets
 

Brunswick Blueberries

It is hot, hot, hot…..where did winter go? I have to admit I DO NOT like the heat. During the coldest part of winter, I think well maybe the summer isn’t so bad…but it really is. The nice part of summer is what grows in our garden all the possibilities. What will miraculously grow from a tiny little seed planted when the weather was cooler. I mention that, as that is what keeps me energized to pull weeds when the sweat is rolling down my face. The promise of garden produce that will make it’s way into family meals. The plans you make in the winter when summer is far away and the seed catalogs look so inviting. The thought of the hot summer and pulling weeds tries to creep into my consciousness but I stubbornly push the thoughts out. All I can think about then is what smiles might be on my families face when they taste something home grown. The tons of blackberry/strawberry jam I can every year and is somehow gone by the time the first blackberry is ripe come Fourth of July. My grandnephew Landon asking his grandma if he can have some of the special jam Aunt Lana sent. For that I had to send him his own stash of jam.

Some of the Irish potatoes

Then there was this morning when our grandson Cole (who now is all of 3 ½ years old and of course the smartest 3 ½ year old in the world) comes over and asks for his red basket so we can go pick blackberries. We picked a basket full of blackberries then he ate a bowl of them. He has helped us pick strawberries and last week he has helped us pick potatoes. Cole filled his basket with baby potatoes as he calls them. He took them home for his Mom & Dad to cook. For the past month or so fried potatoes have been his favorite food so frying some from the garden for him is a treat.

I wonder if he will remember the times we spend in the garden when he grows up, I hope so. I remember when I was young. All the wonderful things my grandparents grew in their garden in Michigan and then later in Arizona. In Michigan they grew rows of blackberries, gooseberries, raspberries, fruit trees and a large vegetable garden. They raised goats and chickens, I remember Grandpa teaching us how to milk the goat, we were raised on goats milk since my oldest sister couldn’t drink cows milk. I can still remember helping Grandma pluck the feathers from the chickens for chicken and dumplings. I remember the big day when my Grandparents got running water in the kitchen, it was a hand pump but before that we only had the pump outside. That was a celebration. What made me the happiest was when she got a wash machine, before that we would help her wash on one of the old hand held wash boards. That was hard on the knuckles, I was always scraping them. Of course what I remember as “helping” my Grandparents was probably more trouble for them then actual help, they never said that though.

We got quite a bit of potatoes that we grew in a raised bed this year. That worked better then the regular garden spot. It might have been because they were in a spot I could see more and realize when the aphids etc, were getting to them. We tried the Russian fingerling potatoes and Irish potatoes, I think the Irish potatoes had more flavor.

We have been trying to keep the garden mulched with hay and grass clippings. We don’t have just straw but we have lots of hay that we baled ourselves this year. Of course the hay has some weed seed so we put the grass clippings on too to try and keep new weeds growing from the hay. It seems like a vicious circle but once the hay and grass decompose it makes for some great garden soil. Also I learned from my grandparents waste not want not, you use what you have.

It is really amazing that I have had any time for art work at all. Still I have managed to squeeze it in. I even managed to get some sewing done that I have put off for ever so long. I am still finishing a quilt for my daughter Sara that I started about 5 years ago for her birthday. I like the hand quilting part better than piecing the quilt as I always struggle with being exact. I have a lot more fun designing fabric for quilts now.

I was talking to a fabric company but that has come to naught, so back to the drawing board. Still I am dreaming of the day my designs will be asked for by name. I am going to post some pictures of some art I have worked on soon. Today though I will post some pictures of the garden and flowers.

 

another view of the garden weeds and all

 

Hollyhocks and our daughter Rebecca's house in the distance

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