Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bad News!

William went to check on the chickens this morning before going to work. Another Freezer Camp bound rooster was killed last night. That's three dead killed by varmints. It's still too hot to have a day of butchering but if we don't get the job done we're not going to have a job to do.

It's heart rending to put out the amount of money, work and energy to get these birds ready for the freezer or canning only to have a wild animal make their meals out of what was supposed to be our meals. Another thing is the wild animals only eat a small amount of the chicken leaving the rest to be disposed of where we would use the whole chicken. PFFFFT!

We are to a point of not knowing what else to do. William has reinforced the pens. Put wire over wire, boards in the ground around the outside of the pens and wire in the ground and these animals are still getting in. He also has traps set but the wiley little rascals avoid them.

It looks like one of us will have to stay out there at night. I really, really don't want to have to do that and William can't and work the next day. So what do we do? Turn the chickens out and just let the wild varmints graze?

That's the news from Hunny Bunny Haven today, sad as it is.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Chickens Survived Last Night

All the chickens were still here this morning. We're hoping that the work William did yesterday around the chicken pens will deter anymore invasions from unknown intruders. I sure hope so. I don't want to have to set in the dark with a gun that I'm not sure how to shoot and a flashlight waiting on a varmint to come wandering into view.

I'm an old woman and my heart gets all fluttery when I get scared and wild animals scare me. Case in point the noises we heard in the front yard last night. My heart still goes pitter-pat faster when I think of the way that animal sounded.

If I was pulling a stake-out and heard an animal near me that sounded like the one we heard last night I'd probably shoot myself trying to get inside. LOL

Truly, I'm hoping that the repairs William did on the pens will stop the killing of our chickens. It's too late for the ducks but may be not for the chickens.

We are going to reinforce the fence around the pasture with some six foot wire and get a dog to live in the pasture. That should take care of all crawling/walking problems. Those flying raptors there's no way to stop. That is unless we can come up with $5,000.00 for each raptor we were to shoot and don't mind a few years in jail.

When the pasture is more secure I will get some more ducks. SSSSHHHH, don't tell William. Let be a surprise.

That's the day around here today. Y'all are welcome to drop in anytime.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What Constitutes Botanical Murder?

I think I've committed botanical murder. After planting the greens last week, I decided the squash and cucumbers needed some fertilizer. We have some organic liquid fertilizer that we had bought. Being in a hurry I didn't take time to dilute the fertilizer instead pouring a small amount onto the dirt and then digging it in around the squash and cucumbers.

Today I went to the garden to look at the little greens poking their heads up through the dirt. Lo and behold the cucumber vines look horrible. They have yellowed leaves with spots on them. I've burned them up with organic fertilizer.

Now I'm wondering just how organic this fertilizer is if it burns like this. I've poured strong rabbit manure tea over plants with no sign of burning whatsoever. When I fertilized the plants last week no fertilizer touch the plants but the leaves still look cooked.



On a lighter side the greens are up and looking good. They are planted thickly. When the plants are little larger I will transplant some of the plants and thin some. The thinnings I will use in stirfry or a salad. No waste here.

This is the kale:

Here is a picture of the lettuces. I mixed several varieties of lettuces and planted them together.

The next picture is a small spot of swiss chard. There is a row about ten feet long of swiss chard but I only made the picture of a small spot.

We are still getting a few tomatoes from the volunteer vine. I hope this one vine will supply us with a tomato here and there until frost. The tomatoes on this vine have tasted so good. I don't know if it's because I know the tomatoes are about gone for the summer or if these tomatoes have a better taste than the others. Either way, we're enjoying the last of our harvest.

On another note. The wild animals are still attacking our birds. All our ducks have been killed except for the old Pekin, Matilda. I guess she's too tough for the animals to digest.

They have killed several of our roosters we've raised for the freezer and some of our Barred Rock hens. Last night some kind of animal dug into the rare breed (Buttercup) pen and killed one of the young pullets.

William worked this afternoon to reinforce the pens so as to keep the animals out. Traps aren't working. We may have to set up a stake-out to find out what type of animal this is.

It's heartbreaking to raise birds up to the age they are just before beginning to lay and then have a wild varmint come along and make dinner out of them. I know that is what wild varmints do but it doesn't mean I have to be happy about it.

That's the goings on here at Hunny Bunny Haven. Thanks for dropping by. Come back again, y'all.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The cukes and squash are growing!

We have the cucumbers and squash up and growing. It's kind of hard to find them in all the weeds and grass. I hoed both on Saturday then pulled dirt up around them.....then it rained. So I go back out there this afternoon and hoe them again. Rain is in the forecast for tomorrow. LOL

We still don't have greens in the ground but Felder says by the middle of September and they will still have time to mature enough to survive any cold weather we may have.

Below are some pictures of the squash and cukes.
Cucumbers before I hoed them this afternoon.

Cukes after they were hoed. They look good now but when it rains again it will be cukes vs weeds!

The squash leaves are a little yellowish. Our spring squash were the same way. They had the same food as the cukes. This is the before picture:

And the after:

I think they will produce before we have a frost. I'm hoping they will anyway. Now to get the greens in the ground before it's too late. Maybe we can get that done this weekend.

We still have butterbeans, some peppers, okra and a few small tomatoes in our summer garden. We had a tomato plant come up volunteer that has some nicer tomatoes on it. They're not large but large enough we can make a sandwich with one. This one plant will furnish us tomatoes until frost.

When all the summer veggies have done their do we are going to till the ground and start building the raised beds for next spring. Our raised beds produce many more vegetables than the row garden.

I can work the raised beds more easily than row gardens. I can pull something to sit on up to the beds and sit while I pull any weeds that need pulling. With the raised beds we don't have many weeds.

That's a little catch up for now. I will be showing some of the other veggies as we get them planted.

One more thing not vegetable related. Our young pullets we got back in March are starting to sing. This means they are getting ready to begin laying. I can't wait to get those blue, green, blue-green and speckled eggs. Also, the Buttercups will be laying soon too. Some folks I know will be glad to be getting eggs with white shells.

On a sadder note: Raccoons killed all our ducks except two. We have one Buff Orph and the Pekin left. Raccoons and possums have never attempted to bother the ducks before but I guess they got a taste of duck when they got the little ones so they can back and got the grown ones.

If things go as I hope there will be a six foot fence put around the pasture this winter and early next spring. The fence along with the pens we have our birds in should keep varmints out. I hope.

I'm glad you came to visit. Come again sometimes.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Gonna Be Late....

We're going to be late with our fall gardening. William made some beds for fall cukes and squash but then the rain set in and we haven't been able to get the seeds planted. If I can get the seeds in the ground next week maybe we can have fresh squash and cucumbers until frost but after next week I can hang it up. It will definitely be too late.

We don't have a bed made for the lettuces nor the swiss chard, spinach, mustard, kale and collard plants. That needs to be done within the next two weeks or we won't be getting many salads from the lettuce. The other greens can survive some cold but not the extreme temps. Oh, that's right we don't have extreme temps here do we? OOPS!!!!

We are still harvesting green beans, butter beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and will have some more peas by next week. We have been able to save on our grocery bill while enjoying the fresh veggies.

I always hate to see summer draw to a close. I miss the fresh veggies after summer has ended. Tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers are missed more than any others. I have never been able to find these three vegetables in a grocery store that taste like the real thing. Real thing being those that we grow in our garden. Another thing about store bought tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers is I just don't know what they were fertilized with nor what has been sprayed on them. Sure makes the next summer seem so far away.

I wish I had a green house that was heated where I could grow vegetables during the winter. That would take a good size area for a large green house. Neither of which we have.

I do have a small green house frame if I could just get the corrugated materials to go on the top and sides of it. I don't have any idea where to look for the materials. Maybe we can find some thick plastic to cover the frame with this fall. It won't hurt to try this and if it doesn't work then we can look further.

That's about all the happenings at Hunny Bunny Haven. The two little ducklings that have survived so far are growing. The three baby chicks that William got to hatch are growing. So are the chicks that we ordered from Murray McMurray the end of March. The chicks we ordered should start laying by the end of this month. Fingers crossing!!!!!

No baby bunnies. We still have the five bunnies that we had when spring began. I still want to get some new ones to raise our own rabbit meat. I guess I need to get serious about this if I'm ever going to do anything. It won't happen if I don't make it happen.

Thanks for dropping in. Come back again.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Pots And Pans Pantry

While it's not the largest pots and pans pantry in the world it's large enough for me. I have gotten the pans that were hanging on the wall, those cast iron pots and pans that were sitting on the stove and those that were on the counter tops all put in the pantry. There's a lot more counter space for working and that is what I was hoping for when I asked William to build the pantry.

There's a shelf for the storage containers, too. I keep the sugar, sweetners, flours, meal, rice, etc. in containers on this shelf. They are convenient to the stove and the containers are off the counters.

The next phase of this renovation is to get the cabinets down from the walls and the walls painted. Then we will paint or stain the shelving and the pantries. The shelves will be installed and new floor covering will be put down.

I don't think William is too keen on installing the floor covering so I am on the lookout for someone to do this job for us.

Here's the pots and pans pantry:

Nothing spectacular to most folks but it certainly is to me! Thanks Honey for all your hard work!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Little Of This And A Little Of That

Everything around here has been hot and dry. We did get a good shower this morning. Also, got rain on Monday of this week. There's more supposed to be on it's way later on tonight. We really need the rain on our garden. We have tried to keep it watered but it's just not the same as what I refer to as "God Water". Rain that is.

My sweet friend, Mrs. Gladys always laughed when I called rain "God Water". She would say, "It's all God Water." I told her "Yes, but we add some junk to what we catch and use from the tap and it doesn't do as good on the garden as when God sends the rain." We always got a chuckle out that. But it's really the truth. Water from the faucet just doesn't help the garden as much as rain water does.

We are getting very few veggies. Our garden has really fizzled this summer. We are planning to go back to raised beds in frames for next spring. The raised beds are easier to tend and to keep watered.

Some of that now: William finished my pots and pans pantry. We still have to stain it and put something on the side next to the stove to keep it from getting splattered when I'm cooking. I will post a picture in the next day or two.

We have started the painting in the kitchen. The color is called light copper but it's almost a french vanilla yellow. It's really weird as that's exactly the color I tried to find and couldn't find one that I thought looked like french vanilla ice cream. But we got it in the light copper.

We have one part ready to put up shelves so we can remove the cabinets in the rest of the kitchen. We have to go get the shelving materials and get them stained. We need to chose the brackets to put the shelves on, too.

That's about all that's going on right now. Other than we had three Barred Rock chicks hatch out of eleven eggs. My Mom told me the weather is too hot for hens to set.

I guess it's too hot for the ducks also. One of our ducks had a clutch of around twenty eggs and only hatched four ducklings. So, I guess the weather must have caused the eggs to go bad there too.

I'm hoping to set some more hens a little later on when the weather cools some. Maybe the ducks will lay another clutch of eggs too. I can only hope.

That's about all that's happening here at Hunny Bunny Haven. Thanks for dropping by and come again anytime.

Friday, July 3, 2009

It's been a couple of weeks....

since I posted. Things have been pretty hectic around here. William's Mom had a heart attack and was hospitalized for several days. Then my Mom was admitted to the hospital for dehydration. William and I have been running back and forth, back and forth, back and forth...well you get the picture.

We are harvesting a few vegetables from our garden. The green bean vines look horrible so I don't know if we will get any more of them. I only have four bags of green beans in the freezer so far. I was looking forward to canning at least fifty quarts of green beans this summer.

That long row of squash is only yielding a few squash along. We pick two or three at a time. I'm disappointed in these, too.

The two volunteer cucumbers are doing better than the ones that we planted. The volunteers are the long burpless type and our regular ones are (I think) called crazy eights. They are short and fat. Not what we usually have from them at all. At least they're not bitter.

Now the okra and peppers are doing wonderfully. The jalapeno is so hot that it's hard to eat it. So is the Cayenne. That's the way I like them though. The okra is making a good bit of pods. I hope I can put some okra in the freezer and can some pepper sauce.

Our peas are doing so-so. They're not as good as I had hoped but they could be worse. We did get enough to make a meal for four adults today. There's enough left that I can put a bag of peas in the freezer.

The weather has turned very hot and dry. We are trying to keep the garden watered but it's so hot that when we water it doesn't look like it in a few hours.

There's rain predicted for four days next week. I just pray that we get some of the prediction.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sansevieria Trifasciato In Bloom

In other words my Mother-In-Law's Tongue/Snake Plant is blooming. This plant was given to me by my dear, sweet friend, Mrs. Gladys about five years ago. The plant had two blades when she gave it to me. Now it fills a large flower pot and is over two feet tall. It's probably getting close to three feet tall.

I've had the MIL's Tongue plant before but have never had one to bloom. This bloom has been on the plant for over a week. It's odd looking to me but strangely beautiful.

I hope that this doesn't mean that my plant is going to die. Some plants only bloom once in their lifetime and then they die. I'd be so disappointed if this happens to this plant because it's special to me.

The MIL's Tongue in bloom:

One more picture of the bloom:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day Twice

William had the good fortune to celebrate Father's Day two times. Once yesterday when Lisa and Sandi came to visit along with Meagen and NeNe. He had a good lunch with them. Also a good visit with them.

His menu yesterday was potato salad, pulled pork with homemade bbq sauce, and baked beans.

Today, Erica came to see him. Avery and Emily came with their mother. He had a good dinner with them. Also, a good visit with them.

Tonight's menu was chicken baked in cream of mushroom soup, smashed potatoes, corn, garden fresh greenbeans and hot biscuits.

I sure hope he doesn't think that tomorrow is a repeat of yesterday and today. He could get spoiled to the good meals and the visits from our children for just a little bit.

I'm glad he has had a good Father's Day. He's a good father! But then he's a good husband too!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Results Of Busy Day #1 & A Picture Of What William Does Best

The corn ready for the freezer.

William got up early this morning to water the garden, put the garbage out for pickup, and check on the chickens. He did all this before I ever woke up.

After working outside until eleven o'clock this morning then making a run into town for a few items from Wally-World and to pick up the chicken plates we bought from Kaileigh's cheer fundraiser, he decided it was nap time.

William snoozing in his recliner

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Busy Day #1

Late yesteday evening Dub came to bring us sixty-five ears of sweet corn. It was late and I was tired enough that I didn't want to start on it last night. We spread it out and kept the air on it all night so the corn wouldn't spoil.

I got up this morning and started. I shucked the corn, silked the corn, washed the corn, cut the corn off the cob and put it in the oven to cook enough to go in the freezer.

There is a soup pot full of corn on the cob to go in the freezer also. I got tired of cutting corn off the cobs so I broke some of the ears in half to put up on the cob.

The corn is cooling. I will put it in bags in a little while. Then it will go into the freezer.

This is the first of any vegetable that we have gotten to freeze this summer. But from the looks of our garden this won't be the last of the busy days.

William went to Mom's and Dub's this morning to dig potatoes. He brought a plastic tub almost full of new potatoes. I think I will can some of them. They would be good in soups and stews this winter.

I don't mind busy days. When I think of what we are getting accomplished it gives me a feeling of satisfaction. I know that if "stuff hits the fan" we will not go hungry. Neither will our children.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dinner, Anyone?

The fixings for our veggie dinner tonight. We grew the cucumbers, squash, beans and peppers. The onion, cabbage and potatoes came from my stepfather's garden. All fresh vegetables served with homemade bread. Can't get any better than this.

One of the reasons I love gardening:

Monday, June 15, 2009

Everyone has their time!

This is going to be short and sweet today. I have a confession to make. William and I have been gardening for thirteen or fourteen years. We are pretty good gardeners...at least I think we are.

Yesterday I wrote about the butternut squash plants that came up volunteer....WELL....I checked them out closely late yesterday afternoon. They NOT butternut squash. Are you ready for this? They are burpless cucumbers. How do I know? There's a cucumber growing where a butternut squash should have been. At least where I thought a butternut squash would be.

Just goes to show me. I don't know everything and I should never take William's word for it.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Feeding A Garden So It Can Feed Me And Other Stuff

We gave the garden its bi-weekly feeding this morning. We soaked the ground with the tea and poured it over some of the leaves.

I noticed that the green beans are blooming profusely along with the butter beans. William said he found some tiny hulls on the butter beans. YUM!

The squash have loads of blooms as noted in a previous post. There's not many squash on the vines as of yet.

Yesterday I found a baby cucumber. When there are tiny cukes one day there will be cukes ready for eating in a couple of days or they will be too large for anything. I will check the cucumbers again in the morning and hope that there will be some ready to eat for lunch.

I have to thin the okra. Some hills have three or four plants in them. That will keep the okra from growing like it should. I will thin them down to one or two stalks in each hill. I may need to give it a little beating. The plants aren't growing as sturdy as I would like. The beating will make them start growing. Yep, it works. I've done it before and the okra shot up overnight.

There are some butternut squash plants that came up volunteer. William has a trellis for one of them to run up. The other one is on the north end of the garden. We gave them some food this morning too. If they do as well as the one plant we had last year we will harvest all the butternut squash that we can use from these two plants.

The tomatoes have a good many small tomatoes on them. Not as many as in years gone by but we will be planting more tomatoes this coming week for late harvest. This way we should have all the tomatoes that we can use until frost hits us.

The peppers are looking a little better. The leaves are greening up a bit.
I will pick the peppers late this afternoon.

The field peas are growing. They soon will be blooming also. We will have to watch them for mold if we keep getting rain of any measure and watch them for lice if it turns dry on us.

As for other stuff: William put one of the Barred Rock hens in a coop with eight eggs. She was trying to set on a nest where the other hens were laying. Now she has her own nest with her own eggs to hatch, I hope.

One of the ducks has started setting on about a dozen eggs or so William says there's a dozen under her. If she hatches any of these eggs the ducklings will go to a brooder. I'll be danged if I'm having ducklings hatched just to feed raccoons or snakes or whatever ate the last eight that hatched about a month ago.

William is building a covered pen for the young chicks that I bought the last of March. He is closing up an open shed and then dividing it so we can seperate the Buttercups from the Americana/auracanas (Easter Eggers).

This has nothing to do with gardening or raising animals. Just a note of appreciation to the man who knew nothing about growing anything when we began our homesteading venture. William sees what needs to be done and quietly goes about getting it done. Thanks Honey. Think I'll keep you! I hope for a LONG time.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Blueberries....Blueberry Pie?

NOT! We transplanted three blueberry bushes earlier this spring. They have reached around two feet tall but have clusters of blueberries on them.

The three blueberry bushes all in one hole just as Felder instructed. That's the blueberries in front of the walkway.

The nurseryman we bought the bushes from told us that we would have blueberries this year. Look what I picked this morning. A whole handful of blueberries!

A closer view shows that I picked some unripe ones too.

Not enough for a pie but enough for a little snack. There's more on the bushes that aren't ripe. If they had all gotten ripe at the same time we could have had a small blueberry pie or cobbler.

William can have a little snack later on. I just want a taste for the time being.
I'll wait until we have enough for the pie.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

First Peppers Of The Summer

I took a stroll through the garden this afternoon hoping to find some more "Big" squash to go with the ONE that I have in the refrigerator waiting to be cooked. No squash but I did find some peppers.

I gathered the jalapeno, sweet banana and cayenne peppers. The sweet bell doesn't look like it's going to make it!

Anyway, I cook a pork tenderloin that had been massaged with a Memphis-Style dry rub and then doused it with homemade barbecue sauce (Memphis-Style of course) and oven baked fries. I piled the meat on wheat buns then topped that off with fresh homemade cole slaw (cabbage from Step-Father's garden). Piled some fries on the side along with a jalapeno and a cayenne pepper.

I have noticed in years past that the first peppers are tender without much heat. WELLLL...not these two. The cayenne was purt near warm but that danged jalapeno threw the roof of my mouth into spasms. No Joke! That pod of pepper was about the hottest pepper that I have ever put in my mouth.

But...I ate it. Every little bit of it right down to the stem. After the spasms died away the roof of my mouth, my tongue and every part of my mouth welcomed that wonderful, hot jalapeno.

Now before you call the men with the white jackets to come take me away I must tell you that I don't consider summer "arrived" until I eat a jalapeno from my garden that is so hot that it makes me cry. Now you can call those guys with the white jackets to come take me away but be sure to tell them that I want to go where there's jalapenos.

My first peppers of the summer.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Lone "BIG" Squash

William came into the kitchen this afternoon and told me that he had picked a "big" squash. I checked the squash out expecting it to be at least twelve inches long. Not quite. Not even six inches long. Maybe, four inches at most.

The "BIG" squash

While it's not as large as he made it out to be we can collect two or three more "big" squash and have them for dinner one night.

Now if he'd just find some "big" green beans to go with those "big" squash I would be a happy cook/wife/gardener.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Squash Are Blooming And Other Pretty Blossoms

I took a little walk around the yard today with camera in hand, of course! William had just finished hoeing the peas and okra again so I stopped by the garden to take a little peek.

The squash are a very pale green but I have never seen so many blooms on our squash since we started gardening. Not all blossoms have squash but there are a lot of baby squash on that row of plants.

I can't decide how to use these little delicacies first. Should I cook them with butter and onion loaded down with fresh cracked pepper or should I slice some of them to add to a salad or should I slice them and dip them in ranch dressing. Maybe, I should do all three and make a meal from squash. That's sounds like a winner to me.

Picture of squash plant with blooms:

Imagine a twenty-five foot row of plants just like this one. We should have some squash to preserve this summer.

Two more gladioli are blooming. One is a cheerful yellow and the other is a deep red-purple. Sure I made pictures of these also.

The yellow gladiola has two stalks twisted together.

This is such a showy color. Most of the colors in my flower garden are pastels. There's only a few deeper colors which makes this gladiola special to me along with being given to me by Jason.

Several years ago I planted some Calla Lily Bulb/corms/whatever. It's been so long that I don't remember what I planted. The foliage came up each year but never bloomed until this year. So far there are two of the plants blooming. Notice the varigated foliage on the plants. Callas are some of my favorite plants. I was thrilled to see this blossom.


A Burgundy Canna with the sunlight hitting it just right. This is in what William calls the "holding pen". This is where we put plants that we don't have time to find another place to set them when we first receive them. This canna is going in my little hideway that William is going to help me build.


Last but certainly not least is a Althea/Rose Of Sharon that is supposed to be a bush but has grown into a slim tree. It's covered in beautiful purple blossoms.


I love to walk in my yard. While it's not manicured as some fancy yards are it's mine and it changes daily. So each morning or late afternoon stroll through the yard is an entirely different trip for me.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Pots and Pans Pantry Started

William is removing the cabinets beside the stove. This is where the cabinet for all those pots and pans hanging against the walls and the canisters cluttering the counter tops will go.

Someday soon I will have the counter tops clear. I, then, can work without having to move "stuff" out of my way. Soon, I hope. It was almost three years before I got the food pantry finished. However, William didn't start on the pantry until six months ago. LOL

I am going to sand and refinish the cabinets by painting them a bright white. They will be put in my sewing/computer room for storing fabrics.

As we take each cabinet off the wall I want to refinish it and put it up in "my" room. I will have plenty of storage for all my fabrics and for computer supplies.

There's a closet in "my" room that we are going to install shelves in giving me more storage area.

I will make and post pictures once he gets the cabinets down and gets started on the pots pantry. It's a mess in there at the moment and I would just as soon not have permanent evidence of the mess he's made for me.

One day, we will have this house just the way "I" want it. O' Happy Day! Someday!

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Lazy Day Here At Hunny Bunny Haven

I have been lazier than usual today. I made the bed, folded a load of clothes, dried the dish towels, washed the dishes and cooked a concotion for dinner. Other than than I have done absolutely nothing.

I have days, usually once a week, where I just don't want to do anything constructive. Destructive either. I sit around drinking coffee and noshing on everything I can find that will stand still long enough for me to eat it.

This morning when I awoke I knew today was one of those days.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Rainy, Rainy Thursday

A couple of days ago we put rabbit manure tea around all the veggies. We had gotten everything hoed and dirt pulled up around the veggies. This afternoon we got a good rain. I'm hoping that the rain will soak the manure tea in around the roots of the vegetables and they will start to produce. I'm getting ready for fresh tomatoes, okra, butter beans and cucumbers. Not to mention some fresh green beans and squash will be good, too.

The water was standing in between the rows for a while. Since it's been hot this week it didn't take long for the water to soak into the ground. I didn't make pictures of the water standing this time. I figure that a couple of pictures on a couple different days people will get the idea.

But I did make some pictures of some flowers a day or two ago that I'd love to share.

I hope you enjoy walking through our yard with me.

Beautiful pink zinnia that came up volunteer in the greens patch:


A daylily growing by William's goldfish pond


The yellow canna brightens up a shady area


This purple leafed plum has been cut down to the ground time and again. It's determined to live so I think we should let it be. It's burgundy leaves are beautiful in the shady backyard.


The elephant ears get as big as a wash tub before summer ends.

A couple of North Carolina Cherokee rose blossoms. This rose has some serious thorns.

Last is a single bloom from one of the gardenia bushes. These blooms smell heavenly.


Thank you for taking a stroll in our backyard. It's been a pleasure.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It's Finally Finished!

The pantry that is...Well, to be truthful it's almost finished. We still have to paint the doors and stain the sides and front.

Even so, I have moved the food items into the new pantry. I am so happy to finally have a pantry where I can put any canned goods that I am able to put up each summer.

William is checking the cabinet that has to be removed before starting on the pantry for the pots and pans. I will be happy to get this built also. It will give me much more counter space with which to work.

A picture of the pantry:

We have room to build more storage if we find we need it. We plan to put shelves up for our dishes and can build a storage cabinet under it if we need it.

That's all for the day.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Then And Now : Up-date on Chicks And More...

We got our new chicks on March 31st this year. They have feathered out and have been moved from the brooder to the chicken tractor. The roos are beginning to look like roos so we can tell the pullets from the roosters. The Easter Eggers are different colors. Some of them look like the Buttercup pullets then some are black speckled but all the Easter Eggs roos are whitish.

March 31st at a day old
The baby chicks

Today at two months old:

The pullets should start laying around five months old. I hope they won't wait until next spring like our Barred Rocks did. We had the Barred Rocks for a year before we got any benefits from them.

We have to build two pens so as to keep the breeds seperate. I would like to raise some of each breed next spring.

We had twenty Barred Rock hens. Only one showed any interest in being friendly. I call her Henny Penny. She follows me around the pasture when I go out to visit with the animals.

Today I went to the pasture gate and Henny came running. She even posed to have her picture taken. Doesn't she look cute?

Miss Henny Penny Barredrock

I'm thinking Henny Penny came to that gate because she wanted to hear the latest gossip about the new young chicks that have moved into the chicken tractor just across the fence from her. She has that look on her face, don't you think?

I found these Blackeyed Susans growning on the west side of the yard. They sure brighten up that dark corner. Don't you agree?


We did give the veggies a good drink of manure tea this morning. Some of the plants aren't looking too good. I think all the rain and then hot and dry is telling on the plants. We have more rain forecast for Wednesday through Friday. Maybe we will get a good shower without standing water in the between the rows. I can only hope.

That's about it for today.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Gardener

William went outside early this morning and begin hoeing the peas and okra. He pulled dirt up around the plants and put out some composted chicken manure around the tomatoes and peppers.

Pulling grass up!

Getting a little stretch:


This afternoon we moved the pepper plants from where the water was standing to the end of the row. Maybe they will begin to grow now. They had so much rain that the leaves were turning yellow which indicates too much water.

Tomorrow we have to finish getting the weeds and grass removed and put the compost around the plants.

After this I hope we can reap the fruits of our labors.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Update On Garden May 28, '09

We have had lots and lots of rain in the last couple of weeks that kept us from working in out garden.


Today was a nice, sunny day so William did finish sticking the green beans.


We still have to stick the butter beans that were supposed to be bunch beans.


The squash and cucumbers are growing. The way they look we should have some blooms on them before long. UMMMMM....fresh cukes! I can't wait for a cucumber sandwich.


The tomatoes are blooming. Another "I can't wait for" sandwich. Some of the tomatoes aren't growing because so much water has washed down through the garden.


William and I talked today and decided that if our garden doesn't do well this year we will go back to raised beds. We had raised beds for years before we decided to go to the traditional row garden. We will need a tiller if we continue with the rows but can use that money to make the raised beds.

When we had raised beds we had one that was four feet by twenty feet where we planted our green beans. We had eight (I think I'm right) raised beds. We grew a lot of food in those beds.

We never had to plow and had very few weeds come up in the beds. Since we've had so much rain, the weeds and grass are taking over our this year's garden.

Fortunately, we are predicted to have four days of sunshine. Maybe, we can get the grass out and fed to the chickens this week.

I have one more picture. This one is of my sweet, tired husband. He was worn out and I caught him resting. :)


This is all that is going on with the garden at this time. I still have some more planting to do. Maybe, that will get done while the sun is shining, too.

A note about the baby ducks: Some varmint got all eight of the babies. Nary a one was left. This happened while I was staying with Mom at the hospital. It broke my heart. The ducklings were so cute!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I couldn't wait....I had to go check on the baby ducklings this morning. One of the little ducklings was away from the rest down between a 2"X4" and some wire. It was trying to get out of its prison so being the superheroine that I am I went in to save the baby.

OUCH!!! Two mommas came after me and so did the poppa. I backed out (as quickly as these old legs would take me) then got an old refrigerator shelf for a shield.

I went back in using the shield to keep the ducks away from me. I reached in and picked up the baby, moved it back to the nest then watched as little duckie went right back to the hole. Silly goose...uh I mean duckling.

I finally got the baby out and it stayed in the nest. But...this wasn't accomplished without injury on my part. One of the mommas got hold of the pinkie on my right hand. OUCH!!! I didn't know ducks could hurt like that. Learned a lesson today. One I won't forget.

I have to explain to those babies that they need to stay close to momma 'cause a big chicken snake is still loose out there somewhere!

By the way, I couldn't count them...Yeah?...No!...but there were a bunch of babies in the nests this morning. Good job momma ducks.

Last spring we had momma ducks set on eggs and hatch nine ducklings. We could walk in the pen and pick up the babies. The mommas quacked but no attacks. The ducks we have this spring are in attack mode. Big Time!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Finally Hatching

The baby ducklings are finally hatching. Hubby set the ducks and didn't tell me so I didn't know how to count the days. So far this afternoon, we only have two. I'm hoping that in the morning we will have several more.

There's just nothing as cute as new ducklings. This one was walking around spreading his wings like he was grown.

I'm not sure if this breed will lay more eggs or not. I hope they do. I would like to incubate some of the eggs.

The ducks are Buff Orphingtons. We have two ducks and a drake.

We also have Matilda. Matilda is a Jumbo Pekin. She is a pet. We let her roam around and don't expect anything from her.

Picture of proud poppa and the mommas. The baby is standing at the end of the duck's beak.


Friday, May 8, 2009


This morning while I was hanging out clothes I noticed the ducks were louder than usual. I finished with the clothes, gave the young chicks some fresh water then I checked on the ducks. They were in the corner of the pen with the two ducks quacking loudly and the drake making his own noise. I looked to see what was going on in there but couldn't see anything that would be so upsetting UNTIL....I looked to the left side where the nests are. There it was....a huge chicken snake laying in the ducks' nest.

The snake was laying on the eggs as if he was incubating them. I went to get a hoe but by the time I had gotten back the snake had settled down where I couldn't get a good swing at him.

So being the brave woman I am, I called William. He came home, got his gun and went on a snake hunt. The snake had completely disappeared. We hunted all around the pens and couldn't find it.

Before I called William I had called Mom to see if Dub was at home. Of course not, he had gone to town to do several errands.

After William left going back to school, Mom called to see if the snake was still in the ducks' pen. I explained what happened and she told me "Don't worry. He'll be back and this time he'll have his wife with him." Yikes!!!!

I know that snakes are beneficial as they catch mice and other rodents. BUT...they also eat duck eggs that are almost ready to hatch. If I have to choose between having mice or duck eggs guess which one I am going to choose. You got it! I will go with the mice because we have a way of doing away with them ourselves and the ducks only lay so many eggs each spring.

I want ducklings!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Garden AKA The Mudhole

I went out after the pouring rain this morning to check on the garden. Water is standing between the rows. Some of the rows have water almost to the top of the row. We have what southerners (and I am one) call a mudhole with more rain on the way. William and I will have to figure out a way to drain the water from between the rows. If we don't we will have plants drowning out from all the water.

The grass and weeds are growing faster than the vegetable plants. If it's a few days before I can get in the garden to weed, we will have more weeds than veggies.

I did see that the cucumbers have come up. There are two hills that hasn't come up yet. All the squash have come on up and are growing. As have the butter beans. Some beans are still sprouting.

No sign of the green beans or peas that were planted last Saturday. It's only been four days though so these seed should start showing their little heads in a few more days. The okra will take close to two weeks before popping its head through the soil.

The tomatoes look healthy and are growing. The pepper are doing well also.

Back to the cucumbers. The seeds that I planted were packaged for the year 2004. They had been stored in the seed box which is an old cheese box. I am pleased with the germination rate on these five years old seeds. They were slower germinating than the newer seeds.

From now on, I won't be in such a rush to throw away seeds that the package says is out of date. I will at least try the seeds. If they don't come up then I can replant with new seeds. If they do come up, I've saved some money.

I hear thunder in the distance and it looks like night time outside. More RAIN is on the way. I don't want to think what the garden will look like after this storm blows through.

This is the rows where we planted peas last Saturday


Row with tomatoes on the south end.


Rows of squash, cucumbers and butterbeans.