Monday, July 10, 2017

Road Trip, Sister Time, Xtreme Weeding and a Lesson in Illogic

(Picture heavy - aren't you shocked???)

Saturday morning, bright and early, I headed to Vermont to meet up with my sister.  We took a road trip to Nashua, NH.  It is a lovely drive, it was a lovely day, and my sister is a lovely traveling companion.  The 3+ hours went by in a flash.  Especially because I wasn't driving...

We stopped in to have brunch with my favorite young family...
Beautiful mother.  Beautiful son.
My nephew was busy cooking and I took the opportunity to snap the beautiful view.  Then my sister took me to some of the hot spots - Marshall's and  her favorite Trader Joe's.  We did some serious damage, but not, surprisingly, to our bank rolls.  I was able to find the elusive TJ's cauliflower GF pizza crusts, so I stocked up.  Then it was a lovely ride back, during which we solved most of the world's problems and laughed hysterically.  I will show you some of my loot in another post - as soon as I figure out what has to go.  You know, the one thing in/one thing out mantra.

I managed to keep forward motion going, so that I was able to drive another 40 minutes home and do evening chores, unload the car, put everything away, pour an adult beverage and collapse in front of a DVD about the Life of Yogananda.  I have been on a documentary binge of late - having watched The Tibetan Book of the Dead (narrated by Leonard Cohen - le sigh - with the worst music ever paired with a movie) and Lawrence of Arabia (documentary) next up.


Sunday morning was glorious, so I skipped the barn baking, fed the farm cats, came home and snapped on my gloves, grabbed my knee pad (sissypants that I am) and headed out to the garden.  Five and a half hours later (with a couple of water breaks), the garden was about 95% weeded and that was good enough for me.  I also picked the last quart of strawberries, cut my garlic scapes and cut the last harvest of rhubarb - more rhubarb juice is needed and rhubarb/ginger jam is on the docket.  As late afternoon arrived, I dragged my weary self in and made a mushroom/onion/cheese/bacon quiche because, you know, eggs.  I find that, if I keep moving, I can carry on a good hour or so after I have decided I cannot take one more step.

While out in the garden, scootching around each bed on my trusty knee pad, I finally had to face the fact that I had kohlrabi and not collards.  I had planted collard seeds, which did not germinate (a problem with many of the seeds this year), so had to buy collard seedlings.  I had, in fact, bought kohlrabi seedlings.  Yet, I persevered in the collard vein, even having stuck the little plant marker (clearly marked KOHLRABI) next to the seedlings as I planted them.  It has now reached the point where I cannot kid myself.  While I had my heart set on collards, I am not adverse to kohlrabi.  Good thing.

Here is a pictorial tour of the garden ala LLF.  Warts and all:

Squash plants are doing well.
Chipmunkanator to the right...

Cukes starting up their trellis.
They've started to flower already.

Poor bean germination

Anyone know what causes the
yellowing of the leaves?  Waxed beans
are more affected than green.

Onions to the left.  Third planting of
beets - such as they are - to the right.
A fourth planting is in order.

Potato row

Peppers, eggplant and volunteer kale

L-R Shallots, garlic and a very
healthy lemon verbena

Basil to the left front; the rest are tomatoes

Kale to the right, collards/kohlrabi
on the left
Zero germination of chard on the far left

Bigify to see the large bulge
at the base of my "collards". 
Herb bed

Three types of sage:
top left: purple
center: pineapple
bottom: regular

Enjoying the tidiness while I can.

Next up:  blueberries and
You will notice a preponderance of purslane in the beds.  I am up to my elbows in purslane and cannot bring myself to pull it out.  Instead, I put it in my salads.  Speaking of which - well, sort of - I had jabbed my hand with a piece of wire fencing and it was bleeding like a son-of-a-gun.  I did not want to stop what I was doing and go all the way into the house for first aid, so I stood outside and looked around, thinking, "What would Kristina do?"  I found some plantain and muddled it up and stuck it on the wound.  The bleeding stopped and I carried on until I was able to get inside to wash and bandage it (using some of my calendula ointment).  Bring on the apocalypse!  I am ready!

Flowers are also gracing the homestead:
I love my bee balm - it looks like the
color was painted on in watercolors

Enjoying the lilies until the deer
discover them

More lilies
The focal point of the pergola, thanks to Joyce of Octoberfarm, is a beautiful mirror chain.  It sends bright spots of sunlight dancing all over the deck, through the door, into the house.  It fascinates the puss, the dogs, and makes me happier every time I see it.  The picture doesn't do it justice, but it is a work of art.
Hummingbird mirror chain
And last, but not least, I leave you with The Yam in his favorite position:
No matter where he is lying, a leg is propped up.


DFW said...

Susan, The gardens look great! Makes my tendonitus flare up even worse, just thinking about all that work. And, I love the mirror chain.

Charade said...

We've started an experiment to keep the deer from the hosta and daylilies (that is supposedly the correct plural form of daylily!)... plant a border, kinda hedge-like, of oregano. So far, the oregano seems to be doing its job, and four or five different kinds of bees are having a very busy summer on the oregano flowers. This is our second year, and the oregano came back just fine. It's spreading in a good way, so I hope I don't have to start "weeding" it out.

Ed said...

Your gardens all look nice.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i'm so glad you like your mirror chain. they are rather magical aren't they? i went out at 3:30 this morning and there were fairies dancing all around thanks to the full moon reflection on the mirrors. it looked like fireflies everywhere! what a garden you have!!! thanks for the tour. my kale did nothing this year. the plants look healthy but i don't think they have grown more than an inch since i planted them. and i have very few tomatoes...go figure!

Susan said...

I will tell you that my lower back was yelling at me all day and night...

Susan said...

Charade, I like that idea - you can't have too much oregano, in my opinion.

Susan said...

Thank you, Ed!

Susan said...

It's amazing how happy those little fairy lights can make you. I'm glad the cat is an indoor cat, though, as I don't think he could resist the hummingbird... Thank you again - I LOVE it!

Theresa said...

Well, the Yam likes to keep his jewels cool, or at least he would if he had them, but he just pretends. Garden looks grand!

Rain said...

Hi Susan! Your garden is amazing!!! My potatoes look like that too :) Joyce is so sweet sending the mirror chain, it really dances around nicely in the sunlight doesn't it? :) The Yam is adorable. :) We're into documentaries lately too. Tonight we're going to watch one that Alex found on You Tube: Alone 180 on Lake Baikal I had to look up Lake Baikal, it's in Siberia. I hope it's a good one!

Florida Farm Girl said...

Your garden looks wonderful! Almost makes me want one -- notice I said almost.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

I really enjoyed this post!! I have just recently looked up "yellowing leaves" and I thought mine were due to overwatering (soooo much rain lately) because the new leaves are nice and green. I have totally given up on beets, and I love beets!! Can't grow them to save my life! Also, I smiled about your kneeling pad. I too possess a lime green kneeling pad. It is very important to my happiness when I am out there weeding (which is easier because the ground is wet, again). I don't think I would know what to do with a collard or a kohlrabi!! -Jenn

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

Loved Yogananda! His autobiography was the 1st spiritual book I ever read when I was 13! He was really fascinating. Garden looks great! How much land do you actively cultivate? And yellowing, might be needing some iron, maybe?

Susan said...

I love your garden, warts included, I have plenty of those.

Michelle said...

I haven't had kohlrabi in YEARS, but I loved it as a kid. I need to go pick some kale leaves and see if there's an itty bitty zucchini to put in my Spicy Thai Noodle Salad we're having for supper. Love that mirror chain!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Feel like sharing that recipe for rhubarb-ginger jam? Sounds like a nice change from the usual rhubarb-strawberry stuff I make!

kymber said...

Susan - your garden is beautiful - thank you for the tour! is the oregano keeping the deer away? i love your beautiful mirror chain - joyce makes some really beautiful gifts!

sending much love! your friend,

Susan said...

Theresa - He is an odd character. Maybe it does help cool him off, as he is a hot potato.

Susan said...

That sounds interesting - I will put it on my list. I just watched a very interesting PBS (via Netflix) documentary on people who had moved out into the hinterlands of Alaska.

Susan said...

FFG, every time you are tempted, just drive around and find a farm stand. Resist.... :)

Susan said...

Jenn, we have had buckets of rain this year. It goes from dry to torrents. I'm surprised anything has grown, let alone flourished. I am so glad to know that we both have kneeling pads. I won't feel so alone. I am still trying to grasp kohlrabis.

Susan said...

I just squint when I run across a wart and it usually takes on a rather lovely, pastel look.

Susan said...

I think I need that Spicy Thai Noodle Salad recipe. It has all my favorites - spice, Asian, noodle, salad!

Susan said...

I'd love to! I will email it to you - I found it on Dinner with Julie.

Susan said...

Joyce is quite amazing. I think she has super powers.

Rain said...

Actually Susan, nix that. We tried to watch it last night. It's basically a little doofus who got funding, a ride to a nice little cabin in the woods, and a car full of food, "vodka and cigars" for his big 6 month "challenging" time of solitude. We turned it off after he lit his first cigar lol...not quite the survival documentary I was expecting!!!

Susan said...

LOL! Try "Braving Alaska" - there is some survival! I find that a lot of the "survival" shows/documentaries just involves a lot of inconvenience and whining. Not necessarily in that order... :)

Rain said...

Lol...I'll try Braving Alaska, thanks! :)

Sandy Livesay said...


Between you and Mama Pea I've received my garden fix for the season. I'm dying for a garden but have no time to work it yet. Next season, I'll have the mean time I'm living through you vicariously. Thank goodness for plantain it works....and you're ready for when the world ends wooohooo!!!

Your sister is gorgeous, so is your nephew enjoy them dearly. Can't wait to see what you purchased on your shopping trip.

Joyce of Octoberfarm is an amazing person, and so talented. The mirror art she sent you looks really nice on your gazebo.

I think the paw sitting on furniture is a security thing, it gives your pup comfort.