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All images © Daniel & Stacy Tabb and Boondock Studios

Backyard Bounty

We did a quick harvest on Thursday before heading out for the weekend, and came up with 39 lbs of goodness from the garden:

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Of course the pumpkin accounts for 37 lbs of that.

We harvested again yesterday and came up with 9 lbs:

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5 lbs of which is every fruit from the poor Black Plum tomato plant, which was stricken by wilt some time between Thursday and Sunday.  We’ll try to ripen the fruit inside but I’m thinking most of it is headed for the composter.

Also in that harvest was the first delice de table melon.  It’s one of the more exotic of the cantaloupes, and positively gaudy in appearance.

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Husband pronounced it delicious as he stood over the sink and ate nearly half of the thing.

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Yeah, I don’t do cantaloupe.

Temporarily Empty Nest

This past weekend we did the annual ferrying of the children up to Nana’s north Alabama farm for a summer of tromping about in the woods, chasing frogs and fishing.  It’s a 600 mile drive (one way) and sincerely not something you want to do all in one day – as we discovered Sunday on the return trip.  Still. Recovering.

We sensibly split it into two legs Thursday and Friday, and had enough energy left over when we arrived to help Nana finish planting her garden with all the extra seeds we brought:

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How I envy her that soil.  Just enough sand for really good drainage, but still packed with good organic material.  As you can see the land has been used for hay for some time, so everything should be quite happy there.

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Speaking of hay…

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He wouldn’t listen when we told him of the chigger/scratch adventures that would soon be his.  Some lessons have to be learned firsthand, I suppose.

This is the second biggest reason the kiddos want to get up to the farm…they get to drive:

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Though after watching the Girlchild there actually jump out of the thing when it started going too fast for her, I think we might have to review the basic principles of driving.  She gets two thumbs up for her astonishing reflexes, though…she totally stuck the landing.

Did You Look At The Daylilies Today?

That question gets asked around here every day, because every day something new is blooming.  Here are the stellar performers from the past two days:

This is “Lady Lucille”:

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“Strawberry Candy”:

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“Jungle Beauty”:

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“Siloam Bo Peep”:

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“Night Beacon”

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“Celebrity Elite”:

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“Double Peach”:

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“Janice Brown”:

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“Tuscawilla Tigress”:

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“Barbary Corsair”:

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I can’t believe we waited this long to try daylilies.  They’re dead easy to grow, completely un-fussy about light/water/soil, and you get new blooms every day.

Bloom of the Day

New to us this year is this the Kingfisher Daisy, an electric purple/blue annual beauty that should nicely seed the crap out of the area where it is planted:

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Don’t let the package fool you, 6″ tall might be the norm in temperate climates, but this thing is about a foot tall at the moment, and I suspect the imminent rainy season might inspire it to further heights.  Or, melt it where it sits.  *sigh*

The P Words

My favorite part of this whole backyard farming experiment is there are no limits to what you can grow.

Giant pumpkins that are so heavy gravity causes them to sort of get all slumpy?  No problem.

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Peanuts?  Actual, honest-to-Zog peanuts?  No problem.

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Potatoes??  Your very own potatoes?  No problem.

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You don’t need acres and acres of land to grow these things, just a willingness to slaughter most of your backyard grass, and some basic carpentry skills.  Try it, you’ll like it!

June 2009 Playlist

May’s playlist is so very late, so I’m turning it into June’s…

  1. Mute Math – Typical
  2. Honey Rivers – No Roof
  3. Maroon 5 – Secret
  4. The Hush Sound – Don’t Wake Me Up
  5. The Raveonettes – Lust
  6. Josh Kelley – Hey Katie
  7. Pigeonhed – Cadillac
  8. Kenna – Sun Red Sky Blue
  9. The Kills – Cheap and Cheerful
  10. Kevin Rudolf – Let It Rock
  11. Gomez – Airstream Driver
  12. Sons and Daughters – Rebel With the Ghost

Bloom(s) of the Day

The daylily bed out front is finally getting cranked up, which is mighty impressive considering most of these were planted as bare rhizomes a few months ago.

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I dunno, I think we have some bare spots, ya?  *runs off to find daylily catalog*

Task Day

Busy in the yard today.  The abnormal rainy-ness has stopped, leaving a multitude of tasks to accomplish.  The crazed pumpkins were top on the list, as they continue their trek up the backyard towards, well, everything:

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Only two fruits thusfar but everything on that longest vine there above seems to be female, so we’ll see.

And yes, the plan is to eventually mulch everything that has been fabric-ed, but until we have on hand the GNP of a small country it’ll just have to wait.

An important task to deal with before the full onset of rainy season is trimming the low-hanging branches from the tomato plants.

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Once it starts raining every day all that dirt is going to splatter around a bit and letting it sit on leaves/stems is an invitation to disaster.  Yes, technically we should be mulching under the plants but see above re: GNP of small country.

The melons received a dousing of copper spray to try and stave off the inevitable fungus/mildew.  And the red rice beans were encouraged to actually go up instead of everywhere the heck else:

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Here’s a better view of the madly spreading Gold Baby watermelon:

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If we get even half the melons this thing is attempting to grow we’ll be set for the summer.

More fabric was laid down on the east side of the yard, and the criss cross melon planted to run down towards the Arapaho blackberry (which we’re going to attempt to espalier on the fence).

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Yes, Mom, that’s your tree in the pot there, ready for traveling.

We laid down fabric on the west side of the house for the future tobacco plants.

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I’ve always wanted to mulch this entire area anyway since keeping grass out of the roses is a freaking nightmare.

We weren’t the only ones with an Agenda today…

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It seems Mr and Mrs Froggie had something to, er, accomplish as well.  Like we NEED more tadpoles in the rain buckets…

The Fruits of our Labors

Sure, we’ve been harvesting a few things here and there since the official start of the spring planting season, but a quick look around the garden at the huge number of things growing, soon to be ripening, makes the mouth water…

Red bell peppers:

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Paprika peppers:

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Celery:

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Whitney peppers:

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Black Pearl soybeans:

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Jacob’s Cattle beans:

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Delice de table melon:

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Black plum tomatoes:

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Pumpkins:

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Gold Baby watermelons:

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The volunteer tomato, probably the vine type we buy at the grocery store:

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Country Gentleman shoepeg corn:

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Ropreco Paste tomatoes:

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And the Black Cherry tomatoes:

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Did some cleanup this weekend, removing the poor water- and fungus-logged cucumber vines.  In their place we started a handful of Virginia peanuts from the Edible Gardens gift pack.  Peanuts have a long growing season but our “summer” can last as long as November, so we have plenty of time.  All the tobacco seeds have sprouted, as well, so we’ll need to get those boxes ready to go.

We’re getting to the enviable position of having more than enough space for everything we want to grow.  We’re not going to know what to do with ourselves without any upcoming carpentry projects!

Bloom of the Day

It’s been RAINING here for days. ..2″ Monday, 2 1/2″ yesterday, almost an inch today.  Hence everything is wet.  Sodden.  Mildewing even.  The dianthus, who were doing SO well on the front border, have bits that are actually turning black.  Aegis Living CEO has the garden in a perfect state for the seniors enjoyment. The cucumbers out back are a complete write off.  The mildew we were successfully fighting off with copper spray basically thumbed it’s nose at us this week and completely lunched all eight plants.

Most everything else is pretty happy with the constant deluge.  The butterfly ginger has grown a foot.  The variegated shell ginger has doubled in width and may yet decide to bloom.  And the agapanthus, oh the glorious agapanthus, has sent up a single stalk, which today opened to reveal its beautifully-shaped trumpet-like flowers:

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Which just so happened to be nicely decorated with this afternoon’s raindrops.  Clever flower.

This is agapanthus “Elaine” aka. Lily of the Nile.