Monday, July 9, 2018

Harvest Monday 7/9/18

It's Harvest Monday at Our Happy Acres. Join in on the garden conversation and share your harvest and happenings in the garden!

My daughter wanted homemade potato chips for dinner last week so I told her if she digs them, I'll make them! I didn't get a harvest photo but I got a pic of the finished product. They were yummy. I baked them. I may try to fry them lightly next time.

 Beans, Cucumbers, white currant and cherry tomatoes and berries. Beans and cucumbers have slowed some but are still producing and the cherry tomatoes are picking up.

 Pulled some carrots for dinner. And the first snacking pepper of the season! With more to come!
Basil, parsley, volunteer potatoes from last year, beans, tomatoes, snacking pepper, pitiful pickling cucumbers.
Enough potatoes between yesterday and today to have potatoes for breakfast and dinner! I won't argue with that! 😄 I picked the first Valencia tomato, the smaller orange one. Seems I am having a few tomato surprises in my garden for tomatoes. Don't know if I mislabeled seeds or if I saved them they didn't stay true to the original. I did buy the Valencia plant locally but I thought it read that it was a pink or red plum tomato. Surprised to see orange.

I'm always looking out for opportunities to take some nature photographs and practice with my camera, though I often still find myself using auto settings I am trying to learn some manual settings!

White Borage
 Swallowtail larvae, probably Eastern Black.
 American Goldfinch Male
 3 finches in the sunflowers

We went camping outside of Gatlinburg, Tn this week. On our last day we drove the Cades Cove loop and hiked to Abrams Falls. We saw this deer in the Cades Cove meadows. On our trail, we got all the way out to the falls and it began to thunder storm, heavy soon after our arrival! We had to hike back almost 3 miles in torrential rains with thunder and lightning and 4 kids 8-18 years old. Lots of screaming and one dead waterlogged phone 😐 It was a trip we won't soon forget. We were soaked as much as if we had jumped in the water hole, and the kids did.

Every week I get my farm fresh eggs from my friend who moved further out to the country a couple years ago to start her little farm. Thistle Rock farm. I love to get these eggs from her, the color on the outside and the intense color on the inside and I know exactly what she feeds and does not feed her chickens! Best way to have eggs if you can't have chickens yourself.
If your local, you can find Thistle Rock farm on Facebook. She has eggs but also we got to pick our own turkey out last year. That was lots of fun! I believe in the future she plans to have honey and other things. She has already got her bees. And it is fun to get to go out and explore her little farm any time we want, and wish I had one of my own!

Happy Gardening! Have a productive garden week!
ShawnAnnshomeandgarden Instagram 

Monday, July 2, 2018

A Colorful Harvest 7/2/18

I can't believe it is July! It was a very humid day yesterday with a heat index of 104. Needless to say I waited until the sun was all the way out of the garden before I went out to harvest and I was still drippy! 
It is Harvest Monday over at Our Happy Acres. Join the conversation and share your harvests!

Last week I had a nice 4 lbs of beans trimmed and ready for blanching. This week is shaping up to be similar. I should have a good amount for freezing, and I am happy with that!
 Picked the first harvest of carrots. This is a kaleidoscope mix. We had them roasted for dinner that very night! I love the colors! So bright and beautiful!
 I love the colors of the potatoes as well! I was so happy to find most of these so close to the surface. I could probably dig for more. This was only one small section at the soils surface.
 The first White Currant tomatoes. They are really small, about the size of a Matt's Wild cherry. The full size tomato is suppose to be a Monster Pink. This one is pretty average in size, we'll see what the rest of the season yields from this plant. My daughter ate ALL the tomatoes!
 The zucchini are not producing well. I have pulled one plant of 2 already. Mildew was effecting it quite a bit. No sign of the dreaded squash vine borer, so that is good. I planted new seeds, so maybe a later harvest is in store! I've really been enjoying trying new kinds of Zucchini Boat recipes.

The small tomato in the middle of that pile is the surprise tomato. I don't know what it is. Some sort of red cherry size tomato about an inch in size. So, I thought I was planting a giant variety and I got a tiny variety! 😳 And I guess I missed this pickling has gotten quite large. 😐

 My wildlife sightings that I have enjoyed this week.

A kind of bluebird. If you know what it is please share.
 I've spotted the monarch twice and I am so happy. This is the first year I have attracted the monarch to my garden!
Here he is on a wild onion I let bloom.
 Monarch in the orange cosmos
 This tiny little toad is not much bigger than the sidewalk pebbles. Very hard to see and blends in to the mulch. The last time I had a toad in the garden he always hid in the straw and I never could see him. I accidentally broke his leg but he stayed in my garden all season with a broken leg that never healed. I hope this one does not get under my feet and I am glad he is here!

If you're interested, my garden is now on Instagram

I hope you are having a great week in the garden! And I really enjoy your comments! Thanks for visiting my garden!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Tiny Preview

I counted 8 Blazing Orange Bell Peppers on this plant! That is the most I have ever had on one plant I think. 😊
 I guess these tomatoes will be a surprise. I thought I had planted Great White, but it would never produce this many tomatoes in a set. It's too large of a variety and there are many more than this. So, surprise tomato!
 This is a Brandymaster Pink. There are two large ones right now.
 White Currant tomatoes are getting very close! These are a very tiny tomato similar in size to the Matt's Wild Cherry.
 Lipstick Red Pepper, growing strait up. There are 3 so far.
 Marconi Peppers
 I know this bed is a little full. I had a lot of volunteer flowers pop up and I just love all the colors together with the vegetables so I let them stay. There are peppers and cosmos and chard and beetroot and salvia and more.
Chard and celery
What's growing in your garden?
If you're interested, my garden is now on Instagram

Monday, June 25, 2018

The week of Beans-Harvest Monday 6/25/18

I'm picking beans every day now. I have had 2 full gallon size zipper bags full already!
 Join the conversation (below and at Our Happy Acres) and share your harvests!

I'm still getting cucumbers every day as well. I have had to pawn them off on neighbors and come up with more creative ideas to use them.
 Below are the last of the shelling peas. I pulled both the shelling and the snap peas this week. Too hot and they weren't producing well.
  Lots of raspberries and blueberries are coming in. Gonna have to bribe the kids to help me pick them all. (They are not big helpers, I may need to seek neighbor kids who enjoy it cause they don't have gardens!)
 How do you like my swan cucumber? :) What does it look like to you?

 Trying something different with the cucumbers. Cucumber and cream cheese tea sandwiches. Both the older two loved them, the younger would not even try! I picked some fresh dill for the filling. It was all a bit bland to me so yesterday I cut some green onions to add to it. I haven't tried it just yet so we will see. Next on the list to try is a Cashew Tuna Salad Cucumber bites recipe I found on pinterest!

 Scallions and zucchini were used for taco zucchini boats. The rest of the scallions were used in the cucumber filling above. This was the first tomato. Amazingly it wasn't a cherry size tomato, it was a Cherokee purple. Sadly it had a little bit of end rot, but I used the rest on the taco zucchini boats.
 Beans, beans, more beans! I tried to get my daughter to help as she ate them raw strait out of the garden, but she sat there and barely picked a handful. She couldn't even find any of the green ones!
 Pollinator photos! Just because I love them and love practicing taking photos!
My garden is just full of all kinds of fun flyers. And then some not so fun (Japanese Beetles-grrrrrr) They meet their soapy water demise!

 I had to go after a couple of wasps as they chased the humming birds right out of the garden! 😡They seem to be happily enjoying their nectar and hummingbird sage now!

In Running news, I ran with my Daughter and younger son on Saturday at the Louisville Parkrun. My other son was sick. But my 8 year old and I both beat our own times! This was the third week in a row for me! Yay! And I didn't feel quite as bad as I have been the past several Saturdays. With my MS, the runs and the heat really take it out of me. I'm hoping my body will continue to adjust and I won't throw myself into a relapse.
I gave my 8 year old an incentive to beat his time by 5 minutes ( I had a buy one get one free nintendo game hidden away). He beat his time by 7 minutes and 20 seconds! I knew he could he is just never motivated! Plus one of his XC coaches showed up to be a coarse monitor and cheered us on! That was so great of her!
I hope you're having an amazing Gardening week! 
 Please feel free to leave a comment! I love to hear from you!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Harvest Monday June 18, 2018

It is a hot hot start to our week here in Kentucky Zone 6. So much has been going on in the garden this week! I'll start with the garden harvests.
Oregano, Dill and cucumbers...soooo many cucumbers this week!
Kale, Cilantro, cucumbers and shelling peas, and the first purple bush bean! My daughter ate it raw! She loves them! When she was little she use to steal them off my counter when I wasn't looking.
First raspberries of the season. Since they have been transplanted twice from the old house to church and then this new house they have not been super happy. They look better this year but still not as good as they use too. Maybe next year will be even better.
Chard, cucumbers, peas and berries!
Cucumbers, peas, berries and snap peas. These cucumbers are called Sweet Success and I am quite happy with them. They have resisted the mildew that is taking over the rest of the bed and they are so long! I thought maybe I didn't get them in time but they are mature around 10-12 inches! These 4 snap peas may be the end of those for the season. They will probably get pulled this week and make room for other stuff in the bed that is getting ready to take over!
More Sweet Success cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, zucchini, shelling peas, raspberries and the second purple bush bean, which my daughter also ate!
Cucumber, zucchini and shelling peas.
A large bounty of cucumbers, the first green and yellow bush beans, parsley, zucchini, berries, greens, and shelling peas.
Look at the size of that blueberry! It is a Chandelier. A very large plump but not super productive berry. Productive enough just not as much as the other 4 bushes. This is the first one of the season off that bush. My 8 year old was salivating over it as I was washing everything up!
He told me to put it ON TOP of the quarter! He thinks it's pretty cool too. He devoured that whole pile of berries without sharing in about 2 minutes!
This is what I used up my zucchini with this week! It was so amazingly delicious! Spinach and Artichoke Zucchini Boats. I linked the recipe, check it out! I used some of my chard and leftover spinach in it and I also added gluten free italian bread crumbs to the top! OH MY GOODNESS! AMAZING!!!! You must try it if you have an abundance of zucchini and like spinach and artichoke dip!

On to the wildlife.
In case you missed it, we found a bunny nest in my bush bean bed this week. My daughter went looking for her little turtle in the garden and this is what we found. We started off with 5. I was a little worried about that but nature seems to be taking care of itself, sadly.

On Friday there were 2 left. One died after a rain. It was away from the nest and cold and wet and shivering. I returned it to the nest with the warm cozy ones, but he quickly died. Two disappeared and I don't know what happened to them. They are very young, probably less than 2 weeks. And then one of the last two met with a neighborhood cat.

She is a lovely cat, just doing what cats do. I enjoy her greatly. Here she is keeping close to the nest, hanging out under the sweet potato vines keeping me company while I work in the garden. She's sweet.

This is the last bunny. I am doing what I can to protect it and as soon as I can I will transplant it to a safer place. For now he is hiding quite well up under all the weeds. Bunny's are very cute but super destructive in the garden. I do hope he survives though. (Edited to add: this poor bunny did not make it either. We are sad. We had really hoped to transplant him to the nature preserve :( 
And our swallowtail has emerged this morning. It's wings are still wet and flimsy. He should be ready to go soon!

Can you see the three in the tree? Finches that is! Love them! So pretty and bright in the garden!

This is becoming one of my favorite coneflowers.  Double Scoop Orangeberry. Isn't it lovely? It is even prettier now than when I took this photo. It gets prettier every day! LOVE!

Denver Daisy Rudbeckia

Teddy Bear Sunflower. This one here is not even a foot tall! Super small, but they can get up to 3 feet. Cute, isn't it?

I hope everyone is having a fabulous gardening week! 
Please leave a comment and share with me! I Love the garden talk!
What are you harvesting this week! Share with us at Our Happy Acres!