Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Well, we made it through the winter by painting the inside and dreaming and scheming gardens!
 Ordered seeds from Fedco and Johnnys. Had a huge limb come down into the pond during one storm with no damage to the liner! Notice the poor scary baby after the limb touched down. The good news is that she survived the trauma. So did the pond!

Then there was the 10,000 year storm here in little rhody! We made it through that event unscathed, but many folks were left with huge messes and losses. Clean up and recovery will take some time! We were both very grateful for our good luck. The pic above is the waterfall in Wakefield, RI.

In March after endless chatting and chewing the issue over (years), we decided to have three big trees taken down to make more room for veggie gardens. You can only imagine how relieved the scary baby was to have that big branch removed (below bottom r)!!! We all were. As of this week the pond is finally back to normal, happy with a new filter!!
 Next came the delivery of 16 or so yards of very heavy wet unscreened compost from the master Mike Merner and Earth Care Farm. That was closely followed by the arrival of the master of all trades Ron Poppy and his little earth mover!!! What a relief to have it moved with a piece of equipment. 
Many many more tasks have happened since then, but I am off for a creative weekend and have to pack clothes and get a book on disc for the drive...will return before fall with stories of chickens, fountains, rock moving etc...happy planting!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Here it is November 20th...60 degrees here in southern rhode island and raining like crazy this morning!! I actually went for a walk! We still have roses, petunias and marigolds...am loving it! It so reminds of living on the coast in the Bay Area!! Below is the view from the end of our street...with a salt pond and the ocean at the end of the view!

We are still enjoying beautiful carrots and cooked up our first batch of our black beans!! They were delicious, and I ate them for dayz! The clover cover crop looks beautiful and we are already planning for spring!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Whew, trying to keep up with the fruits of our summer labor is as time consuming as the growing. We have been harvesting our dry beans, beets, wormy pop corn, giant rutabagas (that I don't particularly like and can't seem to give away), basil, and tomatoes and are thrilled with our haul. Squash and pumpkins are still in place. We planted the empty rows with a tender perennial clover.
We've a lot of tomato sauce for the freezer and my favorite is just slow roasted in the oven. I just chopped up the tomatoes added garlic and basil and let it do it's thing. When it is done, you can eat it like ice cream!
Right after Sue's last dip in the ocean, she went right into the pond and started the fall clean out. Still many things on the to do list. I want to re pot some of the plants that have to come inside soon. The pressure is growing for that special job. It seems like I just took them out!!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Midge and I continue to learn about how to garden in Florida.
Our avocado tree is magical.
It continues to hold it's fruit and sometimes when I am relaxing
on the porch I try to count them.
Well, that only lasts a moment and then I am off to think about something else
but I think we still have around 100 fruit.

Our latest recycle reuse project around the house
has been our outside shower.
I don't know why I used the term "our"
because I had little or nothing to do with building it.
I was mainly a consultant.
Midge was the brains and brawn behind the operation.

We..... I mean Midge found the shutters at a yard sale.
We (yes I did help) loaded up the car with shutters
and had the perfect answer for adding privacy to our outside shower.
It has been the wonderful and well used, addition our little compound.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Summer is moving quickly and we have been feeling very behind...this weekend we filled at least four big yard carts with weeds from the front perennial gardens. We have been focusing on our veggie life. What a relief! It was very hot, muggy and mosquitoeee...but it looks beautiful especially if you squint!

Back in the veggie garden, I was inspecting and tying up the tomatoes. My fear of coming face to face with a tomato worm had just been shared with Sue and what did i see but three chubby green creatures munching mid row.

Not only were the tomato hornworms munching our tomato plants, but they were carrying the larvae of the small braconid wasp, Cotesia congregatus.

"Larvae that hatch from wasp eggs laid on the hornworm feed on the inside of the hornworm until the wasp is ready to pupate. The cocoons appear as white projections protruding from the hornworms body (see photo, left). If such projections are observed, the hornworms should be left in the garden to conserve the beneficial parasitoids. The wasps will kill the hornworms when they emerge from the cocoons and will seek out other hornworms to parasitize."
S.J. Wold-Burkness & W.D. Hutchison
Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota

We harvested our garlic this week from our plot at George and Cathy's. It has been drying in the garage on screens and we are planning on cleaning and trimming it today. We also hope to get our onions out of the ground today. They are much smaller than we expected, but we are happy to have them and will also dry them on the screens on the garage.

It the year anniversary of having chickens on the compound. The Washington County Fair is this week and our first little fluff balls came right from the fair. We will be checking it out again this year later in the week!! Although we have a whole new batch we love them! Another girl has gone broodie letting out a shy screech when we look in on her! So much to do and much to enjoy!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

It is a hot Sunday here in Florida.
I can only work in the sun for so long and
then I need to take a dip in the pool and hit the coolness of the inside.
I am torn between the book I am reading or sewing.
So I will change it up and blog instead.

These are fresh sea turtle tracks that Midge found on a morning walk.
She had layed her eggs in the sand and made the long trek across the sand to the sea.

Our home in Florida becomes ours more everyday.
The flora and fauna in our yard becomes more familiar.
I can remember the name of some palm trees.
I am still working on what likes sun or shade. I did figure out the other day that some of the date palms were looking sad because they had too much water.

We have three banana varieties in our yard.
Two are flourishing but one is just hanging on.
I still need to learn what each one is.
But in the mean time we love the
spectacular flower
and we have lots of tiny little green fruit.

I love the little lizards.
Sometimes as I walk through the yard I can see them scampering off here and there
and feel a bit like sleeping beauty with all of her helpful animals running around her.
The older ones are cute enough but the babies are even cuter.
It must be the season for hatching because they are everywhere in all sizes.

We haven't figured out growing our veggies yet but we visited a place in Palm City, MillerMcKenzie.com that specializes in growing your food in your yard.
They were just getting back from a long vacation and weren't ready for customers yet but I was excited to find like minded people here in Florida.

We are enjoying our avocado tree.
It is filled with lots of big green fruit.
It has been fun to watch from the flowers to the fruit
as it is conveniently located next to our porch.
The fruit doesn't ripen quickly on the tree so we can pick them
and use them as we wish.
We have even sent some back to friends and family in RI.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

It is the Solstice and I am trying not to panic because the sun is looping around the other way!
Stay in the moment and enjoy is what wise, calm Cathy reminded us in yoga the other day! The flowers above are from her garden and were being sold at the Farmer's Market on Friday! It was great to have the market in action again!

We have been plugging along in our yard. With so much rain and so much work work, we still have so much to do. Here we are creating another row for veggies. I am happy to say that there are carrots, zucchini, patty pans, little lettuces in that row. The chard and kale that went in the week or so earlier is nothing but tiny sticks without leaves. Our beans aren't much better.

We do have peas and broccoli that need to be picked. It is very windy right now, and the 8ft peas are not happy! But the wind will be turning the wind mill at Cathy and George's and filling that tank right up! We have half of the fence up around the garden at the left and hope to get the rest of it up before some special critter finds it! A frog has moved into the new little pond. With only one sun picture in the 10 day forecast, not sure how all of the gardens are going to fare!

Friday, June 12, 2009

it has been raining and raining...the poor peony's are drenched and drooping...the mosquitoes are having a holiday!!! our seedlings are getting munched!
we have tiny broccoli heads, wonderful lettuce mixes and pea flowers! one of our buffy chickens has been broody for weeks...
farmers market starts next week!!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend!
Sue planted beans...the dry variety at Cathy and George's last week.
We have spent a lot of time this spring moving perennials to make up veggie beds. Always checking the sun movement and wishing we had a couple of grand sitting around to take out a couple of big trees for more backyard veggie sun. In the mean time, we are studying (over and over and over) companion planting and crop rotation! It currently feels like a Rubik's Cube of love and hate between plants!

Yesterday in our home beds, we put in beans, basil with the asparagus, tried to figure out where the tomatoes should go...where to plop the newly purchased grape vines, transplanted my water cress that I have been babying from seed, put in marigolds and petunias, weeded our little plot of carrots and beets, did laundry and munched all day on the rhubarb crisp that Sue whipped up before breakfast!

Yesterday we witnessed a frog fight in the pond. Wow! This big bruiser chomped onto another froggie and after a bit of tumbling and turning in the water, the chomped frog looked pretty dead in the water...but the second that it moved its injured little head Bruiser was on it again and it hasn't been seen since. It would explain the toes up frog spied last week. We had never observed that particular pond event!
The robbins are very busy cleaning up munchies in the lawn

This was a chicken escape plan that was working in the early spring! One of the Buffs has been broody for about a week now. We check on her in her little box position and she continues to purr and fluff up her feathers, and we continue to take the eggs she gathers from her sisters. We have been gently encouraging her to get a snack and a drink every now and then. She just wants to sit. I can so relate to her hormone swings!!

I think that I will go and weed the front perennial bed.
Happy Trails!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

If I don't get to this soon, I will never catch up! So many pictures and stories to report! Am going to try in the next 10 dayz! We are VERY excited about our veggies this year.
New bees coming soon!
One chicken is molting...peas are coming up!
Baby Water Cress above!