Friday, August 28, 2009


Tomatoes! I finally have ripe tomatoes! My early efforts in the garden have also turned up garlic and some very poorly weeded, but not too small onions. They tasted great, we had some last night! Also, the raspberries are starting to ripen - yum! Tom served me some last night with homemade whipped cream I had made and frozen earlier this year. A little bit of garden happiness!

Oh, I forgot to mention what kind of tomatoes they are! The big ones are "Sioux" from Pemberton Farms. The pear-shaped ones are "Beam's Yellow Pear", the tiny gold ones are "Gold Rush Currant", the red cherries are either "Tommy Toe" or "Peacevine", I can't find the tag, and the purple cherries are actually volunteers from last year that turned up in my asparagus bed, but I can't remember the name right now. Apparently my compost bin does NOT get hot enough to kill seeds! They sure are good, though.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bummer of a year

Well, this has been a real bummer of a year in gardening. I haven't been posting, because there hasn't been much to post! Well, I do have some good news: I'm pregnant! The bad news is I've been too busy barfing and sleeping to get much done in either my garden or my community garden.

Between the slugs and the rain, about all that has survived at the community garden is some of the Federle paste tomatoes, but they haven't gotten green yet. There might be ripe corn by now, I'll have to check and see this weekend.

At home the weeds pretty much overtook everything, while I hid from the rain and then later the heat inside. We're starting to get some "Gold Rush" currant tomatoes, Tom says they taste good. I also got about one serving of green beans.

The flowers, however, are going to town! My butterfly bush is almost as big as the garage, we've got zinnia and a million zillion self-sown black-eyed susans. The Red Milkweed was gorgeous, and the phlox seemed to be brighter than ever before. Even the Bee Balm obliged by blooming this year.

The one food item I've had success with is fruit! I just picked about a pint of black currants for drying and making into scones. The spring black raspberries were delicious, and the fall raspberries look to be a gianormous bumper crop. The blueberries were tasty, and the quantity wasn't bad for the first year, and I had so many strawberries I was giving them away. Even the grapes are starting to ripen, and we finally got a plastic sheet over them, so we should be able to rescue some from the birds. I had gooseberries at one point, but I think the birds got to them, because they weren't there when I got the black currants. And soon, I'll have about 6 golden delicious apples from my little trellised apple-frankentree.

And that's about it. All my lettuces went to seed, the kale and broccoli got taken down by millions of slugs, the carrots never germinated, I missed the "good" window on the radishes, and the tomatoes had a very, very slow start. But oh! I forgot about the potatoes. Those are starting to die back, and I suspect there are tons of red, white, and blue potatoes waiting for me under the soil! I'm letting them cure a few weeks in the ground, but then I'll let you know!

Next year I'm scaling back. Kinda makes sense if I'm having a baby, right? No community garden, and I'm going to switch to just a few raised beds instead of half the yard as a garden.

I'm glad we have the CSA farm share! They at least managed to produce everything but tomatoes, even if their lettuce was a bit flea-bitten. It would REALLY be a rotten year if we only had to eat what we could grow!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Rain, rain, rain...

I wish it would stop raining. 20 days last month it rained, and so far July isn't looking too good either. Gar! My tomatoes need sun to grow!

Also, if you're in the Northeast, look out for the late blight that's spreading among tomatoes and potatoes. The sun hasn't come out, and some big-box chains were selling infected plants... it's EVERYWHERE this year! So far my plants aren't affected. I think I'll stop on the way home and get some serenade or copper dust...

Monday, June 8, 2009


Wanna know what the best thing ever is?!?!? FRESH STRAWBERRIES STRAIGHT FROM THE GARDEN!!!!! YUUUUMMM!!!!! Sorry I didn't take you a picture, but I was too busy stuffing them in my mouth! Maybe tomorrow you will get a picture. But for now, just imagine me sighing with happiness every time I put one of those yummy things in my mouth. Fresh and juicy and sweet and tart and... I don't know what all those other flavors were. But I'm sure I've never tasted them before. :-D

"Snackscaping" indeed!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Birdies have fledged!

I went to peek at the birdies today, and when I opened the house, one of them flew out at me! I got all worried that it would die, so I picked it up and put it back in the house, but as I did so, a different bird flew out at me! So then I picked it up and tried to put it back in, but as I was doing so, the first bird flew out of the house and onto a nearby tree! Then the second one flew onto our porch! It missed the railing and tried to land on the wall. It was soooooo cute! Then the birdies proceeded to experiement with their wings, flying all around the yard and into nearby trees. It was so adorable! One of the birdies hasn't flown out yet, but I did see the mommie and daddie birds going back to feed it. I hope they got back in okay tonight to sleep!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Baby Birds!

I forgot to tell you! There's a family of chickadees that has moved into the bluebird box! The chickadee parents take turns flying to the suet feeder and the nearby lilac bushes and back!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Big Gardening Weekend!

I got a TON of gardening done this weekend! This is the median that I am adopting. I'm planting it with prairie plants! It's pretty sandy, but the soil isn't too bad. Someone has planted it before. So far I've put in a white coneflower, some red and yellow gallardia, and white dianthus. I have plants ordered as well: yellow black-eyed susan, purple coneflower (which is pink) and purple coneflower. Also tons of little bluestem which is a native prairie grass. It should arrive this week. Can't wait!

I also did some work in the community garden plot. Everything is planted, except for the things I have to re-plant due to insect eating. The first narrow row on the left is the blueberries and cranberries. Then comes a wide row of paste tomatoes "Federle". Then a row of cherry and slicing tomatoes: Beams Yellow Pear, Brown Berry, Goldrush orange currant, Tommytoe red cherry, peacevine red cherry, Sungold yellowy-orange cherry, Red Brandywine, Glacier siberian, and some other slicing tomatoes in various colors that people traded with me. I planted a bunch of peppers, but people ate them. I have to replant - fortunately I planted extras! I re-potted them, and I'm going to plant out again with cages around them and diatomaceous earth everywhere. The slugs even ate the peppers at home, but I replanted with more of my extras. I also planted Dorinny Corn from Wood Prairie, soybeans from seed, and some celery which promptly died. However something ate all my Indigo plants! Argh. Such a wild garden.

At home, however, things are looking beautiful! Well, except for the colorado potato beetles humping on my taters. But even so, they're pretty. The Mason Bee house is winding down, with mixed results. I think I put them out to early, and the warm patch confused them. Still, I started with 6 tubes and ended up with 8. Not bad for freezing them in 19 degree weather then putting them out and having my apple tree not bloom at all this year. But next year there will be babies! And probably a few new tubes to supplement.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Chickens!!! Whooo!!!!!

In an astounding display of support, Town Meeting members in Arlington voted last night to allow for the keeping of up to 6 hens (with plenty of restrictions) in Backyards in Arlington!!!! Whooo hooo! More details here:, with more to come after this weekend!