Sunday, June 5, 2011


The rain has cleared and it's warm and sunny.  The warm, wet weather has brought my flowers out in spades.  Including some flowers that I don't really want to see. 


My spring veggies are going to seed.  Bummer.  They were so tasty, I wish they would stick around a little longer.

But all is not lost.  Those flowers produce seeds, and those seeds will grow a new crop of cool season veggies in the fall. 

Chinese broccoli with seed pods

I only wish I'd managed to get a radish to eat.  They never did set a good root.  Actually, I've never gotten them to set in the spring.  They do wonderfully in the fall, though. And the flowers are quite pretty.

Radish Flowers

But not as pretty as the arugula.  I love the purple streaks through the petals.

Arugula flowers

Everything in this bed came from George of From Seed To Scrumptious.  I named it "George's Garden".  Those dandelions were almost too beautiful to eat, but they were also too delicious to leave alone!

Who says a veggie garden can't be pretty? 

I do see some blooms that are welcome in my veggie garden, though.

Tomato Flowers!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Finally!  My roses are putting on a show.

"Midnight Blue'

Ignore the weeds, I haven't finished the rose beds yet.  I plan on adding more roses, and then doing a final "reveal... like all those fancy shows on HGTV have.

'Marmalade Skies'


Blogger has been giving me fits this past week.  I'm having trouble leaving comments on other's blogs and even posting on my own.  I think most people are having these issues, too.  Hopefully it will be resolved soon!

Friday, May 27, 2011


Brown Marmorated Stinkbug

I hate stinkbugs.  I really, really hate them.  I loathe them with an all consuming passion that defies logic and sense.

It wasn't always this way.  When I first started noticing them last year I was fairly indifferent.  I had heard that the East Coast was facing a plague of the things, but it didn't really seem so bad.  They didn't seem to be doing much damage.  They just had an obnoxious tendency to be places they shouldn't be.  Then, upon being disturbed, they would release their stink.  Annoying, but not really harmful.  Little did I know.....

It started innocently enough.  I was on the tractor, minding my own business.  It was a warm, sunny day.  I had a nice cold beer.  I was riding my tractor.  I had not a care in the world.  And then I was assaulted.

One of those horrid little bugs flew down my pants

I did what anyone would do in such a dire situation:  I screamed like a little girl and started leaping around and flailing in an attempt to get rid of the stinkbug.  The stinkbug, obviously offended by my histrionics, released its stink.  So, now I had a stinkbug in my pants and I smelled like stinkbug.  Oh, and I wasn't driving the tractor.

Tractors have very sensitive steering.  They also don't necessarily stop just because you take your foot off the gas pedal.  Luckily, tractors are also very slow.  As I flailed and leaped, the tractor careened about like a drunken turtle. 

I eventually managed to remove the stinkbug and regain control of the tractor.  Then I looked around to make sure no one had witnessed that spectacle.  I can only imagine what an innocent bystander would have thought: "What's up with that lunatic on the tractor?  Does she have rabies or something?"

My hatred of the Brown Marmorated Stinkbug was cemented that day.  I have since learned that they also destroy crops and are a real threat to local agriculture.  I've also heard that they have no predators here.  My chickens and ducks won't touch them.  Even my cat, a bug connoisseur, turns his nose up at them.  I have however, discovered one animal that eats them:

Got Stinkbugs?

That's Tex, my Texas cichlid (creative name, huh?).  Not only does he gobble up stinkbugs with glee, but he is also an American native.  Unfortunately, his species is not native to the Northeastern U.S.  Texas cichlids (Herichthys cyanoguttatus) range from Northeastern Mexico to central Texas, which doesn't really help with the current stinkbug problem in colder climes.  Unless you just so happen to have a Texas cichlid in an aquarium in your kitchen.  If you do, you can round up all the stinkbugs you find and feed them to your Texas cichlid.  It probably doesn't really make much of a dent in the overwhelming plague of stinkbugs, but it sure does make me giddy to watch Tex inhale those nasty critters!

Join the Farmgirl and Farm Friend Friday Blog Hop!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Zucchini Lives On

You may remember my post about the monster zucchini I grew last year.  It was a thing of beauty.  Until recently it lived on the windowsill in the sunroom.  Unfortunately, I forgot to close the windows in one of the many storms we've gotten recently, and my prized zucchini got wet.  And then it started to rot.  Poor Zucchini.

R.I.P. , Dear Zucchini.  You will be missed...

I took it outside, but since it was raining I only put it next to the house rather than taking it all the way to the compost pile.  Then I promptly forgot about it.  Until today, that is.  I happened to be on that side of the house and look what I found:

The Zucchini lives!

I planted it in the garden.  We'll see what happens.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Anticipation Is Killing Me....

It's been raining here for a week.  No sun at all, just gray and wet.  But this afternoon the sun finally broke through the clouds!  And what did I see?

'Marmalade Skies'
My roses are getting ready to bloom!

'Midnight Blue'

I can't wait!


Friday, May 20, 2011


It's been raining for days.  Days.  Everything is muddy.  And, when you live with hooved mammals, you get a special kind of super-sucky mud.  My horses weigh about 1200 pounds.  All that weight is balanced on pointy, sharp hooves that are only about 6 inches in diameter.  That pretty much makes horses the most efficient rototillers ever.  The churning of those little hooves makes the mud around here really, really deep.

Very Large Rototiller

The other important thing to know about horses is that they poop every 2-3 hours.  And, in a cruel evolutionary joke, they lack the opposable thumbs necessary to clean up after themselves.  So, that leaves it up to me to clean up.  Luckily, I have a handy-dandy dump cart to help me.  It hooks up to the lawn mower like so:

With my handy-dandy dump cart and lawn mower I can zip around the pastures and clean up with no problems.  Unless its muddy.  Lawn mowers hate mud.  Especially deep, sticky, hoof churned mud.  Do you see where this is going?  I wish I had.....

I was very skillfully maneuvering my lawn mower through the mud, being careful to stay in areas where it wasn't too deep.  I thought I was very clever.  But, as my cart got more full, it got heavier.  As the cart got heavier, the mower sank lower into the mud.  Eventually, the inevitable happened... I got stuck.  I rocked the mower, I crammed straw beneath the tires, I kicked it and yelled obscenities (didn't help get it unstuck, but made me feel better).  Nothing was working.  I was stuck.

Enter our hero:

I would have to pull the mower out of the mud with the tractor (I probably should have been using the tractor instead of the lawn mower in the first place, but I digress...).  The problem:  the only place to hook the straps to pull out the lawn mower is the back bumper.  The back bumper that had a dump cart full of horse manure attached to it.  I would have to take the dump cart off and move it to get the lawn mower unstuck.  Do you know how heavy a dump cart full of poop is?  I do.

As I struggled with the dump cart in the slick mud, I wondered to myself "How long before I manage to injure myself doing this?".  Not long.  Pretty much as soon as the thought was finished, I slipped and went face first into the back of the lawn mower.  To add insult to injury, as I fell I tripped the dump mechanism on the cart.  All the manure I had diligently picked up was now right back on the ground.  I surveyed the scene:  The mower was still stuck, the cart was also now stuck, there was poop everywhere, I was covered in mud (I hope it was mud) and rapidly developing a nice shiner on my eye.  At this point, I did what any sane person would do:  I went back to the house and made myself a margarita.

Invigorated by tequila and lime, I was able to scoop up the manure, move the cart, hook up the mower and pull it free.   From now on I think I will avoid using the lawn mower in the mud.

Next project: teaching the horses to clean up after themselves!

Join the Farmgirl and Farm Friend Friday Blog Hop!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Where Have I Been?

'Rutgers' Tomato

In my garden, of course!

Carrots and Lettuces

Spring is an insanely busy time around here.  Horse pastures need seeding:

Add caption

Veggies need planting:

Snow Peas Blooming

 Mulch needs spreading:

Mt. Mulch

And weeds need... "relocating":

Weeds!  Argh!

This spring has been warm and wet, perfect for growing plants, and a weed is just "a plant out of place". Unfortunately, I've got way too many "plants out of place".  Probably because the mulch hasn't been spread yet.  I guess I'd better get out there..... Mt. Mulch isn't going to spread itself!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...