Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Oh Deer(s)...

Finally caught a glimpse of the deers that have been feasting on our perennials and raspberry plants.
Spoted them the other morning in the neighbors back yard.  Pictured is the mother deer. She only had one baby in tow this year.  Last year she had twins.  I was unable to get a picture of the baby, as it was bolting and zig-zagging all over the place and not standing still at all.  It was still spotted, so I'm guessing not too old and fun to watch.  However, the mother noticed me immediately, as you can see in the above picture, and quickly turned and ran into the woods with the baby following closely behind.
I'm sure we'll see them again and as long as they stay in the neighbors yard and eat their perennials we'll be good.

Eggplant - Violette di Firenze

Back in September of 2011 I placed an online seed order from a company called Seven Acre Seeds.
At the time I was after a different Garlic to plant and selected their hard-neck German White Garlic and what a winner that turned out to be!
Anyway, as a bonus with that order, Seven Acre Seeds, included several free packages of seeds to try.  For the life of me I can not recall what they all were except for this awesome eggplant, which is called "Violette di Firenze".  This is an heirloom variety from Italy and touted as one of the best tasting eggplants.
This was our first eggplant ever grown and harvested here at the ole homestead.  Also, and I will toot my own horn here, these plants were started indoor and as you can tell, transplanted successfully!
There are more on the way and we'll let you know how tasty these dudes are!

Tomato Canning 2012

JoAnne completed the first batch of tomato canning of the season on Friday!
So, (3) 5-gallon buckets of luscious tomato's made:
21 Quarts
24 Pints

Monday, August 27, 2012

Prankster In The Hen House

Looks like we have a joke-ster in the hen house!
One of the lady's thinks it funny to lay a bantam sized egg instead of the x-large egg they're supposed to be laying.
At the price feed I for one do not see the humor in this little prank.  They better shape up of they'll be shipped out!

Yummy Corn 2012

Here's our first mess of Silver Queen corn on the cob of 2012!
These were picked from already started plants that JoAnne bought at mark down from WalMart.  My to my surprise the plants transplanted and have done quite well.
Sadly, these dudes were not as tasty as they look.  They should have been picked a week or so earlier.
There's more coming along from seeds we planted so we have more locally grown, tasty corn to look forward to.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

What Time Is It?!

I can't hear you!
One more time, WHAT TIME IS IT?!
That's right, it's tomato canning time!!
The wife has her work cut for her for sure.  I just picked (3) heaping 5-gallon buckets full of beautiful, juicy tomatoes, yummy!  With plenty more on their way too.  She has the day off of work (her regular job) tomorrow but will still be working even harder here in the ole kitchen.
Of course I'm not doing all the work, at least not on the cooking side rather on the planting side, but I can honestly say it's well worth all the hard work and oh so delicious too!!

Find The Critter

Can you find the critter in the above picture?!
You're looking for a Green leafhopper...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Vines Are Taking Over!

In keeping with the theme of seeds I started indoors this Spring, here are our Butternut squash plants.  I don't remember how many seeds I planted but (4) grew, which I transplanted outside when the weather was right.  Today, they're taking over this section of lawn but this was to be expected and fine with me, less grass to cut on a weekly basis.

In this jumble of creeping vines are a couple gourd plants, see first picture above.  I transplanted these plants out of the compost pile. They're last year's Halloween decorations that we composted and they reappeared in the Spring for another run at Halloween 2012.

From what I can tell, it looks like there are oodles and oodles of both butternut squash and gourds.  They're simply too massed together to be able to get in there for an accurate count. But that's fine and adds to the harvesting surprise come fall.

Now if I could just keep the vines from climbing the fence and the nearby shrub that would be nice.

They're Called "Teddy Bear" Sunflowers

What do you think of these little beauties?!  Cool ain't they!

They're called "Teddy Bear" sunflowers.

The plants themselves are short, can't be more than 3' high.  However, I'm not sure if this is to be expected or perhaps a results of, (a) being started in doors and/or (b) the crazy, wacky Spring weather we had.

In any event I love em!  They're unique looking and add some pizazz to the garden.  They also contrast well to the "Mammoth" sunflowers that Emilie and I planted.  Those dudes are well over 7' tall - pictures to follow soon.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

It's Hibiscus Blooming Time, 2012

Our lone hibiscus plant is in the midst of blooming!

The flowers are absolutely beautiful, just wish they lasted longer.

Anyway, where there is a hibiscus plant the dreaded hibiscus sawfly isn't too far behind, see top picture above.  It's been that way ever since we first planted ours several years ago.  I visit the plant daily and squish the sawfly worms, which seem endless.  They do a number eating the leaves, see above, and this example of an eaten leaf is not too bad.

Fortunately, the sawfly doesn't seem too bright or fast.  I'm able to catch them with relative ease and squish them.  Now the potatoe beatle is sneaky and fast, they're harder to catch.  But in the end, they all squish the same, which is well worth it as long as the plants can reap the benefits.

Mmmm A Berry Good Time!


Our thornless black raspberry plants are rewarding us with nice plump, juicy and delicious berries!

We have only (2) plants, which I transplanted several years ago from my folks house, but they've finally taken hold and doing quite well despite the hot humid weather.  These beauties came direct from a famous Tennessean by the name of Faber, Joe Faber.  He's known for his green thumb and rumor has it he's quite the fisherman too!

Hope I can parlay these two plants into about a dozen more.  In the meantime, we'll enjoy the berries we get today.  Bring on the vanilla ice cream!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Miscellaneous Attic Toys

Miscellaneous Vintage toys:
(from left to right)

Playskool Jumbo Beads - pre 1964
Gem Color Company Magic Wood - 1957
Wm Knox Gismo the Construction Set - 1960
Whitman Krazy Ikes - 1964
Haslam 32-Piece Chess Men - pre 1964

Spot The Critter

Can you spot the critter in the above photo?

If not, here's a close up of the dude.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Cluck Cluck Cluck Cluck Cluck Cluck Cluck Cluck

Despite the heat and humidity the ladies are happy and content these days and continue to supply us with 4 to 6 eggs each day.

I do have to say that these girls are some of the noisiest chickens I've ever owned.  They're extremely boisterous and proud when they lay their eggs and carry on something aweful and equally so when it comes to visiting and inquisitive critters, i.e. a local cat that comes around occasionally.

Perhaps, they're competing with the neighbor's dogs to see who can be the most obnoxious and annoying.  Sadly, the dogs win that contest in a landslide.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Flower Managerie 2012

Gotta love when the flowers are flowering!

The bees and butterflies and insects galore are enamored with them too!

Zinnia Sampling 2012

I'm on a flower posting kick...

We have a bunch of planters that we filled with various annuals this past Spring and all are looking great!  Even with the hot and humid weather we've been having, these potted plants get special attention and watered almost daily.

As a thank you they're rewarding us with outstanding blooms!  Here are several of the Zinnias!

Daylily Sampling 2012

Here's a sampling of just a few of the many daylillies we have scattered throughout our yard.

Unfortunately, these beauties don't last too long, but while they're around they impress!

My favorite is the double orange!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Move Over!

Four nest boxes to choose from but these two ladies prefer to share the same one.  Actually, it's strange how most of the eggs, from our six hens, are laid in this same nest box.  Almost never in the bottom two nests, weird.

In the end it doesn't matter to me which nest box the eggs are laid in, so long as the girls continue to lay them.  You just can NOT beat (no pun intended) fresh, just laid eggs, yummy!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

World of Family Fun Bingo

1971 vintage World of Family Fun Bingo game by Hasbro

Play Ball!

Just wanted to provide proof that this years garlic is in fact the size of an official baseball!

And it's delicious too!