Strawberry Babies

The tractor just needs it’s driver to start skimming off this area for a strawberry patch.

The strawberries that the landscapers planted early this summer really spread. So I potted the babies for transplanting.

Still attached by a runner.

We hosted an hOUR Economy work party and potluck. About half a dozen people showed up to help us prep the bed and plant the strawberries.

The chicken wire will protect them from the chickens and the deer. It didn’t take long for weeds to sprout!

The Summer of Fruit

Another sweet watermelon

Zinnias in the kitchen garden

purple hulled cowpeas

The pollinators love this Sedum in the front bed.

Little Tansy flowers.

Dried cowpeas

We even harvested a ripe fig this afternoon. We need to move this bush. It doesn’t get enough sun. Just have to figure out where to put it. It will be interesting to see if we get more than just these two figs. The others are still very small and green.

I think fruit has done so well this year because we did not have a late freeze in the spring. They’ve had a long stretch of warm weather. That is coming to an end. The last two nights have been in the 40’s. Very cool for this time of year.

A Cool August

Catching up with the photos on my phone. We’ve had unseasonably cool weather. I’ve been wearing flannel!

We were excited to harvest our first watermelon a couple of weeks ago.

It wasn’t quite ripe. It was okay and will ask our neighbor about how to determine ripeness. We got the seeds for these Crimson Sweets from him a couple of years ago.

I bought this geranium from Elk Run Farm – a vendor at our Saturday Farmers Market. I think it is called apple blossom.

This is our first cantaloupe. We thought we were late harvesting it since the bugs had already gotten to it. We’ve found that the bugs are a good determination of ripeness. We’ve harvested others that have a strong scent but when we cut into them they aren’t quite ripe.

A Melon Petit Gris de Rennes – a sugar-sweet French favorite! We just have to be diligent and get them at peak ripeness before the bugs do!

Saving seeds – the cantaloupes (actually I think they are technically muskmelons though I’m not sure of the difference) and the large brown seeds are from bitter melons.

I love this African Violet. I was admiring the way the sun hit it a few mornings ago.

Our rain garden during a heavy rain.

Our harvest from yesterday. Lots of bitter melon. No one but me seems to go for it. More muskmelons, Doe Hill peppers (a small, yellow, sweet variety), green beans and apples. I made an apple pie and apples sauce earlier in the week and these went to Doris, our neighbor. She says she peels, slices and freezes them to use in the winter time.

Bitter melon on the vine.

The Staunton Historical Foundation holds noontime walking tours the first Friday of the month. Usually we are in the historical section of our downtown but today we went to Montgomery Hall Park which is about 4 minutes from our house. We took a hike in the woods during the rain. This is a wall from a bank barn. The barn burned down in a blaze many decades ago. The hike was led by an archaeologist. It was very interesting and fun to go tramping in the damp woods.

Just a pretty view.

 

Pear Harvest

Last nights harvest. Those are 13 bitter melons in the background.

We picked a pear a few days ago and let it ripen on the kitchen counter. Juiciest and tastiest pear I’ve ever eaten.

We went out and harvested what Dave could reach.

Two Weeks in the Barn Garden

July 4 – Naughty Marietta Marigolds and Scarlet Runner Beans

July 18

July 4

July 18

July 4 – Onions (far left), leeks to the right of the onions. We harvested the leeks last week and have slowly been harvesting the onions as they fall.

July 18

July 18 – a candy onion

July 4

July 18 – a different angle of the tomatoes. The leaves are yellowing and we are starting to get fruit.

July 4 – sweet potatoes and butternut squash, okra (back left)

July 18 – the sweet potato are starting to spread into the okra

July 4 – pole beans on the right and bitter melon on the left

July 18 – again a different angle. Bitter melon in the front and purple pole beans in the back. We are starting to get beans – they are like green beans.

July 18 – This is the purple pole bean blossom.

July 4 – blue corn (back left), watermelon and cantaloupe (inter-planted front) and pole beans (back center).

July 18

July 18 – a cantaloupe blossom

July 18 – I saw a lot of little watermelons like this

July 18 – and then I spied this! See the melon behind the leaves. Unfortunately, I didn’t focus on the melon. Need to work on that. The melon would fit comfortably in my hand. This is exciting. Last year all our watermelon plants died young.

July 18 – Our lone surviving strawberry plant from last year. Something was eating the strawberries so we covered it with chicken wire. We’ve had a couple of very sweet berries. They are an ever-bearing variety so we should continue to get berries through the summer.

Early Morning Beauty

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I looked out the front door first thing this morning and noticed the beauty of the fog and snatches of sunlight peaking through.

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I headed to the barn which requires going through the back yard.

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The black raspberries are starting to ripen.

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Looking from the back yard toward Doris and Nelson’s

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The spring house.

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The back yard.

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Heading to the barn.

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My favorite tree.

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Emmylou and her 10! chicks were going after the feed with gusto. Birthing is a lot of work for all!

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On my way back to the house and my cup of green tea.

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I had to stop and take a photo of this hen. I actually took about a dozen. It was like she was posing for me.

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Same hen from the other direction.

Evening in the Barn Garden

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The onions appear to be doing well.

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One of the elderberry bushes.

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Not many blueberries on our bushes. We need to look into why that is.

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A butternut squash seedling.

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I think this is an okra seedling. At least that is what I remember taking a photo of.  Somehow this doesn’t look like what I remember. Will have to check tomorrow. I think we need more sun and heat for these to really take off. Same for the sweet potatoes. June 1 (June already!) – yes, the above is a beautiful little okra seedling – can’t wait to eat some freshly harvested okra sauteed in lard with some freshly harvested onion.

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Our volunteer marigolds. I’ve never had them volunteer before. I’m thinking it is due to the very mild winter we just had. Or maybe it was seed from a special plant. We’ve been growing and saving seed from a french heirloom variety (Naughty Marietta) for a few years now.

Chickens on the Loose

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I was having my tea this morning on the porch and thought I heard some peeping. I looked over and saw the mama hens and chicks in the bed by the driveway. I ran to get my camera and followed them around. At the same time making sure they didn’t go down the driveway to the road.

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Our biggest berry harvest yet.