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almost wordless week – pic heavy

June 24, 2010

Trace has been diagnosed with Deep Pant Thrombosis…I am dreading his dreads.  Scissors first, and then maybe a light brushing.  His pants have been a cause for alarm since he got into Della’s molasses jar, the two dogs polished off a quart, Melvin politely threw up in the house, but Trace had a little more gastric distress than that…and we were already a little anxious about the spring delicacy for dogs – Calf Poo Shoe, (sounds like Chinese take-out doesn’t it?) when they added molasses to the mix, that even got my cast iron stomach churning a little.

After the first trim, several more to go.  Sigh.

Despite all that here are a few misc. garden pics.  The ground is a little rough, but I couldn’t wait.
Onions and garlic to the left awaiting weeding.

A little Jericho lettuce for the rabbits.

The “new” garden.  To the left rye and vetch in the fallow half.  Freshly tilled in the middle for ??, spuds on the right.

There is a potato under there, trying to break through the crust.

Squash and pumpkins for transplanting.  I prefer to direct seed, but that wasn’t going to happen this year.  I am direct seeding my summer squash and cucumbers tonight, by this date it would have been my second succession of those crops.  This year it is the first!

Cucurbits – planted.

The cover crop is good for shade.  Melvin’s first job when we brought him home was helping plant garlic.  Ten years later he is still always in the garden moving along as we work.  Trace could care less about the garden until the carrots are ripe.

Rye and vetch.

Two little girls napping under the Gravenstein.

Nap’s over!

Harris Model parsnip, started 2008, seed saved 2009, seed planted 2010.  Geez, it takes a long time to save seed…

And the best?  Warm nights in the garden.  It has been the first one this year.

37 Comments leave one →
  1. Peggy permalink
    June 24, 2010 1:47 pm

    I am singing the praises of Jericho lettuce in my container garden! We’re well into the 100 degree day, 80 degree night and Jericho is the only leafy green still upright.

    • June 24, 2010 2:37 pm

      Peggy, it’s a good one that is for sure! I don’t normally water my garden so lettuce has to be able to take the heat!

      • June 26, 2010 4:19 am

        Really? Lettuce that actually takes the heat? I get beautiful lettuce all winter long but ripe tomatoes and lettuce at the same time? I didn’t think it was possible. I’ll have to check that variety out and see how well it does in Texas. I wouldn’t even mind watering it!

  2. June 24, 2010 2:35 pm

    We had a very comfortble evening in the garden, too, once the sun went down a bit (it reached 80 in Tenino yesterday, too hot for me!).

    • June 24, 2010 2:39 pm

      Amy, it was too hot here too – such a drastic change for us webfooters 🙂 But gee the evenings sure feel good. We worked and hauled cattle today – I wish it had been a little cooler for that!

  3. cbean permalink
    June 24, 2010 5:54 pm

    Thanks for posting all those lovely pics.

    From someone who enjoys the beauty and vitality of your farm vicariously.


  4. June 24, 2010 6:08 pm

    Poor Trace 😦

    The nap time’s over picture is too precious!!

  5. June 24, 2010 6:46 pm

    Goodness this is so late for you to be planting your garden…I’ve never heard of this even up in BC! Hopefully you’ll have a beautiful summer with a nice long mild fall. We can dream can’t we! Here in Kansas it’s been near 100 for a couple of weeks…the poor gardens are suffering. They just cut the wheat around us and have done a planting of something else. Have fun planting your garden…looking forward to seeing pictures as it grows. Have a wonderful weekend….Maura 🙂

    • June 25, 2010 6:38 am

      Maura, it IS late, my goodness, but sometimes we get a nice dry fall, so it may work out fine. The soil is still very cool, so sometimes the calendar doesn’t make any difference – the seeds would have rotted anyway, or potatoes may have gotten blight. We’ll just have to deal with the weather – and be thankful it isn’t like Kansas – my that is hot! Stay cool and comfortable 🙂

  6. June 24, 2010 7:42 pm

    So what are you going to do to catch up vegetable stores coming from your garden? Plant a bigger area? Put more in the greenhouse/brooder? ….go to the grocery store?

    I ask because this year’s garden is my first real garden (last’s year’s was more toe dabbling than anything) and I’m still trying to learn what to plant to have enough coming out of the yard to last us a year.

    today I harvested my first home grown cabbage, and I’m trying hard not to be stupidly proud of it.

    • June 25, 2010 6:48 am

      Paula, I think we’ll be OK…famous last words. I actually cut back on the garden size this year. I am not saving any biennial seeds this year, so that frees up some space, and we are just finishing up the last of the potatoes and squash from last year. Now maybe I’ll really use every last thing in the freezer. I have a tendency to over-preserve and then when the garden comes on, I go on a binge of freezer cleaning and pig feeding! This year the pigs won’t get to help much I guess…

      I was surprised we hardly touched any of the corn I put up, and not many dried beans either. So I only planted a little corn for fresh eating and no dried beans this year at all. I gave up a long time ago trying to have the first anything vegetable-wise. I hate the competition, it just sets people up for disappointment. I would rather just plug away and wait for conditions to be right. I planted more last night and was surprised how cool the soil still is. If I had planted earlier, I would have just been frustrated that my seeds rotted. I think we will have a bang-up fall and winter garden though – and this is my normal planting time for that – so at least that is on “schedule.”

      You should be proud of your cabbage – gardening on any scale is hard work, and the pay off takes awhile – Congratulations!

  7. June 25, 2010 4:11 am

    Glad you were finally able to plant your garden. Reading through your old post and now this post it seems that you and me do things the same way, seed saving/adapting, larger spacing of plant , not watering as much if not a all.
    I am working on saving carrot seed this past 2 gardens seasons which is just the same as parsnips, so far every thing is going well right now their blooming. It is nice to learn all this as there is no guaranty that we will always have seed companies to buy seed from.

    • June 25, 2010 6:51 am

      David, that is so true about the seed companies, and it is much better to grow plants that are adapted to your micro-climate anyway. All important steps to being more self-reliant. Congrats on your carrots – I haven’t grown carrot seed yet, when I figure out how to isolate them from the wild carrots, I will add them to my list.

      Off to plant more garden…

      • June 25, 2010 7:17 am

        Oh duh. I just harvested carrot seeds from one plant I let bloom (mostly out of curiosity). It never occurred to me that it might cross with all the wild carrot things we have. We have a gazillion Prairie Bishop’s weed plants pretty much in every nook and corner of the property. They grew as underbrush in the “forested” area and covered the empty lot next door.
        I guess there is no point in keeping the seeds from that carrot!

        • June 25, 2010 9:33 am

          Serendippity, I would go ahead and save the seeds, and see how they grow out. The biggest thing about seed saving that is hard for small gardens is the isolation distances, and an adequate number of plants of certain vegetables so you can maintain a vigorous strain. But, like all things baby steps are the first to a long and successful outcome. At least now you know how the plant behaves the second year, and can decide next year if you want to bother with certain vegetables for seed.

        • June 26, 2010 4:28 am

          I will then. It was mostly to see the blooms anyway. Like you said I don’t have enough plants to do seed saving in a serious way. But since I can’t seem to grow flowers from seed for the life of me, I’ve been letting things like broccoli and herbs flower for the pollinators. I let three types of carrots go to seed and the Danvers bloomed right at the same time as the weeds. The Red Cored Chantenay are just now putting up bloom stalks … a month after the weeds have finished. Fascinating to observe!

        • June 27, 2010 7:05 am

          The carrots I am working with are Danvers too, I find it interesting that they are blooming before the wild carrots (called Queen Ann’s lace by city folks) so I don’t think I’ll have a problem. I also let rutabagas and collard greens go to seed too, I hope they did not cross. If they did I may have a new type of brassica!

  8. June 25, 2010 4:12 am

    Your sense of humor today lifts my spirits. Calf Poo Shoe! 🙂 At least you’re making the best of things. What else can we do? I literally broke down and cried when the chicken dug up my beans & corn for the 3rd time….that just made me look looney! A melt down over a chicken. My FB status the next day was; beans and cuc’s are up, hens in freezer! Here’s to sunshiny days!

    • June 25, 2010 6:54 am

      Crispseptember, I couldn’t help it – the little turds are like boot magnets! Unless of course the dogs find them first 🙂

      Sorry about your beans and corn – chickens are a pain near a garden for sure! I won’t suggest the crow trick of hanging a dead one on a pole in the garden – I don’t think it would work on the chickens anyway… the freezer sounds like a better idea!

  9. June 25, 2010 5:50 am

    Around here our dogs prefer the western version of calf poo shoe……….milk duds 😉

    • June 25, 2010 6:55 am

      Linda, that is a good one! Who knew our dogs were the original greenies – recycling before it was fashionable 😉

  10. June 25, 2010 8:11 pm

    Golly those photos were wonderful to look at. The emerald green of the pasture grass surrounding your freshly-tilled garden is mesmerizing!

    Melvin’s a heart-breaker. Wow, those eyes…

    I’ll have to wait until well into July to plant my second garden bed (need to dig it first), and I figure it’ll work out just fine, give me time to be gone the second half of September to the farm, without leaving a heavy harvest to just go to waste. We have growing weather here all the way to December, most years.

    • June 25, 2010 9:50 pm

      TD, if only you could smell the clover! Walking through the clover while building fence is wonderful. I can imagine how good it must smell to the cows.

      Melvin is a heartbreaker – velcro dog extraordinaire, that one. Even down to the bathroom. Good thing we’re used to Aussies because he is always there. I hate to see him get old.

      I am jealous of your growing season into December – by that time here we are strictly on roots and brassicas. This is shaping up to be a great grass year – hopefully we will get some dry spells for haying… . September will be a great time for buttoning up projects for winter, I suspect your winters there will be much like here. Not too severe but cold and dormant nonetheless.

      • June 27, 2010 7:15 am

        Would this be white sweet clover? I Just made hay out of some and oh the smell! almost like vanilla beans!

  11. June 25, 2010 8:13 pm

    Love your pictures, your haircut dog doesn’t look to pleased*wink* Hey thanks I’ve been trying to figure out what it is I forgotten to plant and then come to your last picture and Voila, it’s parsnips! I have them going to seed, for seed collection but haven’t planted for our Spring crop. YEA I have two rows left, one for carrots and the other for parsnips :o)

    • June 25, 2010 9:43 pm

      Kelle, I usually have the garden planted by now, and it isn’t a rush job, now I am furiously trying to figure out what to plant and what to leave out for the year. We started shipping off beef this week and the chickens are next, just came in from catching them. Nice moonlit night, but still dark enough the chickens were still and quiet. Tomorrow that chore will be done, and back to more planting.

      Trace isn’t too happy with that haircut, but I can imagine that extra fur makes him kind of hot, if only I could convince him of that small fact 🙂

  12. June 25, 2010 11:30 pm

    I’m loving the pics of Trace and Melvin and the two babies! Kaleb has a similar pants-chop. I have to use scissors only, because after trying electric clippers, he made it known in a hurry those are NOT coming near him 🙂 I’ve never heard of Jericho lettuce…shallhave to look it up to see if it’s something we can use down here in these parts. We’re un-gardening this year, but we still have a lot of growing things from all the starts and buckets of stuff from the past few years. Looks like we might make a papaya crop later on if all goes well. The indiscriminate government bulldozers have been doing their thing along this road, so we’re sowing some native seeds and some papaya and calabaza seeds among the plant wreckage to get ’em greened up again.

    • July 2, 2010 9:56 pm

      Robbyn, papaya sounds wonderful – the fruit has suffered this year here with all the rain. Romaines are pretty heat tolerant as a general rule – but I am not sure about your heat…I am a certified wuss you know 🙂 My best heat tolerant lettuces (in a the greenhouse during the summer) are Jericho, Parris Island, Thai Oakleaf, Anuenue, and Simpson Elite. All of them are green, bolt resisitant and stay sweet. Picking often keeps them from wanting to set seed and helps keep the bitterness away. As you can see I know way too much about lettuce production. Sigh.

      I wouldn’t have an arm if I tried electric trimmers. Trace turns into a bearcat when the scissors come near – we have agreed to disagree and it’s raining again, so the chop has remained the chop. I keep telling him he is lucky – Kaleb is dealing with lots more heat and is better behaved when it comes to grooming!

  13. June 26, 2010 10:39 pm

    The stealth cows made me grin although, cringe at the digtrim. I’ve got a similar job to do myself as my Ludo has a “tuftybum” and she’s got a few dreads goin’ on.

    • July 2, 2010 9:49 pm

      Rose, I haven’t finished the digtrim yet, too scary! Both of these guys need a town trim on their pants several times a year – although that hardly ever happens 🙂

  14. July 2, 2010 11:53 am

    Why do you prefer to direct seed rather than plant seedlings?

    • July 2, 2010 9:48 pm

      Michelle, do you mean the cucurbits? They really do better if their roots are not disturbed, and if they can grow where the seed is planted – but that being said, I wouldn’t have any crops this year if I hadn’t started some transplants. I did an experiment once with direct seeding my winter squash and planting transplants. I seeded my squash hills the same day I planted my transplants, and the direct seeded plants over took the transplants within a month, and were more drought tolerant and productive. Convinced me.

  15. July 3, 2010 4:21 am

    Okay, thanks. I was wondering if that was a general comment or not. I do not think I’ll be too good at starting seedlings and would like to direct seed as much as possible.

    I have a quick cow question: is calving in August in my area of the country too awfully bad? Although it’s dry, we still have a lot of grass. Given that she’s due to calf in August, getting her to spring calving may be difficult. I don’t know if I can milk her through or not.

    • July 3, 2010 6:50 am

      Michelle, do you mean milk her through to get her on a spring schedule next year or milk her through now? I may have missed if she is dry or not now for her August calf. August calving isn’t the end of the world, Della had July and August calves for a few years and was OK. The potential problems are drying up a cow on June grass for an August calf, and getting strong heat cycles in the low daylight fall or winter days. But sometimes you just have to go with the flow and deal with the particular cow and her schedule.

      As for the direct seeding, I would say about half my vegetables are transplants, and half direct seeded.

  16. July 7, 2010 1:48 pm

    Another great post! Love seeing the dogs. I hate it when visiting dogs always think they need to eat all the cow poop they can find and the of course….

    Fuzzy has never liked cow poop. YEA!


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