Saturday, June 28, 2008

Scavenging @ the ocean...

While we were on vacation, I picked up a few things for the garden! We found a few beautiful pieces of driftwood. One piece used to be a huge stump of a very old tree. I think she'd be happy in her new home. I'm adding her as an end table in one of our sitting areas...just as soon as I can load it into the riding lawnmower trailer. After a bit of deliberation I decided to let it dry out a bit before trying to move it as it is a bit spongy in places around the edges.
Here are some nice, straight pieces of driftwood that I plan to use as edging. They're so organic...much better than plastic edging, which seems a bit jarring in a natural environment.
These flowers are from a plant my Father-In-Law gifted me...he called them "Mexican Petunias." I don't know if that's the real name, but they are amazing! At least 4 feet tall and they can be dug up and divided every year.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Harvest Keeper Challenge!

After checking in on one of my favorite blogs, Brambleberries in the Rain , I was totally turned on to a movement called Harvest Keepers. Check it out for yourselves here! Join the club! We can all use a bit of homecanned produce in our lives! I can taste the blackeyed peas now...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

There is a very good reason...

...that I've been a ba-a-a-a-ad blogger lately. I promise. It has something to do with this:

But I'm back and I'm going to make it up to you., look at this pretty picture!

That beautiful blue candy jar belonged to my grandparents. It's perfect for a single hydrangea bloom. The colors on this one keep me guessing. When I planted it, it had snow white blooms. I expected them to change to pink or blue, but I am delighted with this green. The rust on the tips makes it pop. Love it!

These tomatoes seem frozen in time to me. It's a killer. I go out everyday expecting them to be ripe and this is what I after day. Do they look any different to you?

Remember that ONE pear that was holding on to the tree after the "hit the fraidy hole" Oklahoma storm? Here he is...still hangin' on and growing. Thanks for all the good pear vibes!

The blackberries are shaping up nicely. We'll have a heaping bowlful to harvest this year and next year...well, my hopes are high and I'll leave it at that. No need to count the chickens before they hatch and al that jazz.

Tomorrow I'll post some photos of the stuff I scavenged off the beach! Great garden props! C' you then!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bloomin' Hot!

It's bloomin' hot here in Oklahoma! Despite the heat, I've got some beautiful blooms to share! Remember the sunflower I showed you last week, poised to open? Well, here she is! These sunflowers came from some I dug up on the side of a country road last year! They're only as tall as my waist, and a bit thicker green growth than the seeds I've planted. The only thing better than lovely flowers is FREE lovely flowers! :-D

The cantalope is growing like crazy out in the West garden. At the bottom of the photo you can also see my secret weapon against crappy clay grounds! (Warning...the west garden is rough, but this is it's first year. I do hope that it is a bit more visually appealing next year. Let's be honest, we've got a bit of weeding to do!!)

The cantalope is blooming like crazy. Check out the little yellow flowers:

And here's a photo of the corn we're growing in the west garden. This area could use some serious mulch, which we have, but it's not all spread yet. Hang on, corn!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Long time, no blog....

Wanna know what we did this weekend? We picked up 2 gallons of blackberries at a roadside stand near us then went back home to process all that berry goodness into blackberry jelly. We got 11 jelly jars and 3 pint jars from 2 gallons of berries...not bad!

Cindy over at asked to see some photos of our dolls. My 6-year-old took this photo of her doll laying on her lavender pillow. I think she's got a good eye for photography! Here you go, Cindy:

I managed to snap a quick photo of a few recent strawberries from the garden before we popped them into our mouths! The girls love these fresh out of the garden.

Here's a shot of our homemade mozzarella. Now I know why these photos always feature some yummy tomatoes as well. Mozzarella is not so visually appealing, but it WAS gooood!

Here's a photo of our homegrown potatoes with some of our dill and scallions. Add a tad of olive oil and you're in business!!

Next time I'll post some shots from the garden!! ;-)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Humpday Harvest!!!

Here's the weekly harvest report:

42 Potatoes
8 Onions
2 Bowls of Lavender Buds
Lettuce and Sugar Snap Peas for a Medium Sized Salad

My lettuce is beginning to bolt, so I fear that the heat has been too much for it. I'm considering replanting in my harvested squares, but I'm not sure if it will pay off with 100 degree days becoming more of a norm.

I'm still waiting for the tomatoes, peppers, green beans, and blackeye peas to take off. The cantelope is growing well and the corn also looks good...just beginning to send up tassels.

In other homesteading news, the girls and I used the lavender buds to make sleepytime pillows and two wool felt dolls. It was fun to do together and the girls now have some lavender scented sleep buddies!

We also made mozzarella cheese together! It was so fun and super easy. Check out Mother Earth News for directions. I think we'll be making more cheese in the future.

What did you harvest this week?

Monday, June 9, 2008

It's Raining...It's Pouring

We're getting a good, slow rain of those rains that wakes up a heat weary garden. I'm hoping this will give my veggies a boost.

I took a few photos right off the front porch. Check 'em out:

Another tidbit of good news...I thought my strawberry season was done, but it seems that maybe my strawberries are the everbearing variety. I've got a whole new crop coming up and it seems that these berries are larger and meatier than the last bunch. I shall reissue the slug/rolly polly war to protect these beauties! ;-)

Does anyone know if this is normal with strawberries? I'm curious about the difference in the first harvest and this one. I've added some coffee grounds and mulch to the bed and wonder if it made a difference in the berries...or maybe it's normal to have a stronger second crop??

Friday, June 6, 2008

What's wrong with this picture?

Look closely...

Here, let me help you...

Those are my pears...on the ground. It is indeed a sad day here on the OAH. My dreams of canning up a bunch of pear preserves have been dashed by the crazy, unpredictable nature of Oklahoma weather. For the past two days we've had windiness DUST BOWL windiness. Then, last night, a storm came. One of those "Head for the fraidy hole!" Oklahoma storms.

According to our trusty weatherman, this baby was preceded by 80 mile an hour straightline winds and had tons of rotation inside the storm. All in all, though I am truly mourning the loss of around 20-25 pears, I'm just happy we didn't sustain more property damage than we did (the pear tree and a few pickets off the fence).

The good news? There's one pear left. He must be a determined little bugger! Let's take a moment now to send happy, healthy pear thoughts to this little guy. He won't make a batch of pear preserves, but it's a start.

A bit more good news? Pete (the bunny) will have some yummy treats over the next few days! Have fun, year the pears are all mine!!

(The photographer wishes to apologize for the crappy nature of this photo. Apparently I was focused on the fence behind the actual subject of the bad.)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Humpday Harvest Revisited...

(Two posts in one day? No way!)
As promised...proof that we have blueberries. Well, we HAD blueberries. They. were. yummmmmmmy.

Humpday Harvest!!!

This is the first of a series of blog entries to be published each and every Wednesday (unless I'm on vacation) detailing harvests from the week. (A good idea, no?)

I dig up potatoes as I need them...I'd say we've harvested around 35 potatoes this week.
We've also harvested enough lettuce and snap peas for 4 family sized salads. ( photo...I'll do better I promise!)
Lastly, I ate two delicious blueberries yesterday!! They were so delicious that my resolve to raise my own berries was renewed. I originally planted three blueberry bushes. One did not make it through the nasty, icy winter we had. The other two are so tiny still that I had considered giving up on the great blueberry quest...until yesterday! YUMMY!
(Note: I took a photo of the blueberries, but my camera battery died (DRATS!), so I'll have to post it for you later.)
A bit of exciting news from the West garden...the cantelope are blooming, profusely. I can't wait to sink my teeth into some home grown cantelope! I'll take that over a sticky ol' watermellon anyday! The only problem is that I believe I *may* have overdone my planting. Anyone know how to preserve cantelope??????? :-/