The SUN at last!!

Today we have a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the high 60’s, the first really perfect day in over a week.  It started off cool this morning, only 42 degrees but with the sun shining it has warmed up fast.  Norman went for his walk and I worked on my family tree.  I am writing down the Knight line right now, Leafy Knight was my grandfather Browns, grandmother but her name was one we all heard of often and I have a copy of her family bible which went back for 5 or 6 generations so her line was a must for me to research.  After breakfast Norman went to the garden and finished planting the corn.  Now that whole garden is planted.  When the corn is up to about 4 inches he will thin it to stand a foot apart and plant a bean seed between each stock.  He has to do that for I hate to thin and throw out the small plants that have struggles so to live, if I can’t eat them or transplant them I can’t thin them.   I went into the Hickory Grove and worked at cleaning up the small branches that fell this winter.  Holly and Laura got out the large branches now I will finish cleaning it all up so it is easy to walk through there.  I don’t walk as easily as I used to in the woods so I like to pick up all sticks and cut out all briars and sassafras seedlings and they pop up everywhere.  Photo on 4-21-15 at 1.02 PM #2

Norman pulled the tractor into the grove and I filled it up with sticks so at least in this area it is easy to walk and looks nice.  Now I have about four more cart loads to clean up and that job will be done.  I think tomorrow we will burn.  We have this cart load and four or five others that Norman took to the burn barrels before and all the paper and other burnables that have collected the past three weeks.  We do not take to the land fill anything that will burn as we are too cheap to pay 11 cents a pound to get rid of waste, just burn it and use the ashes to fill in holes in the woods.  Photo on 4-21-15 at 1.05 PM

Here are the potatoes in the lower garden.  They are growing like weeds and do note- no weeds at all.  Taking the time to weed the space good before tilling it helps to keep the weeds out and as the plants get bigger they shade it soil so well the weeds can’t get started. Every day I go and talk to my plants and tell them how pretty they are and as I walk through I stop and pull out any little weeds that try to grow so until the canning starts to take up all my time I can keep the weeds out of the garden.  Photo on 4-21-15 at 1.05 PM #2


The potatoes are on the left of this picture in a L shaped addition to the garden.  This is the rhubarb and beside this is the summer squash planted.  In front you see 7 rows of corn that Norman just finished planting.  In the distance you can see one of the two cucumber cages that are in at tright he ends of that one rows and the rest of the garden beyond that.  Photo on 4-21-15 at 1.06 PM

This is a side view of the garden with the potatoes in the distance and one row of the newly planted corn on the right out of sight. The seven rows you see in front are all planted with beets, spinach, zucchini etc. on the left are the beans, broccoli , onions and cauliflower.Photo on 4-21-15 at 1.06 PM #2

I tried to get a picture of the beans.  These two rows are bush beans and if you look closely you can see a few up already.  They are all coming, the sun is encouraging them to make an appearance.  Photo on 4-21-15 at 1.07 PM

These are the last three rows with cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and onions with peppers are the end of the rows.  Note the tall stakes,  we tie those together to make another fence inside so the deer can’t find a clear space to jump in.  So far it is working.  Photo on 4-21-15 at 1.10 PM #2

I tried to get a picture of the whole garden but as you can see I couldn’t quite make it all fit but it does give you some idea of how big the garden really is.  However until you try weeding the thing you could never believe how big it really is!  In addition to his garden we have the kitchen garden, the butter squash garden, and the sweet potato garden.  We try to keep the vine type plants in their own garden so they don’t crowd out the other plants.  Photo on 4-21-15 at 1.07 PM #2

This is part of the sweet potato bed we put in Sunday.  I used the clippings from Norman’ s hair cuts all winter and put those around the plants and have a mesh netting over the whole garden to try and keep the animals out long enough for the potatoes to get growing. We have tried different things to grow sweet potatoes but have never been able to keep the animals away from them long enough to get anything but a few small potatoes.  Hope this works.  The ground is away from the main garden and is a new bed made from spreading out the compost pile.  It is nice looking dirt so should be good for the plants.

Back up at the house things are growing well.  We have had three small meals of asparagus.  We gave one to Joe and Holly on Sunday.  Joe said he loved asparagus but had never tried any fresh right out of the garden.  I wish we could get a lot growing but we haven’t found the secret yet.  Today we had fried green onions and turnip greens.  This is the second meal of turnip greens we have had and I guess it is the last as now they are thinned out enough to have room to grow properly.  Photo on 4-21-15 at 1.00 PM #2

This is the lettuce and it needs a lot of thinning.  We have had one salad from the thinnings so far and will have more this week.  To the left you can see the spinach coming. Next week that will be ready to thin and we will get a couple good meals from those thinnings.  The beets are a couple weeks away.Photo on 4-21-15 at 1.01 PM

Here is another shot of the kitchen garden and it shows you the green onions and a little of the turnips.  In the back ground are the spinach and the beets.  Photo on 4-21-15 at 1.00 PM

And then just for beauty we have the snow ball bush and the iris in the background.  These are the bearded iris and they are not budded yet.  Photo on 4-21-15 at 1.02 PM

The iris in the Hickory grove are starting to bloom.  They are the purple scented ones and they are much earlier than the yellow Japannesse iris or the bearded iris both of which come later.  Photo on 4-21-15 at 12.59 PM

This is the May flower bush and it is just starting to bloom.  It looks so pretty and smells so heavenly.  I am so glad I finally got one to grow.  Photo on 4-21-15 at 1.01 PM #2

Lastly are the grapes, as you can see they are starting to form.  Can’t tell just yet what size crop it will be.  The blueberry doesn’t look like a very big crop but maybe I will be fooled.  It has happened before and hopefully I am wrong here again.  Have a great day.

About Carol (Ouma) Petts

I am a retired teacher. I have taught all levels from kindergarten through college and have been retired now for over 20 years. The last ten years we have lived on a farm and lived off the land, growing our own food and canning for our extended family. Now we have sold the farm and are moving to Florida to truly retire. I guess I have always had a short attention span as this is our 11th move. We have moved from a small farm in New Hampshire, to more city type living, small business adventures, focusing more on traveling, Florida living, Georgia, and Tennessee farming and now back to Florida. My blog is a way to keep my children up to date on what I am doing and letting them know I am still alive and well. My children are spread across the country from New England to Florida, Nova Scotia to New Mexico and CA and several places between, They let me know what they are up to by commenting on my blog but they are so busy with their own lives most times I have to assume " no news is good news". Now I are starting on a new adventure so will try to give daily updates until we get settled into a routine. Then I know even if I am getting older and should settle down I will start looking for some new and exciting adventure to start. Welcome aboard. Norman died Oct 30, 2017 so I am continuing the journey alone with the aid of my children, grand children and great grand children. At present I am living with my daughter and we are 7 in one house and cover four generations. We range in age from 7 to 85 and are finding common ground, we are living proof that multi generations can live and function in a three bedroom house if they really want to. Soon my grandson will have his house built next door so we all will have a room of their own except for the seven year old twins who by choice will share a room.
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4 Responses to The SUN at last!!

  1. Rosemary Rafuse says:

    John just said the raccoons are going to be happy with all those rows of corn!! Your potatoes look fantastic. The snow has just melted off our garden last week. We have frost almost every night. We have a furnace fire every day all day long!

    • John is right. We do have to share the corn with the raccoons but they do share with us which is better than the deer. When the deer get in they eat all of the green beans but the raccoons take only what they want that night and when they take a ear they eat it all not like the squirrels who will take a bite out of a peach and toss it to the ground and take another so we just have to pick the corn as soon as it is ready, eat what we want and freeze the rest. The potatoes are large enough to take a frost but the green beans are not so I hope the frost the weathermen are taking abut is only light or not at all here on the mountain, otherwise we will be replanting those tomorrow. We have tried covering plants when a late frost comes but it never did any good on such a big garden so we just wait and see. You should be planting some hardy plants soon.

  2. Shanti says:

    Your garden is amazing!! We are still getting 34 degree nights …. And so nothing looks as happy as your plants. Well done!

    • Thank you. I just hope we have not jumped the gun. We are now having a cold front coming through and they are forecasting a frost. It will depend on how cold it gets and for how long the cold lasts. The ice storm we had just before we came home seems to have cut my blueberry crop down a lot. The bushes were all budded and looked like it would be a good crop but now the buds are just the same and only a few are turning into blossoms and setting in berries. I hope they are just late but I doubt it. My legs are feeling good so I remember to wear my shoes each day.

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