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Speedkin |

Typical Woman Driver

Mad Scientist Hair

Warning:  Awkward mirror self-portrait.

Severe Warning:  Very scary, awkward mirror self-portrait.  Proceed at your own peril.

I’ve been wearing my butt-length hair in braids since the warmer weather has hit.  It helps to contain the madness that is my hair.  Still, with the constant wind & humidity, the shorter bits find a way out.  I mentioned my mad scientist hair on Facebook yesterday and wanted to make good on the threat of a pic so here ya go.


Tomato Geekery

This is my special row of special tomatoes.  Special because these are the ones I want to keep a closer eye on for various reasons.  I took these pics just a few days ago, not long after they were transplanted out.  As already mentioned, they had to sit in their cups for weeks longer than they should have so they were already looking very stressed.  Then, of course, as soon as I had planted them out, it turned wet and chilly again, further adding to their stress.  Now that it’s sunny and warmer, they’re starting to perk up again but the following pics show them at their worst.

These plants from from seed I received from Carolyn.  Many had trouble germinating (some were old seed, some were “cooked”) and I want to watch them for vigor and make sure they come true to type before saving seeds.  This will be a big seed-saving year for me, to make up for recent years.

Burning Spear #1

Burning Spear #2

Fish Lake Oxheart

Ludmilla’s Red Plum #1

Ludmilla’s Red Plum #2

Prue #1

Prue #2

Sara’s Galapagos (in the front yard with the other cherries)

Next up are the four OSU Blues.  As I understand it, these are not yet completely stable so I wanted to keep an eye on these guys as well, to select my favorites.

OSU Blue #1

OSU Blue #2

OSU Blue #3

OSU Blue #4

The following are seven F6 generation plants from a still-segregating line of Brandy Boy hybrid.

Pink Floyd #1

Pink Floyd #2

Pink Floyd #3

Pink Floyd #4

Pink Floyd #5

Pink Floyd #6

Pink Floyd #7

Other updates:  Yesterday was spent mulching the rest of the front yard tomatoes, planting sunflowers between them, and seeding and transplanting more miscellaneous flowers in the front.  And mowing.  Always with the neverending mowing.

You say “excessive” like it’s a bad thing.

After we’d finally given away all of the extra tomato and pepper seedlings we could, there were still a few, very distraught ones left.  The poor things were so very tired of not being in the ground, of getting blown all over the gravel drive and concrete sidewalk.  They just begged to be put out of their misery.  But, no, I could not stand to kill them so I found places to squeeze them in.

33 additional chile peppers along the front walk, planted amongst the garlic, sunchokes, and mints.

28 additional tomatoes, planted around Kong’s pen in the front  yard.  The sole remaining cherry tomato, I planted behind the mailbox so the mailman can snack when he delivers.

There are sunflowers planted between the tomatoes — or will be where we’ve not yet gotten to it.  These bring the grand totals to 168 peppers planted and 163 tomatoes for this year.  I need to do an official & final accounting for my records this week.

Susan’s flowers have been blooming.  Gorgeous little things that make the girls squeal!

Cilantro going to seed which makes me squeal!  We go through tons of the stuff each year so I’ll be saving seed from these instead of having to buy three million packets from the store next year.

Company Picnic

This past weekend, Steve’s company threw their annual “family picnic”.  Lots of food — and unlimited ice cream!  Rides & game for the kids.  Tons and tons of prizes.  Good stuff.


Chick overload and worm poop

Serious but cute.

This guy has no sense of humor.

Message on my voicemail when I woke up this morning:  “Mrs. Speed, could you pleeeeeez come pick up your chicks??

Two big boxes.  128 ordered — 134 received.

For now, they’re in a little cage but Steve’s working on dividing the coop so they’ll have more room to roam.  The layer chicks will stay there until they are able to join the bigger hens.  The meat birds will go… elsewhere.  They’re nasty, stupid little things so will soon be separated out.

I’d show you a better pic of the division-in-progress but, you see, the rooster likes me.  A lot.

It’s unnatural and it creeps me out.  I make sure there’s a fence between the two of us or, if I have to go in such as I did this morning to take care of the chicks, I have one of the kids escort me.  He’s not mean — not at all.  He just likes me.  A lot.

Bonus accomplishment:  Charlie and Nellie sifted through the vermicompost tub.  They tossed the worms in the cleaned-out bin with fresh goodies and the worm poop was put on the front walk beds where I planted out a few of the excess pepper seedlings yesterday.

An accounting of the chicks received so I can reference it later:

  • 104 (straight run) Jumbo Cornish X Rock (These are our meat birds.  The rest are for our laying flock.)
  • 6 (straight run) Buff Brahmas
  • 3 (female) Buff Orpington
  • 1 (male) Buff Orpington
  • 4 (female) Dark Brahma
  • 1 (male) Dark Brahma
  • 10 (female) Araucana
  • 2 (male) Araucana
  • 2 (female) Turken
  • 1 (straight run) “free rare exotic” (They always throw in an extra like this.)

I don’t think we’ve had enough rain yet.

Another inch yesterday and more forecast for tonight and the next few days.  It’s back to not being able to do much in the garden again.  I try to weed but, being too wet, big clods of dirt come out with the weeds.  The wheelbarrow won’t push through the muck to get woodchips to the still-unmulched rows.  At least we can slosh through to pick peas and lettuce.  And weed & inspect the raised wheel beds.

This is the chamomile I started from seed earlier this year — but I also tried transplanting some of the wild chamomile from along the driveway.  Some has taken, some has not.  I’m hoping seed from both will drop and come up in this bed next year.

I also found this fella hiding in the edge of that bed.  Looks like a watermelon to me.  But who knows?  I might just be yet another weed I’m not familiar with.  I’ll leave it for a while to see how it grows.

What teenaged boys google when we’re not looking.

“Google flavored awesomeness”?  Really?

Garden update

In all of the following photos, I’m standing in the center of the east side of the garden.  About 50′ to my left and 50′ to my left, making each row mentioned roughly 40′ in length.  (And, yes, we just got more rain.  Of course.  3/4″ in about 10 minutes last night.  Lots of wind damage near here but we managed fine.)

Looking to my left is where I just took out the broccoli and replanted the space with Stewart’s Zeebest okra.  The Sugar Snap Peas are growing up the trellis — not very enthusiastically, I might add.  They’ll soon be replaced with beans.  On the other side of the trellis are the other brassicas.

Looking further west, still on the front half of the garden, are more raised beds.  Lettuce, carrots, and spinach in the first row.  The 1400 onions in the next three (or is it four?) wide rows.  Then four (double) rows of potatoes.  A double row of zuchetta rampicante, painted serpent melon, various summer squash, and Aunt Molly’s ground cherry.  Three more (double) rows of potatoes.  Lastly, a (double) row of sweet peppers.

Now, back to my right, the triple row of 88 chile peppers, then a double row of pickling cucumbers just seeded to grow up the trellis.  Carrots are seeded in the extra space to each side of the cuke trellis.

To the cukes’ west are the tomatoes I got planted out last night.  107 in six rows (not counting the ones in the front yard).  Support system still to come but the holes for the braces are drilled.  Eventually, we’ll get boards up for the sides of the rows as well but that’s not a priority for now.  After the last row of tomatoes, you can see just the edge of a mount of dirt.  From there on will be the raised mounds for the melons and, past them, a block of sweet corn — the last remaining two things to be planted for this year.  Whew.

After all is planted, I’ll do a final accounting of what’s what and how much of each.  Gotta keep my records straight so I can refer to them next year.

This guy’s popping up here and there, mostly in the raised wheel beds in the front yard.  Anyone know what it is?  I think I used to know but it’s fallen out of my brain and I’ve had no luck searching for it.  It’s nice looking for a weed and I’m tempted to leave it except it would compete with the Alpine strawberries.

130-ish baby chicks will be arriving in a couple of days.  We have absolutely nothing ready for them.  Stay tuned to snicker at our panic!

Tell me I’m not the only one.

I could spend hours looking at potato plants.  And I do.  Along with taking horribly embarrassing amounts of photos of them.  I can’t help it.  They each have their own personalities, even the ones that are the same varieties.  I am… spud-fatuated.

Oh, yeah.  And I planted, watered, and mulched a 40′ row of Stewart’s Zeebest okra this afternoon, after having soaked the seeds overnight in water.  They went in the old broccoli spot.