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Hello, summer vacation!

Duke got a notion one day this week to build a seesaw.  He scrounged a 4 x 4, some nails, and an appropriate log and designed & built it all by himself.  Voila!

Charlie is turning out to be the Rainman of riding mowers.  A slightly drunken Rainman but still…

In the past couple of days, with help from the short people, I’ve planted a few hundred flower seedlings here and there, along with Painted serpent melon, Rampicante Tromboncino, and green, grey, and yellow summer squash.  Weeding is a never-ending chore, as is hilling the potatoes.  I managed to make & place cages for the 47 sweet peppers I planted out a few days ago.  Still no tomatoes or chiles planted out since the rain has still be at it.  We’re going to try to force some progress in that department this weekend, one way or another.  The time has come!


It worked!

Singing “Rain, Rain, Go Away” apparently works.

The forecast was promising bad things and the sky started looking like this.

So we hid the seedlings under the van and truck in case of hail.


Nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.

‘Tis a good thing.

Rain, rain, go away!

I’m so glad we’ve gone with raised beds from the start here.  It’s been soggy so much this spring, it’d be hard on the plants to so much of their lives just trying to tread water.  We still need oodles more wood chips to make the paths walkable but, for now, we wade out in muck boots as needed.

Over the past week or so, I’ve gotten quite a bit planted:  A couple dozen Aunt Molly’s ground cherries, 47 sweet peppers (don’t ask me how many of what varieties because there was an oops involving gravity and upsidedness), 560′ of potatoes, and the following cherry tomatoes (in the front yard):

3 Baby Beefsteak
3 Juane Flammee
1 WOW cherry
3 Tommy Toes Red
3 Sweet Treats
3 Sungold
3 Sun Cherry
1 Sara’s Galapagos
4 Matt’s Wild Cherry
1 Large Red Cherry
3 Chiapa Wild
4 Black Cherry

I also managed to get the rest of the tomatillos planted around the chicken run.  The chickens will get to eat the parts that poke through the fence and provide them with some shade & windbreak if they’re lucky.

When Grandma Kaye was here for Nellie’s birthday, she brought us a half dozen Canby thornless raspberries.  Yay, Grandma Kaye!  I love raspberries!  Sure, they just look like sticks now but just you wait…

The prettiest thing in the garden right now?  These gorgeous brown mustard seed plants!


Chicks & cake

Nellie turned six on the 17th.  And, just in time, she lost her first tooth, too!  Grandma Kaye brought her a special cake.

(A pic of the cake alone for Grandma to pass on to the lady who made it.  Let me know if you need a bigger version, okay?)

The chicks are all thriving and mama’s doing a good job.  There are nine of the little fluffballs.

And now one of the Light Brahmas has gone broody.  We’re figuring the first few days of June will be hatch day.  Gotta get another broody pen built!  She’s sitting on eight eggs, if I’m remembering correctly.

Did ya miss me?

I was stuck in bed for several days with a boo-boo but I’m back at it again.  A bit more slowly but it beats being in bed.  Lots of catching up to do here.  Give me a bit to go through the pics that have been sitting on the camera from last week — and take pics of the new stuff going on.  Like Nellie’s birthday!

But, yes, I live.  Back to your regularly scheduled blog…

New chicks

Yesterday, the chicks from the broody Buff Orpington hatched out.  They’re so cute & fluffy!  As near as we can tell, there are 8 or so.  We’ve not been able to see all of them at once since they run in and out from under her.  Looks like about half are yellow and half are black & gray with yellow.  All of the ones I saw had the furry feet like their Light Brahma daddy.  I’ll get some better pics of them all as they start getting out from under the mama more.

And we may have one of the Light Brahmas going broody now…

I’ll spare you the photos.

Did you know yesterday was World Naked Gardening Day?  I’ll just leave you with your imagination for that one…

(Thanks to Paula for the link!)

First Bee Inspection

Steve & Charlie inspected the hives yesterday.  They spotted the Italian queen and all looked in order there.  The Carniolan queen, however, was not to be found.  She might have been hiding so not all hope is lost but they did spot about five supercedure cells.  30-40% of the frames in both hives were drawn out.  No eggs were seen but, being newbies, we could have easily missed them.  Pollen and nectar were being stored.  Both hives had a bit of bridge comb.  One of the frames in the Carniolan frame had a double layer of comb.  No idea what that means so we’ll have see if we can find some info on that and the supercedure cells.  I’ll try to get out there with the camera on the next inspection so there are pics to share.  This time, I was back in the garden, showing the world my best side.

This is all the neighbors ever see of me.

In garden news, I got quite a few things transplanted into the ground.  A 40′ double row of potato pulls (Cherry Red, Yellow Finn, Kennebec, Yukon Gem, Red Thumb) for a total 15 running feet per those five varieties.  A 40′ double row of TPS seeds for a total of 80 running feet of a single variety, Yungay.  Both of these double rows were trenched and I’ll fill them in and hill as they grow.  This morning, I managed to get sod removed around about half of the new chicken run fence that’s going up and planted 18-ish tomatillos along the exterior of it, mulching with grass clippings.

Bonus:  An exclusive, rare photo of a teen working — without whining!



Garden Accounting

For my records and for those who are getting seedlings from me, here’s what made it to the final potting up.  I’ll put a very brief classification of the tomatoes after each but they’re very generalized and limiting so, if interested, look up details of each at Tatiana’s.  Another great resource for learning about specific varieties of just about any plant is Dave’s Plant Files.  I’ll italicize the hybrids to differentiate from the OPs.  (Someone holler if I screw any up.)  I’ll bold the ones that I’m hogging all to myself — none to share.


  • 6 Arkansas Traveler (red slicer)
  • 5 Aunt Ruby’s German Green (green slicer)
  • 6 Azoychka (yellow slicer)
  • 6 Baby Beefsteak (red salad)
  • 6 Beefmaster (red slicer)
  • 6 Black & Red Boar (black striped slicer)
  • 1 Black Brandywine (black slicer)
  • 2 Black Cherry (black cherry)
  • 1 Black from Tula (black slicer)
  • 6 Black Krim (black slicer)
  • 5 Bloody Butcher (red salad)
  • 8 Brandy Boy (pink slicer)
  • 6 Brandywine (pink slicer)
  • 2 Burning Spear (orange paste)
  • 6 Carbon (black slicer)
  • 3 Cherokee Purple (black slicer)
  • 4 Chiapas Wild (red currant)
  • 6 Cuostralee (red slicer)
  • 6 Dana’s Dusky Rose (black slicer)
  • 6 Dix Doights de Naples (red paste)
  • 7 Dora (pink slicer)
  • 5 Estler’s Mortgage Lifter (pink slicer)
  • 6 Eva Purple Ball (pink slicer)
  • 1 Fish Lake Oxheart (red heart)
  • 5 Gary’O Sena (black slicer)
  • 7 German (pink slicer)
  • 4 German Johnson (pink slicer)
  • 5 Giant Belgium (pink slicer)
  • 9 Goji Faranji (red slicer)
  • 6 Hungarian Italian Paste (red paste)
  • 5 Italian Tree (red slicer)
  • 6 JD’s Special C-Tex (black slicer)
  • 8 Japanese Trifele Black (black paste)
  • 11 Jet Star (red slicer)
  • 5 Juane Flammee (orange salad)
  • 10 Kellogg’s Breakfast (orange slicer)
  • 6 Large Red Cherry (red cherry)
  • 10 Livingston’s Paragon (red slicer)
  • 7 Ludmilla’s Red Plum (red slicer)
  • 5 Marglobe (red slicer)
  • 9 Marianna’s Peace (pink slicer)
  • 7 Matt’s Wild Cherry (red currant)
  • 4 Mexico (pink slicer)
  • 7 Nepal (red slicer)
  • 4 New Yorker (red slicer)
  • 4 OSU Blue (blue variable)
  • 9 Pink Brandymaster (pink slicer)
  • 7 Pink Floyd Mix (segregating F6 of Brandy Boy)
  • 9 Pruden’s Purple (pink slicer)
  • 4 Prue (red slicer)
  • 9 Rose (pink slicer)
  • 4 Royal Hillbilly (pink slicer)
  • 6 Rutger’s Select (red slicer)
  • 2 San Marzano Redorta (red paste)
  • 1 Sara’s Galapagos (red currant)
  • 3 Sun Cherry (red cherry)
  • 5 Sungold (orange cherry)
  • 10 Super Boy 785 (red canner)
  • 5 Sweet Treats (red cherry)
  • 8 Tommy Toes Red (red cherry)
  • 1 White Princess (white ?)
  • 5 Wisconsin 55 (red slicer)
  • 6 Woodle Orange (orange slicer)
  • 1 WOW Cherry (orange cherry)

Chile Peppers

  • 8 Anaheim, Joe E Parker
  • 8 Cascabella
  • 4 Cayenne
  • 6 Cayenne x Jalapeno
  • 6 Ixtapa jalapeno
  • 5 Mulato
  • 12 Numex Conquistador
  • 12 NuMex Heritage 6-4
  • 11 NuMex Heritage Big Jim
  • 12 NuMex Jalmundo
  • 4 NuMex Pinata
  • 11 NuMex Primavera
  • 10 NuMex Suave Orange
  • 8 NuMex Suave Red
  • 9 NuMex Sunrise, Sunset, and Eclipse
  • 9 NuMex Vaquero
  • 10 Poblano

Sweet Peppers

  • 8 Alma Paprika
  • 4 Banana Supreme
  • 8 California Wonder
  • 8 Cubanelle
  • 7 Golden Bell
  • 2 Grand Bell Mix
  • 1 Jimmy Nardello
  • 2 Kaleidoscope Mix
  • 11 Peperoncini Italian
  • 1 Purple Beauty
  • 8 Red Beauty
  • 4 Roumanian Rainbow
  • 7 Sweet Banana
  • 8 Valencia Orange
  • 6 Yellow Belle

Hey, wake up!  I have more garden porn.

Asparagus, from store-bought crowns planted this spring.

Asparagus seedlings that I started from seed.

Cilantro.  We are so addicted to cilantro but were not able to grow it much in Oklahoma due to the heat.  I’m hoping it’ll do much better here.

Stevia that Charlie roped me into buying.

Sage, wintersown from seed.

Brown mustard seed, also wintersown.  I’ve never grown it before but it seems to be doing well.


Potato shaving, part 2

After my last time (prematurely) pulling potato sprouts, I stuck the tubers back into moist mix.  They sent out a new round of shoots — this time very sturdy & leafed out.

Much better, right?

It’s like looking at the Dalton Gang.

I stuck them each into 4″ pots and will get them transplanted out to the garden… soonish.