Friday, August 12, 2011

the beautiful mess

Just a couple of pictures from the gardens this week. Although I took many,things are so sprawled out and messy its hard to tell what is what anymore. Don't get me wrong it is a beautiful mess but it just does not look good in pictures any longer. The terraces have all become one, the corn is turning brown and waiting to be pulled, tomatoes have toppled their supports and are creeping all over, squashes and melons are climbing over herbs and flowers, and beans and cukes are about played out in areas awaiting a yank and replant. Trying to figure out where everything is and just what it is has become quite a chore and takes about three hours for one person to walk through and harvest each morning. This is not including watering, bug picking (which I have all but given up on), or taking care of the days harvest.
This mess is so messy we now have little pathways to walk in and even then have to step over stuff to go anywhere. Once again there are tomatoes in the peach tree and this year we have cukes up in there too!
Only three plants in the above picture were actually planted;2 squash that are invisible and a melon that is almost visible in the hot tub. The rest are volunteer tomatoes and although it looks like an incredible amount of them there are only actually about a dozen plants in and around the hot tub. The ones in the hot tub have only been sprouted now about 6 weeks and are a big ol mess. All of them in the picture are tiny toms and will be used by juicing and making what I want from the juice as they will produce up until frost.
This mess is much prettier than it looks. The tomatoes,melons, cukes and squash are all through the mess in front of the beds which makes it impossible to weed eat around and a pain in the arse to harvest. Try finding a cuke in the mess just once and you would understand.
Three butternut squash make this giant mess. I have them mound up and back a couple times so that we have a path way in which to walk to reach the chickens and bunnies. Even so, the plants are still stretching somewhere between 15 and 20 feet across the area.

The good news is that things are producing quite well with the exception of some of the squash, both winter and summer. Other than that I have no real complaints about this summer's growing season. We still have a good 6 to 8 weeks before fall sets in with a killing frost so my mess will likely continue to get messier. The biggest problem we will have from now until then is where to plant all the fall stuff that will be going in shortly.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I'm back....

Actually I got back Tuesday evening but have had to take a couple days to get back into the groove, get all the processed food out of my system and get caught up on school. I never ever thought I would say I missed my veggies but after not having them I most certainly did.

The sick feeling was worth it though as I got to see both my daughters together for the first time in many years (9) and got to meet Jumbalaya too. I got to catch up with some folks I had gone to school with and family I had not seen in a long time as well as my 3 nephews whom I had never met. All in all it was a nice little trip but I sure was glad to get back home!

The culture shock was a bit overwhelming for me. I saw more people the first two days I was there than I have seen in near ten years here on the homestead! Having to have people show me how to dial those new fangled smart phones was slightly bizarre as was the automatic towel feeder at the airport. Coffee from a machine seemed cold after having a percolator for so long and sleeping in a bed was a huge issue. After two nights I decided the floor was the place to sleep.
This is my youngest daughter Meg who recently graduated. The gathering was to celebrate.
I, being the bad influence that I am, got two of the nephews to shower under the gutters during a heavy rain. The third one was not as willing and hid until the rains were through.
This is my granny and had I been in the picture it would have spanned five generations.