Category Archives: Uncategorized

Garden walk, part two

Now, well, there are no steps. You’ve arrived at the first garden: the greenhouse garden. It is the newest one, it’s six raised beds and one big flat one against the back of the icehouse and my garden shed. What greenhouse, you ask? The one that’s not assembled yet in the garage. It’s actually a coldframe.

This picture depresses me. All my tomatoes have uprooted their supports and have flopped over. The root veggies (carrots, parsnips, scorzonera, skirret) in the lower right bed are all beginning to stress out and rot in the ground. Tomorrow I will have to pull them all. Sniff.

Move on a few steps to the garden proper. Note scary weeds growing outside garden! It’s surrounded by very chicken- and other critter-proof fencing though that keeps most unwanted creatures out. I just have to be diligent with dispatching the green unwanted creatures.

The onions appear to be drying well. Luckily, I pulled them a few days ago.

Beautiful artichoke, right?

Yeah, well look again. Stress! Soggy feet! Sadness!

Let’s go on a garden walk, part one

Today, the kid was at my mom’s so I didn’t feel the ultimate rush I usually do at dinnertime to make dinner. It has been raining here to an absurd degree: the usual August allotment came in two days, but that was eight days’ worth of rain ago. SO! Let’s see what we shall find, okay?

Step one: Don shoes. Roll up pants.

Step Two: Open a bottle of liquid courage (you see, I don’t think I will like what I find out there, frankly) because, well, it’s darned hot. And I like this beer.

Step Three: Pick up The Mother of All Colanders, and her sister, The Mother of All Dough-Rising Bowls. (Note beer bottle for scale.)

Step Four: Say hello to chickens. They assume, of course, that if I am bringing a bowl out AND setting it down, it must be for them. This is Phyllis II on the right, an Ameraucana, and Verloe on the left, a Rhode Island Red.

Step Five: Say hello to Penny, and throw her Flying Squirrel twice. She wishes you’d throw it more than twice. How about a half hour’s worth? How about more than that? I will catch it every time, I will, I will! Promise her you will, but later.

Garden panorama

As you can kind of see, I didn’t really take you on a full tour. It would take a while! But thanks for virtually visiting!

Garden walk, part three

Okay, at this point of my tour, I am rather depressed. It appears that many of the plants really do not appreciate wet clay soil for days on end. I am probably going to lose about half of the brassicas (cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli) and that saddens me. I have a second sowing of broccoli for a fall crop that’s unaffected. The other things require the whole season. I hope it stops raining soon.

But hey, look! Other things seem unaffected. The tomatoes, for one. Other than slipping out of their traces (wet clay is the enemy of any post in the ground), they’re plumping up rather too well. I need more time to cook them down when I can them, otherwise I have really runny sauce. And then take a gander at these sweet potatoes. They certainly look happy. I can’t even find the path in front of their bed.

And then there’s the edamame (soybeans)!

And then, there are friends.

So, I filled the colander AND the bowl with tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, beans, broccoli and soybeans. The tomatoes got stewed and bagged and frozen, the eggplant and peppers got placed in the refrigerator for a later meal, and the broccoli and beans got blanched and bagged and are now in the deep freeze. We ate the edamame for dinner with some potatoes and eggs. The kid came home asleep in her carseat, worn out from a day at the beach.

It’s a good life here, even if it is too wet for the brassicas.

Au revoir

Knipofia uvaria: red-hot poker

We’re leaving the farm for a few fun days in the Second City. It’s always bittersweet, going “off the rez,” especially when the veg garden is producing. Surprises always greet our return.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

All work and no play…

Spring, as I have mentioned, is a bit busy here on the farm. Not so busy, though, that we don’t all stop what we are doing and go fly kites, especially if the wind is just right and the sun warm, as it was on Tuesday. Kite-flying, for a three-year-old, is only so exciting (especially when the darned things are up in the air) so M thought she’d decorate her dad’s chair.

It’s a good use of those “unintentional” blooms.

We’re back.

A promise, or a tease? Frost-hit plum blossoms

Going away is hard, especially in the spring when there’s so much change afoot in the outdoor world. Our vacation was great. We really miss our friends, and especially miss their children (two-legged and four-), as friends don’t change nearly as much as kids do. Tom’s show was a lot of fun.

Our chickens were left in the able, egg-loving hands of our next-door neighbor. He just thinks our girls are “so neat,” especially when they run out to greet him. The plant seedlings were left in the equally capable plant-loving hands of my mother-in-law, who also looked after the kitties. The plants are huge! Yikes.

The highlight for me came when we visited my friend Catharine’s farm. She and I assembled a piece of her wood-fired bread oven (I can’t get away from construction for too long you see) and then later she and I stuck our hands in her old compost heap and took deep sniffs of big handfuls. Yes. Only gardeners do that.

It’s just great to be home. But our chore list is now REALLY long.


We’re going on a trip to be at the opening for Tom’s next show. (His work is also on view here. One of his pieces is also in this month’s Harper’s Magazine.) We haven’t hit the old stomping grounds of Minneapolis since we moved from there a bit over two years ago, strange, but true. It should be fun. I am, however, faced with the typical farmgirl dilemma:

how can I leave my babies?

By babies I don’t mean the one I gave birth to, as she of course will be with us. Nor do I mean those baby chicks, the big chickens, the sheep, the kitties or the hyperneurotic superbonded dog. I mean, of course, my seedlings!!!

I think there is absolutely NO good time to go away from the farm, except maybe the icy throes of mid-January when it’s too early to seed-start, too late to garden.

I guess it’s a good thing I love to be home. We’ll see you in a week!

On the logic of three-year-olds

Rumble: we hear the snowplow coming. “Here comes the big yellow plow,” we say.

“No it isn’t.”

“Yes it is; there it goes by!”

“No it wasn’t.”

“Well what was it then?”

“It was the mower.”

(Dad, you see, rides the mowing tractor to plow.)


We’re on the road this weekend, coinciding with M’s third birthday.

Have a good weekend, everyone, and think green thoughts.