Thursday, August 13, 2009

State of the Homestead Address

I had a dream last night in which I was asking my Boston in-laws, who are both landscape architects, whether they think to themselves as they work, "I'll put a happy little tree right there, and a happy little shrub right there!" And that struck me as so funny that I laughed out loud in real life and woke myself up. And if my Boston in-laws happen to be reading this post, they probably don't want to read the whole thing, because there are spoilers ahead.

I completely forgot to post yesterday. I meant to, but I guess I got too wrapped up in my knitting to get around to it. Anway, I was planning a bit of a mid-week "state of things" post, so I'll just do that today.

Tomatoes are setting fruit and look like they'll do pretty well. A lot of the Opalkas are mis-shapen, cresents and bulbous tops with skinny pointy ends. We're figuring that's because of the dry spell we've been having, and I've instituted bi-weekly deep waterings. The Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes are heavy on and starting to ripen. I'm excited to get my dehydrator going on those.

The butternut squash have started to set they're squashes, and honestly is there anything cuter in the garden than a baby squash? They're just like the big ones, but, well... little.

There's six really good-sized birdhouse gourds on the vine right now, and I suppose there could still be more to come as well.

The lady godiva squash are ripening, but they seem a bit undersized, so I hope they actually have seeds inside. There are a ton of them though, so as long as they do have seeds, there should be plenty to eat.

My cucumbers that have not been eaten by weeds are starting to ripen. I think I'll be able to pick some early next week. I didn't plant too many, since this year we just want them for eating fresh, not for pickling. We have plenty of last year's pickles in store still.

The two watermelons have one baby watermelon between them. It's a little bigger than a softball right now, and I really hope that the vines don't die and nothing happens to it, because I really want to eat watermelon from my own garden. Even if it is just the one. I think it's so slow going and un-prolific because of the very wet and cool summer we had up until a few weeks ago. It wasn't till the temps went up that they started growing much.

The pepers are doing well. I learned that one of the ones I thought was a King of the North is really a Hot Portugal. So that makes five of each of those two kinds. They all have peppers on the plants, though the plants are very small still. But they are very healthy looking.

The carrots seem to be doing their thing. I'm still tempted to pull them, but it's still not time.

The contender bush beans I planted in one of the empty spots in the yard (from the chicken coop, they go back to grass pretty quickly, but I wanted to try an experiment on this one) are doing pretty well. The grass is sneaking in a bit, but not as bad as in the garden, ironically. And because the rows are only three feet long, it's easy to sit on one side and weed the whole row. The bush beans I planted by the sunflowers in the new plot on the east side of the yard are doing well too, coming back after a DamnBunny decided they were it's own salad bar. They have to get weeded though, since the grass is encroaching.

The chickens are well. I got a few very small eggs from them last week (the mature ladies, not the pullets), so I'm a little concerned that some of them might be considering retirement. I'd think it's much too soon for that, but they did lay very steadily all winter long, so maybe it's a possiblity. I might have to threaten them. The pullets are doing just fine. I'm still a little worried that they might pick on Matilda a lot when they're all together, since she'll be the only white one and the only Araucana. I'll just have to take care of that when the time comes though. For now, I'm watching them for signs of pullet eggs, but I'm thinking it'll be at least Sept. and maybe Oct. before we have to have that little talk about they're changing bodies.

My tan is ridiculous. My family would be surprised to see me tan, since I'm notoriously pale and burn-y. But even through the spf 50, I've gotten qute the farmer's tan. It's Agri-tastic.

I've been knitting baby things for my Boston in-laws new baby. I wanted to get a layette done in time for the shower that's going to be in Oct, so that means knitting in the summer, when I usually save that for the winter. But I prefer the excuse to break out my needles! The little one's due in December, so I thought warm things in newborn -3 mos sizes would actually get used, instead of grown out of. I'm using the Sweater Workshop as the instructions in order to practice for when I make my own sweater with those instructions. I'm hoping to finish the baby sweater today, and then I'm might cheat and start my own sweater. Purely becasue the method will still be fresh in my mind! Not at all because I'm sick of gardening and just want to knit all day instead.

A couple of years ago, my dad bought me a table top weaving loom at an auction sale, and I've moved it from house to house, knowing that I'd never get rid of something he'd pick out for me, knowing how much I'd like it, even if I had no idea how to use it. Well, I got it out last week, and tried threading it from my little knowledge of weaving and how it works. I broke some of the nuts that hold it together though, so I'll have to replace those before I can actually try it. In the meantime, I emailed the company, NSI, and asked them if I could somehow get the instructions. And even though they haven't made it for years and years, they dug up the instructions and are sending a copy to me. I doubt replacement nuts are possible though... I'll have to go to the hardware store instead.

I've dug some of the potatoes. I was thinking that I'd just dig them a few at a time as they were needed, but a couple of them have been gnawed and chewed, so I'm thinking my best choice may be to get them all dug as soon as I can and rescue them from the mice. I'd like to get an outside cat to take care of the mice, but Ben doesn't want another cat, and I can admit that it hardly seems fair to have three spoiled indoor cats, and then get another and make it work for a living as a mouser. Not that the three we have wouldn't be great mouse catchers, it's just that the mice know better than to come into their territory.

Our friend Ken brought us some figs from his mom in Georgia, along with lots of peppers and tomatoes and cucumbers and eggplant. The figs and tomatoes I dried, and the cucumbers are a wonderful snack. They're the true English cucumber kinds and so tender and nice. The hot peppers Ben turned into a pepper sauce the other night, fumigating us from the kitchen and making my nose and eyes burn. He says it's delicious.

I'm very excited because I learned that I can buy and download recent episodes of Mythbusters and Dirty Jobs from Amazon. Now if only Food Network would do the same with all of their shows. Or better yet, put all the Food Network programming on Fancast, then all my tv withdrawl would be cured.

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Alison said...

Wow, you're quite the little farmer, aren't you? I don't think I've ever seen you tan.

Bethany said...

It's weird, but I really do have tan arms and shoulders. And glaring white legs. And weird tank top tan lines. I'm pretty sure I haven't been this tan since I was, like, eight.

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