Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Spoils Of War…

I just thought that since I’d written about the ‘beetle battles’ that have been going on in the garden I should show you some pictures of why it has been worth it…

sunflowers and produce 005 The peaches behind the tomatoes were bought at the farmer’s market.  The okra and tomatoes are out of our garden. Cuz took this photo so I'd get to see the first okra picked since I was in Ft. Worth when it got picked.

garden goodies and okra 004 Another batch of tomatoes…

garden goodies and okra 005 Squash, bell peppers and okra…

garden goodies and okra 006 Red, or new, potatoes.  We put them on the ground to wash off the dirt after we dig them up.  Saves having to clean the sink so much.

And for all you okra lovers out there, this one’s for you:

garden goodies and okra 001 Gooooood  eatin’!!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It’s A Jungle Out There…

A world of heros and villains, pesticides and matricides, guinea temptations and pupster massacres… but then the incredible beauty of growing something that is edible and beautiful.  The circle of life.

First the long overdue garden report that has been sorely neglected of late due to a certain someone… me… running  up and down the road but more about that later.

garden and guineas 001 Walking out of the house the garden looks like a mini jungle. The okra, Rick, is over my head tall and like everything else, thanks  to all the rain we’ve received, is loaded with buds, flowers and okra pods ready to be picked, cooked and eaten.  

garden and guineas 002

garden and guineas 003 I had to throw these two photos in because I walk by them going to take the squash photos and their color just stopped me cold.  Any of you that have read me for any time at all know that, while I love my veggie garden, my true heart of hearts are my flowers.  These are in the south east corner of the big garden.  Had to have a spot of color, don’t ‘cha know…

Let’s talk squash.

garden and guineas 008 We have had a battle royal with first with the Colorado potato beetles, then the squash bugs.  I say we but mostly my Cuz has been on the battlefront.  I put powered pesticide on the squash and potato plants and also the cabbage because the Colorado potato bug likes them all and they are voracious little buggers.  The next thing we knew we were beset by squash bugs.  Cuz was after them with clorox and water mixtue, spraying the bugs and the eggs on the underside of the leafs with that.  It slowed them down some but she ended up having to bring out the heavy artillery… liquid sevin. She is one mean mother when it comes to protecting the squash babies that she was growing.  When I came back yesterday she said she had gotten some squash and shared with one of her church friends.  Turns out the only squash plant survivors of the battle of the beetles were two of the good day squash and the larger of the bad day squash and they are still sitting on flowers and squash.  Yea!!!  for the g.d./b.d. squash.

garden and guineas 013

garden and guineas 014

garden and guineas 016 I was watching “Chopped!” on the Food Channel this weekend and in one of the challenges of food to cook was squash blossoms.  I was so excited to see what the chefs would do with them because I had just learned this year that people often cook and eat them.  The show, while very interesting, didn’t inspire me enough to try to cook them but then nothing very often inspires me to cook… I just enjoy growing the different veggies and sharing photos in various stages of growth with you all.

The news from the bad part of the jungle… It’s kind of Quixotic that a hero can also be a villain.

sunflowers and produce 006 Yep… the pupster Spud…  The same little guy that grabbed and killed a snake (though it was small it was still a snake to me) when I was working in the pen to make it secure enough for the guinea chicks broke into that same pen while I was out of town and wreaked havoc on the baby guineas…

garden and guineas 018

garden and guineas 019 The wire you see in this photo is now hot.  When I got back from Norman I saw Scott’s truck pulled up by the cage and I just figured that he was working on reinforcing some places that I had noticed before I left.  I had not yet heard of the massacre that occurred while I was gone.   I went in and made a comment about Scott working on the pen and Bro realized I hadn’t heard the story…  While the girls and I were gone, Cuz had let the Spud puppy out to go to the bathroom before bedtime.  When he hadn’t come back in his usual short time she went looking for him.  She found him red-handed or red-footed as it were… I guess without the girls to play with he was bored and had busted a hole in the chicken wire and played chase guineas with unfortunate murderous results.  When Scott and Merri arrived to help Cuz and to begin the reinforcing of the pen they did manage to find and round up two of the original 16 guineas.  We are now on the lookout for other escapees of the tragedy.  Bro met up with the breeder and brought ten more guineas back to the house.  Merri was hot wiring the pen when I got here and after she was finished she came in to tell Cuz that she could let the chicklets out of their respective small pens into the now multi-fortified and hot-wired big pen.

garden and guineas 020 garden and guineas 021 So these will be the closest watched babies until such time as they are big enough to be turned out to run with the other “survivors” that I have posted about previously.  And on that subject another grown guinea has turned up making the rounds with the Cuz’s grown guineas.

garden and guineas 027 The guinea closer to the middle is the new one… it is more brownish colored than the Survivors but is full grown and now enjoying making the rounds of the grounds with the Survivors. No one knows where it came from but Merri said she had seen it up by the silos before but it is now making the rounds around the place helping to eat the bugs before they eat us.

So the circle of life goes on… the good and the bad, the kind and the cruel circles of life.  All go towards making this world that we live in such a strange and wonderful place…

Oh, and yes, the hot wire does work… I found that out today when I went to check out the babies and forgot about the wire and brushed my bare leg on it.  I’m sure it will prove to be an excellent deterrent.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Country As I See It…

There  are some things that, to me, say country.  It’s not always something that is necessarily in the country but something that when I see it invokes in me that sense of peace that I get when I’m actually in the country…

Sunflower, donkeys and phlox 002 Sunflowers… no matter their setting they lower my blood pressure and induce an immediate relaxation of tension.

Sunflower, donkeys and phlox 001 The fact that this particular sunflower is growing up by a weathered wood post only enhances my relaxation.

Sunflower, donkeys and phlox 011 An old pump, child size rocker frame next to it or not, sitting in the garden makes me want to make it into a water feature because when I was a child I loved to pump the handle and get the water to come out.  I found it fascinating to watch especially when the sun was just right the water looked like little streams of diamonds yet make a little move one way or the other and I found rainbows.

Sunflower, donkeys and phlox 010 Phlox… I’ve always seen phlox around the homes and barns or sheds in the country.  Maybe because once it gets started growing it requires no care and farmers and ranchers wives found some joy in the beautiful colors when their chores and chasing after children might prevent them, time-wise, from planting a decorative type of garden.

Fence line iris Iris or, as a lot of country folk call them, flags.  Especially along fence lines.  If you go for a drive most anywhere in Oklahoma or Texas and I imagine other states also you will see iris that have naturalized growing along the fence lines, usually leaning toward the ditches along the sides of the 2 lane roads.  They not only invoke a deep, relaxing breath from me, they also make me want to come back in the night and dig ‘em up to put in my own garden.  It doesn’t matter if I know that the property has been abandoned long ago and no one would really care if I dug up a few it gives me a funny feeling kind of like I’d be stealing.

What’s weird is I’m the same way about rocks, whether in a ditch or along a creek which is one of those really weird quirks of mine.  It’s like displacing something that was put there by a power greater than myself and they aren’t mine.  What weird things does that say about me?  I mean I have rocks that we picked up when I was a child and on family vacation to California that are from the Petrified Forest, for Pete’s sake…  Of course way back then it was not illegal to pick them up and they’ve been in my family for so many years I look after them like I do my favorite memories.

wagon wheel and spiderwort Like old wagon wheels leaning up against the house with flowers growing up through the spokes.

100_0662 Succulents growing in fissures and holes in rocks.

100_0647 And wildflowers that grow most anywhere… yards in town or out of town, along the ditches besides the country 2 lane roads or in the grassy right of ways along major highways.

All of these are, to me, country feel comfort.  All of them make me smile and a smile always makes life easier.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Farm Report… And Bad Hair Day

Yep… I promised the next bad hair I’d show you would be mine and it will but first things first.  Tipper, feel free to use any of these garden photos you’d like on Blind Pig And The Acorn.

Sunflower, donkeys and phlox 018 This photo was taken on the 28th of June,  the good day squash is on the left and the bad day squash is on the right.  Just to the right of the bad day squash is okra and black eyed peas planted alternately.  The squash is still getting good sun because it gets from mid-day to late afternoon west sun so I don’t worry about it being in too much shade for good growth.

Sunflower, donkeys and phlox 019 Look at all the squash starting to come on…  this is a good day plant.

Sunflower, donkeys and phlox 021 Another good day squash plant.  Spud helps me out by checking for mice, gophers and snakes…Sunflower, donkeys and phlox 022 This is the littlest bad day squash.  It’s hanging in there and it is very healthy, but it is probably a tenth of the size of the good day squash.

Sunflower, donkeys and phlox 024 This is the other bad day squash.  It’s about half the size of the good day squash and it is setting on a bunch of baby squash.  Four out of five of the good day seeds made and only two of the bad day seeds survived from planting day until now.

Now today’s photos…

g-b squah 7.8.10 Good day on the left, bad day on the right.  The biggest bad day is about 2/3rds the size now of the bad day.

bad day squash 7.8.10 Taken from the other direction the bigger bad day squash is hanging in and producing and has filled out enough to be almost indistinguishable from the good day squash on the right and the okra and black eyed peas plants.

gb squash and garden 7.8.10 010 The littlest bad day squash is now producing but is still so small compared even to it’s companion bad day squash but it should be noted that it is a testament to the strength of it’s seed that it has survived and is now producing squash.

gb squash and garden 7.8.10 013 There’s squash!  This is the bigger of the bad day squash, the flowers are now going on to baby squash.  Another 3 or 4 days and they will be ready to go into the salad or to bake in a squash casserole or fry up in the skillet with sliced up new potatoes and onions… mmmmm, I’m almost drooling just thinking about these choices.

gb squash and garden 7.8.10 019 Good day buds…

gb squash and garden 7.8.10 015 Huge amount of babies and another testament again to the organic seeds that were donated for this experiment.

I could go on and on about the fun I’m having with the squash but I did promise bad hair.  I need to set up the scenario first, though.

gb squash and garden 7.8.10 007 The front garden from the driveway in front of the house.  Looks kind of like a jungle out there…

gb squash and garden 7.8.10 008 Okra!  And some squash and flowers on the right and behind them are the tomato vines that were featured last week. We’ve had a terrible fight with squash bugs and the squash plant there in front that is yellow is succumbing to their onslaught.  The good day/bad day squash have been able, with a little help from us, to fight off the squash bugs and remain healthy.  Very impressive since we lost two other plants besides this one.

gb squash and garden 7.8.10 024 Here ya go, folks… My bad hair day.  I was in a lot of hurt today with the storm front coming in and spent most of the day in bed sleeping because I don’t hurt when I take my drugs and sleep.  I had gotten up about ten minutes before this photo was taken and hadn’t even brushed my hair… just came out to take photos before the rain came.

gb squash and garden 7.8.10 025 My Cuz came out to do some weeding and I asked her to take photos of me in the okra so Rick could see that, yes, the good Lord willing and the creeks don’t rise, there will be a big crop of okra.  Lucky and Spud help me give you a size reference.

gb squash and garden 7.8.10 026 I really don’t have enough hair with my summer cut to look really bad, but a promise is a promise and this is the worst my hair has looked in a while.  I usually at least run a brush through it when I get up but I didn’t even do that because I wanted to get photos for my farm report before it rained.

Okay, okay… that wasn’t really fair since you can’t really see my hair. I guess if I can show y’all my butt I can show you my bad hair day so I snapped these on my web cam on my computer.

WARNING!!!  Put down any food or drink to avoid having to clean off your computer screen.  You may also want to have eye drops handy to help take the pain out of your eyes…

100708-201804 No, that isn’t a halo behind my head… just the sheen from the overhead light in the bedroom.  This shot and the following have not been edited…  You have been officially warned.



100708-202131 and even I cant believe that I shared with you all this glory…

Wouldn’t you just love to wake up looking this awesome!!!