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.  

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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.

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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…

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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.


farmlady said...

I'm so sorry about your Guinea hens, Helen. Dogs, left to their own instincts, can be brutal. It's why we have always kept our dogs away from the chickens.
I feel especially bad (or I guess I should say connected) because you sent me some of their feathers. Poor things.
The garden is work but it's so nice to have the veggies. Darn bugs....

Nola said...

Loved your photos once again! Well, what a story about the dog and hens! These things happen I suppose and the hotwire will certainly do the trick and keep everyone out of trouble from now on:) I picked some winter peas from my garden today...I am very proud of them. Nothing better than something you have grown yourself. Are you on Facebook by the way?

hetty said...

Great post about your garden. Loved your photos. Mine looks like a jungle too, only a bit smaller since I have less space. Sad story about the dog and Guinea hens. Hope the hotwire helps in the future.

Reddirt Woman said...

Connie the feathers I sent you came from the full grown guineas that are still making the rounds. They are the ones that survived an attack by a neighbor's dog 3 years ago so they are still quite alright. It is one of the things that happens out in the country when people don't keep their dogs up. We just didn't expect Spud to do it. The veggies are wonderful and I'm fixing to do a post on them today.

Nola country dogs know about hotwires and as of this morning all is well with the 'chooks'. And yes, I'm on Face Book which is why my blog posting has suffered. How cold has it been 'down under'? We've been creeping up into the high 90's F. and with the heat factor it has been a hot, hot summer. Helps the garden flourish, though, as long as we get rain or keep it watered. I agree that the things we grow ourselves do taste so much better.

Hetty isn't it fun to go into the jungle and come out with goodies for the table? No matter the size of the garden when it gets to looking like a jungle you know there is some good eating going on. The hot wire is very effective and I can testify to that...lol