Friday, July 9, 2010

The Garden

Several months ago we gave away our Roosters to another homeschooling family who has a farm. We had two roosters but with 10 hens it proved to be too much for the girls.

This white chicken is Sugar. She is still bare backed from the Rooster but her feathers are starting to grow back and she looks more like a full feathered girl than something plucked and set for the dinner table.

Panini who is also a little sparse on feathering waits for some corn. Stupid birds always sit on the lid while we try to get them some corn.

This is Butter our Buff Orpington.
She lays great big brown eggs.

This is the cranky broody hen.
Right now her name is MEAN!
She's been broody for over a month now despite our throwing her out of the nest box and coop. She is always sitting on all the other hens eggs or the golf balls if no eggs are available.
She is MEAN!
She growls when you walk into the coop.

Even with six nesting boxes she still growls.
She doesn't want anyone in her territory.

The rest of the chickens were quite happy with the peas that we pulled up from the garden.
We didn't have a great crop of peas this year but it was enough to snack on. The kids love pulling them right from the vine and eating them.

Tae picked our first head of garlic last week.
I have many more coming and am looking forward to putting the garlic in the sauce and other recipes. If the garden keeps doing well we will have tons of tomatoes.

This was taken last week and we've sinced pruned the tomatoes and had to tie them up again. We've had some great soaking showers and dry days which the tomatoes love.

I'm growing potatoes for the first time this year and am anxious to see how they do.
Pumpkins are growing next to them and the leaves and blossoms are huge.

And we have tons of Zuchinni!
I've been grilling it with balsamic vinegar.
Tomorrow I'll make some Zuchinni bread with my mom's recipe.
I tried pinching back the pumpkin blossoms but couldn't keep up with the growth.
We'll see how they grow. We may end up with a lot of little pumpkins rather than big ones this year but that's fine too.

We planted Rosemary, Sage, Lemon Balm, Fennel, Parsley, Basil, Oregano, Thyme and Dill. I've been dehydrating them as they come into season. I'm glad I won't have to buy herbs this year.

The eggplant is doing well although we need to weed. The beets did not do well, I'm not sure why but we've never grown them before so I guess I need to do a bit more research. I was looking forward to canning them this year too.

The Fennel is doing so great. I cut the green tops off of a few of them and put them in a grilled potato salad. It was just delicious.

We grow our cucumbers up a teepee trellis. It takes a bit of training and a lot more water but saves so much room in the garden.

We had a great crop of Rainbow Swiss Chard this year. I chopped and froze a good portion of it.
We also have had tons of lettuce and it's survived surprisingly well in the heat. But we will pull this up soon as it's getting quite bitter. The rest of the crop will go to the chickens.

The abundance of Zucchini I will grate and freeze and we'll use for pancakes or breads or to pass on to someone who needs some groceries. A good portion of the garden ends up being donated or given to friends. As a young girl, my Dad always planted a huge garden and canning was always a family affair. We had eight kids in our family and I have great memories of picking strawberries and of all the kids preparing the berries. We had juice stained fingers for weeks.

We planted Roma, Beefsteak and Cherry tomatoes. Thirty two tomato plants in all.
I see a lot of sauce and tomato salads in my future.
What bounty is your garden providing for you?


Nina :) said...

What a beautiful garden!

The Mom said...

thank you!