Archive for the ‘life happens’ Category


Good evening everyone!  Surprised to hear from Jimmy?  I’ve been on an extended blogging vacation as you might have noticed.  As fall came around and the garden shut down I stopped and took a break.

One idea I had been tossing around kept coming back to me.  That is moving this blog to a hosted URL so that I have more control over the design and functionality.  I am here to announce that this blog is moving:

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 4.59.58 PM

Same blog, same content, including most of the comments that you have left me over the years.  But now I’ll have more control over things and I’ll be a much happier writer!  The thing is though, you need to come subscribe, because you’ll no longer receive notifications as a subscriber HERE, to the old location.

Lastly, I will say that during the past few months of absence I have received many very nice comments that I have yet to reply to.  I will reply!  Your comment is not forgotten, and I thank you.

Come see the new site!

The Good and The Bad in July so far

The Good - Harvested 2013 Garlic

The Good – Harvested 2013 Garlic

Garlic as far as the eye can see.  I harvested all the garlic from both my own back yard and the farm location where I ran a trial garden over the last year.  This year it didn’t grow quite as large as last year, but I still think it was a success.  I need to get it a bit more separated for curing, but right now it’s so hot and dry out that it’s drying nicely even in a heap.  I’ll hang them from the rafters soon.  With a little bit of luck this garlic, replanted, will turn into a for-profit crop in 2014

The Bad - They took my corn!

The Bad – They took my corn!

Last night when I went to bed I had about 30 ears of sweet corn JUST about ready to pick in my 10’x10′ three sisters garden.  This morning there were about 7 or 8 little ones left.  Something–probably Raccoons–harvested all the rest and removed them while I was sleeping 20 feet away.  They knocked down and broke the corn stalks, so now the pole beans have nothing to grow on either.  And obviously if they ate here once, they could be back for the cucumbers and melons that are starting to grow on all those vines.  This is what we get for no longer letting our cat(s) outside.

But enough bad–More good!  I have been eating tomatoes every night all week.  This year of trialling new varieties has exposed me to at least 2 more favorites that are doing quite well in my yard.  I will definitely add “Church” to my permanent list of tomatoes to grow, and I think “Pink Sweet” will be on there as well.  I will review them here within the next week or 3.

My 8 pepper plants seems to be doing better than average this year.  I usually don’t get to pick any peppers until August and this year they are already sizing up and producing lots of fruit.

How is your garden growing?

Visited Stark Bros. Nursery yesterday

We had a family outing yesterday.  I can’t believe it has been 3 years since we went to the Stark Bros. Nursery last.  We came home with a truck full of awesome plants.

My wife got the best ferns ever. They are in 12 inch hanging baskets, but are so big and bushy they are about 4 feet wide. It might be a pain to keep them watered. I wonder if we could get them a bigger hanging pot?

I came home with an apple tree that is going to be espaliered. I wanted a McIntosh, but they didn’t have that variety, so I settled for Honey Crisp, which is also delicious.  I have room for 2 espaliered apple trees, so I’ll add the McIntosh later.  I got the bottom two rows of training wires set up against my back yard fence on the inside, but we still need to plant the tree.  That will probably happen tomorrow evening. I really hope this works out, but I think it will. I’ve done a lot of reading and have a good grasp on the concept and process.

I also bought some six packs of tomato seedlings, because I killed most of mine in the seed starting room this year by overwatering them.  I have backup seeds started, but they haven’t even germinated yet.

It was an excellent weekend outing and was just what we needed to make a cool overcast day better.

Hibernation over

It’s spring. Time to wake up the blog again. I need to shake the dust off.

I’ve been outside adding compost to the asparagus and cutting down last year’s dead ferns.  I’m replacing rotten garden bed frames with new wood and removing one completely to make room for a shed.  The seeds for new herbs and tomatoes have been growing under lights for a few weeks and I received an order of Gooseberry bushes from eBay.  Most of my arborvitae died after their second year of drought, so those will have to get cut down and hauled away.  $$$$$ Oh well.

I’m looking forward to post again this spring, summer and fall.  Thanks for reading!

Venison in the Freezer

One thing I have been up to is deer hunting. I tried last year and didn’t see anything. I had much better success this year and now have over 90 pounds of meat.

Small-Audience “Blogging” – Cook Book Notes

I don’t trust the memory of my future self.  I learned this the hard way many times.  So I write notes to…ME…in all our cook books.  Surely I’m not the only one?

Below you can tell which pieces were fried after I figured out the missing ingredient in this recipe.  Both are fried, but the left side is more my style.

New Cats


Here’s something new around our house.  Our former roommate went away and did not return on a nice evening about 7 or 8 months ago.  These two kittens are–comparatively–quite a handful at the moment.

26.5 ounce Cabin Tomato

WOW!  I have never grown such big fruits from this variety before!  If you just joined this web site, let me fill you in.  I have been saving seeds from “Cabin” tomatoes and regrowing them for the last few years.  The plants seem really disease resistant, and I love the taste!

I have saved one batch of seeds, which was about the amount that covered a small dinner plate.  Those are in the freezer now, and will be tested for viability soon.

I have a second batch of seeds fermenting in a quart jar right now, and that should provide another few hundred seeds.

I plan to send out up to 50 (give or take) envelopes of seeds for this variety of tomato to folks willing to send in a picture of their efforts to grow it in 2013, and who will try to save seeds for the next season.

Some have already sent me their addresses (thank you!), and I hope to collect a few more.

It’s dead, Jim.


Sweet Potato Vines


Brussels that didn’t sprout

Gourd Vines

I am giving up on much of the garden for the next few weeks. Isn’t it nice that when there is a drought I can just run to the grocery store instead of worrying about how I’ll live until spring on a few gourds?

Yes, I am done watering everything except two of my four tomatoes, and MAYBE my sweet potato hills, we will see.

Bigger Cabins

16, 17, an 20 ounces

16, 17, and 20 ounces

20 ounce Cabin tomato on the scale

20 ounce Cabin tomato on the scale

Compare this with an average of 6 to 10 ounces during the last 3 years and you can be sure that I had them in a much shadier spot before.  I didn’t save seeds from any of these.  We ate them!  And they are good.

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