Monday, July 30, 2012

Homestead Update

Its been a while since I walked the property and took pictures. Here a few images from around the yard and garden. These pics were taken with my cell phone so I apologize for the poor quality. I find if I take pics with the cell phone I do more posts because its easier. It's a trade off.

In the center are our beach roses "rosa rugosa". The purple / pink are the flowers and the red you see are the rose hips. These roses produce one of the largest rose hips of all roses, full of vitamin C.

Here is whats left of our corn. A squirrel came in the day after I planted and dug up close to half of the corn I planted. Squirrel season starts Sept 1st, my corn should be ready towards the middle of Sept..... squirrel corn stew?

I planted over a hundred pole beans yesterday. The left row is a green bean and the right row is scarlet runner bean. We plan on canning a bunch in Sept.

Here is the compost / raised bed / volunteer plant nursery. We got our first ripe tomatoes of the year from volunteers that came up in the compost pile. The raised bed in the foreground has spinach, various herbs and okra planted in it. 

Here are my cascade hops. I was very busy with school when these came up in the early spring. I did not string them up right away so they did not grow to their potential this season. 

Once you plant borage you never need to plant again. Half of this raised bed is full of beautiful blue flowering borage. The flowers are so good. I eat a handful everyday I am in the garden.

This is the horseradish. It is doing very well. I want to split and move half of it to another location in the garden soon. I dug some up earlier this year, the flavor is amazing!

We still have 6-7 heads of cabbage getting bigger and bigger. I just planted a variety that gets up to 10 pound heads.

Here are some peppers. The peppers I start from seed always start out slow but once they hit the heat of summer they go crazy. 

All the stakes along the fence have a tomato I started from seed staked up to it. The tall sunflower looking plants on the right are Jerusalem artichokes. I can't wait to harvest them in the fall.

Here is the asparagus patch. I have been very good and have only eaten one spear over the last two years. This coming spring will be year three and we will be enjoying fresh asparagus for a few weeks.

Here is a shot of the garden. I finally got all the straw down after a storm coming in and blowing my hard work all over the yard.

I have upgraded the arrow target. The round bale was to short and we lost a couple arrows over the top. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Busy Bees

Here is a short video of our bee colony. They have almost filled the hive with honey and brood comb. After they make it through the winter I plan on raising a new queen and splitting the hive in the spring.  

Monday, July 23, 2012

Bitey ClawFingers

I saw dozens of mantises in the garden this weekend. I did some research out of curiosity and found out that this is a European mantis, "Mantis religiosa" of the insect Order "Mantodea" which consists of approximately 2,300 described species. These were originally introduces to the Americas in 1899 on a shipment of nursery plants. They have now spread far and wide and are available through mail order as a form of organic pest control. Mantis are carnivorous and will only eat meat that they have caught themselves. Some of the larger species have been known to prey on small scorpions, lizards, frogs, birds, snakes, fish, and even rodents. I think they look cool and am glad they are patrolling my garden. This is a male, the females are green. His name is Bitey ClawFingers. It goes without saying...... Dara named him.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Small Harvest

The garden is really starting to produce now despite the lack of rain. Soon our 50 + tomato plants will give us a crazy amount of produce. We really need to purchase our pressure canner soon!

Here we have chard, cabbage, tomatoes, summer squash, zucchini, green beans, purple beans and oregano.