Thursday, June 11, 2009


lately i have been poring over my own blog trying to glean and re-purpose captured information. i must admit that the blog really helps to keep things in perspective. we are constantly worried about our garden and if we are doing all that is possible to assure a reasonable harvest. the posts where i took several garden photos and talked about the garden status are especially useful. on that vein i hope not to bore you with tons of garden photos.

having gotten the root cellar to a stable place has afforded me the time to work on the chicken plucker. i bought the whizbang chicken plucker book and am very impressed. eventually i'll do a whole post about the chicken plucker. all i can say so far is that if you are considering building a chicken plucker buy that book. it is very well researched and provides excellent information, illustrations and resources. in this photo it is upside down. i used the pillow block mount to hold the feather plate while i drilled it and cut it into the circle.

i really could have used a drill press to drill all these holes.

this the first coat of paint. pretty blue toly li-likes it.

the garden

the sweet potatoes and melons seem to be surviving the black plastic mulch.

although it might be just one big squash bug incubator, nursery and primary school.

here is a better photo of a cherokee purple primary bloom.

the carrots seem to have survived the cats using their raised beds as a composting toilet.

here they are a couple days later.

the kittens are tearing up the onions. they might not make much.

the third row of beets are crooking and seem to have excellent germination.

here they are a few days later.

this will all be filled in very soon.

i hope..

kassi and toly, yes he loves pink, are considering wrestling past the cow. she can bully right past them if they are not careful.

they love each other so much. it is cute to watch them hold hands and march around the yard.

this is our first sunflower. it must be summer.

the willow tree has grown quite a bit this year.

this is the front row of tomatoes. we are showing slight signs of blight, or some tomato disease.

this is kassi's flower bed.

she started all these flowers from seed.

btw, thank you wendy for the additional edible flower seed.

the hair plugs for root cellars a taking hold nicely.

notice the solar shower box of the roof of the pump house? here is the front view.

rube goldberg would be proud of this shower contraption.

here is a link to when i built this version of it.

just at the top of the hill from where i work this family makes these baskets.

they sell them at silver dollar city for a fortune. this one was nine dollars. the oak waddle was still green. tabitha needed one for her clothes pins.

this is our hot house tomato

i wonder what the taste difference will be?

hello tasty little tomato. i will be eating you soon.

these are the omar's lebanese plants. they are almost to the top of the cattle panel.

these are the later planting of cherokee purple. they are ten or so days behind the rest of them.

their seedlings were also much smaller too.

can you spot the green beans?

the pole beans are almost setting beans.

i am excited about this purple variety.

the tomatillos are vary tasty. we had our first bait of salsa last night. it was fabulous.

hello little cherokee purple tomatoes.

i'll be eating you very soon too.

this is the tangle of amish paste tomatoes

some of them are five feet high.

our squash like it here. so do our squash bugs.

the chickens have settled into their coop nicely.

i finally caught the egg pecking, eating destroying hen red handed the other day. she left this mortal coil too soon to take a ride in my chicken plucker. bad chicken..

cucumber beetles are rampant in our garden. we are buying some beneficial nematodes to help but they might not arrive soon enough.

the hot peppers are setting fruit. i hope we get some in time for pico de gallo. that store bought pepper we ate last night with the tomatillo salsa was merely a waxy version.

tabitha has been spraying surround like crazy.

it is apparent that the bugs don't like it. although there is always new foliage.

the okra seems to be doing nicely.

almost time to harvest the first row of beets.

the girl broilers are looking very tasty.

i'm standing in the barn loft for this shot.

a little to the right

tabitha was trying to look up my kilt.

such loving kids

ok, i can't breathe


that's better.

tristan making a guest appearance. oops, sorry had to remove the photo toly was nekid in the background.


tansy said...

our garden looks gorgeous! and so weed free. mine is embarrassingly weedy. wwoofers arrive in 1 1/2 weeks!

The Crazy Organic Gardener said...

Your garden looks wonderful!!! I can see that you have been very blessed! It looks like you own quite a bit of land? How much do you grow on? We have 1 acre and we have 12 large raised beds. That has been more than enough for us:)

Happy Gardening...


karl said...

tansy, weeding the garden is mostly tabitha's doing. it's a labor of love.

lynn, thanks. blessed? yes.. we don't really have that much land. five acres total, of which two thirds of it is undeveloped thick woods. no one dare venture there during tick or chigger season.

Wendy said...

Oh, my god! Too funny! Kids can be a little ... overly enthusiastic *grin*. It must be a dad-thing to let them smother you like that. My husband does the same thing, and I'm always scolding the kids to get off Daddy's head! :).

I love seeing the pictures of your garden and your homestead. It always gives me some good ideas ;).

Oh, and sorry the seeds were so late getting to you. I keep forgetting that our seasons are a little different ;). Kassi's garden looks amazing, though. Good job!

Ron said...

Man oh man, lots of great photos! I love seeing all the garden shots, those will be handy for you next year too. The tomatoes have really gone to town, wow!

More glorious weather headed our way, fingers crossed. :)


sheila said...

Love the garden photos.

Woody said...

Everything looks great Karl..I'm looking forward to a more detailed post on the plucker.

Fantastic collection of photos! I personally like a photo heavy post.


sheila said...

Oh, and the chicken plucker. You are going to love it. It will pluck a chicken clean in about about 30 seconds. Saw one in action locally and now my BIL is building my sister and I one. These things are better than sliced bread. Thanks to Herrick Kimball for designing this and publishing his book we all can make chicken processing day a breeze.

Pablo said...

Geez, I'm worn out just from reading your post!

Ed Abbey said...

I can't wait to see a video of your first chicken being plucked. Which I had one of those back in the day when we were raising chickens.

karl said...

wendy thanks again for the seeds. kids piling on top of me is the reason for calling this blog pile of omelays.

ron, i hope we get some rain but that nasty hail can just keep away.

sheila, thanks that little booklet might be the best media purchase all year.

woody, it really helps keep track of stuff with lots of photos. i am getting excited about the plucker. big plucker post to follow.

hi pablo, glad to see you commenting again. i guess changing my who-can-comment preferences worked.

ed abbey, we'll have a plucker party very soon. we'll document the crap out of the thing.

warren said...

I am jealous of the outdoor heated shower...well done!

Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog. Kudos to you and your beautiful family for making a life for yourselves with your own hands. love it! cheers, barefoot lindy

Kristin said...

How long do your soaker hoses last? We've use them in the past but they seem to deteriorate in a year or so.

Nice to know my kids aren't the only ones that run outside around naked.

Anonymous said...

Your garden really is healthy but the tomato blight is so sad! Do you know if it is verticillium wilt, or is it fusarium? Sometimes one is called early blight. Same thing that caused the potato famine. Farmers in Salinas found that when they plowed under their brocolli crop residue, the verticillium wilt did not come to their farms for several years. Berkeley scientists started studying it, I read about it, grew a bunch of broccoli, turned it in and planted the tomatoes and they stayed healthy until frost only where I turned brocolli in though. The good microorganisms from the special chems broccoli has, could fight against the bad verticillium microorganisms. There are things on line, California Certified Organic Farmer newsletter had some info in it etc. But everyone that I tell this about and then really do it, gets tomatoes finally, when before trying this, they always got wilt, usually bad enough to end their tomato crop, and after using the broccoli (not any other brassica works either)finally could grow great tomatoes. Too late this year though. Compost tea steeped with an aquarium airstone line makes the compost tea even better too. Best, Bloom'n gaed'ner

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