Wednesday, April 29, 2009

field of wishes

our bumper crop of dandelions has gone to seed. to the kids it is a field of wishes. we encourage this belief.

kassi especially appreciates anything that has anything to do with flowers.

toly makes his wish too.

henry is on duty. it is amazing how safe he makes me feel. not for myself but i know he'd protect my family to his end if i were not there.

i had to cut toly's hair. while spray foaming the insulation into the crack of the front door toly managed to get a huge clump into his hair. that stuff is evil and the only thing to be done was to cut his hair. i know, it is kinda rough but i challenge anyone to do a better job on such a feisty boy.

kassi is such a princess. the humidity is causing her hair to curl a little. i think it is really cute.

we managed to get more garden work done today. we are trying, for a limited run, a new method of managing tomato plants. i came-by a roll of six by six cement reinforcing mesh and fashioned it tomato cages. here we are trying them out on the tomatillos.

they were fairly easy to make and i am encouraged by them.

we have avoided tomato cages in the past since they were expensive and we always wondered where we would store them during the off-season. here are a few examples on tomato plants.

if this system works we might incorporate them to a much greater extent next year. the wire mesh is a standard surplus item at most construction sites. usually if you haul it off you can have it.

this is the new area of tomatoes adjacent to the old garden.

this is them from another view.

these are omar lebanese plants. they are large pink tomatoes and are wonderful salsa and slicing tomatoes.

these onions are the embodiment of hope for us. they are showing such promise.

feral shiso, it might be more invasive than bamboo?

toly has taken to standing on the swing almost immediately after he is pushed. it is scary to watch but i encourage this activity none-the-less.


rome loves the trampoline.

we can park him there for several minutes at a time. this is especially useful for tabitha while i'm not here to distract him and she needs to garden.

the black-raspberry plants are blooming. we should have a bumper crop this year.

the potatoes are doing really well. there are a few blooms there too.

toly's hair from the front..

Monday, April 27, 2009

you can literally watch bamboo grow

first, let me apologize for the blurry photos. someone, toly, seems to have gotten his little dirty hands on the camera again.

we are trying to grow a huge hedge in front of our house from the road. bamboo is our answer. yes it is invasive but we feel that our privacy is important enough to deal with the ramifications. besides cows eat bamboo. it is native to missouri. finally, uses for bamboo cane is nearly unlimited.

one of the most stunning things i did this week was to install the new front door.

here is the rubble created from the install

we have been gardening in earnest. the potatoes are looking nice.

so are the greens and onions.

yummy beets are really doing well.

this is the tomato bed to be planted yet.

here we have planted beans and tomatillos. bush beans and pole beans.

i mowed the yard to have mulch for the two rows of tomatoes we have planted.

here they are, our hope embodied in a row of amish paste tomatoes.

this is the mixed row, yellow pear, green zebra, cherokee purple, um... we'll i forgot the rest but will consult my expert on these matters.

here is kassi's flower bed. she is so proud of it.

here we are brewing compost tea to amend the the strawberries.

this is my new truck tool box. i love it.

crazy kids, we grow them here too.

two at a time is strictly against the rules. i see no one cares. i choose to pick my battles.

the new chicks are happy and will be going into a tractor very soon.

i also finished the back steel of the coop. finally it is completely enclosed.

those two giant telephone poles are the corner post for the coop pen.

their run should be plenty of room for them.

jocelyn is happily grazing in the electric fenced paddock.

henry sits by the gate waiting for her to return. he knows that it is out-of-bounds for him. but i am sure that he'd ignore that rule to protect her if the need arose.

happy dogs make for well behaved dogs. he has plenty of work to do and takes his jobs very seriously.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

strawberry fields forever

tabitha's strawberry beds are really looking great.

the kids are praying for a big harvest.

black raspberry bramble

asparagus bounty for today.

we harvested heavily while my parents were visiting. we need another asparagus bed.

the replacement girls are doing very well.

they are cleaning up where the new tomato beds will be.

the beets are really coming on. we love beets.

henry is getting huge

this is compost from the chicken coop. it is still very hot and needs to be turned badly.

spring is such an exciting time

hello dinner, i mean phoenix..

i moved the square bale feeder as to open the view of the new "show" chicken coop. we are tentatively calling it francis ford coopula.

the kids love playing there.

a little cedar rust?

it feels funny.

these are the new flower beds. kassi is so excited. the materials were purchased outright. it almost seemed like cheating. although my back is just as sore from digging them in as if they were made from cedar logs like i cut for the strawberry beds.

this is the fresh salad that we just had for dinner.

tabitha picked it fresh. there is nothing like fresh greens in the spring. my body craves them and no store bought imitation can fulfill me in comparison.

we feel very blessed to be able to eat so well. spring nutrients are answering an overdue call. we are beginning to recharge from the long winter.
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