Saturday, August 14, 2010


Last year we only planted one German-stripe plant. I saved seeds from several tomatoes from it because I loved how they taste. We planted a whole row of them this year. Most plants were true to type but we had one lucky variation. A whole plant of the most fabulous tomatoes I have ever tasted.

They taste like peaches and vibrate with day-glow iridescent pink and yellow. We have dubbed the tomato Dayglo'melay. We will plant an entire row of them next year. I will save seeds from the best of those and possibly offer seeds for sale. Yeah they'll be cheap, mostly to cover the shipping.

I have eaten so many of them this year. I would normally have a mouth full of canker sores. I usually eat cherokee purple to excess and they have a much higher acid content. Not these babies.

Tabitha has also discovered the perfect canning tomato. We occasionally watch *Lidia's Italy* on the cooking channel on PBS. She is always raving about San Marzano tomatoes. We grew some of them and are extremely impressed. They are not a good salsa tomato nor taste good sliced but add a little heat and they are amazing. They cook down very quickly and make thick rich tomato paste. We also grew an organic version but they failed almost immediately. *shakes fist into the air* They suffered from the blight the earliest and worst. Even the copper spray didn't stop the death. So we are on the hybrid band wagon for the time being. I might try and save some seeds from them anyway. What is the worst that can happen? Poor/no germination or never set fruit might happen. But, I might get lucky and have my own seed. The book gardening when it counts states that most of the newer *heirloom* varieties came from hybrids from the fifties.

My parents sent Kassi a bunch of Iris rhizomes. They are labeled and organized for Kassi to grow them for sale. Four varieties will be ready next year and dozens will be ready in a couple of years.

We planted half of them in the raised beds by the peach tree. The other box of longer term plants are still in my closet. We need to get beds ready for them and it is too hot out to do that kind of work.

Bob is loaning us four fencing panels for a dog pen for Astrid. I know, that doesn't sound like me. It appears that she will go into heat before the boys are ready. Plus we'd like her to not get bred her first heat. So we'll put her up during her heat until the boys are ready and she has had a few heats.

Tucked under the fence panels are four twelve foot long telephone pole sections. They are going to be a play tower for the kids. It will overlook the garden and paddocks. It will be like a guard tower. I'm thinking a zip-line careening into the forest.

The broiler chicks are growing like crazy.

This is my new door design. It requires a pipe bender to make but it is really elegant and simple.

I also put an improved handle on this tractor.

It is inspired from mikes tractors that I am borrowing. We are very pleased with his tractors. They turn on a dime and squeak next to fences more easily than mine.

I also had an epiphany regarding the water fountain for this new tractor. The pipe connects to the bottom of the bucket with a homemade bulkhead fitting and a sock as pre-filter.

It goes straight down to the water fountain using a bit of old hose so it will hang correctly in an incline situation. The whole thing clicks apart and removes from the tractor quickly and easily for dumping, cleaning or repair.

Having the water fountain connected to a flexible hose has the added benefit of easy dumping of the bowl when it gets fouled.

I also added the new style doors to the old tractors.

We zip tied billboard-vinyl-tarp to the doors. So far we are very pleased.

These birds are looking so healthy.

We also turned the sheep loose in the paddocks. They promptly used the dog pass through and went to the upper field. They like being where the dogs are. The dogs love them, respect them and genuinely seem to enjoy protecting them.
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