My seed orders arrived the other day, making it one of the most exciting days of 2016 so far! Here they are organized by type. I ordered 14 different varieties of tomatoes, this might be a problem.
Not everything can grow as perfect as I want.
Case and point, this years pumpkin patch. With all the rain this June we did not get it planted until July.
And then.... well I didn't weed it very much. To be honest, maybe I weeded it once. And this is how it looked this October.
It is overgrown to say the least. The plants came on late, I was hoping for pumpkins before a frost, but alas the patch was a bit of a failure this year.
I had to do a little searching to see if I could harvest anything.
There wasn't much, especially since the plants had been affected by powdery mildew after all the moisture.
And then there is the volunteer pumpkin patch. The patch that grew in our burn pile from last year's rotting pumpkin seeds.
I believe the harvest from this patch is much better than my purposely plant patch.
The last few evenings have been beautiful, warm nights that make loosing summer hard. We took the opportunity to take a walk around the farm with our toddler and see what signs of fall we could find. Exploring the farm through the eyes of our daughter has been one of my favorite parts of becoming a parent, I can not help but get wrapped up in her excitement over things that I would normally look past.
First, we found a rouge "pumpkin" plant growing out of our burn pile. It makes me a little sad this plant looks better than any plant I intentionally planted in the pumpkin patch this year. We had a VERY wet June and powdery mildew took it's toll on a lot of the patch.
We looked hard and finally found the "pum-quin".
Side note: I am always sad when Alice looses how she pronounces a word wrong; I know she has to grow up and talk like a real person, but can't she say "pum-quin" for ever?!!?
How beautiful is this cream and green squash? Two of our plants crossed last year and this is the result.
Then we found a garden spider.
Things you have to say when raising a brave child : "No, please don't try to hold the spider, it is busy. I know it is pretty, but we don't want to break it's web" What I am really thinking : "If you touch that spider I am going to run away screaming and probably cry."
This spider is just BEGGING to be a part of the Halloween decorations.
I have made a promise to myself that I would never kill an outside spider because they do good.... But if she comes in my house I WILL put a cup over her and ask my husband to squish her later.
And finally we made our way to the sunflowers. This was my first year planting sunflowers; I love them, and can't wait to add more next year.
The sunflower idea must not have worked; Fall is still almost here. And because I can't stop the season with some flowers I spent Sunday afternoon making these apples from our farm....
... into applesauce.
For me, country living is having fresh cut flowers from the garden in the house, all summer long.
This weekend is the symbolic end of summer, when the days slowly start melting into fall. The sunflowers in our pumpkin patch just bloomed, and I will be using them to hold onto summer as long as possible.
The other day I noticed that my once beautiful stand of potted Catnip was looking a little thin.
Last night I found out why.......
The past two years the outside cats have never once even looked at the catnip. I guess that has changed this year.
I won't be having catnip tea anytime soon.
In our garden we grow two types of green beans. The green kind and the purple kind.
I enjoy the purple beans for their interesting appearance and their delicate flavor. These are my favorite beans to eat raw or slightly cooked. This year we had a few more than we could eat before they went bad, so I had to can some of the crop.
The thing about purple beans is they are a little bit magic. Not magic like grow a stalk up to the land of the giants, but magic as in their own right.
I started with a big basket of purple beans and snapped them like normal.
Look how beautiful these beans are snapped! I love the contrast of the green and purple.
But when I pull them out of the canner 30 minutes later, they looked just like regular old green beans.
It's actually a kind of disappointing magic trick.
It's been a rainy summer.
This is an understatement.
We've have 14 inches of rain at our farm in 25 days.
The sun came out the other day, and I took the opportunity to harvest the bumper crop of parsley that has been growing. One of my favorite ways to store herbs is to freeze them. Freezing herbs retains their fresh flavor, and there is nothing like the flavor of fresh parsley in winter soups and stews.
I picked a huge bunch of parsley, cleaned it, and picked the leaves off the stems.
It has been a long, cold winter and I am excited for spring and summer. However, I can't help but feel a little longing for fresh applesauce the moment I see the apple trees bloom. But you know, some things are worth the wait.
The seaman tells stories of winds, the ploughman of