Thursday, August 9, 2012

Gardens and Puppies

My first sunflower, in greenhouse #2, about to blossom.  I am very excited.  This is the first sunflower I've grown in the north to even think about flowering.  Growing them between the cukes though- bad idea.  They're all entangled in the vines.
Smitty, still so tiny.  He packs a wallop though, so don't let that tiny frame fool you.  He'll knock you on your butt (while you're trying to avoid stepping on him, of course!)  Puppies are doing very BAD with house breaking, although I'm blaming that on my very BAD children, who think they're too cute to keep penned up in the sunroom, and then forget that they're responsible to WATCH them while they're roaming the house.  At least they know not to mess in my room.
Pickling cucumbers in greenhouse #2 are coming on strong.  While only enough for a few jars at a time, I'm still very pleased with the results.  The marketmores (eating) cukes in greenhouse #1 are just starting to catch up, and I should be harvesting the first ones  in just a day or two.  Tomatoes are starting to turn yellow, ears are forming on the greenhouse corn, tiny squash abound.  I'd like to see the peppers doing more than just flowering, but all in all, I think it's coming along nicely.

Peas are still coming in the garden, but slower now.  Beans are crazy.  Mangels have nice large visible roots, definitely a success, and their leaves look delicious.
Huggie beans and mangels
We've got maybe another week left of volunteer potatoes, and then I think we'll just continue harvesting to eat the potatoes we planted on purpose.  It's much easier on the back to just dig a bit at a time, even if some of the potatoes are a little small.  Carrots are still sad and tiny, but I'm actually thinning them out this year, eating as we go, so maybe the rest will get to a decent size.

The beats in the greenhouses are doing as well as the mangels outside, but in the garden, they're still tiny little things. 
Garden corn has just started tassels.  The asparagus beans are barely surviving amongst them, and no fruit.  I think they were too shaded too quickly.

Lettuce is still going like crazy, with a few forming heads (that never happens here) and a couple starting to bolt. 
Cabbage has woken up, and is starting to form heads now. A lot of bug damage though.  I don't see any worms, but lots of grasshoppers this year.  Do grasshoppers eat cabbage? Still little happening with the broccoli and brussels sprouts.
A walk in the pasture revealed lots of perfect little puffballs.  I picked a bucket full for supper last night.  Yum!

What's that flower?  Cranberry suggested Jerusalem Artichokes when she was up visiting.  There are two patches- one in the garden beside greenhouse #2, and one beside the woodshed, where a former flower bed was.  (The flower bed also has a patch of horseradish, so anything is possible).  The plants are easily 5-6 feet tall, and just started flowering.  I haven't dug up any roots yet.  Most Jerusalem artichoke on google images shows a more defined, daisy like flower, although some do have more petals.  These do seem to have a lot of petals by comparison.


  1. You can eat puffballs?!? I love stepping on the things(still a kid at times). Your garden must be magical. I love going out in my tiny garden to see whats growing and ready to pick. I bet its hard not to spend all your time in the garden.

    Little Smitty looks just like Wonder and what a tiny little thing compared to the others. Have you wormed him yet? That might help him out some. My little (ha, she's 63 lbs) Lacy dog was the runt of the litter and compared to her litter mate, Nook (86 lbs), she's still 20 lbs lighter. But she's the smartest thing. So size doesn't matter.

    Your sunflower is going to be beautiful! Can't wait!

    Enjoy your day

    1. Oh, my, yes! If you like mushrooms and garlic, you have to try a puffball. I don't think there are any poisonous varieties, but do an internet search for your area just to be safe.

      The trick is to find them at just the right time. They need to be puffy and firm, and solid white inside when you slice them open. In some areas they are susceptible to worms, but you should be able to see the worm trails, like a wormy apple. Don't eat those ones. You need to eat them within a day after picking, or they start to get mushy.

      We slice them and fry them in butter with garlic until they just start to get crisp. A delicious treat.

      You can still squash the yellow ones (too late to eat, and you'll help spread the spores), and be a big kid, lol!

      I haven't give the pups any dewormer yet, but I add diatomaceous earth to the doggy stew pot at least once a week. There's been no sign of worms in any stools. I don't think he's suffering from lack of nutrition. He's not really thin, just built different. His bone structure is finer than Pinky's. I think she got more of the bouvier traits. That girl is HEAVY! lol.


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    3. Oh man you have my mouth watering! I LOVE mushrooms and garlic and butter of course. Nothing better. I think its past puffball time here. Over 100 and no rain for months. But I'll be looking next spring. Thanks for the tip.
      I've been meaning to tell you about the best jam i made the other day with my rhubarb. I made the usual rhubarb jam recipe but was shy 2 cups rhubarb so added 2 cups of raspberries(pricy little buggers...If I only had my own...). To heck with strawberry/rhubarb jam. This is the best. So use some of those raspberrys with all that barb you've got. You won't be sorry.

  2. Maybe you could threaten to rub the children's noses in the mess the puppies I did not know puffballs could be eaten. How do you eat them? I had to look up mangels--fodder beets. Are these for eating or for animal fodder?

    1. Well, I make them clean up the messes. You'd think that would be enough to motivate them, lol.

      Puffballs- see above. :)

      I'm growing the mangels for the cows for winter fodder. I may eat a few tops though, as greens. My beat tops are very small, and I worry that I'll stunt the root's growth if I cut them. The mangel tops are big, like swiss chard, and such a bright, pretty green. I don't think the plants will miss a single leaf here and there.