Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Joys of Summer


This is my first pea harvest ever. It might be hard to tell, but that is a pretty big bowl. Some of the peas I picked too small, because I am inexperienced, but I figured out quickly which ones were actually ready to be eaten as peas, and which needed some more time. The peas will be done within a few weeks though I imagine. They are still young and tender enough to eat as snaps though, too. My lettuce is bolting. This makes me sad, because there is SO much lettuce, and a lot of it will go into the compost. As far as I can tell though, guinea pigs do not mind eating bolted lettuce, so maybe it won't all go to waste.

I am now on hibiscus number three. The first one, from the master gardener's sale, is still exactly the same size it has been since the second week of May. The second one, from Holub's, is still exactly the same size it has been since the third or so week of May, minus a few lower leaves to the bunnies. Hibiscus number three also has a lot going on the first two, like blooms, and leaves, and color. It looks like it will have a bloom on it in a few days. It is from Lowes. Go figure. I think part of the problem is my clay soil. I am not used to working in these conditions. I think some of the plants aren't growing because they can't push roots through the thick clay. I have finally figured out that everytime I plant something now, I have to dig out all the clay, and amend with a bunch of organic garden soil. Hopefully that helps.

Yesterday, I took all the kids to the lake. They had a blast! And the best part? The lake is free! And not crowded! I'm so No, really, I just think there are plenty of ways to have fun that don't cost much or anything. Oh, you can also take toys to the lake (the pool won't let you bring that stuff usually).

The raging sunburn the older kids have is not from me! I smother them in sunblock. They went to the pool the day before at their mom's house, and no one reminded them to put sunblock on there. Here the boys are starting their sandcastle complete with moat.

The boys love to run and bellyflop into the water. My littlest one is beginning to become more comfortable in the water. He will go in without floaties now, though usually hanging onto the noodle.

This is an extremely short video of the bellyflopping. They were really worn out by the time we got home. They managed to recover enough energy to come out in the garden after dinner.

They are eating purslane, which is a weed, but a very edible one, and fresh peas and herbs straight out of the garden. Our kids don't learn enough now about where food comes from... we have lost our cultural knowledge of which foods are good to eat unless they are on a supermarket shelf. I swear that my children will understand how food grows, the work that goes into it, and understand the difference in taste between fresh local food and processed hybridized food that has been bred to sit in a truck for a week and more.

The kids finished the evening off with some good old-fashioned lightning bug catching. My son is obsessed with catching them and keeping them in his room. I make him set them free the next morning.

The kids slept really well last night. We didn't have the tv on once.

So today the kids are off doing other things, so I am back to garden work. Today I was picking peas and thinning the carrots. My guinea pigs will be very happy tonight, eating the thinned out teeny carrots and the greens. I am really impressed with the ways the peas have been producing. It is a hybrid seed that self supports. Hybrid is not all bad, if you can raise it yourself under your own local, organic conditions. I try to do heirloom seeds mostly, but these are self-supporting. They kind of grow on each other and cling to each other. They are really funny...I can flip them over from side to side depending on where I want them to be. They move like wings.

This is my new fairy garden. I know some people make really fancy little ones with elaborate dollhouse like furniture...but I am pretty proud of my first attempt. I have a little sedum and a dwarf bush basil as vegetation for right now. I have some little mini garden tools on the way from ebay.

Here is the veggie garden now...It is hard to get the whole thing in one shot.

You can see the corn and beans are really going.

This is my brugmansia that I got at a garden sale for 10 dollars! It is growing furiously now that I brought it outside, and it hopefully soon I will have huge trumpet like blooms. They smell fantastic at night.

I love summer...and I love my job, because it enables me to spend so much more time with my kids. The gardening is a bonus, but the true joy of my summer is the kids.


  1. Is your brugmansia what we call angel's trumpet,it's beautiful.Your veg garden looks wonderful.

  2. It is the same thing...I think angel's trumpet is a term used for all kinds of brugmansias. That was actually a couple years ago, and that plant stopped now it is dead. oh well. lol.


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