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It's learning to look past life's imperfections

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Gardening on the Cheap-Free Grapevine!

Every year we try to add a new food producer/source to our land. Most of the time we can find what we want or need by trading or, best of all free.ie.”Gardening on the Cheap!

We had the offer of domestic Concord grape vine from family.  It was an established 15yr old vine they were planning to pull out & change in landscaping   The vine is/was a super heavy producer ….even totally ignored the past 10 years. I nearly cried at the thought of destroying it and asked if we could dig it up. The thought of just ripping it out was heartbreaking to us.  We planned to add grapes in the near future so it was a no brainer to at least try.  Being Texas transplants and used to 0 yard maintenance they were happy to let us have it.   We dug and dug…then dug some more attempting to get the entire root ball. Mercy this thing was big! We left a mini crater in the ground.   I’m not sure if it will survive our efforts but it was sure worth the try.  We trimmed about 15 ft. of vine from the fence & planted a bunch of the cuttings along the new trellis. I know we way over planted the cuttings but I figure only a few will survive. I’ve been keeping it watered & 1-2 of the cuttings have bits of green showing so I have hopes some may live & our cooler weather is really helping cut down on the plant stress.


Hard to tell but the main stalk is nearly as large as my wrist.

The kitchen garden has done well.  I’ve added bits here and there through the season.  Mostly herbs & nearly all were transplants or cuttings I was given. Carrots seem to love this soil.  The area originally had a sand base under the pool (which I have amended) so the soil is loose and loamy. Beets have done well as have lettuces.


The 1 cherry tomato plant I put in here just took off like gang busters and is still producing heavily.

Lettuce is coming up faster than we can eat it.


There are various mints, sage, lavender, chives, oregano, thyme, bee balm planted willy nilly in and around veggies as I was given the starts. I’ll say one thing, this area has been virtually bug free, although next year may be a different story I’m enjoying it now.  I need to get out there and do a bit of rearranging/spacing  & separating. I think I want to ring the entire area with lavender. The blooms I want to harvest & dry to use to protect  the wool stash from potential moth problems.

Well, The dust bunnies in my house are scheduling a party tonight their friends all come and don’t leave so I need to go break it up now

Have a wonderful day


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Over  the garden survived my neglect.  However there were a few additions that I’m pretty happy about.

Raspberries, 20 ft trellis and 5 plants. Looks like one did not survive the heat/transplanting but I’ll know for sure in the spring.  I do have unlimited access to more plants.

Blackberries, a second trellis and 5 additional plants.

Asparagus, added to the 1st raised bed. I transplanted mature plants…it was the wrong time of year but they were going to be covered over by a driveway. It was worth the try. It looks like they lived as there was continued growth.  Again we’ll know come spring.

  I’ve located 3 more plants in the area growing wild and want to get those this fall.

Rhubarb,  6  2nd year plants to the 3rd raised bed.  They are doing wonderful, healthy and thriving…tripled in size and continue producing new shoots through mid September..  After 4 years of killing them I’ve not taken one cutting & following nursery advise, mulched the plants with their own leaves as they withered.  Next year should be a bountiful harvest. 

Concord Grapes, Transplanted a 10-15 yr old vine that was scheduled to be ripped out.  Again wrong time of year but, the only investment was the trellis (which we would have put in next year)

Summer is fading fast

This morning I actually put a denim shirt over my singlet when I was on the patio with my morning coffee.  There was a definite chill in the air. Trees in back are dropping leaves..most are just plain brown from the late summer heat.

Over the weekend we harvested the last of the potato’s.  All in all I estimate roughly 30-40 lbs. if I add in those I snitched for meals the past few weeks.  We started out with just 2 Lbs. of seed taters.  My watering,( or lack there of) was inconsistent enough about 1/3 have healed splits in them.  I’m hoping they will still store well. If I had stayed on top of watering I probably would have had a much higher yield.  For the first year in the ground I’m happy with what we have & learned a lot. For example, I learned you don’t need a 6 inch trench..(which I did in the first small section.).  I think you can just about toss the spuds on the ground!  In the main tater bed I planted half of the spuds trenched a few inches & the other half I scratched a planting line. I kept them well covered with loads of compost & there really was no difference between the 2 sections. They actually produced much more than the smaller deeply planted bed. 


Most of the tomato’s in the main garden are done & the plants pulled.  This is the last large harvest I’m sure. They are all bagged in the freezer with the rest of the harvest waiting for canning in cooler weather.

Most of my potato’s produced these tater berries.  After doing a bit of research I learned you can plant them & they will produce seed taters which can then be planted the following year.  I may save a few to try but, I’m not dedicating much space for a 3 year process…..although I probably should


I’ve been so wrapped up in everything else I totally forgot about the strawberry bed once they were done.

It’s loaded with weeds & I’m afraid a lot of plants got choked out or are dead.  It’s on the list for the next few days chores.  Spring will tell if any survived


Remember the weird random squash that came up and took over the garden?

After the vine died back this is what I have.  Can anyone recognize the squash/pumpkin? It has a squash/pumpkin smell and texture…..


But hit with a lawn mower its yellow inside


I bet there are over 30 out there in the garden waiting to be harvested!  Now I need to figure how to store and preserve them

The herb garden is doing pretty well so far….I’ll get photo’s tomorrow

Have a great evening


Monday, September 16, 2013

Life Got In The Way

Of blogging for a while.  Did ya miss me? 

Things got a bit crazy here and something had to give for a bit. It was blogging or what was left of my mind.  I’ve popped in every week or so on your blogs attempting to stay in touch, but I know we’ll be into winter before I catch up.

The garden kicked my rear this summer.  Honestly it was nearly ignored after it took off with our early season rains. We had a business trip to Milwaukee in June & I stayed for a week to visit friends….while I was gone the weeds took off & I was never able to gain control again.  I keep the girls during the day & they would be playing or “helping” while I weeded.  Well, I made the mistake of taking Miss Alix on a walk with me with me down to the mail box…after that when every my back was turned she would take off down the driveway.  Let me tell you that 18 mo. old can run!   I was ready to tie a rope to her.  Our once very quiet road has become super busy now that there are 2 subdivisions on the other end & cars just fly down it.  We have a hard time not getting hit pulling out of the driveway.  The days I was kid free were in the high 80’s or 90’s….I’m not falling out for tomato’s!

I’ve not canned at all so far.  Everything has gone in the freezer.  It was to blasted hot to have the stove on. I figure by this time next month I’ll be up to my elbows in canning jars & have a warm house when the heat will be appreciated.

So, Mr. Fix-It had been going for PT on his arm…well it helped for a while and he gained movement… but then got worse. To the point the vibration of Fred (the riding lawn mower) created all kinds of pain. Making a 18mo long story much shorter…it was a frozen shoulder due to a nerve issue. Yes, good times, mine was getting better and his got worse.  Late August he had surgery.  They knocked him out, forcibly manipulated his arm to break the “frozen shoulder”, removed gobs of scar tissue in the shoulder socket which was creating the nerve pain.  They also removed the little tip of the socket and few  bone burs in there.  When we were leaving they kept telling us he was going to be in sooo much pain that to be sure and keep him on pain pills.  Honestly?  He said the discomfort from the surgery was much less than the constant nerve pain!  No wonder he’s gone grey this past year! 

Know what that dork did the next day? He felt so good… he went to work!   I know a lot of women complain their hubby’s are big babies when they are sick or injured….I almost wish he would get some of that.  Now he’s pushing his healing…trying to play catch-up around here before winter. Can’t slow a good man down.

In the good news department my shoulder is nearly 100%.  Well enough I was released to use my bow again. Last weekend Larry took me to an archery shoot. And, to toot my own horn (keep in mind I’d only shot it about 3 times all year).  Well, the course as it turns out is one national archery champs use to practice. Out of 150 possible points I scored just over 100. Towards the end my arm was pretty shaky but finished with what I felt was a respectable score.

  Next year that course is MINE!!!!

Since it’s 2 am I’m crawling off to bed.  I’ve a list of gardening questions to ask so grab a cup of coffee next time around or skip that post! LOL!

Have a wonderful day


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