You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2012.

Last weekend was Grandma Caroline’s 95th birthday party. It was great fun to celebrate her and the long life she has used for what seems like only one purpose, to love.

There was a lot of family in town, which we happily put to work. Jenni, Josh, Bayley, Jordan and I each took a row of sweet corn and just worked our way to the end, and then we started over and over and over. Now the corn looks great!! And the popcorn is knee high by… the 18th of June!

Solveigh, Alice’s cousin, helped me plant a second set of onions and carrots. She was a pro at popping those bulbs in šŸ˜‰

Following the weekend, we all bonded over the stomach flu. Awwww, family…

Back to work, I picked much much lettuce. We have had some fantastic salads! And the second round is popping through the ground already. It better hurry though or it will be too hot for it to do very well.

Jordan helped me put up a fence for the peas. I encouraged them to climb by tying them against the fence with old pantyhose. It is the best material to use because it is strong but it has enough give to be gentle on the plant. We’ll have some nice walls of peas pretty soon!

And Jordan caged all the tomatoes. Next year we will put up the cages when we plant them. We waited too long and had to damage some of the plants to get the cages on :(. The Dakota millets are especially bushy, so it was hard to get the cages on over them.

Otherwise, right now is just a season of weeding and tending. I won’t bore you with detailing it all and will try to just post pics when pics alone will suffice. And since we’re starting to eat from the garden, I’ll also start posting recipes and ideas to our What can you do with this vegetable? page, the first of which is there now – check it out!

Oh, and check out this wheat ready to head out!! That is when the grain comes out of the stalk. Then you just need to wait for it to dry out and it’s ready to harvest.

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In the past two days, Jordan has tilled everywhere possible in the garden to aerate the soil and get rid of weeds. Some plots though, like lettuce, beans, peas, carrots, etc, with rows closer than 27 inches (or 68.5 cm metric ;)) must be hand weeded or hoed or banditted, however your aggression best expresses itself.

It was time to thin the lettuce, which was very exciting, because it means baby green salads. There is nothing better, friends. And it is a sure sign, along with grill parties and hillbilly margaritas, that summer is here.

So, the garden really looks refreshed, and the plants respond so quickly! Overnight, so you can see them progress. Except the onions, which had to be cut back yesterday so the plant would put all its energy into the bulb. I also pruned the tomatoes to get them focused on growing tall and fruiting. To prune tomatoes, you pinch off the shoots in the joint of the plants — the ones that try to grow in the joint between the leader stalk and the branches… umm, see below.

Here’s our first potato blossom. That means there’s a little spud underground now! We’ll be eating new potatoes on the 4th of July — doesn’t happen often in ND. This blossom is a purplish color, and that means it’s growing red potatoes.

Today I did some much needed delicate weeding of carrots and beets. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, it is easy to pull them out with the weeds. Jordan did a second planting of popcorn, justĀ because I’m pretty sure we’ll use up everything we got!!!!!

Oh, and replanting. All but 3 broccoli plants were eaten by cutworms — arg. So, I just bought some from the greenhouse and put in replacements. I also finally got in some eggplant… not because we’ll eat it… just because it’s so nice to have in the house! If we can find common ground as a society nowhere else, I think everyone can agree there is no vegetable more gorgeous than eggplant.

If the eggplant didn’t do it for you, here’s the kiddos enjoying a popsicle picnic for your moment of zen.

This past week, we did a lot of weeding, planted a second round of lettuce, beets, beans, and peas, and dealt with a seriously ill child, including making 1 and a half round trips (1 hour each way) to the ER. No fun, a lot of stress, but hopefully we’re out of the woods for a while, and the big umbrella of life that covers children, husband, garden, friends, family, community, and home will be normal for a while. I celebrated our return to normal by switching out our winter bedding for the lighter summer bedspread. What? That’s not celebrating? Well then why does it make me so happy?!

Just an update, we dodged the bullet. We actually had a threat of frost for the 29th and 30th, so covered both nights. It never really got to the ground though – some rooftops had frost when we woke up – but I’m still glad we covered it. Now time for the second round of lettuce, beets, carrots and onions, and plenty of weeding.