Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Green Beans!

The thing I like about growing beans is that they're quick to germinate, they grow really fast, and before you know it, you're picking beans.  We planted these Blue Lake pole beans the second week of July, and eight weeks later, it's harvest time!

Evie, the 7-year-old, picked these this afternoon.  They'll be in tomorrow night's dinner.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Meet Lily

After much thought, we decided to add a dog to the family.  We wanted a puppy, since the the girls are rather terrified of dogs; and we figured this would give them some adjustment time before the puppy reaches adulthood.  By then, they'd be quite used to it and the fear factor would be gone.  That is the plan, at least.  A few years ago, we rescued a dog from a shelter (an adult) whom we were told was "excellent with kids."  After about a month, he began attacking my middle daughter for no apparent reason.  Not playful nipping... full on attack.  So, that ended badly, but it is also where the kids get their fear of dogs.

I'm happy to say that Lily has been quite playful, and the middle child, Evie, has overcome her fears and will sit on the floor and play, even giggling when Lily nibbles a toe.  The youngest, Emily, is content to just sit and watch.  She's still nervous about her, but has let Lily lick her hand... so it is coming along slowly.  

Lily is a wiggly, wrinkly, snarfing, handful of cuteness.  She's also well on her way to being housebroken!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Our Tiny Garden Bed

Moving to Pennsylvania at the beginning of July threw us for a loop in the garden department.  Normally, I start seedlings in early spring, but we figured we would've stayed in Florida for another year or two.  Moving here was somewhat an 11th hour decision.  I don't regret it; but, I have no ripe tomatoes.

I have a few really tiny green ones at present.  Almost immediately after the movers left, we set out to big box store to see what they had left to transplant.  Our clearance haul included two bell pepper plants, three jalapeno pepper plants, and two Black Cherokee tomato plants.  A couple of packets of seeds:  Seeds of Change Nevada Lettuce and Slow-bolt Cilantro.  I had a packet of Blue Lake green beans leftover as well.  So began the garden.  The bell peppers have yielded one pepper each so far (another is growing), and the jalapenos have yielded at least two each.  Every single tomato I've had grow to over three inches has split completely open, exposing gel and seeds to hungry pests.

Our Blue Lake beans are in full bloom.  Mid-July, I also planted Russian Kale and Speckled Cranberry Beans; both from Seed Savers.  I added a second planting of the Nevada lettuce a week later.

This is the tiny garden plot right now:

It's a bit haphazard for a 3x5 bed, but we're just working with what we've got this year.  The lettuce is diminshed in quantity by about 3/4, since we eat a lot of lettuce in this house.  The second batch of lettuce was planted between the beans and the kale, and none of it sprouted (or it was eaten by garden slugs as soon as it did).  I can't wait until the permanent beds are installed and ready for spring planting.  This bed will become a garlic bed for the meantime.

Construction on the spring beds will commence later this month.

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