Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Goats and/or's a blogclog

The milk is made, the goats are fed, the eggs are collected.  The eggs need washed, the strawberries need picking, and weeds are growing.  The first farmers market is this afternoon.  I had given up on the farmer's market because my daughter was supposed to have an ACL revision at basically the same time.  My day had been planned around that.  Just now the surgery center called to say they were rescheduling her surgery for Friday.  Now I have to change my schedule.  I think I have a tour. many things to blog about, so little time.  What to do?  What to say?

First..the goats.  I have a love/hate relationship with goats.  I have long loved their little faces, their bright little eyes, and their perkiness/querkiness.  I have long hated that they get sick, they have babies at the most inopportune time, and they have no respect for anything but a pristinely well kept electric fence.  Oh yeah... I forgot their feet.  They need trimming...seemingly all the time.

Yes, we have goats.  First we had no name goats, that helped us get control of our multiflora rose infested landscape.  Goats are the animal version of round-up.  Then, we had dairy goats..specifically ...OMG, I can't remember...the all white ones.  They were 4-H projects, and provided us milk for cheese.  Yummy cheese.  Milking became a burden, and now we have Boer meat goats.  We don't eat them..but we grow them so other people can.  They were also 4-H projects.  

This year, the goats were annoying.  Two of the first-time mothers refused to be mothers.  We had to pen them, and help their babies eat and/or bottle feed.  Annoying.  This last one is the most annoying.  She is a querky little goat, gets out all the time, and on top of that refuses adamantly to let her babies eat.  Blah!! Blah!!  HE SAYS.."I wish you would get rid of those D__ goats."

Next..the eggs.  I forgot the egg basket.  We have 6 young hens, 1 fancy old hen and a fancy old rooster.  That means we get six eggs most days.  Our chickens and goats are a 5 min walk from the house.  You need a container to carry to the eggs.  We have been using an old kids Easter basket.  I keep forgetting it.  Now we are slowly collecting barn containers in the house, because I rob something to carry the eggs in..and sigh..I don't take them back.  Barn containers around the house are not cool.  And...the chickens did not keep their eggs clean..they need straw in the pen.  The hen guarding the nest, pecked me.  If she was going to do that, at least she should have kept them clean.

The strawberry patch is ripe for picking.  I was seeing some color, and then after a long stretch of no rain, it rained last night.   I was worrying that we wouldn't get rain, and I am not set up for irrigating the large patch.   That I guess, is next on the Agenda.  

Farmers Market..not sure what I am going to do about that.  Since I didn't think I was going, I am not prepared, but I do have lettuce..and strawberries.  Hmm.  

ACL revision... that's the other thing.  My daughter has like a 5 year history of ACL problems.  

The good thing...At least the house is semi-clean.  College daughter...expecting sympathy company during ACL revision demanded it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things

I am posting a favorite photo of my children.  They are all young adults now, but they are still a few of my favorite things.  I am a mother, and when presented with a choice--I will always choose them.  In the past I have chosen to set aside some of my many interests so that our family could be involved with their activities and I have never been sorry.  They are my favorites.

I love my daughter's happy engaged smile and now that she is older, I seek to make it happen, and am so satisfied when I see it.  I love to see it when she is in the company of others..because I know then that she is happy with her choice of company.  I am forever in awe of her artistic talent.

I love my middle son..because he can always make me smile.  He is the real deal, always genuine, always kind, and with a unique talent for seeing life from a little different perspective.  He makes me laugh, and for that I will always be grateful.

I love my oldest son for the intensity with which he lives life.  He is a survivor, a go for the gusto, and forever surprising me in some strange way.  He carves out his life as he goes,  and has little patience with other's mistakes, or his own.  I am proud of the things he has acheived with little help from others...and he is not one that returns little favors in a significant way.

That my friends is my post for today.  The qualities that I admire in my children also quide my choices in other ways...the blogs I choose to  follow, the plants I choose to cultivate, books I like to read, and friendships I maintain.  I like the ones that are  artistic, that are humorous, and those that indicate their creators are the genuine real deal.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Blogging Blotanical

Notice that little green box on the left?  "Blotanical" with "Find Garden Posts"?  It doesn't take up much space but it is really worth the space it takes up.  Why?  Not just increased traffic, but skip to the best part...where I talk about motivation and journal keeping.

Most of you visiting this post, know what Blotanical is, because you are members of Blotanical and found this post through that site.  My blogging history is pretty much divided into          "Before Blotanical" and " After Blotanical".  Before blotanical, I had my doubts whether any souls knew my blog existed.  After blotanical--no doubt at least 15 people a day stop by.  For amateur bloggers--that's probably pretty good traffic.  If I had been looking to advertise...before blotanical..would have been nada audience.  

However, there is another positive about belonging to blotanical, besides increasing visibility.  I have been a gardener my entire life, albeit not a very good one.  There is no doubt that Blotanical membership has made me a better gardener.  It helps motivate me to get out there and improve my landscape, and grow a better garden.  

Blotanical and blogging  has helped me to keep a journal for the first time in my life.  I've always kind of wanted to write, and knew that journaling sharpens your writing wanted to keep a journal.  I can't count how many journals I've started....

I have been pretty good about a gardening journal over the years:  writing down what I plant, when, and where..but blotanical has also provided a reason for doing a little better with that.  I can't tell you how nice it is to actually know the name, age, and origination of plants you love.  Kudos to anything that helps you hone the recording skill.

How does it make you a better gardener?  I've planted vegetable gardens nearly every year of my adult life.  This is the first year I've tried succession planting.  I had read about succession planting, and knew it was reccommended..but did I actually do it?  No...

This year I tried succession planting by the book. Now I am reaping the rewards.  Thank you Blotanical. First with radishes..not a big thing...but it is very very cool.  One little row is done, and I can replant to something else.  But another little row is ready..and they are at peak harvest.  The same is happening with lettuce, and is going to happen with Kohlrabi and peas.  

Join blotanical if you want to be a better blogger and a better gardener.  Just click the green box and follow instructions.

Are there negatives?  Lots.  Blotanical tempts you to blog.  Blotanical tempts you to see what other gardeners are doing..even in Malaysia.  Now what does that have to do with anything practical?  That's just fun.  Blotanical causes a garden or blog syndrome.  Do I browse through blogs or do I get out there and garden? 

 I guess I had better get to the garden before the sun.  I need to thin and transplant that next to last Bibb lettuce plot!!  I think I might have lettuce for next week's Farmers Market from the planting before that one.  Hopefully..I can have lettuce for a few weeks in a row.  Very cool.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Old Ladies and Garden Clubs

My friend has been inviting me to join her little garden club for over ten years now.  
I was interested,  and it sounded like fun..but there always seemed to be conflicts with my schedule or my kids schedule.  My kids used to laugh when I would discuss joining the garden club.  "You--in a garden club?"  Last summer, my daughter actually suggested it.  I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when out of the blue, she said " should join one of those garden clubs that Terry goes to."

Terry actually belongs to to two garden clubs.  The one, she says, she likes because they just have fun and are not finicky.  The other one, she likes because the members are more serious, and she learns from both.  She like to try her hand at flower arranging.  Me...I like to look at her arrangements.  

She knows me well.  She suggested the "fun one".  The fun one is called Ripley Gardeners.  Even though they meet once a month--there was always a serious conflict.  There was last night too.  My AAPC meeting about ICD-10... For those of you who don't know what that is, it is a professional society for medical coders.  I'm trying to become one of those, but..with each passing month it seems less likely.  I will soon have to decide whether it is worth being a member.  Choice two..the garden club.  Hmm..which sounds more fun to you?  Hmm..which sounds like it might lead to employment?  OOOPS.   

When my husband and young adult son..who is still resides at our house...because the room is free?... arrived home from work , I had decided on the garden club, but was trying to rationalize it out loud.  
Young son..said "Garden club?  Now that is something I have no desire whatsoever to participate in! That's like you and Aunt Hazel talking about couch covers and carpet last Christmas when everybody else was ready to go home."  Now...I don't even remember that conversation!!" 

 I was trying to motivate this same son, earlier this month, by asking him what essential thing he would do to the yard and garden first.  "Put the piggyback sprayer on my 4-wheeler, fill it up with Round-UP and drive around"   Now really.  Who listens to that kid?  Sometimes, I do.  His suggestions sometimes have merit...even that one.

The garden club.....I went.  I had fun.  I bought $9.50 worth of plants in their white elephant auction.  Three Forsythia, a yucca, two native honeysuckle vines, and three pots of started Kentucky pole bean plants.  Now that is a bargain anyway. month they are planning a trip to Wade and Gatton.  They are  awesome Ohio Hosta growers.  There are visions of beautiful Hostas in my brain.  That will keep me going today.

Who said garden clubs were for old ladies?  If that is true, then garden clubs are for the best old ladies...don't you think?

Now...the cows are probably out, and the goats need fed, chicken eggs need collected.. and the clock just goes faster and faster.  I'm not just saying is my reality and the little clock down in the corner says it is after eight.  I've come to understand that blogging time is different that normal time.

.  I hope that  cow is still in.  She got out yesterday and I had to spend an hour messing around with that!!  And...I don't even know if I have to go to work this afternoon!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Grand ma said..

Grandma used to say it wasn't safe to put anything tender out until after Memorial Day.  I guess that is good advice for our part of Ohio.  We had a hard frost last night, and one is predicted tonight.  I didn't have anything to worry about...I thought.  But check out the before and after.  OMG.  I'm sure it hasn't helped them to be all they can be.  I had added extra straw last week, but  the poor babies stuck  their heads out again.  Since they had been growing through all this weather I thought they would be fine.  Wrong. 
Upper left-potatoes yesterday
Lower left- frost layer
Upper right: potatoes this morning
Lower right: potatoes this afternoon

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bush Hog Sunday

Check out some photos by clicking on the links above.  By clicking, hopefully you can select a slideshow.  I'm still trying to sort this stuff out.  Oh my gosh--it sounds so simple, yet.....  I also enabled google ads.  I thought I would try it for a while.  I really don't like advertising.  If I think they are obnoxious, I'll take them out..but I do really appreciate all the free stuff I'm getting and I know Google has to pay for it somehow.  Sigh.

Anyway, what a beautiful weekend we had.  I got loads done.  Still, there is lots to do.  I haven't gotten the garden mulched there is still weeding to do.   I bought some bean seeds, a couple of Sweet million tomato plants, and a lily.  The lily is planted, the beans are not yet, and the tomato plants will probably go in containers.

I also bought some annual flower seeds.  I'm thinking of using a raised bed I have as a sort of nursery plot for some of those. 

Oh's late and my brain and body is tired.

The definition of "country" in Dogsandcountry

What is Dogs and Country? The dog part is easy. It is a blog that has lots of photos of dogs. Country? No..not country music, but country music embodies the spirit of the the thing.
When I started this blog..rural beauty and rural "realness" is what I wanted to capture. I wanted to capture the essence of "country living" through words and photos.'s photo is of country dogs playing in stream with wholehearted abandon, for the sheer joy of running. No thought of the consequences..they are just wholeheartedly loving being outside and in the woods running in the water..just loving the sensation of it. You might have to click on the picture so you can see them better..but they are clearly enjoying life.

Gollee--this must be Sunday sentiment.
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Saturday, May 16, 2009

A little country story

We went a little south to our woodland and field property last night.  Just a little bit different thing to do on a Friday night.  That's right we put a few hot dogs, macaroni salad, chips, and beer in an ice chest-climbed into the 4X4 ranger and went to burn a brushpile and cook hotdogs.  We had cut and stacked some thorn apples at the side of a field last fall, my husband thought they were ready to burn and we needed to get equipment into the field.
I accepted this invitation from my husband -a little wary, but willing-(-always to go look for wildflowers and stuff); wary because sometimes these brush piles are not ready to burn, and sometimes these trips turn into all work and no play.  Who wants to work on Friday night?
Well-the brush pile burned spectacularly, pretty much that is, and I wandered around the area taking pictures, looking for birds, and locating the poor little pines we planted on one of the slopes a couple of years ago.  Eight of ten survived deer, drought, and weeds.  Amazing.
I was back to sitting around the less exciting fire, smelling dairy farm from over the hill, whenI hear the familiar sound of a 4-wheeler coming up the road, turning into the lane, navigating the ruts, and coming around the corner.  Now it is dark, and I didn't see it, I heard it. 
 Who has a 4-wheeler that has no lights, and goes riding on it after dark? Somebody who has to.   That's right, it was my brother-in-law looking for his cattle. he went, to ride a wooded fenceline in the dark, looking for longhorn rodeo bulls.  Doesn't happen in the city.
Pretty soon, back down the other hill he comes, this time with my nephew riding on the back,and he  talking on the cell-phone to my sister, who comes down the first hill in their jeep with their two dogs.

Just typical middle of the night in the country.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Doggone and dogged

SL: Since Labradors(no quite as smooth as  BK: before kids) but I know it has become a timeframe of my life.

I have SL vocabulary now.  I will share two words with you today.

Doggone:  retains its dictionary definition of being a substitute for the GD exclamation we all know so well, but at the same time means the Dog is Gone!.  He was right there by your side, watching you weed, or carry water, or get wood.  He was being good  doing dog things in your presence but in this second ..he is gone.  He went to visit the neighbors in a flash, probably across the road.  You fear for his safety, you fear that he will be gone forever.  You immediately have to go get looking for him, you immediately have to get him, and most of all you fear for him.  Doggone!!

The opposite of doggone is dogged.
I am being dogged at this very moment.
The dictionary definition of dogged,  the adjective,  means determined.  However the term dog besides being the word for the canine animal we know and love is also a verb meaning to follow in a determined manner.  In this case my labradors follow me around the house in a determined expectant manner until I give up and we go for a dog walk.  They dog me when I blog in the morning.  They dog me in the kitchen after supper.  Sometimes it seems that I am just constantly dogged.   I think that is a good thing.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Peduncles and Pedicels

On peduncles and pedicels:

Now that Mother's day is over,
I'm back to my obsession with the

Ornamental Onion, Allium species

that is coming into it's own in my front garden.  I've been
calling it

Allium Giganteum,

because I thought that was the one I bought.  Now that I've been
looking around on the web

for information on this plant, I'm not entirely sure what species I
have. I do know that it is an

Allium, belonging to the family Alliaceae.  For great information
on ornamental onions in general


The thing that I am finding most fascinating is the flower.

It is an umbel on top of stalk.

My old botany book tells me that an

umbel is a type of racemose inflorescences. 

An inflorescence is a group of flowers at the end

of a flower stalk or peduncle.

Racemose means that flowers continue to develop continuously.

In alliums the axis is short and the little short flower stalks in

the inflorescences is nearly  of equal length.

Poppies pop and are done, but alliums develop continuously

over a longer period of time, allowing my amateur skills

as a photographer to show that this flower will be

in the garden for a long period of time.

Above are pictures taken today.

My mom was a gardener..

My mother was a gardener through and through.   She was a "plant whisperer" in her very heart of hearts.  She not only gardened for necessity but because she loved flowers.  A few of her favorites were Gloxinia, African Violets, Peach trees, rhubarb, asparagus, and mint.  She also had a big collection of Amarylis.

I wanted to use this picture because it is as I remember her happiest --going and coming from the garden or working in the yard.  I didn't remember that she was holding radishes.  But...just look at that!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Allium progression

Oh my gosh. It's going to be a progression I hope. I don't know if I can do this.
The difference between today and yesterday is that there is a few more "spikelets", petals? pushing out on the left.
Oh my gosh! Wish me luck. The dogs will probably knock it over and somebody will run a truck over it...or phew.. I don't want to think about all the disasters possible.
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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

radishes for supper

This is my first selective harvest from an April 4 seeding of radishes. I've learned to scatter them scarcely so that I didn't have too much thinning to do. These are small but very tasty and were a fine addition to the relish plate. Radishes need an abundant supply of moisture and nutrition in order to make crisp juicy sweet flesh. Many of you are doing raised beds with nice loose organic media and radishes probably do well.

Radishes almost always quickly germinate, but they do not always make sweet/pungent fat roots that we are accustomed to eating. Beginners need to thin seedlings so they stand at least 2 inches apart, and soil should be amended before planting so that nutrition is immediately available.

Radishes are one of the vegetables that are influenced by day length and if you plant the spring types too late in the season they make all tops and no roots. There are spring, summer, and winter types. We are mostly accustomed to the spring types like Cherry Belle, or Sparkler. Some people are starting to plant some of the bigger winter types late in the garden season. I am going to try some this year just for fun.

They are a very good companion crop for carrots, lettuce, and cucumbers.

The scientific name for radishes is Raphanus sativus and historian Pliny notes that they were cultivated in Egypt at the time of the pharoahs and chinese literature first mentions them in medical literature of the 14th century. By 1806 there were 11 types known to be cultivated in America.

They contain an antibiotic called raphinin. As an herb they have been used medicinally to improve digestion, act as an expectorant and are known to be effective against bacterial and fungal infections.

..more than you ever wanted or needed to know about radishes.

I usually plant too many of them and I did that again this year. Sigh. They are cute and add color to salads and are tasty as long as the weather stays cool and we get plenty of rain.
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waiting for allium giganteum

Not yet.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

It's an Allium Giganteum?

Koko is pointing out that this might be a picture opportunity next week.  I can't wait for the Allium giganteum to open.  They are so spectacular.
I purchased these a few years ago when my daughter and her friends were selling bulbs as a soccer fundraiser.
Now I would like to find a spot for some called Globemaster, that I think have even bigger blossoms.  They are a wonderful addition to my corner plot-they just get enough sun--a sunnier location would probably be better.  They need sun to make strong stems to hold up those big seed clusters.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Early May Garden Plant Inventory

It's a good time to take stock--what's growing and what is not.
In the foreground you can see the Big D, with plastic on the unplanted part. The plastic is part of my reuse recycle  plan.  We sometimes cover our round bales with plastic bale covers.  They add significantly to the expense of hay baling and I thought I would make them do double duty.  It has seemed to work--but it was annoying and time consuming to put them out and keep them from blowing away.  There are now rows of green things in the brown area.

So--here's  my boring plant inventory:
I. Fruit
  Old strawberry patch-with tons of new plants and of course some of the original 4 year old plants. The old patch is weedy/grassy and I will have to resort to a chemical fix.
60 new strawberry plants
5  20 year old blueberry plants, plus 6 new ones that I am propagating from the old
1 Yellow Delicious apple tree
1 Winesap apple tree
1 Montmorency Sour Cherry tree
6 Logan Black Raspberry canes--only two I'm sure is alive
3 neglected grape vines
Italian Parsley ?(new seeding, not sure they are growing)
3.First planting vegetables
9 Iceberg Lettuce plants
6 Red Sails Lettuce plants of original 9(we've eaten two, one died)
9 Broccoli plants
8 cabbage plants(Flat Dutch)
120 (apx) hills potatoes-21 Red Pontiacs, 10 Kennebec, 8 Norgold visibly growing, 
20 white onions
Asparagus--old and new patches
4.  Second Planting Vegetables
40 Oregon Sugar Pod Peas-hope to trellis them today
45 Green Arrow Bush Peas
116 Early Vienna Kohlrabi-got carried away planting them!
23 white onions
78 Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce plants(gave some away)
68 Cherry Belle Radishes
? carrot seedlings--should get them thinned today
? Detroit Dark Red Beets --also need thinned
5.  Third Planting-most of these are up--but some still germinating
a double row green arrow peas
bed planting of Early Sugar Snap
Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach
Wando peas
Swiss Chard
Bibb Lettuce
Sigh.. I think that is mostly it.  There are some volunteer sunflowers growing,  and I have all the warm season stuff like beans, cukes, squash, maybe okra.  Sweet corn will also go  in the field later.

We'll see how it goes.  I am not realy a gardener--I am a planter.  It is more fun to paint the easel than it is to frame and hang it.  Weeding, spraying, thinning, watering and timely harvesting is a struggle for me.  
Happy gardening and blogging to all.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Friday, May 1, 2009

Gardening gone to the dogs

Koko's asking "let's go for a walk?" . She's saying "Gardenings all well and good, but it's been raining, the soil is muddy and it is more fun in the woods". And please, please don't go back in the house. and sit in front of that machine. Just bring the camera and we can go to the woods, and see neat things that other people will never get to see.

The wind is warm and balmy. The water is running in the streams. There are birds to hear, birds to see, and birds to chase. You can look at wildflowers, maybe find some morels, and walk across ravines with me.

We're going to the woods. Gardening will wait for another day. Have a beautiful weekend.
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