Friday, April 30, 2010

april tally-ho

In April the produce started coming in. We've had a few meals based out of the garden, but the really encouraging thing is that all the apple trees are in full bloom. Last year was a miserable year for apples. We harvested a grand total of five apples. That's apples, not pounds, apples. Worst year ever. They look crazy good this year and I'm very hopeful. And the strawberries are looking very promising, also. I managed to kill the rhubarb, so we didn't get any of that. I had no idea you could kill rhubarb. That's like killing off your dandelions. I thought it was impossible.

For April we harvested 34.7 lbs of produce (this includes 27 lbs of eggs) out of the garden. That makes the year to date total at 86.6 lbs.

chickens as lawnmowers

My neighbor asked me to let the chickens into his yard to eat all of his grass. This is a picture of the girls enjoying his lush greenery. We have minimal grass in our yard, they eat it all! So there is one more plus about backyard chickens, they are lawnmowers.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

first garden meal of the season

And did I take pictures? No. But we did eat out of the garden. First real garden meal this year. I picked a whole bunch of green onions for a chicken curry (delicious). I made a rati with the cilantro. Actually I'm not sure what it is called, but it is a big plop of homemade yogurt with a bunch of chopped cilantro in it. Very refreshing to eat alongside the spicy curry. We also had a fresh salad made of garden lettuce and fresh spinach. And finally, Chinese cabbage on the side, as cooked greens. I

I know the meal wasn't really anything special but this is the first time this year we had a meal mainly made out of garden produce so it made me really happy.

Garden update-- I've got the entire garden almost all planted. It's been a bit hot lately for this early in the spring, so I went ahead and put the pepper plants in. Even those it feels like I'm rushing things a bit. I basically have everything in except the sweet potatoes, they get put in around May. Apple update-- the trees are going crazy! More blossoms than leaves. Bees buzzing in a constant hum. This ought to be a great apple year (which compensates for last year being truly lousy?).

Sunday, April 11, 2010

apple blossoms

The apple trees are all in blossom. Apple blossoms are my favorite flower. I grew up with an apple tree in our back yard. We loved it. We loved to climb in it, watch the progression from flower to fruit. We ate green apples a every stage. I never got a tummy-ache (which amazed my mother). Very few of those apples ever ripened to red. The entire neighborhood of kids ate from our apple tree. I learned how to cook from that tree. Neither my mother nor my father liked sweets, something my brothers and I thought was really weird. I made it my job to provide apple tarts (and all sorts of other cookies/candies/cakes). When we got our own house (which we're still living in) I put in apple trees the first year. Only one of those original trees is still standing but I've planted others. My children enjoy the trees like I always have. I don't think their childhoods are as wrapped up in the trees as mine was, but they enjoy them and don't complain at all about having fresh apples, apple pies and apple crisps.

dome tent

I'm trying something new in the garden. This is a dome made of PVC pipe and covered with tulle. It is suggested in the Square Foot Gardening book. Every year I try to grow broccoli and cabbage and these lovely little white moths fly around and alight on the leaves and next thing I know there are holes in the leaves. The PVC pipe is just to hold the tulle up off the plants, while still allowing air/water/sunlight. Will it work? Ask me again at the end of the season. Every year I try new gardening ideas and every year at least half of them will NOT be tried again.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

march tally-ho

Total produce for March (just eggs) = 25.6 lbs

That makes the total for the year (so far) = 49.1 lbs.

BTW the apple trees look like they are going to have a lot of blossoms. Blossoms equal apples. That ought to up the poundage considerably.

happy general conference

Today is not only Easter it is also General Conference. I love General Conference. Twice a year the leaders of the church speak to us directly, through TV or the internet and this year it fell on Easter. It is a chance to reevaluate my life and work toward improving it. I love my Savior and I love his church. has links to General Conference.

early spring report

The apple trees promise to have lots of blossoms. Blossoms mean apples. I'm so hopeful! The carrots are my experiment to over winter carrots and harvest them in the early spring. So far I'm totally unimpressed. The long green stuff is garlic that over wintered. We've had good luck with that in the past, it look great this year, too. The little green plants are broccoli and cabbage I grew from seed. We'll see how they do.

camping trip

Over spring break we went on a camping trip to a local state park. The weather was absolutely gorgeous! No mosquitoes! Do you sense my happiness? It was a lot of fun to mess with the campfire at night and the next morning we took a lovely hike to the cliffs. DS#1 is hiking exactly where he's not supposed to be. Notice the look of determination on his face. A good time was had by all.