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Monday, June 23, 2014

Phase II is Operational

Before I started phase II in the garden, I went on vacation and came back to ungodly amounts of summer squash. Maybe I should take another trip! To be honest, it was a bit stressful being five hours away and knowing that the anticipated rain was a no show. In the past few days, the green bean and squash production has slowed down. The honeymoon feelings have worn off and I blame the heat and humidity. I keep telling myself, "Much to learn, you still have." -Yoda
To start things off today, I became captive to my chickens patrolling the outskirts of the garden for bugs and leafy bits. They seem to be learning how to catch bugs better each day. I am guilty of hand feeding them protein snacks from the garden. Sometimes they wait for me to throw a bug. I might be enabling these chickens...ruh roh!
I pulled up three beds that contained weeds, lettuces, potatoes, and onions that didn't quite make the cut. The potatoes were awesomely huge and better looking than the first half I pulled up. I plan on buying some sweet potato seedlings once I can make it to the store.

Before planting seeds, I cleaned up the beds and added compost that had been brewing since I started the garden project. The heat and humidity really takes the fun out of gardening. On a more positive note, I have planted some new things!!! Feels like Christmas every time I buy seeds, plant seeds, and see them pop up out of the ground. If am I honest, I enjoy harvesting and eating less because I enjoy seeing them grow more than anything else in the world. Gotta eat though too!
I was out past dark sowing the seeds, repositioning the soaker hoses, and running the water. With beds ready for planting, I was on a mission. I was not alone out there as I had what felt like a swarm of mosquitoes taunting me, buzzing my ear, and biting my arms.
So I planted more delicious and beautiful kale, turnips, salad greens, bush beans, and rhubarb (variety of colors). I also planted cauliflower in my keyhole garden which has turned out great.
I am trying out plastic mulch with some corn that I plan on sowing this week. From what I have read and observed, you bury the sides of the sheet with dirt and it becomes water efficient and weedless. I am improvising with some white trash bags and I can't wait to see the finished results once the corn gets growing. I am exploring the different options we have when growing vegetables and I'm trying to grow smarter based on what I have read and seen so far. My hands-on experience has proved that mulching has been the best method yet when it comes to weed control. However, I have grown fearful of using straw or hay as they seem to create a lot of their own undesirable growth. 
To wrap things up I will use pictures to give the run down on how things are going on our family food factory. 
Drying our own herbs
Beautiful cucumbers
Kale still thriving and ready for second harvest.
Favorite vegetable so far.
Hello Beautiful Sunflowers!
Happy bees moving from one to another.
Do marigolds get 2 to 3 feet high? I'm surprised.
Must not have read the package.
Herb garden showing off
Put the mint plants in pots to prevent them
from taking over the garden.
Chives look and taste great!
Strawberry rows taken over by weeds and grass.
Least favorite part of the garden at the moment.
Each tomato plant has green tomatoes. Not
sure I can wait much longer. It is killing me...
all I want is a tomato sliced with crispy toast
and melted cheese on top....Why me???
Sowed bell peppers, chamomile, oregano,
and zucchini using toilet paper rolls. 

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