Week in Pictures

It’s like watching paint dry waiting for tomatoes to get red. Our tomatoes I will say have definitely made up for lost time, I mean it isn’t even the end of July yet and after such a late start with the rainy spring, to have the first few glimpses of orange-turning-to-red, I’m pretty stoked. Crossing fingers that blossom end rot doesn’t occur on the Romas though…that’s always maddening!

More flowers going nuts – the sunflowers are at least eight feet tall and our hibiscus (rose of sharon) bushes are just starting to bloom. VERY glad I cordoned them off from a certain gang of web-footed quackers who were nipping the buds in spring…

Lessons Learned from a New Duck Owner (clockwise from top left): 1) No matter how hard they try to nibble at the leaves, the cardoons are tough will still grow taller than they can ever imagine – and provide good shade for them on hot days (can yo ubelieve how tall they are! Last year? 3-4′ tops.), 2) Cucumber plants are like crack – not just the veggies themselves but the leaves, and even with the additional barrier they’re like little addicts looking for their fix each morning (picture me, on lawn chair, hose in hand like a 357 Magnum, ready to squirt Ethel and Betty, the two worst offenders…), 3) If you decide to still grow garlic in the holes of your cinderblock raised beds, this will be your entire crop. Ugh. Only the ones that were planted extra deep survived because they nibbled off the tops of most. 4a) You will actually ask people if they are growing extra zucchini because your plants look like this. And yeah, this was surrounded by a little fence (we really learned how long they can stretch their necks into small spaces, the little shits). 4b) Like garlic, your onion crop will be lessened as well due to some tyrant ducks nibbling on anything and everything. Let’s just say the outer row of onions were harvested as “spring onions” even though it’s late July. For some reason they’ve not gone after the carrot greens, and thank goodness, the leeks are in the center, far from reach. 5) Marigolds grow like crazy and are great treats! Unfortunately, they’ve been pecking on the pepper plants that surround them (and as you can see, for pepper plants in late July, we really had a doozy of a late spring – look how freakin’ short the plants are! One has already been given a proper compost burial…).

Honey Tarragon Pickles – a new recipe! With exception of the spices (peppercorn, mustard seed and coriander seed), everything else we grew/made/harvested – honey from our hive, tarragon/cukes/onions from our garden, and even the ACV which my husband made last year from apple peelings when I made and canned umpteen quarts of chunky applesauce!
Oh and our backyard patch of blackberries and marionberries have not let us down. After a good amount of jam already made, we’ve picked some for fresh syrupy goodness over our pancakes, and now today I’m thinking of making some banana bread with these lovelies mixed in (thanks to the inspiration from the Homeschooling Homesteader – check out her brand new blog, y’all, this girl is pretty awesome!)
And…while I’m not promising…I have reopened my book project after over 2 years away from it. Our struggles with infertility and the Ethiopia adoption program closure really sunk me for so long, and I thought “well I wrote it, just because I didn’t publish it doesn’t mean I didn’t achieve my goal, right?”. Wrong. Too many people in my professional circles have been telling me “you know you really should write a book!” when it comes to my posts for job seekers, hiring managers, recruiters and more. So the other day I pulled out my 3rd draft of my job-seeker’s handbook and started reviewing it again, working on the Foreword that I’d never quite finished – harder than the actual content, to be honest!), and who knows, maybe this time I’ll get this published and – gasp! – sell a few. Of course it might be years before I think of an actual book title…

5 thoughts on “Week in Pictures

  1. Some times I feel bad for my chickens because they are stuck in a run all day instead of free ranging the yard. But then I feel happy for my garden! I’m sure you will come up with a good system to keep ducks happy and veggies safe after a few years of trying new things.


    1. Yeah, we just need taller raised beds! Ducks need more space than chickens so while their run is the minimum 40 s.f. they require, it’d need to be a lot bigger for them to be comfortable. Being on a 50×100 city lot we definitely adjust our garden first 🙂


  2. Wow, we had been considering getting some ducks to help the chickens eat bugs and to have some duck eggs. I’m not so sure I want them now LOL! Our chickens have become more adventurous lately, wandering further away from their comfort zone near the house. I’m hoping they don’t peck our fall garden to death!


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