Wednesday walk through the garden 8/12

As the summer is flying by, the gardening is still going strong! My cucumbers were very slow going this year! I had already made pickles in July last year! But, at least I’m finally getting some cucumbers!

Finally! Some cucumbers!
Finally! Some cucumbers!

I have seen so many wonderful garden or gathering aprons online, and being the poor teacher that I am in the summer I couldn’t swing $30 for something I didn’t “need.”  So, I used a gift card for JoAnn’s and bought $5 in fabric and made myself one! It’s perfect for picking green beans, gathering eggs and holding clothespins!

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My garden apron!

I’ve been lucky enough to harvest around 30 pounds of tomatoes so far this year! This is a beautiful brandywine tomato

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Brandywine tomato!

Here is a picture of the biggest jerk that has made my green bean plants their home. It’s a bean beetle of some sort and it is down right evil! I have been picking them off daily, but they are driving me nuts!

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Bean beetle (aka horrible infestation!)

I have a couple pumpkins that are already turning orange! I almost wish it could stay this green/orange combo forever!

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Orange pumpkin!

Is anybody else harvesting some yummy stuff? Are you busy canning, or giving lots away?

Sad, sad food waste!

Alright, I know, everyone has wasted food! I get that! What I don’t get is how much people throw out! I really don’t get people that grow food that they have no plans on eating or giving away. They just throw it out! My neighbor, who is a wonderful neighbor, throws all of his extra garden goodies into the woods right by our property line. Here’s what I found lately:

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All this! Thrown out!

So, I did what anyone would do! I kept them. Not for myself, but for my chickens. And they loved every bite of them!

To cut food costs and waste here at the Llewellyn homestead, we only grow food we love and preserve what we can! If we don’t end up eating it or something gets a little too ripe, we give it to the chickens! (And yes, I always make sure that what I’m giving them is safe first!)

A couple of our ladies!
A couple of our ladies!

Anything that is just too gross or not ok for chickens goes into the compost pile. This pile can get so hot that I have seen it smoking before! This is added to the garden at the end of the season to make the soil even better!

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Our compost pile!

How do you reduce the amount of food that you put in the trash?

Wednesday walk through the garden 8/5

I am so happy to say that I am harvesting lots of amazing produce from the garden!

The green bean trellis is really taking off! It’s made of a cattle panel and has pole beans planted at the base.

Green bean trellis
Green bean trellis

We had an extra pumpkin plant that didn’t have a home, so I planted it down in the yard and it cracks me up how it is growing in a straight line!

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Pumpkin plant

Even though the sunflowers are much smaller than last year’s, they are equally as beautiful! And, the bees most definitely are loving them!

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Beautiful sunflowers!

Im happy to see that some of the larger tomatoes are finally ripening! This one is a brandywine tomato and weighs over a pound by itself! I had to pick it a little too soon because something wanted to eat it!

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Brandywine tomato!

This little beauty is my cockapoo Izzy! She is amazing at chasing rabbits away! Also, she’s amazing at looking stinking adorable in the garden!

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Izzy girl the rabbit chaser

This is the amazing harvest that I picked tonight! It is well over a pound of beans, plus eggs, a cucumber, bell pepper and a few zucchini!

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The garden is growing well and providing so much for our family! Hopefully it continues to grow well!!

Sweet potato

This year we decided to plant a new crop, sweet potatoes! We love them around here! And since we have a dog with a million allergies, we can turn them into sweet potato treats for him! We started by planting them in late May. They looked so sad and tiny then!

Sweet potato vines
Sweet potato vines

Once the weather started warming up, they really started to take off! They started to vine all over the place! I quickly knew that they were going to overtake their space!

Growing and growing!
Growing and growing!

When I returned from vacation, I could tell that they had really enjoyed the hot weather! Now they are everywhere!

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Looking amazing!

I really hope that we will get some sweet potatoes before Fall arrives!!

Wednesday walk through the garden 7/29

After coming home from vacation, we have a lot of catching up to do around here! The garden is growing fast and really starting to produce some delicious food!

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Technically our neighbor who watched the garden got the first tomato! Lucky girl! 😉 but looks like the second one is mine! The boys won’t touch them unless they are made into pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce!

My first red tomato!
My first red tomato!

I can’t wait until this beautiful muskmelon ripens! It looks delicious! I can’t believe that only a couple of weeks ago it was a teeny tiny fruit! The wood chips are working well at keeping the melon off of the dirt!

Our beautiful muskmelon
Our beautiful muskmelon

And below is a picture of some of the beautiful green peppers that are growing! They are a little behind because we start ours from seed, but they will still be giving me some yummy peppers soon!

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I am so excited about the beautiful sunflowers that are growing right outside the chicken coop and run! It gives the ladies some extra shade in the summer and are just beautiful! Plus the added bonus that they will produce seeds for our girls!

I love these sunflowers!
I love these sunflowers!

Vacation time!!

We have been blessed with being on vacation on the beautiful island of Ocracoke, located off the shore of North Carolina. It’s beautiful there, but takes a while to get there! We even have to take a ferry to get on the island! Here we are leaving the main island heading to Ocracoke! 

imageWe camped for the first night and then stayed in a house for the rest of the week. While we were unloading the truck, I heard a strange-familiar sound! It couldn’t be!?!? But it was! The neighbors had backyard chickens! It was like home away from home! And they had a pretty sweet coop!

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While walking around the island, I was shocked at how much the locals grow! I saw lots of cucumber vines, zucchini plants and many grape arbors! And sunflowers were everywhere!

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It was a beautiful week with my amazing family! Only on this sweet island can you check out thrift shops, visit the local library where they let you take books without a library card and walk everywhere! (And of course swim in the ocean!) It’s true… time flies when you’re having fun! Now to wait and see how my garden looks when I get home!

Experimental potatoes

About a month ago I had a lot of potatoes growing sprouts in the kitchen. The problem is that they are market potatoes. Why is that a problem?!?! Well, I don’t know anything about what kind of pesticides and soil they were grown in! I really don’t want to expose my garden soil to weird nematodes or any type of disease. So, instead of just throwing them in the compost, I put them in the second bin of the compost. (The one that doesn’t have anything in it as of now!) I added some aged compost and covered with wood chips. That’s it! So far, the experiment is going pretty well! Here they are about a month later:

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I will definitely be updating later in the season with how the experiment is going! Hopefully I will get at least a few potatoes!