Saturday, July 31, 2010

Photo Update

This weekend I rented a lens from Borrowlenses, who was kind enough to move into a store about a quarter of a mile from my house.

On Saturday AM, something woke me up at about 5:40 (our cats were the culprits, most likely) and so I woke up my older daughter and we headed out into the overcast morning to see what we could find.

We mostly drove around the town of Woodside, CA, and we spent most of the hour just talking and goofing off. We stopped, finally, on the way home when we saw two horses chasing each other around in circles and generally acting silly.

Unfortunately, I was so busy laughing at the horses and talking to my daughter that I did not concentrate much on the quality of my shots. Here's literally the best one I took.

But it was just great to get a nice quiet, fun hour with my 10 year old before she magically turns into a parent-avoiding machine.

Tomorrow: Tide Pools!

Saturday, July 24, 2010


We finally managed to grow some full sized, honest to goodness, actual carrots! This is after many attempts, so we're really happy.

(click for larger view)

And of course, the chickens pitched in to help too, donating one perfect egg each.

We ended up tearing out the lemon cucumbers as they've failed to produce and we got tired of waiting/feeding the mice. We threw the plants into the compost (135F today) hoping it would help with the smell.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Another Garden Update

Our potatoes are flowing, so that means it's about time to harvest them, right? I don't even remember when we planted them, but they were huge for a long time until the neighboring cucumbers came along and took all the sun. The kids are absolutely giddy with the thought of digging them up.

Also, the corn is 8 feet tall, complete with the little things that grow up out of the top:

Oh, and we finally have our first tomato! I'm sure a mouse is nibbling on it as we speak. This is a huge deal because we had about 6 plants all grow up to about the size of a small tree, and zero tomatoes. Of course, we have no idea what kind it is.

The pomegranates are huge, and I think we have about 6 that have a legitimate chance of becoming actual, edible fruit. Fingers crossed!

Some poblano/pasillo peppers. This is the best we've ever done with peppers in our garden, so we're wondering if that means we're getting better, or if the garden fairies are coming at night and replacing the dead ones with real, live peppers.

And then, a question. We have a blueberry bush we planted this year, and it has these nice healthy shoots growing up from the base of the plant. I figure that they're "suckers" from the rootstock, but I don't know if that's how blueberries work. Should I cut them off?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


That dragonfly sure loves our yard:


The compost pile was at 155F last night when I checked. That is a new all-time record for our composting efforts. This is great news as the stuff we pulled out of the chicken run continues to run hot. The problem is the smell (a little like urine/ammonia, bleh). I think we need more browns in there (I need to remember to throw in the spoiled hay we have...). I'm hoping the neighbors haven't really noticed yet.

We try to keep two batches going. The first side is the "in progress" stuff where we're throwing new stuff, and the second side is the "finishing" side where we let it just sit there and finish up. Our finished side is, well, finished and so we're looking to use it to amend soil/etc.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Little. Furry. Evil

After getting three quick, large cucumbers, we figured our garden was about to head into overdrive. We imagined having home grown cucumber salad every night with dinner. "Oh my," we'd say, "you simply must take some of these tomatoes and cucumbers off our hands!" As our neighbors marveled at the bounty.

Alas, mice have again discovered the garden and have managed to destroy every cucumber after the first three!

The mouse traps are working, slowly. We've managed to eliminate several mice over the last few nights, but that's not enough. They're still out there. Lurking.

I'll say this, though. If those rodents get a taste for pomegranates, there will be war.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Big Things in the Garden

Just a quick update on the garden. The tomato plants are 6 feet tall, covered with blooms, and not a single tomato in sight.

The corn is over 6 feet tall, and not a tassel in sight!

The pomegranate? See for yourself, here's one of 4 or 5 that have set:

And finally, check this guy out! He sat there for a 10 minute photo shoot! My kingdom for a better zoom/macro lens!!!