Back Forty

Back Forty update

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The garden doesn’t wait for you to have the time or inclination to deal with it. I’ll be sorry later if I don’t heed its call in spring. I know this from experience.

I was feeling a little low today, because I have all these art ideas and new skills and paints and supplies to play with, and I don’t have time this week to do it! But the weekend beckons. Right now, it’s time to plant tomatoes and beans. And I did get some creative satisfaction out of it.

I’m typing this on the deck overlooking the Back Forty, with a cold Yuengling in front of me. Oh, how I love my laptop! The mosquitoes are out, but still tolerable. There is a cool breeze and the blackbirds are very annoyed at me. They must be protecting some little ones nearby. Mama Kitty is snoozing, feeling pretty relaxed after her daily massage and love therapy.

Just as there has been some kind of food available in the Back Forty all year, despite that nasty drought, there is food ready now. I’ve been harvesting lettuce for a few weeks. The leeks and onions from last year reseeded themselves, and boy, do I have lots of them. I decided that I prefer to give the space to leeks, so I didn’t bother to replant the onions, but they had other ideas. The catalog had said that it would be the only time I’d ever need to buy onions. Now I know why.

Every night this week, I’ve had my appetizer of sugar snap peas, eating them right off the vines. Well, I do pick them first. But I stand next to the vines while I eat them.

The little figs are gone! WTF? I am seriously irritated. And the red cherries – I don’t know what’s happening with them.

I’m happy to see the earthworms again. They must have burrowed far into the earth during the drought. Can’t say I blame them, but it didn’t make the robins too happy either.

The artichokes look healthy and wonderful! I hope that my sickly little artichoke seedlings will recover from the Safer soap bath, which seemed to harm them much more than the bugs that were eating them. I planted them so that they will make a row, hopefully.

Still working on the paths. This weekend I’ll need to scavenge cardboard and buy lots of mulch. Also makings for potting soil since I’ll use pots for my Roma tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants.

This afternoon, I planted the Willow and Loudermilk butterbeans I bought from the heirloom breeder from Clemson at the CFSA conference this past fall. You know, it’s all really about the butterbeans. Everything else is just a side dish.

Also, the following tomatoes:

San Marzano – 2
Cherokee Purple – 4
Mortgage Lifter, Estler’s variety – 5
Principe Borghese – 3
Green Zebra (from Stew!) – 6
Mystery heirloom tomatoes – 6

By the way, Stew’s Green Zebras withstood the bug attack much better that the others. Go Stew! The rest of them are pretty pitiful, but I hope that getting them in the soil and some consistently warm weather will help.

I found a little snakeskin and it made me decide to use my little book I made this past weekend for a nature journal. Another post for the book. Damn, these future posts are backing up!

Here’s photo updates, more on my Flickr site, as usual:

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Beans and asparagus. They’re faring better since Mama Kitty whacked the bunny.

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Herb and winter beds gone wild! Letting the brussels sprouts and kale go to seed.

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Ohhhhh. The required “before” photo. Makes me tired to look at it. The seckel pear is battling it out with my neighbor’s peach tree again. Too bad the peaches aren’t edible. Tomatoes are planted in the areas not covered in weeds.

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Lovely artichokes. Soda bottles are to protect the little ones from squirrels.

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Lettuce patch, well picked, soon to be replaced by more beans or field peas.

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I’m getting there, inch by inch.

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I ain’t no sissy prissy gardener.

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