Saturday, May 31, 2008

Garden time!

Did you bring your work apron?? I've got mine on, phone and camera in the pocket, so let's roll! Meet me down at the gate!

Wow, just inside the gate, take a look at those beans will ya?? Taking off they are!! We've picked off them several times but never enough to 'put aside', but always enough for dinner! That's what counts! The big garden is where we have the rest of the beans for the 'putting aside'.

I'm getting ready to do a second bean planting here in a few weeks. In the long long summers of the south, we can get double crops on many things. Of course, a long summer means not only more crops, but more bugs, more mosquitoes, more heat, more heat..and more heat. Ohh I said that once didn't I? :)

Well, here we are at the tomato's. Lots of green ones still, and plenty that I could probably pick for some of those fried green tomato's ..but I'm hanging in on that a few more days... gotta make sure the 'maters' aren't rock hard!

This first photo is the middle of the 4 rows, between the boxes. I have two rows in each box, on either side of the fence pieces that we use to tie them to.
I came out earlier this week and did some major pruning to these guys. They were just getting too wild and wooly for me!

I pruned back some of the non bearing limbs and found a few sucker limbs. I just gave them a good hair cut. You have to do that once in a while. It has helped them produce even more! (which is always a good thing for the canning jars!)
The second picture is on the backside of the second box, the 4th row. Lots of green gems in there too and I could probably trim these guys back a bit more and may do that tomorrow. We'll see what kind of gardening weather we have.

I went to the garden very early today and worked for about an hour or so. They are calling for 90 degree days here for the next 3 or 4 days, so my gardening chores have switched mainly to the early morning hours. It's a good thing really, but has it's bad points too. Good in that it's not so hot, but bad in that the mosquitoes are usually out and about at that time.
We had a heck of a series of storms move in the other day. Rained hard on and off for two days. That does NOT help with the mosquito population!

The banana peppers are coming right along. I am going to have to treat them I do believe though. They are starting to get spots on their lower leaves, a type of blight for the peppers. It comes from infected seed actually and the only treatment to get rid of it is a copper sulfate. (sigh) They haven't started producing yet, so if I decide to treat, them now is the time to do it. It may or may not work, usually it wont go away. It will reduce the yeild of the pepper crops and I'll have to watch the pods as they come along to make sure they don't start getting it. If they do, I'll have to pick them early and let them finish ripening in the house.

I strolled about the garden yesterday doing a bit of harvesting. I gathered about 5 or 6 cucumbers and about the same on squash. There are more cucs on the vines still, but they can wait a few more days before picking. They are producing a good bit now, so soon I'll be putting some pickles aside for the year. I've got enough to do several jars now, so I may get into that today too! There are plenty of blooms still on the vines with more to come!

The Jalapeno's are doing great. Funny how no bugs ever seem to get to them! LOL..I wonder why??

The okra is coming right along. This is the second box of okra, and the last box on this side of the garden! Let's go in and have some iced tea that I just made and we'll continue our garden and yard walk a little later. I've got a few surprises I want to show you!
Make sure you meet me back here at the garden gate later today, we'll finish the up!

Friday, May 30, 2008

We had a visitor the other day

Scary thing when you see one of these sitting in your driveway when you come outside isn't it?? Imagine a knock on your door and you open it to find an uniformed officer, sidearm and all waiting! OHMY!!

NAHHHH!! It's only my nephew Dennis. I've got two nephews on the force here in my county. Me worry?? NOT EVEN!

Today, was Maya's day though. She was putting in a job application for the Colleton County Police K-9 unit!! Just kidding!, but since she is a shepherd, and she loves to 'ride' in a car, we not?!

She jumped in ready to take off! Mr. Officer even took her round the property! She came back just as proud as punch!

Ohh but my my my, she enjoyed the ride! It was like "MOM, MOM! He even put the siren on while I was in!! Can I do it again!"

She can be such a ham sometimes!!

Do we love our critters or what??

Maya didn't make the force of course..we were just playing...Aww, onto bigger and brighter things!

Want to see the 'doughbowl' that I bought when I was in Pigeon Forge?? A pride a joy for me, hand carved even. We had to bring it home and do the final finishing sanding on it, so hubby finished it for me the other day. Now, I've got to season it with some mineral oil and lots of use, and that is exactly what I plan on doing! I've had a few people stare aghast at me because I plan on using my bowl, but 'tut tut', I don't buy things that I don't use!!
It's called 'collector issues'. I only collect stuff I'll use. Baskets, movies, a doughbowl, etc.

So what do all our Sagewood Bloggers collect? Tell me about your collections. Do you use them or keep them for looks only?
See ya next time, down on the farm!

It's days like this...

That I wonder how in the world my Grandmother kept it all together!

I've been busier then a one armed paper hanger for the last two weeks it seems and this week have been having to run just to keep up ....not catch up!

Let's hope that next week is better! I've got a list of stuff that hasn't been done yet!
I'd like to hear from all you Hedgewives out there, tell me what you do when you 'get behind' cuz we all do.
How do you catch up? Do you double up on the work or do you just go at it again like normal knowing you'll catch up in a week or two?? Let's hear it, share your ideas, hints and tips so other Hedgewives can read along and learn!

Usually when I get too far behind (like I did these past two weeks) I just go at it again on my normal schedule, but I'll make sure I take some pen and paper with me and jot down special things that need to get done, that may have been missed or forgotten about. Then, I'll set aside 1/2 hour every day and start on the list, for the appropiate room I'm working in.

Like, right now I need to put the 'dark curtains' up in my bedroom. (I transfer curtain types depending on the weather/season..heavier lined type curtains for the winter..keeps the heat in, lighter curtains for the spring and fall..makes the house feel fresh and renewed then dark curtains for the summer..keeps the heat out!) Before I change curtains, I usually wash the windows. So this is something that needs to be done in my bedroom area. Instead of taking 'extra time' out of another work day, I'll just wait till that room day and add an extra 1/2 hour to my schedule and do it then. That extra 1/2 hour doesn't have to be done when the 'cleaning time' for that room is slotted either, as long as it's done during any 1/2 hour of that day, then it works for me.
So tell me do you best 'catch up' when you get behind?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

It's craft time again!

The drunken chef cutting board

When we went on our family vacation to Pigeon Forge, we just happen to stop by a few of the shops in the area where we we ran across a wooden cutting board that the hubby and I both liked. The colors of the many different woods they used looked very pretty and it was big enough for my tastes. So, of course, the sweet hubby of mine bought it for me...(I'm such a stinker)

ANYWAY, now I had two smaller wooden cutting boards that I didn't want to 'toss' ...(I'm not much of a tosser for good things), but on the other hand, I really couldnt' use them anymore. They were starting to crack and were really worn. (I'm an avid cutting board user).
I scratched my head ..what to do what to do? I ran to the craft room and fumbled about in there for a good while. I'm sure the hubby was hearing all the clanging and banging and wondering if I was tearing the house down, but I emerged a little while later with a picture that I purchased a while back, for a whopping dollar. I placed the picture up against one of the cutting boards and it fit almost perfectly! There it is, the next craft on the list! Decoupage! That's the ticket! So here ya go, what I did and the finished project!

Here's the board and the picture, so I trimmed the pic to fit on the board.

I wanted the board to show all the way around the pic, so I measured and cut, and measured and cut again till it was small enough.

Then I mixed some green paint with water, and gave the board a color wash on both sides and the edges. Don't ask me why I chose green, I just like green!

This takes a little while to dry, so I went and drank a few glasses of wine while the paint dried.

Then once it was dry, it was time to sand away, to make it look a little worn and old. I sanded it all over, front, back and sides, making sure to hit the edges good.

Once that was done, I damp wiped it down and let it dry again for a few minutes. Which gave me time to drink another glass of wine.
Now, it's time to attach the picture. I put some glue in a small bowl and added a little bit of water, then brush it on the back of the picture.

I carefully picked up the picture and placed the picture where I wanted it. I used a bigger harder brush to smooth the picture out, leaving no bubbles or wrinkles.

******DONE! You can spray it with a sealer if you like, but let the picture dry overnight. Spray and hang! And have another glass of wine! That's it! Now he hangs proudly in my kitchen, reminding me, to drink wine!! Have a great day, and I'll see you next time, down on the Farm!
You never know what we are going to get into around here!

Time to finish that garden and yard walk!

When I last updated the garden blog we had not gotten a chance to visit all of the areas in the garden and about the yard, so today's the day, meet me at the garden gate and let's finish our walk!

Here is a close up of the broccoli plants. They have started to head since this picture a few days back, so I'll have some fresh broccoli heads for dinner soon! I'll be planting a second 'fall' crop of broccoli near the beginning of July, that will be my bigger crop for 'putting aside', this planting was for 'table eating'.
The corn is coming along. We seem to be behind on this compared to some of our fellow farmers here, but then again, some of them are more behind then we are! It's all a matter of timing. Our time starting getting slim and then the rains came, so we had to wait to plant the corn. It's still coming up and looking good!
We planted one long row of sweet potatoes this year. The sweet potato isn't really a potato as true potatoes go.

This is our first time doing these but from everyone we've talked to around here, it's one of the easiest crops to grow. You plant and let her go! We don't havest this till the plants die back. Then we wait a little bit, and dig up the tubers! YUM!

Can you tell me what this picture on the left is of?? I've asked around and have been told it's wild garlic. I've seen pictures and it sure does look like the pictures of garlic I've seen, but it smells like an onion! Well, either way, we are going to let it sit till it dies back and dig it up, we'll find out for sure that way! This was a surprise bloomer in the yard last year too, it's doubled itself this year, so I have to see what it is now! Specially since I didn't plant it!

Here are a few of the plants that are hanging about here and there. A citronella which I got as a tiny tiny thing, it's getting big and I'm glad, they help with the mosquitoes! (actually I've got two of these, but they don't sit together, I've got them on either side of my chair, I hate mosquitoes!)
And finally my angel wing begonia that I salvaged from a stump really.
She's getting right along!

Well, that's it for today, I sure do hope to see you back soon, and you can me at the garden gate! (BRING YOUR WORK APRON!)

Hi again!!

Well, it's been a few days since I've updated the Farm Blog here, but today is the day!
As most of you know, we recently went on a Smokey Mountain vacation for a family reunion.
I've promised pictures and a story go along since we returned, but life got a little busy 'round here with new babies and such, so the story was put on hold.

I'm here to say, the first installment of our Smokey Moutain Saga has been put in place. Since the story is going to be a continuing one, and one of length, I've placed it on a Sagewood Story Hour page. I invite you to click here Sagewood Story Hour for your enjoyment and read the first chapter, The Pickles and the Mountain. I've put a link to the seperate Story Hour page to the left, in the Sagewood Links section. I'll put dates up when I add a new installment, so make sure you check back often for the continuing saga.

With all that said, I'm off to do some laundry, the drudgery of the day and relax. It's been one heck of a week around here!

See you on the story page....and down on the farm!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Today was a good day

Ahh today started early here on the farm.
I was up at 4:30. I had a hot date! Now, if you get up at 4:30, you have to spend your time doing something before the sun comes up. I took my shower, cleaned the kitchen (again, even though it didn't need it..I bleached the sink!), fed the chickens, did a load or two of laundry and got ready for my hot date.
Who was I going to see you ask?? Well, the hot date was with my daughter and her new son.

I got the chance to hold Brayden today for the first time. I especially love to hold them when they are all snugged up in their receiving blankets! After his feeding, we went shopping. I bought a new changing table/storage unit for Brayden, and then we went to lunch at Olive Garden. YUM! One of my favorite places.

I was back home at about 1 and started working on blogs! WOW, keeping up with as many as I do is getting to be a daunting task. :) But it's all good.

Tomorrow is a garden day for me. Our weather turned beautiful this afternoon, so I'm sure it will be cool tomorrow morning. That means garden work! It's so much easier to do in the coolness of the mornings.

So, I'm off to bed, how about you meet me tomorrow....down on the farm

Braydens Page

I've added a new page to the Sagewood pages. "Braydens Page'. You'll see the link on the left, under the Garden Gate.
It was updated today with new pictures so go check out the grandbaby..and enjoy!

We are off to dinner so..I'll see ya next time....down on the farm!

Now that we're rested

Let's take walk in the yard shall we??

Can you hear those chimes! Oh my I love chimes. If a wind kicks up or a storm is on the way, the chimes give me a forwarning of it. These are right outside the back door.

This little guy, my first gnome has been
moved from the rock garden. Now he watches over the entrance and some of the potted plants.

We are in the process of preparing to put a deck on the back of the house, so my rock garden
will have to be moved. Sad thing, but then
again, I get to redecorate the yard!

Ahh, the sun peeking through the fig trees! How pretty. Can you see the oblong little figs beginning their growth! It's looking to be a good crop for this year, and who doesn't love fresh figs! I also can some into jam/jelly for the larder. It's a great jam!

Look what else I spied in the fig trees! A birds nest! I'll have to keep my eye on this little nest, to see the babies. Maybe I can even one day get some pictures for you!

Along the side of the house, is of course my hammock, hanging under a large pecan tree.

Don't swing there when the pecans start to fall!!

Next to that, is the Seven Sisters rose vine.
It's a beauty to look at but oh my the thorns
these classic vines do produce!

We hope to get it on a trellis or an arbor this year as the one it was on just kinda gave out.

The big trees along the front of the yard are almost too big to take pictures of! I keep trying, but gosh, just can't seem to fit them all in. One is a giant pin oak, and I do mean GIANT! The other is a monster of a Magnolia! Check back next time as I try to get pictures of those. I am grateful for those trees, old and huge they may be, but the shade the provide for us is wonderful!

Along the front drive are the blueberries.
There is a row of five, I've only pictured four.
Those five bushes produce so many blueberries,

I usually end up giving some away each year!

Here's a tip for you blueberry growers.
Don't wash them in you intend on freezing them.
If you wash them first, the skins will be
tough when you take them out to use them.
I clean them by putting a handfull or two at a time
into a towel, and tossing them back and forth,
kind of like a towel hammock or sling, rolling
them from side to side. Then freeze.
No blanching, no washing, just the blueberries.
They taste like the came right off the vine all year that way!

The fifth blueberry bush is a little further
back and harder to get a shot with all of them.

The branches are loaded with berries.

OHH yum! The taste of sun warmed
just picked blueberries!

Well, I have more pictures but I will save those for another day. I hope you've enjoyed our walk around the yard.

Why don't you plan on visiting again soon, and meet me down at.........The Garden Gate!

Friday, May 23, 2008

We're back!!

Hello all my fellow Hedgewives! I hope that your weekend was as enjoyable as mine! Would you like to see a preview, just a peek at some of the things that our weekend was filled with?? Take a look
The picture at the top of the page was taken on our drive in. The clouds look as if it's smoke coming from the mountain itself, hence the name 'Smokey Mountains.'

The tunnel into the Smokey's was fun, not that I haven't been before, but it's still fun the 3rd and 4th time!
The scenery was lovely of course, and it's all you can do to keep driving and not stop and just enjoy the view. We were so anxious to get to our destination, that we only made one stop on the way in.

Since we arrived earlier then expected we drove on down to Gatlinburg and walked down onto a small path that led to the riverside. This is the "Little Pigeon River"

We walked along the river for a few minutes, then back into the truck we went to trek back toward Pigeon Forge.

Once we arrived at the house, the party began! We were the next the last to arrive, because we got lost..well, not really. Let's just say that we circled the mountain a few times before finding the road that our map said was on the right (OFF THE SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN) when it was really on the left!

****Two of my brothers hook it up quick and the music was started! Doyle (left) on guitar, Darrell (right) on mandolin.
Since we don't get together very often anymore, any chance we get to play together is taken on quickly and rolls for as long as we can.

The oldest brother Jack regaling us with song a little later in the evening. We've started calling Jack "The Grand Poobah" because he is the oldest, but let me tell you, Jack is truly a story teller! I don't mean lies, I mean stories. The stories he can tell, we all wonder how he remembers them all!

Aww, that's all the peek you get for now. As I go through the photos and get them all arranged and edited I'll post a 'Weekend Tale' on the main Sagewood Farm page for all to enjoy.
For now, I'll leave you with this final Smokey Mountain photo, it was lovely there, truly lovely. The weather couldn't have been more prefect!

Till next time!
Sage, the Hedgewife

Wow, it's been over a week

But, I'm back with a garden update and this one is loaded!!
Ok, as everyone knows we left this past weekend for a Smokey Mountain adventure with my family. We had a blast while we were away, and I got some beautiful pictures from there too. I'll be putting those on the main page soon with a story to go along.

Also, the day after we returned home, our first grandbaby made his grand appearance. He waited just for us to get home ya know! He arrived on Monday evening and of course, life was and is very busy around here with the new bundle of joy to visit and take pictures of.

Well let me tell you, a week of not being able to spend much time in the garden, and jungles will magically appear! I had to do some quick harvesting yesterday! This morning I decided it was time to have another walkabout and gather some pictures for all you garden bloggers. So, why don't you meet me outside and we'll go on a tour! ON WITH THE SHOW!

On our return from the Great Smokey's it was clear we'd have to do a quick harvest. Here is what we gathered the day after our grandbaby came into the world. Squash and mustard greens! There are plenty more where that came from. Guess what we had for dinner? And boy was it yum too! The squash are very tender at this point, hardly any big seeds and the greens, well you just have to love them!

Ok, walk with me to the garden.

As you can see, it's really starting to overflow with goodness. Almost looking jungle like! (and it really is due to not being worked in for 6 days!)

Look at that tomato jungle and cucumber jungle. Boy have they grown. Escaping their boxes as fast as they can. I can see my job for this evening will be doing some tying up and pruning back.

Through the gate and the first glimpse I have of the tomatoes lends a pleasant surprise as I see the jungle of blooms and green balls of delight!

There are a good many tomatoes on the vines and
most are almost hand size. I can tell there will be
some fried green tomatoes for dinner round here soon!

Just look at those jewels! My mouth is watering now just waiting
for them to be cooked up in the pan!

Now mind you, the cucumbers are not to be outdone, oh no!

They are overflowing their boxes and trying to escape! Some of them near the fence end are growing up the fence, and that's ok. We've gathered about 6 cucumbers since we've been home, and there are more to pick for sure.
Just behind the cucs you can also see the banana peppers, getting on up there. Soon, there will be little peppers on them, and then I wont be able to keep up!

These little guys thought they could hide, but oh no,

I found them!

Now, the jungle really gets out of hand when it comes to the squash plants. They are overflowing! Take a look at this will ya!

Those blooms are huge! The squash area of the garden holds yellow squash, acorn squash and zuchinni. All squash types that I love. Do you want to see just how big some of these blooms are?? Well take a gander at this!

OH my! Is that a big boy or what??

Ok, here's a view of the yellow squash plants from a distance.

Any type of squash takes up a lot of garden room so remember,
only a few plants will produce a lot of squash.
I think I planted 4 plants in one row (a ridge actually)
And boy, I surely don't need more then four of each kind!

Wow, I have so much work to do! But there is nothing better then being in your garden and working it. Producing on your own what you eat at the table. You KNOW what's in it and better yet, you know what's NOT in it!

Want to see some more?? Ok, keep walking with me then, it's a long way around sometimes, but off we go!

Here's another distant shot for you to see, the zuchinni, yellow squash, and finally the turnips (on the right). The greens on the turnips need to be picked again already! (I just gave them a heck of a hair cut last Thursday!)

The grass between the rows has grown tons since last weeding and cutting down, and alas, that looks like another weekend job. A gardener is never at rest, be forwarned!

Look what I found hiding under the umbrella of leaves!

Yum yum! Dinner next week!!

I mentioned that we had already gathered a bounty of squash for dinner upon our return. Well, there are plenty more where that came from! Oh my, they will probably all be ready at the same time, and you know what that means right?? Freezer bags here we come!!

I always try to plant enough to fill the freezer. Squash plants will produce all year, so there will be plenty for the freezer! That includes zuchinni as well. The Acorn squash is a little different. It's starting to produce but each 'fruit' will take longer to ripen. It's a fall type of gourd almost. They will be picked later in the season and storage for those is either slightly pre-cooked and frozen or just cool storage like a basement or root cellar.

Whew! what a walk huh?? Let's call it a day for the garden. How would you like to take a walk around the yard with me and see some of the blooms of early summer? Those blueberries are just about to burst with fruit, and the figs are blooming out all over the tree. TIRED already? Ok, we'll walk the yard a little later, so why don't you meet me back here later today, we'll take a walk about the yard.

See you the Garden Gate!