Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Estate Sale Finds - Two Gallon McCoy Stoneware

This post is not really garden or home renovation related.
I just wanted to show off the amazing McCoy stoneware crock I picked up at an
estate sale for almost nothing. It's in perfect condition, with a not so perfect lid.

 Based on what I read here, it's a 2 gallon McCoy stoneware crock
made between 1927 and 1934. I've read elsewhere that these crocks were used
pre-refrigerators to store everything from food to flour.
What am I going to use it for?  No clue...fermented pickles perhaps.
Anyone jealous?  Probably not...whatever...I love it!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Garden Tour - July 21, 2014

I am truly a gardening dork.  Watching this Savoy Cabbage go from a few little leaves to this head of cabbage had been so cool.  I've been cutting off the outer leaves and using them in stir fries.
The broccoli and the cauliflower, on the other hand, are making me nuts. 
Leaves, leaves and more leaves...when are they going to start growing florets!
I don't think the onions were effective in warding off bugs, but
they are continuing to grow nicely.
The kale has been endless.  I might start freezing it.  Never, in my wildest dreams,
did I think four plants would produce this much kale!
Same with the zucchini.  I've picked pounds and pounds of it.
I'm liking the zucchini bread recipe at Smitten Kitchen.
Pepper flowers, but no peppers yet.
Same with the eggplant.  Normally, I can barely get one eggplant to grow.
This year, I have twelve.  I have no clue what I'll be doing with all this eggplant!

Remember how short the cantaloupe and cucumber plants were last month?
Not anymore, they're huge and producing like crazy.
Even with my crew eating them, and me pickling the rest, it's hard to keep up.
The cantaloupe plants, while tall and full of baby cantaloupes....
...still haven't grown any big enough to eat yet.
No clue when to pick the corn...
I have tons of tomatoes...all green.
The waiting is maddening.
I love when the garden gets to the point that it's super full and
full of green, tall plants.
I still can't believe this was a store bought scallion.
I kept it alive inside for a long time in water, then decided to plant it here.
This is my no longer producing pear tree.
This picture makes my yard look deceivingly big.
Mint, mint and more mint.  I gave a lot away. 
You can't even tell.  Time to make more mint pesto and mint chutney.
I have no idea what this is growing amidst my mint.
Probably just a tall weed, but I'm waiting it out because you never know.

The sugar snap peas and done.  The potatoes are doing their thing.
This is a bad picture of the sink the Hubby made me out of an old crap workbench
we were going to throw out, the sink I thought I was going to use in my kitchen, but couldn't,
and extra pvc pipes we had in the basement.
Notice how my fence is bent?  Apparently, when my grass is long, the groundhog
is happy to eat the clover.  But since the Hubby was trying to do a good thing
and stay on top of mowing, the groundhog decided to hop into the garden.

His favorite are the string beans.

He also ate the bolted spinach.

And the random broccoli and cauliflower seedlings that were next to it.


We are leaving the grass longer again.  Hopefully, this won't get worse.
We did spot him looking into the slider door, checking to see if the dog was there
before he hopped in.  He's small, but he's smart.  The big groundhog vanished,
and we found a dead baby next to my garden.  We buried him near the honeysuckle.  
I think someone poisoned them.  I think this one is now orphaned.  As long as we can coexist peacefully, whatever.  Live and let live.  My yard has always been
some sort of strange animal sanctuary, no reason to change that now. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Repurposing a Patio Table into a Bench

When the Hubby said he was going to repurpose the patio table that's been sitting in the back of the yard serving no purpose of any kind for over twenty years into a bench, I had no clue what he was talking about.  A bench?  Um, okay....  Have fun, honey...

Not only did he pull it off, but he used all but one piece of the table doing it.  All the pieces used are in their original condition.  Nothing had to be shortened down or resized in any way, so there was no waste.  He even reused the screws.  I can't believe how perfectly it fit on the deck.

The deck, by the way, was also made by my Hubby and his dad out of wood we picked up for free on Craigslist.  The boxes with the peas are made from the as-is wood from Home Depot...I think maybe $2 of wood there.  The bistro set, you can only kind of see, was my friend's grandparents set.  The metal trellis the peas are climbing was also an as-is find from Ikea for about 25 cents.
See, you can have a very usable patio (it'll be prettier when I paint it with the Deck Restore paint I picked up at Home Depot on clearance for $10) without having to break the bank, or use pallets.
Kudos to my Hubby on the amazing job!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Garden Tour - June 23, 2014

For Mother's Day, my little one with the help of the Hubby, made me this stepping stone for my garden

I know we've been harvesting peas, sugar snap peas and strawberries, 
but waiting on the rest is making me nuts.
Notice the blanket of honeysuckle on the back fence?
And on the left...that's a raspberry bush that turned into a tree.
There are currently morning doves nesting in there.

These are store bought scallions.  I had then in a jar of water for a while.
They started looking bleh, so I stuck them in this pot and voila!  Back to life!

These are the flowers my peanut bought me at the Mother's Day Sale.

We decided to try the trellises vertical instead of horizontal.
My dear, sweet husband patiently used twine to help train them to climb up and not out.
Notice behind them, those are the Roses of Sharon he transplanted, also upon my request.
I'd like to have a barrier between us and the neighbors.  They're nice, but I'd like more privacy.
These suckers grow tall and spread, out.  Nice, free, natural fence.  Much prettier than vinyl.

We already have some cucumbers growing.

I love how bright yellow cucumber flowers are.

We did the same thing with the cantaloupe.  
Ignore the blue barrel.  It was supposed to be a rain barrel, but now that we have two,
I'm not sure what to do with this just yet.

String beans.  I had issues starting them, so I threw some in the ground and simply hoped for the best.

I think I'm having some flea issue with the eggplant, thus the little holes.
I've read that coffee grounds deter them, so I've been saving them up.  
I used to just go to Starbucks, but they've been a pain about giving them out.

What's that I see?  A tomato?  Finally!

My little seedlings are now quite tall and flowering.  I grew a lot less tomatoes this year.
I'm hoping that was a good decision.  Time will tell.

You know I hate to use and/or buy commercial bug deterrents.  Unfortunately, it became clear that
I would lose all of my broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage seedlings if I did not use something.
Mother Earth Magazine, as well as a lot of organic gardening sites, recommended BT, so I caved and bought some.  I have to say, I was impressed at how quickly it stopped my poor seedlings from being eaten.

They say planting onions near them helps, but it didn't seem to help us at all.

I'm curious to see if growing my own savoy cabbage is worth the space it takes in the garden.

I didn't do it on purpose, but somehow my zucchini are growing in succession.
The one on the right is obviously the biggest, while the one furthest on the left is still tiny.

The bell pepper plants are still very small, but getting bigger everyday.

These four kale plants have produced so much kale I can't even explain.
For those of you that think of kale as tough and bitter...grow your own.  It's a whole different world.

The sugar snap peas are literally seven feet tall.  I need a step stool to pick them.

The corn is growing very.....slowly.......

See these pretty potato flowers?

Well, they vanished.  And the potatoes don't seem to be growing anymore.

The strawberries continue to grow steadily.  The Peanut picks a cup's worth everyday.