Pictures for December 2016.

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December 2016.

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Merry Christmas every one!

This is Phoebe. She joined us on December 13. She was very skinny and timid.

 

This is Phoebe three weeks later. She is fatter and bright eyed. Be like Phoebe !

Amazing what a bit of food can do. And she got a voice, quite shrill in fact, and not timid at all. Sleeps between our pillows, not quite like Sid man used to sleep, but close. She is as soft as him. So Sid’s spirit lives on!

We also lost Mossy. He was 12.5 years old and appears to have had a stroke. He died at home within a couple of hours. He will be missed.20160812_155204.jpg

In memory of the Blue Catwp-1482172588849.jpg

As the year draws to an end, those who passed on to the Bridge are remembered with love. Those who live on are appreciated. Many of them are quite old and heart aches at the thought of how many won’t make it till next Christmas.

The happiest of Holidays to all

from our Home of Many Tails

Love and Sid forever

Tat

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November 2016.

November 16, 2016.

It is rather warm for this tome of year. Nice actually. I can get used to the idea of being eased into winter. The bees are still busy on warm days. Good thing I have some calendula flowers left.

Speaking of Bees. …please click on the link to read about our Bee adventure.

There was sadness at Home of Many Tails at the end of October. We lost two of our tails.

Blue Cat, who terrorized the surrounding woods and property line for 5 years, and Sweetheart have joined the crown at the Rainbow bridge. They will be missed. 😦

 

On the positive side, Zombie Cat got another lease on life. She had a tumor removed from her ear and doing pretty good.20160909_132959.jpg

And we almost finished the attached greenhouse. Just one side with the door is left to put up. Considering that we did not know what we were doing, it turned out pretty good. Oh, actually, on the picture the far wall isn’t finished, but we did put plastic on it and framed it.

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Garlic. This year I planted Chamisal ( saved from last year’s crop),

Music, Chinese Pink and Russian Giant. All hardneck.

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I got some Kidz and cats dolls!!! I have been admiring them for years and finally got some. Not one, not two, but three beautiful girls! And one more girl and a little boy are coming from France. Looks like I need a doll blog 😉 This is Alice doll, who came with terrible wig and got a new hair style. I think she looks pleased. 😉

Dolls make me happy!
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And we finally were able to go out to celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary. Here we are, fat and happy at Red Lobster.

 

And here is the Child, adulting at St.Thomas. My, how time flies…

 

Thanks for reading

Tat

😉

 

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October 2016.

October 24, 2016.

It’s this time of the year again, 350  bales of hay plus straw coming on for the winter.We were smarter this year and ordered the majority of the hay to be delivered in cooler weather. It is not much fun as it is stacking hay and straw, but when it’s 100 degrees out and 90 percent humidity…you get the picture 😉 Oh, and we got even smarter that that! We bought a used hay elevator. There it is, being moved to the barn by out trusted Rover. I just love that car, it’s been through a lot and still going…reasonably strong.

                        Now all the barn critters are set for winter, makes us happy!

Splash and Fanny, Muscovy ducks. They were free to good home. I never had Muscovies and it was love at first sight! They have these little baby faces and cutest blue eyes. And they make funny crooning noises. Strangely enough our other ducks don’t like them much, so we have to keep the girls in their own pen. Better a little bored, but safe.

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End of season variety. Barn people are going to enjoy the squash!

Molly likes squash. As a matter of fact, horses quite enjoyed it too 😉20160930_110255.jpg

That was a horrible experience… We decided to bring in a big roll away dumpster and clean out the garage and some other junk that really should have made it to the dump long time ago. So we thought we would take some moldy dry wall from garage ceiling…and we discovered garage attic space full of, for the lack of better word…crap. Old boards, bits of insulation, back seat of the truck, rear truck window, some window frames, rusty springs, a sign from Kennedy’s election campaign…yeah…lovely. The dumpster sure got filled! Sadly no cool antique things, just trash. Above it the view of the almost cleaned out attic, just some boards left. I wonder, no I suppose, I don’t really want to know…WHY and HOW they pushed this crap up there…

And to finish the post with the picture of my girl, Secret looking out into the sun.

We are most fortunate to be able to lead this kind of life!

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Thanks for reading

Tat 😉

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September.

September 26, 2016.

And just like that the summer is over. Squash is picked. Last green tomatoes are hanging for dear life on the wilted vines. Bugs ate the cucumbers. And the sunflowers are more that 7 feet tall.

We had good success with peppers this year. Red King of the North and Orange Bell. Little red hot damn  Serranos did well too. These I bought as seedlings. I really like them, as they are not killer hot, just enough to take my breath away and can be used green and red.

I found my favorite green bean. It’s a pole bean. I wish I remembered the name and the catalog I got them from. I saved the seeds from three years ago and was growing them just for looks. This year, however, I steamed them. Oh my doggness! I ate the whole pot with only butter on top. They were not overly soft, not squeaky at all and had this taste that reached back to my childhood, when growing up I only saw green beans in cans every so often and enjoyed them immensely. Will have to make sure I have plenty of seeds for next year!

20160910_161925.jpg The Child moved to the dorm this year.

And it feels empty in the house.  My heart has walked away from me and has a life of it’s own now. And this is the way it should be, I know. But I am still a bit sad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peaches came to live with us, as her owners couldn’t take care of her any longer. She enjoys long naps, meals worms and cabbage.

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Mushrooms! Wine caps are doing terrific! Can’t eat any more, so it is a lot of dried mushrooms for winter. I can see endless mushroom soups and mushroom gravy in the future. Almpnd Agaricus gave us a very small crop and Blewits never came up.  But Wine caps are sure making up for the rest of the mushroom family.

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Malabar spinach

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Rugoza Violina Butternut squash. Italian, obviously 😉

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End of season variety

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August 2016.

August 19, 2016.

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4lb cabbage! Now, I like that! This is Coppenhagen market and I started it from seed. Very tender and sweet. Perfect for salad, but a bit too soft for Russian Pickled cabbage.

Will grow this one for sure next year.

 

 

 

Next year’s garden is going to be small. It is time to think about how to garden smarter and not harder. We need to move the berry plants and define the tilled garden beds better. I want to mulch decent size paths between the beds and make them permanent, so we can transition into no till garden.

I would like to turn the front section of the garden into kitchen garden with raised beds of different sizes with wire on the bottom to protect us from the pesky gophers and moles.

And all the beds will need their soil amended.

Not to mention a ton of other projects that need to be done.

So this is the plan. We’ll see ho I stick to it.

Bee check.

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Chocolate hive, second box

 

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Chocolate hive, bottom box.

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Chocolate hive now has three boxes while Vanilla has grown up to four.

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A little bit of honeycomb broke off. Super exiting! Our own bit of honey with our own bee on it 😉

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July 2016

July 23, 2016.

It seems that the garden is so slow in coming this year. Had half a dozen ripe tomatoes, Esterina and one ripe Stupice. About a dozen cukes. A few cabbages, Copenhagen market, herbs, of course. Afew Zucchini, Astia and Odessa, baby spaghetti squash, Makaronova Warszawska.    BTW, I love Astia zucchini, it has such beautiful leaves!                          20160721_105401.jpg

Harvested garlic from last year. None of the softneck variety made it. Hardneck Chamisal did pretty good, especially since half the bed collapsed into the gofer tunnel.

And a lot of potato bugs…sigh. I do hope no one minds very much that I did not take pictures of them. Eeeew!

We tried washing them off  with the blast of water, picking them off, squishing . They came back. In desperation I looked up chemicals and came across Spinosad, which is apparently natural. I ordered it from Amazon. We hooked the bottle to the hose and sprayed. It’s been a week, so far no bugs have come back. Sadly, there has been quite a bit of damage done to the leaves. We probably won’t have much of a potato crop this year. Oh well… you live and learn. Will spray sooner next year.

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New favorite garden tool, reel mower. No electricity, no cords, no gas. Grab and go. 14inch wide mower fits perfectly between the garden beds, light and easy to use. Very happy!

 

 

Started some winter seeds today : spinach, herbs, greenhouse cukes (Tyria ansd Picolino). I think if I try hard enough I will get us some fresh vegetables to eat in winter.

Keep trying and growing.

Trowel and error!

Thanks for reading

Tat 😉

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New season.

July 18, 2016.

 

20160525_182338.jpgI have been sitting on this post for a few months. Things always start happening too fast in spring. You barely start you seeds and before you know it things got out of control and you have seven foot tall weeds and your cilantro is bolting. In fact, my spinach bolted while still in the jugs!

Speaking of Wintersown jugs…they did wonderful! I had lavender, cosmos, spinach, four o’clocks, even kiwi! Well, kiwi was from the fruit we ate, and it actually rotted after sprouting, but it came up!

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Sprouting !

So below is the post from March and it is quite overdue. Let’s hope that in the future I will be more diligent with keeping our blog up to date.

Thanks for reading

Tat 😉

 

May 15, 2016.

It is the start if the new gardening season. It’s warm, well, sort of ( still had to cover tomatoes last night). New project  ideas are buzzing in our heads. So many fun things to do! Where to start?

Seeds started. 20160310_130433.jpg

This year I tried Wintersowing method. I started some seeds in OJ  and vinegar jugs, I’ve been saving. This wonderful lady invented it and it actually works. I have Lavender coming up! And I never had it sprout.

 

You can read all about it on Wintersown.org 20160519_143357.jpg

Started on the attached greenhouse. Ran out of PVC pipes and some other things, so it’s on hold for now. You can see my winter sown OJ jugs sitting on the ground. I did about 30 starting in March and by now most sprouted.20160410_163129.jpg

  Big step this year, we are getting bees!!

20160514_152947.jpgThis will have a separate post. But you can see on the picture the two beehives set up. They are Warre hives with transfer boxes on top, to transfer nucs of bees that were in the standard Langstroth hive into Warre. They came from Warre store. We still need to add wood chips on top of the cardboard. We are picking up the bees on May 22 from Bolton Bees here in MN (boltonbees.com)

We sold some of the hens and a spare rooster. I really wanted to get some Jersey Giants, but at the last moment something swayed me and I ordered dark brown egg layer collection. Only 6. And 6 female ducklings, as we have overabundance of male ducks and girls getting a bit harassed. They are coming in June. From Ideal Poultry.

Mushrooms!

From Field and Forest.  Winecaps, Bluits and Almond agaricus. See what happens. Will do a separate post once something starts happening.

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