The Garden Continues Despite our Neglect

With all the rain this year, plants that have laid dormant have now exploded to life… much to our chagrin.  Most are weeds.  Anyone who has not had to contend with goat heads count yourself fortunate – they are proof positive that nature cares not a wit for you and me.  It has been our best intention to weed and tend 3 beds a day while we are out here.  That will keep the weeds down and cover the whole garden every 6 days.  Best laid plans I guess.  However, the garden produce appears to be coming along nicely despite our seemingly life consuming, never ending projects.  Farmer Juan has declared that his days of non-stop construction are done once the greenhouse is completed.  We have the infrastructure now to produce virtually everything we eat.  My commitment to myself is to use next year’s season to grow and tend, not get bogged down on the business end of another friggin’ power drill!  Yes there will always be projects, but it is now time to let them be of secondary importance and enjoy the reason for all of the construction in the first place.  Yes we will be adding grazing livestock which will mean fencing and a barn; but the barn is going to involve someone else’s back and tools and frustrations… not mine.  Fences are easy.  My first love is growing stuff.  We have grown a lot, but it has had to take a back seat to 3 years of building. THREE YEARS!!  No wonder I’m so sore all the time.

We are going to have a bumper crop of carrots, onions, kidney beans, potatoes and beets. The Butternut and Acorn Squash are looking pretty good and we are experimenting with melons for the first time.  The melons are forming, it will just be interesting to see if they actually have any taste to them. The tomatoes simply haven’t recovered from the freezes they were subjected to because of the infuriating conflict with the greenhouse company.  Good thing we had a big crop last year.  It will get us through a lot of the winter. I did our annual trek to the local organic farm and got our sweet corn for the year and we now have 50 lbs of corn in the freezer. As cheaply as they produce it and how well the ears are formed, it makes no sense to waste my time planting our own. We are awaiting the tomatillos for salsa, the peppers are being put up and I’ve canned 10 pints of pickled Jalapeños.  We will be starting broccoli and cauliflower, spinach and lettuce downstairs in anticipation of growing in the greenhouse this fall.  I can’t believe I can now say that with some confidence.

Our newest addition.  We call her Happy Feet.  Can’t for the life of me figure out those feathered legs.  She was a “surprise” bonus bird that came with the broilers this year.  Slowly she is being accepted into the flock but the disruption in the pecking order has been quite apparent.

Happy Feet 1 Happy feet 2

Our melons attempting to melon.

Melons 2015 2 Melons 2015 3 Melons 2015 4 Melons 2015

Poblano and Cayenne peppers.  Don’t rub your eyes after cutting up Cayennes!!!

Peppers 2015 1 Peppers 2015 2

We have grown dozens of Sunflowers this year.  Will be saving the seeds for the chickens.  This plant is six or seven feet tall!


A Boy, A Dad, A Truck, Power Tools! How much cooler could that be?

Yesterday we got the roof two thirds of the way on.  Not a couple of hours later, Godzilla El Nino arrived with a vengeance and doesn’t look like it will go away in the next three days.  Today, Sunday, it is currently sunny but muddy as all get out from the grid killing thunderstorms we had yesterday afternoon.  We have pulled the truck under the new roof along with the tractor and put Zina’s car in the barn as we are expecting the possibility of tennis ball sized hail.  Hopefully that is the exception to the rule, but the forecast from Denver to Des Moines is for raucous and nerve wracking thunderstorms.   Best to be prepared. The pre-solar system, JAZ Farm off grid back up system, got put to the test last night.  The oil lanterns and candles lit the house.  The little generator was put to work keeping the freezers running and my marine battery/inverter gave us a little power for other things as well.  All I know is that when the power is out one comes face to face with the reality of how many stupid electrical things we rely on.  No one in our family today now doubts that the solar system with the battery backup is a bad idea.

So here are the latest construction pictures of dad and the kid.  Its been a lot of fun working with my son.  He has come a long way this year and I hope it continues.  Today we are cleaning and such indoors and then will be celebrating Zina’s birthday!

Saturday’s work:

GH truck 11 GH truck 9 GH truck 6 GH truck 5 GH truck 3 GH truck 10 GH Truck 1 GH truch 4

Saturday evening the sky put on quite a show.  We have only detected one drip in the roof so far.  Nothing a little caulking won’t cure!

El Nino 2015