Thursday, June 17, 2010

I Have A New Television Hit Show


What do you get when you cross a cooking show competition with surprise ingredients with a show about gardening?

You have my new hit, "Garden Chef Smack Down".

You have chefs enter the simple home gardens of commoners, such as I. They must create a scrumptious feast out of all the ingredients that are ripe that day. And you can't make condiments from them. They must actually be combined into a meal, using all the produce and leaving nothing out.

They can use any herbs they like, if they cannot find them in the garden there.

We can have all kinds of fun with this one. We can surprise them with a live chicken to butcher. How about 40 pounds of cukes, all at once? Hopefully they won't ""smack any gardeners down for planting 20 zucchini bushes.

Yesterday was my first attempt to succeed at yard sailing. I sailed over to one yard that was advertised as a "huge" yard sale, open all week, with piano, organ, keyboard, laptop, and years of household items!!!!

We got there early. 7:30 am and parked at the side of the road. Great opportunity to do schoolwork. The weather was pretty nice compared to lately.

But the promised trucks of stuff never showed, and we sat there for 2 hours, waiting for her to open up.

Turns out, no piano or keyboard for sale, the laptop was way too much money for way too little, and I ended up spending 80 cents on a couple of clothing items. I am still clueless as to this phenomenon.

However, it was great to get school work done early yesterday. It felt like old times - up early and school done by lunch! WoooHOOOO!

Michael celebrated by throwing some knives.

We have been behind on keeping the barnyard cleared, so on the way down to pick up some t-posts for today's project, we brought the mower and the weed sprayer to take care of the V.V. - Vast Vegetation.

Whoops! Our wire that holds the trailer to the hitch since we lost the pin broke as I was driving.

Aha! A bolt! Why didn't I do this before...?

The horses have been doing much better after the Endure and Freedom products, so I'm really glad for them that we got it.

Having collected up the t-posts and post driver and dropping them off at the lettuce row, we began working inside. Michael handled unrolling the 50' clothesline coil we bought for 4 dollars, so he could cut it in half.

And I began sewing this stuff. The least expensive landscaping fabric WM had; a 3 by 50 foot for $9.99.

I cut it to about 23' feet in length, and sewed two pocket hems along both edges to slide the covered wire through.

And here you can see several views of how we tied the wires to the posts, creating a shaded area for the lettuce bed. Fortunately, the bed faces exactly south, so directing the fabric could not have been easier. We can access the bed from the north side and the sun will not touch the lettuce except for the early morning and late evening time.

I do not expect this to last more than one season, but to replace what will rot will only cost 5 dollars a year. We did consider a more traditional hoop setup, but I was trying to go cheaper. We'll see how it works out.

Here's the baby lettuces. Shade growing here is an experiment, and I'm hoping to succeed in getting lettuce year 'round by the time I'm done.

We did not run the whole length of the bed, as the clothesline was only a 50' foot length, so it's 23' foot, with another 10 feet maybe to use otherwise.

And here's a good view after the the sun made an appearance. I am concerned about wind and rain. We clipped the fabric to the wire, but a good strong wind may overcome it. Rain may possible weigh it all down. We'll have to keep and eye on it. I'm wishing I'd set that more horizontally.

Yesterday's harvest: Eggplant, peppers and tomatoes.

Speaking of which, I'm not really happy with the tomatoes progress. Still, I guess they can do more growing.

Swiss chard.

I washed all of this up and Michael offered to put up a cucumber trellis.

Great job! Now if we can only get them to grow...

All I can say is that I guess the ground is not yet fertile enough. However, I hope that if we can continue mulching, we'll get a good bit of earthworms in here and the soil will improve steadily.

I'm pleased with the leeks. I hope they do well wintering over in the beds, so I can have leek soup all winter.

And it's been a wonderful year, comparatively, for the Brussels sprouts and eggplant.

The peas are done. We did not get many, what with the very warm spring temperatures.

He loves his swimming time.

We had wonderful fellowship time with friends at Bible study again last night, before we headed off for office cleaning. We are almost through Romans and I'm really glad the group has decided to do a Torah study I've done in the past. That begins in a couple of weeks.

I hear shouting.... Oh, that's the cherries and gooseberries calling.




  1. I am so very jealous of your garden. It's lovely and wow, a harvest like that already! I'm still waiting on my county's farmer's market to open.

  2. I think i like that show idea. Cooking the midsummer avalanche would be a real feat!

    Weird happenings about the yard sale, did she advertise the wrong weekend by mistake or plan to have her storage company deliver her filled pods or something. It sounds so weird i'm trying to make sense of it, ha ha ha.

    I like the lettuce canopy, it looks kinda neat too. There's a minimalist, structural vibe going on there.
    Are you planning of cutting a couple half-circle slits in it in case the wind tries to catch it? I'd fret over it, blog about it 5 times and then either forget about it or go do it at 3am, take pictures and post about it a week later. lol

    oh, how do you keep birds from your berries? I don't think i have seen you mention any issues like that in the last year i have been reading your blog. I have to ask now or else i will keep forgetting. :o)

  3. Alyse,

    Won't be long now and those tables will be filled with gorgeous colors and flavors, smells and other natural wonders. Don't forget your camera. Great photo ops at FMs, too. :o)


  4. Icebear,

    She is an old pro at yard sale re-sales. That's big around here, is it big everywhere? The people who buy a lot at yard sales, resell them at their own. She said she was not going to do it anymore, she is on oxygen now, and her kids were coming from another county with more things and to run the sale for her.

    Yeah, sort of artistic, huh! I like that. :o)

    I'd be fretting like you if I were not so busy. At this point I figure that if it slips loose from the clips, it will slide down the cables and all I have to do is stretch it out and clip it again. If it does it a lot, I'll have to ask you what you mean by those slits.

    I don't have any trouble with birds. I can't say why, either. I expect to, but I don't. I've got berries all over the place, and negligible damage from birds. That has simply got to change eventually, but for now I consider myself simply very fortunate.


  5. GARDEN CHEF SMACK DOWN???? I love it! Ain't it the truth, tho? When the stuff comes rollin' in, you best have a way to deal with it!

  6. Yeah, I'm wishing I could think of a meal that would consume a gallon of blackberries. Any ideas! :oD



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