Garden, Unleashed

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Light. Water. Time.Garden, UnleashedBuster wants to see what we have to show for ours.Garden, UnleashedPersimmons. Tricky to photograph, since these sway in the breeze. Harder to harvest because raccoons sneak in during the night and swipe the ripe ones.Garden, UnleashedAsian pears. Not quite ripe yet–the birds will tell us when they’re ready.Garden, UnleashedOne of the bees, in our cilantro.Garden, UnleashedAn onion, climbing out the garden ahead of schedule.Garden, UnleashedThai basil.Garden, UnleashedYellow zucchini, with flowers.Garden, UnleashedCarrot, ready to flower.Garden, UnleashedEggplant flower.Garden, UnleashedPink Lady apples. Watched carefully by the birds, who will peck a hole to tell us how tasty they are. (Gee, thanks.)Garden, UnleashedAnother onion, striving to escape. (What is it about these onions?)Garden, UnleashedAmaranth. Out standing in the crowd.Garden, UnleashedChestnuts.Garden, UnleashedBeans. Garden, UnleashedA very small cornfield. So far, this crop has come farther than last year’s which was blown over in a windstorm. If we’re lucky, we’ll get tasty popcorn.Garden, UnleashedFuture Roma tomatoes.Garden, UnleashedPart of the day’s harvest:  over 10 pounds of carrots and as many pounds of cabbage. We had already brought up 30 pounds of nectarines.

Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch …

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My current job has me living away from home during the week. On Friday, I plug in my iPhone, hit my Pandora app, and drive two hours through rush hour traffic to start the weekend. I now have a place closer to work, so our time has gone into getting it fixed up.

Sunflower seedlings are now taller than I am.

Sunflower seedlings are now taller than I am.

The bees have made themselves at home here.

The bees have made themselves at home here.

I wonder what the sunflower seeds will taste like.

I wonder what the sunflower seeds will taste like.

We have a persistent problem with flies because it is so dry. They go wherever there is any source of water.

We have a persistent problem with flies because it is so dry. They go wherever there is any source of water.

The potatoes are particularly determined, sprouting where Bryon planted lettuce.

The potatoes are particularly determined, sprouting where Bryon planted lettuce.

From here, it doesn't look quite so unruly, does it?

From here, it doesn’t look quite so unruly, does it?

The cabbages, planted from seeds, have grown into small bushes.
The cabbages, planted from seeds, have grown into small bushes.

The wily fennel is starting to bloom. (I never knew that fennel did this.)

The wily fennel is starting to bloom. (I never knew that fennel did this.)

Asian pears. I think these need another month or so.

Asian pears. I think these need another month or so.

The carrots have been doing well in the garden this summer. Bryon has already been harvesting and preserving batches of them.

The carrots have been doing well in the garden this summer. Bryon has already been harvesting and preserving batches of them.

The artichokes, unfortunately, haven't fared as well. These will need to be trimmed so new ones can grow.

The artichokes, unfortunately, haven’t fared as well. These will need to be trimmed so new ones can grow (we hope).

The grapes, as always, provide plenty of temptation and support for birds and bees. We have quail nesting near the grape vines. I'm surprised they only recently figured out what the finches have known for years.
The grapes, as always, provide plenty of temptation and support for birds and bees. We have quail nesting near the grape vines. I’m surprised they only recently figured out what the finches have known for years.

Bryon with one of the cabbages that went into coleslaw. These are sweeter than the ones that come from the store.

Bryon with one of the cabbages that went into coleslaw. These are sweeter than the ones that come from the store.

The blackberries are ripening on the vine, and some of them are already delicious. The quail nesting in the bush know this, too.

The blackberries are ripening on the vine, and some of them are already delicious. The quail nesting in the bush know this, too.

Red onions. When they grow up they will grace salads, soups, risotto. If any tears are shed while they are chopped, they will be tears of anticipation. A delicious meal will be coming.
Red onions. When they grow up they will grace salads, soups, risotto. If any tears are shed while they are chopped, they will be tears of anticipation. A delicious meal will be coming.

Fingerling potatoes, growing in ginger-shaped nodules. Not sure why, though.

Fingerling potatoes, growing in ginger-shaped nodules. Not sure why, though.

Scarlet runner beans. Mature beans are on the left;  early sprouts are on the right.

Scarlet runner beans. Mature beans are on the left; early sprouts are on the right.

A cherry! I had never seen cherries on our tree before because the birds had always eaten them first. This one was delicious.
A cherry! I had never seen cherries on our tree before because the birds had always eaten them first. This one was delicious.

The nectarines from this tree are always a treat. The birds know this too. All too well.

The nectarines from this tree are always a treat. The birds know this too. All too well.

Easier Said Than Done

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This year Bryon put his foot down and said, “No birds in the garage.” We have had to chase away a few persistent would-be nesters who didn’t get the memo. One managed to outwit us, and we don’t have the heart to evict (or snoop) on her.

This little bird managed to build her nest on top of our propane tank. Very secure, and close to food and water. Prime real estate!

This little bird managed to build her nest on top of our propane tank. Very secure, and close to food and water. Prime real estate!

Some of the wood Bryon helped a friend clear away. It will keep us warm this winter.
Some of the wood Bryon helped a friend clear away. It will keep us warm this winter.

The garden in the afternoon sun.

The garden in the afternoon sun.

Fennel transplants, making themselves at home.

Fennel transplants, making themselves at home.

Potatoes. None of these had been planted. Bryon had plowed this area over twice but these appeared from what had been left over after last year's garden.

Potatoes. None of these had been planted. Bryon had tilled this area over twice but these appeared from what had been left over after last year’s garden. He even plucked a bunch and scraped bits and pieces after tilling. 

A four leafed ... peanut plant.  We'll see how it grows.

A four leafed … peanut plant. We’ll see how it grows.

The bugs have been enjoying our artichokes.
The bugs have been enjoying our artichokes.

A look at the damage. I'm hoping that we can salvage a few of the later ones.

A look at the damage. I’m hoping that we can salvage a few of the later ones.

Spinach. Bryon fertilized the garden with horse manure he was given by a neighbor. We aren't sure what the horse was eating, but the spinach and broad-leafed plants don't like it. Bryon has gone back to his classical compost, but we'll have to plant more spinach in the fall. At least we have Asian greens and carrots--they loved the stuff.

Spinach. Bryon fertilized the garden with horse manure he was given by a neighbor. We aren’t sure what the horse was eating, but the spinach and broad-leafed plants don’t like it. Bryon has gone back to his classical compost, but we’ll have to plant more spinach in the fall. At least we have Asian greens, potatoes, and carrots–they loved the stuff.

Red cabbage, providing a bit of shade.

Red cabbage, providing a bit of shade.

A tomato plant, sprouting near carrots. Our garden is quite the wild child this year.

A tomato plant, sprouting near carrots. Our garden is quite the wild child this year.