Friday, August 26, 2022

Garden Friday


 Welcome back to Garden Friday,
where we share what's growing on our Zone 7b Piedmont homestead.
This stunning sunflower display is actually
on one of the properties where I work.
Isn't it just amazing?

Back in our garden, the first of the kajari melons
has been picked and sampled.
It was utterly delicious with a taste somewhere between
a honeydew and a cantaloupe.
The mesh bags I used to keep them from dropping worked great.

 I read that it's best to wait until the green stripes fade
before eating them.
This one had detached from the vine, so I brought it in.
Sweet and juicy!

I watched a video with Ben, from Grow Veg,
who potted up strawberries to make new plants.
I took runners from the main plant
and simply placed them in a pot
with fresh potting soil.
The trick here, is to keep the runner attached to the mother plant
until it is able to grow on its own.

 The seeds that had been planted last week
are germinating slowly.
The lettuce still hasn't come up,
so I may have to direct seed more in the beds.

 The corn we grew (first time growing corn),
turned out half done.
This is dent corn,
so the chooks were bound to eat it anyway.
I have a few theories about why it didn't mature properly.
Seed saving has been ongoing for a while now.
Here is a leek head that I let dry in a paper sack.
Leeks are one crop I never want to be without.

This was a strange sight found this week in our turf grass.
It's a mushroom,
and rumor has it, that if you smash it,
it sends up some kind of black powder.
Nature is amazing.

alyssum and celosia

I found a local Master Gardener who does landscape design,
so I'm going to see if she can make up a plan for our beds.
I love planting, but I don't have an eye for design,
so it'll be worth it to use an expert.

The fountain grasses on the front porch
are one of my favorite plants.
With each passing day, they get better and better.

Guess who came-a-calling this week in our pollinator bed?
This is the first Monarch we've seen so far this season.
Goodness knows we have plenty of milkweed to keep them fed.
A few more of my summertime favorite blooms:

Cactus Zinnia


Seed head from Tithonia

and this wonderful Hyacinth Bean vine over the chicken run.
This beauty loves the heat and has gone wild!
It's amazing how much cooler it feels underneath.

 Speaking of chooks,
would you look at these two daffy girls?
There are 7, count 'em, seven places for them to nest
and lay their eggs.
What do they do?
Sit on top of one another!
Talk about stubborn!
Well, they are always entertaining,
I'll grant them that.
Here's hoping everyone where you are has enough room to stretch out!


Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Going Local-Two Shelby Museums

It's been a while since we've featured some local attractions.
But then, it's been some time since we've gone anywhere.
With the last two years keeping us mostly home,
it felt good to get out and about again.
We headed to Shelby,
which is just southeast of our location,
to visit a couple of museums we've been wanting to visit.
The first place we stopped was the

This museum is dedicated to 
"Preserving the history of lineman
and the electrical utility industry".
There were rooms of equipment from all over the country.

 What an amazing display of materials they own.
We were totally mesmerized with the vintage pieces of apparatus.

Along with all of the equipment,
were displays explaining the job of a lineman,
including information about many of the hazards of the job.
A plaque out front honors those who have perished on the job.

 There were so many wonderful antiques,
and I couldn't help but think about
how some of these items could be repurposed for other uses.
With a little tweaking,
this would make a swanky chandelier.

The other museum that we've wanted to visit for ages, 
is the Earl Scruggs Center, right in the heart of Shelby.
Earl Scruggs, for those of you who may not know,
was one of the pioneers of bluegrass music.
His unique style of playing the banjo
has been replicated by many musicians.

The museum offers a self-guided tour,
including many interactive displays.
A gift shop where tickets can be purchased 
sits at the entrance,
and I couldn't help but treat myself
to a pair of banjo earrings!

After our tours, 
Big K and I found a great lil' bistro
and got some food to take home for lunch.
All in all, 
it was a fun morning and it felt great to be able to discover
such wonderful places,
just a hop, skip and a jump away.
More Going Local Posts:

Friday, August 5, 2022

Garden Friday

Welcome to Garden Friday,
where we share what's growing in our Piedmont Zone 7b garden.

We picked and sampled our first cantaloupe this week.
What a thrill to bring this from seed to table.
The taste was mildly sweet,
but I'm still calling this a victory.
There are many more melons on the vines.

 The Blue Hubbard squash has set fruit
and I am hoping that we get to harvest it 
in the coming months.
This is a new-to-me crop,
and considering that none of my Candy Roasters germinated,
being able to eat something squash related will be a treat.

We do have a couple of peppers ripening
and when they turn orange, red or yellow they will be picked.
Peppers are so much sweeter when they are anything but green.

The volunteer squash (I think these are birdhouse gourds)
under the tree canopy continues to do well
with very little attention from me.
Can't wait to see what they turn out to be!

One of our watermelons is looking mighty fine
and getting me excited that we may actually be successful with this one!
(The mesh bags are tied onto the cattle panel trellis
to keep the fruit from dropping to the ground.)

The pollinator garden is exploding with blooms
and the bees and butterflies are eatin' it up!
The tithonia has filled in well
and it is still one of my favorite blossoms.

Something, it appears, has been lying down in one of our clusters of rudebekia,
but I can't think of what it might be.
Our irises also have this compressed state,
but in that location, it would be easy for something like a rabbit
or something similar to reach.
Hmmm, the mystery goes on.

This week, we were able to pick up a load of organic straw
for next year's garden.
We grow not only in raised beds and containers,
but in straw as well.
Construction will begin this fall on frames
in which to place the bales,
as this season, they collapsed fairly quickly.
Hopefully, the frames will extend their longevity.

One of the bales was shared with the chooks.
They enjoy scratching through it
to see if there are any seeds or bugs to savor.
It gives them something interesting to do,
which prevents boredom, 
which can lead to fussing and fighting.
Every few days, I rake it back up into a pile,
and it's like a new toy to them.
Life is better with chickens.

An orbital spider was spied on the canna stalks.
These good guys (and gals) help control the insect population,
and their webs are absolutely fascinating.
There is no shortage of bees in our garden beds.  

Even the compost pile is gettin' prettied up,
with the addition of morning glory flowers.
Everything wants to bloom
during these dog days of summer.

How are things going in your summer garden?