Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Harvest weigh in... with no weight! :-P

So.. I don't have anything coming out of my garden yet, but, we're getting closer!

Here are the cukes this morning. They're really starting to get big!! They do have flowers, but they're inside the tangled mass of vines. :-P

Remember that ity bitty bit of watermelon vine from last week? Yeah... that's this week! And this is inside...

Monks pumpkins are growing well...
and it finally has a flower!! I'm pretty sure that this is a male flower tho... so females can't be far behind.

The strawberries runners have runners! I'm not quite sure if I should cut these off or let them go. :-/

The tomatoes are continuing to get bigger and bigger! We're going to buy some more cages on pay day. They keep SHOOTING up! There is considerable size difference in just a couple of days with these guys. It makes me really happy that we are getting closer to having something edible from our garden.

The corn is getting bigger as well! Should be about another month and we should have some fresh corn on the cob!! WOOOO!

In other news... I've got about 50 newly hatched snails. I gave away 6 (I think) egg clutches and still have about 8 more. Apparently they are starting to hatch as well. The eggs that have already hatched for me are purple and ivory. The ivories are so darling! I did keep another clutch... and I'm thinking about keeping one from Bugs tank as well. She might have some nice blues! That would be really awesome.

Monk has been doing a summer "refresher course" on 6th grade. We worked on some math problems today and he found 2 incorrect answers on the answer sheet! Good job Monk!

I'll be ordering more supplies for Charwood Candle in the next couple of days as well. Still not exactly sure what I'm going to order. I guess I better nail that down before I go to order, eh? We still have some of the others left, so if you want to know send me an email here and I can let you know what we have left. :-)

Other than that I think we're pretty much done with news! :-D

Sunday, June 26, 2011

So... I'm just going to say it...

Since Sam is due to get out of the Marine Corps soon... we've been looking into government jobs that he might be able to do. One of those jobs is the Environmental Protection Agency. We LOVE this job. Not only does it make use of his biology degree, we're both passionate about saving the plant. We've planted a few trees in the yard, we're wanting to grow more produce and meats on our own or buy locally so we can cut down on the amount of traveling that our food does, we don't use paper towels, we're looking into putting up a clothes line. Just a few things we've done, or want to do to help just a little bit. (Oh... and Sam bought a Hybrid... LOL)

The thing about this job tho is... we would have to move. The job is about a 2.5 hour drive from here. We're okay with that tho! If we DO move... we want to get a place with more land. When we started talking seriously about this EPA job, of course I got excited and started looking at houses in the area. Of course I just happened to find one that I fell in love with. Head over heels!

It's a 1901 farm house on 8.6 acres! It needs some TLC, but, I think with the right tools, Sam and I could really put it back together... as long as it was structurally sound. I mean... if it needed something done with the foundation or anything like that... we'd be screwed! But I think things like new windows, repairing walls, flooring, things of that nature... I think we could do that! The one thing that I've seen from the description and pictures is... no central air and baseboard heat... ACK! That means that we would need to put in central air... or window units... or just be warm in the summer!

Oh! I did contact a realtor about it... she said that there is train tracks behind the house, but the train only goes through once or twice a week... and that they just opened a rock quarry up the road. Oiy! The rock quarry thing is a bit concerning... but... living here... large blasts mean essentially nothing! I think it would hard to get used to no helios, no busy country road, no Marines, no commissary, and no "lets take a trip to the ocean tomorrow"!! But... I think that living in the country would be so great. (Other than the mosquitoes and ticks..... and JUNE BUGS! *shudder*) There are farmers markets, and it seems to be a quaint little town! The realtor is super nice! She said that she would stop by and take a few pictures for us on Monday. I was really impressed by that! I think that even if we don't get this house... that when we DO move... we will probably use her. She's been super awesome. :-)

Other than that... we have some other crazy news in the area. There's a wild fire blazing about 30 miles from here. They've got it about 20% contained at the moment, and have said that it's not jeopardizing any homes at this time. Which is a great thing!! This past week we went to MCAS New River to have a family fun day and the smoke was just terrible!! When we got home from that it was "snowing" ash at our house! It was hot. muggy, and just all around miserable! Also... every time I walked outside I wanted a s'mores! (Even more terrible!!)

Ivy Hill looks fantastic!! (Other than our "holy" beans... stupid bugs!) I checked on it this morning when I woke up... and before the fog rolled in (where did that come from? wasn't here 10 minutes ago!) and everything looked great! We have a few watermelons going, one of which is already the size of the end of my thumb! Cuh-razy! The first planting of corn is getting really tall! It's already to my hip, and some of it is taller than that! The tassels are starting to come out on a few of them as well. Here in about another month, I'll have me some fresh corn on the cob! Mmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How does YOUR garden grow?

So, I've been chatting on this forum called The Easy Garden for some time now. They have some really great people there that are very helpful! I was having an issue with my big box bought tomatoes, everyone tried to help me solve the problem with their best guess. It was almost like a game of Clue... but nobody (card character or otherwise) died. One of the lovely ladies started a Weekly Weigh In to see how much food we are growing. While we don't have anything to harvest for a weigh in yet, I do need to start documenting the garden more!

You, loyal readers, know about Ivy Hill, our little patch of Earth to grow food. It has come quite a ways in the last few weeks! Here are a few new pictures!

Here's the over all. Corn in front, then pumpkins and watermelon, peppers and another mound of pumpkin and watermelon, cucumbers and beans, tomatoes and what should have been onions and carrots, Strawberries in the farthest bed and then behind that 2 blueberries!

Hot peppers! I'm not exactly sure WHERE we're going to put these! I'm leaning towards on the front porch maybe. If we plant them in the garden then our sweet peppers and hot peppers will cross pollinate leaving us with neither hot nor sweet peppers next year! LOL

Here are some herbs! We have basil, oregano, and cilantro. I believe these are going to get put out in the garden. I did notice a few more pepper plants trying to make there way thru the surface (we resowed about 2 weeks ago!) so I might wait a bit longer yet. If nothing else, I'll get some more bigger pots for them to be transplanted into. 

The newer tomato plants that our neighbor gave us. They started out rather small! They're getting pretty big now! I was pretty surprised! I can't wait to have some vine ripe tomatoes!! Mmmmm!!

Cucumbers are starting to look REALLY good! Of course, these are the only 2 that made it, but, I think for not having a CLUE what we were doing... I think we did okay with these! LOL I think we're going to go ahead and start a few more as well by this weekend. I want to direct sow, Sam wants to start them inside. I guess we could do both and see what works for us. (I'm rooting for direct sow! LOL) I also think that the spot we had designated for the "sprawl" cucumbers we might replant the herbs in. 

This loverly specimen (picture taken this morning at about7AM) now have a lovely yellow flower hidden in it's leaves! :-)

Sams watermelons! There were 6 flowers on this when I went to check on them. There are already a couple that have had their flowers fall off and have teeny tiny watermelons! So exciting! It's our first bit of "food"!

Some of our corn is starting to get tall! There are a few of them that are starting to really shoot up there and are almost hip level already! 

The 2nd round of plants are all (at least I think what will come up) up but are only a few inches tall. 

Our strawberries are doing REALLY well! Quite a few of them have runners! I can't WAIT for next year so we can actually EAT some of them! LOL

Here are the sweet peppers! There are a a few more that are popping up now... even tho we planted them about 2-3 weeks ago! Crazy stuff!! 

And of course the blueberries!! The one in front we got as a teeeeeeeeeny tiny lil thing the beginning of April. We then couldn't get it in the ground for a little while and they almost died before we got them in the ground. One died after we got it in the ground so we bought another from Lowes, which is in the background. Both are doing well actually. 

Our little grapes! There are 3 others just like this one, some as full, some not. I just love the contrast of green tho. The purple thing in the back is the dogs Kong... LOL 

Our apple heavy trees! I can't believe they're actually producing already! They seem so small, but this is the 2nd time that they've produced anything. I just hope that the tree is strong enough to keep all those apples up there! Maybe I'm not giving our little trees enough credit... but still!

Our lone pear is still chuggin away!! You go pear!!

I think the birds ate most of the mulberries this year. :-( It's okay!! Next year!!

Bugs marigolds!! They're doing pretty well. I can't wait for them to bloom! When they start to die I'll cut the flowers and save the seeds for next year. :-)

There it is! Things have done quite a bit of growing in the last few weeks since I posted pictures last. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Happy birthday to me (cha cha cha)

Happy birthday to ME! (cha cha cha!)
Happy birthday dear meeeee!

Happy birthday to me! (Cha cha cha!)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

It's been a while

I'm still here I promise!

I've just been super busy!!

The Ivy Hill is doing well! We've been learning lots of new things about gardening! It's a lot of fun that's for sure. The apple trees are heavy with small green apples! There are quite a few apples for such small trees. Our 1 lonely pear is still workin it's way to maturity! We only have ONE of the original tomato plants left, and it's not even in the ground.. it's in a pot on the back porch. Maybe that's what's saving it.

Last week Sam and I took our neighbor to the doctor because she was complaining of being dizzy. She "repaid" me by giving me some tomato plants for our sad little garden. She started them from seed as well. I guess I just need to be more proficient at sewing seeds!! Sam and I put them in the ground yesterday... but today they are looking a bit sad. :-( I sure hope that todays heat didn't kill them. Of course... I also hope that us putting some shredded paper in the soil with them isn't hurting them either!! If these tomatoes die... I think I'm done with gardening for a while.... LOL

Our beans are doing really well! They're currently being attacked by some bean leaf beetles tho... so.. we're trying to remedy that situation. I think we might be okay tho. Yesterday there were LOADS of them... today I only seen a handful. Of course... this was after I got the grand idea to dilute some dish soap and spray all the plants with it. I think I may have inadvertently killed one of Monks pumpkins.... about an hour after I sprayed them it was looking pretty wilty and not very happy with it's bath. :-/ I guess we will see by tomorrow or so!

The candle biz continues to grow. I think we may add soap to the mix as well!! That way we would be selling candles AND soap! Not sure how I'm going to go about things yet tho.

My birthday is in a few days. My mom has been in a kick of posting photos of us when we were younger on her blog. I'm almost half scared to see what she's going to post of me. I was a rather geeky looking child!! Sam and the kids already got me my birthday presents, but, I'm sure that they won't be able to resist getting at least SOMETHING for my actual birthday. I'm really hoping that it's a day off!! LOL Mom and Kevin got me a BEAUTIFUL picture album from Shutterfly. It will surely be one that I keep forever!

The kids last day of school is tomorrow!! AAAHHHH! From there we're planning a trip to Texas, probably late in July. Buggy starts cheerleading for the pee-wee football team in August as well! She's very excited to start that.

Okay.. well.. I think that's all I have to say for right now!