A bouquet from Malia's trip to the mailbox
Malia is home again after a month of public school. Yea!!!!! I had no idea how much help she is to me. Well I did but sometimes we need a reminder. I need to do a whole post on homeschooling versus public school one of these days. Both last year and this year she's gone back for the first month to give it a try. Next year that isn't an option for her. She would be going to middle school and this grandmother isn't up for the transition from homeschooling to public school in those challenging middle school years. The good part of her short stints in school like this is we both get to measure her progress with her age group academically and socially. She's doing well. I wish more parents were able to do this. I feel blessed I am in a position to do this. I know this isn't the case for everyone.
The veggie garden this year was successful in some ways and not in others. The squash bugs certainly took their toll. Only one lone Hubbard pulled through. It was from a new shoot grown after the battle was semi won. The tomatoes mostly did well. Roma's best, Better boys next with Beef master coming in last. The peppers were terrible this year for a variety of reasons. I had bought only 3 varieties; bell, ancho's and jalapenos. I wanted habeneros too but couldn't find them. My bells ended up being 1/2 bell and 1/2 cherry. I have no idea what to do with the cherries so I threw most of them out until later in the season when I decided to freeze them whole until I could figure something out to do with them. I'm still working on that. The bell's really didn't produce all that well but the jalapenos did great. The ancho's were practically tree's getting over 4' tall. They would have done better had I gotten them in earlier and watered more. They had lots of peppers but they were small.
The butternut squash did outstandingly well. As advertised, they held up well to the squash bugs and kept on producing through it all. These are just a couple of the ones that are still out there ripening. I have picked quite a few. I now need to find recipes to use them all. Mostly I love it boiled like potatoes and mashed. I've never been a fan of it halved and baked although it is much easier than peeling it and boiling it.
The pea's Malia planted were ridiculous. I believe the variety was Layton. I wrote it down and will look later but they never got taller than 6 - 8 " tall.
They've got these tiny little 1 1/2" pods on them with one or two pea's in them. Yikes. I would need an acre for just her and I at that rate. The field pea's in my green manure are coming up normally and are about 2 - 2 1/2" tall now so it's the variety, not the soil.
The turnips I threw out into the squash patch in early August are doing well. They were planted for their greens for the goats and pigs. There is also crimson clover, field pea's and orchard grass in there. Later the pigs will be housed here for winter and can root it all up.
This one has a bit of room around it so actually has some substance to it. Most of them are much closer together because they weren't really being grown for their roots.
Most of the roots look more like this one.
The cool moister weather has given us another blooming time from the Clematis plant and the variegated miscanthus is now blooming as well.
In Aug. I cut this back to the ground because I was going to divide it and move it so I could better enjoy the Harry Lauder Walking Stick behind it. I didn't get it moved but I learned something from the exercise none the less. I always cut this back in the spring and then let it grow all season. By this time of year though a rain will split it leaving it rather disheveled looking because it's so tall. I've tried tying it up to hold it together with limited success. Cutting it back in Aug though it's still very attractive now with plenty of blooms and because it's shorter it holds up to the rain. I will always cut it back in Aug. from now on.
The goats and the pigs need to be moved to their winter area's in the next few days which means building new housing for them. Tina's still giving us 5 quarts of milk a day. The pigs are enjoying all the acorns. We have an abudance of them too due to the dry summer. Mother natures way of ensuring the tree's. Dry weather = more fruit. Works with your tomatoes too.