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The Haul 2

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I plan on giving a regular tally of what the garden produces this year, I’d like to see (approximately) the amount, in dollars, the garden has saved us.

So far the crop is small.

3 Strawberries

2 yellow peppers

3/4 lb of zucchini

1 1/2 lbs of cucumbers

1/2 of small red and orange tomatoes


1 bunch of radishes

Basil – amount to be determined

Oregano – TBD

Cilantro – TBD




We just got back from our first road trip with Little Bear to visit so relatives, we’re beat and while I was gone all the pumpkin plants decided that they wanted to take over the garden.  Lots of work to bed done – probably will need to get up early tomorrow to beat the heat.

I’m loosing hope in my cucumber and zucchini plants, I think the powdery mildew is winning on the cucumber and we’re not getting a lot of pollination on the zucchini.  I’ve come to realize I’m not too upset about the later as I’m not much of a zucchini eater, in fact I might just skip it all together next year along with making sure I buy PM-resistant cucumbers.

I did plant a few string bean plants in the garden last week for a late harvest/nitrogen refueling attempt and I’m just hoping I can keep the pumpkins from sprawling across the white onions and carrots long enough to get a harvest.  And if I had been here this weekend I could have gotten a few more strawberries of the vine before heat and birds did them in; oh well, the runners are still going strong so I’m hoping for lots of strawberries next year!

In a few weeks we’ll be in tomato and pepper overload.

Over all, with all the successes and failures so far, not too bad for my first real attempt at a garden!


How does your garden grow?

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I have to say, strawberry massacre and powdery mildew aside, I’m quite impressed at how the garden is going this year.  Honestly it’s my first time really trying to grow a large amount of things and I seem to have a good instinct for it all.  That being said I do come from a long line of farmers and my great-grandfather on the non-farmer side was said to be able to grow anything!

Here’s the view –

Tomatoes ripening or just growing, and growing.

Cucumbers on their way.

Zucchini, of course, zucchini.


Radishes popping up.

A carrot forest.

My impromptu squash trellis –  not to bad for five minutes research (i.e. “okay, I’m not crazy for wanting to give them vertical room”) and about 10 minutes search for scraps in the basement and garage.

Last, but not least – the most amazing thing in the world (you know aside from Little Bear and Dr. Pepper) the Bug Bag, particularly the Japanese Beetle Bug Bag.  This thing is amazing and it attract a swarm of beetle within 5 minutes of opening.  I mean it, I had beetles following me as I set it up and it was a quarter full when I came home 8 hours later.

Things are looking good – suggestions on how to keep the powdery mildew from destroying my zucchini and cucumbers welcomed – and I’m planning on putting a few bush beans in around the corn to help with any nitrogen depletion.  Still on the docket – weeding, so much weeding on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Molly Makes {Dirt}

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I’d like introduce you to the newest member of my family.  This is Bob, my compost bin.

He’s like a big, plastic member of the family.  He enjoys lazy afternoons in the shade of the defunct apple tree and turning garbage into food.  Originally Bob was a couple of plastic storage bins under the deck,

but we upgraded him when we found Bob 2.0 at a tag sale for $30 bucks (most composters hover around the $100 + range and it was high on my Christmas List).

Starting a compost pile is relatively easy.  Collect stuff, let it rot, feed it to plants.  Of course there are many ways to go about it – compost bins, vermicompost, compost tea, but the end result is great – fewer bags going to the landfill and readily available nutrients for your garden – veggie or flower!

Things that Bob likes to eat include –

  • Small sticks and twigs
  • Dead Leaves
  • Weeds from the garden
  • Veggies Scraps from the kitchen
  • Egg Shells
  • Basic paper, cardboard and egg crates (except for egg crates I try not to put any paper in that I can’t verify the type of ink used)
  • Grass Clippings – great for compost as they decompose quickly
  • Cotton dishrags that are past their prime – I went thru a stack of old towels and dishrags that were old, full of holes or to scratching to be chosen post-bath and ripped them up and fed them to Bob last week!

Things I need to remember Bob can eat –

  • Coffee grounds and Tea bags
  • Plainly cooked pasta & rice
  • Stale (not moldy!) breads, crackers, etc.
  • Old herbs and spices
  • Spent Toilet Paper rolls
  • Animal Fur
  • Freezer burned fruits and veggies

More lists can be found Here, and Here

One thing I haven’t seen on any lists are crafting waste – I’m assuming if I have thread/yarn/etc. leftover that are 100% wool, cotton or other natural fiber Bob would be happy to munch on them!

I swear we put at least one bag less of garbage in the garbage bin each week just by composting the basics and with the amount of “waste” Henry produces each week one less bag makes me happy.  Once the garage gets a good clean out this summer I hope to kick my recycling habits back into high gear and really make an impact on how much landfill garbage we put on the curb each week.

Does anyone have advice for composting dairy products like expired yogurt and moldy cheese – I’d like to add this to my pile but am worried about encouraging molds to to spread or insects to multiply.  Any advice?

The Haul

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I plan on giving a regular tally of what the garden produces this year, I’d like to see (approximately) the amount, in dollars, the garden has saved us.

So far the crop is small.

2 Strawberries

1/2 lb of zucchini

Basil – amount to be determined

Oregano – TBD

On the way soon peppers, more zucchini (if I can get more fruit to pollinate), cucumbers and radishes.

It’s still Tuesday, it’s still good

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Today was busy!  Errands run, a car cleaned out (you know the one that needed to be cleaned out before the baby arrived… yeah that car), weeding… lots of weeding, super to make laundry to do… oh the never-ending list, but I love it all so – most days.  It feels good to get things done and be productive after a rather disappointing weekend, but onwards and upwards.

Anyways here’s a garden update.  Other than fighting the white powdery mildew battle with my cucumbers (and finally realizing they needed a trellis to climb) things have been going quite well.

The Ghost of Pesto Yet to Come is calling my name…

Can’t wait for the tomato harvest.

Strawberries!  The runners are taking over, I spent today digging spots out of the mulch for them.

On our way to peppers!

Pumpkin or squash… can’t remember… but as of today it’s  little withered yellowing ball … any suggestions ( should these have vertical supports too?)

Running out of vertical space.

Yesterday’s itty bitty tomato is somewhere in this plant.  This is the tomato plant I didn’t think would make it.  The first picture I have of it is below looking puny and off colored, the stick is still in the pot… somewhere.

P.S.  The strawberry and pepper advice I got a few weeks ago was fantastic!

P.P.S  Any words of wisdom on cucumbers, zucchini and squash?

P.P.P.S Anyone know someone wanting to pass on some canning supplies in the Iowa City area?  I really want to start canning some jams and maybe some apple butter and would love to find someone with some hand-me-downs before I head to the store (the thrift stores have been a bust in the canning department)?

To get you through till tomorrow

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It’s been a busy weekend, and today the baby wanted nothing more to be “up” all day – he learned to signal up this weekend.  A bigger post tomorrow, but for now – finally a possible tomato on my largest tomato plant!

{Weekend Wonders}

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{Weekend Wonders}  – A little something to read while drinking your coffee Saturday morning in the hopes that it will give you something to think about, talk about or the inspiration to do something!



Vintage Travel Poster by Steve Thomas – Click HERE to peruse his collection of LOTR and Star Wars Themed Travel Posters

If you could go one place from Literature where would you go?

Mine would be the Shire –  I used to dig hobbit holes into the little hill in back of our old house and have always wanted a round front door!