Sunday, June 24, 2012

Reporting from the front; art shows, studio, gardens and chickens.

Happy belated solstice!  The days will begin to shorten and I better make sure the batteries are in my headlamp are fresh.  Still trapping raccoons, I'm good for one a night ad have stopped counting.  Where do they come from?  And just how many can there be?   I wonder how many more I can take to the old abandoned orchard until the Inn if full and I start seeing condo's.  

Last weekend took me to a show in Shaker Hts.  These are the shows you stand in your booth on Sunday night and yell;  Hey!  Anybody wanna buy a tent?  90 degrees on Saturday, standing on hot asphalt.... felt FAB! (she said oh so sarcastically!)  Sunday, yeah for clouds but 25 - 30 mph winds kicked up and pottery does not bounce on asphalt.  Then I looked at the radar on my iPad and holy yellow, orange, red blob headed our way!  By noon I was taking the woven high end pieces, one at a time, to the trailer to be safely packed away.  I left mugs, bowls, teapots and decorative pieces out.  The show was slated to be done by 5 pm but at 4:30 pm the rain let loose.  Rolled up the booth carpet and luckily I had taken down the sides.  Last year this show rocked and the big bonus, close to home.  This year..... close to home and we will leave it at that.  It was great to see the hometown crowd and bless Linda and Jerry G. for running watermelon and cherries to a weary booth artist.  I had brought a jug of water as this summer my motto has been;  BE THE GRAPE, DON'T BE THE RAISIN!   Packed up, wet and tired headed for the barn.  The good news..... I have inventory for the next show :) 

It was great to get my work all out and take inventory.   Where do I want this body of work to go.  Good incentive to get back in the studio and get busy.  

I love big..... the pot on the right is 20" tall.

I still love making mugs.

This also tumbled into the weaving studio.  Mornings usually find me weaving and watering.  Every 15 rows I jump up and move the hose.  I will be on the Olympic hose dragging team!  

The hose dragging is paying off but there is nothing like a good rain to make plants pop!  Unfortunately it has not come.  I am now in garden triage, who needs water first and what to keep alive.  The dog is taking care of the grass, brown is the color of choice.  

The peas, beets and lettuce have been stellar!  Onions are looking good and the tomatoes are coming along.  Nice to see little tomatoes.  

Not sure I will ever again plant this much cabbage as I will loose half this years crop to loopers.  I have been spraying once a week with BT Dipel and it has helped.  Toss in cut worms and slugs and the cabbage crop is going to take a hit.  Oh so much to learn....

As rough as the cabbage looks, the cucumbers are doing great! 

and the runner beans are nuclear this year!  
Soaker hoses and mulch rule! 

Zuchs seem unperturbed by anything.  
Note to self....... Be the zucchini.

Perennials are hanging in there and I am not watering!  
Buck up everybody! 

Yarrow is doing extremely well and I have started drying the heads.

The girls are getting fat and two have red waddles and combs so eggs should start appearing soon!  
The others still have waddles and combs in bubble gum pink so no pressure.

A rabbit found the gap under the garden gate and ate his way through the brussel sprouts and kohlrabi. 
I turned into Mr MacGregor.  Later in the day I took my afternoon break with the chickens.  
No chickens.
They were all hiding in the coop.  Something was terribly wrong.  I ran and pulled greens but the girls were not coming out of the coop.  They would peek out and look up, retreating back inside.  Clearly there was drama in the coop.  Getting on my hands and knees I looked under the coop thinking a varmit had gotten in the coop but nothing.  I ran around the coop to the other side.  YIKES!  Carnage in the yard.  The neighborhood hawk nabbed the brussel sprout eating rabbit and ate it right in front of the chickens!!!!  There was fur everywhere!  Took the girls a day to get over it trama and they are back in the pink!  I could use a little less drama in the hen house! 

Blackberries are coming along.  Alas I found two robins  gobbling their way through the blueberries.  Bird netting went up and blueberry production has doubled.  I hate bird netting.  Berries in bondage and now the berry picker has to commando crawl under the netting to pick the bounty.  I have planted enough diversion plants around the garden and was hoping it would work.  Viburnums, Betula Nigra and Amalanchier.  Nope!

Potatoes are looking good and blooming.

and tonight for dinner.......... roasted beet salad in a balsamic dressing, stir fried pea pods, a few radishes, tasty kohlrabi and blueberry parfaits with fresh yogurt.  I'll split the beet greens with the chickens and saute' the rest with onions and bacon.  


  1. What an abundant garden! Sorry you have to share it. I really enjoyed your story about the hens. Being a non-farming woman, except a container or two, I'm amazed at all you're doing. Did love your 20" pot too!

  2. Thanks Barb! and dropping a pebble in the blog pond too :)

  3. Having been 40 plus years since the big garden days of high school age, I don't exactly remember what flower we used, but we planted a specific flower on either side of our cabbage to keep the usual pests away. The same went for several other vegetable varieties. I think the "Farmer's Almanac" had the lists of "natural bug repelling plants" somewhere.
    That being said, your garden is looking great! I always loved the flavor of fresh, homegrown veggies!
    Looks like you've got quite the inventory going on already. I only wish I could get my pots up to 20 inches ;-)

  4. Gorgeous garden! A vegetarian's dream! Y'know those raccoons -- you're probably trapping them for the whole neighborhood; very nice service you are providing.

  5. What a trauma for "the girls"! Glad to see they are okay. Now if you could get the hawk to deal with the raccoons...hire a hit, maybe? LOL!

  6. Glad to see the "girls" are okay after the rabbit massacre. Maybe you could hire the hawk to do a hit on the raccoons...! LOL!

  7. I'm thinking the barred owl would love a bit of hassenpffier!

    We have a coopers hawk in the big maple who would love chicken nugget lunch......

    Been awhile since I have been this aware of the top of the food chain. I also think a good rooster could protect the flock better then my old dog; who by the way watched the entire drama from the patio...... Worthless but loved :)

  8. Hey Sue! Thanks! I'm going to be cucumber fairy in my neighborhood this year :). So far the pea pods are my favorite this year!