Sunday, August 1, 2010

Farm and Garden Weekly - weeks of July 18 and July 25

In the past two weeks, we have harvested all the leeks, onions, and garlic. I've got enough leeks in the freezer for ten batches of Gladys Taber's leek and potato soup. I pick some of the zephyr squash each day and have quite a bit frozen already.

There are still lots of beautiful daylilies in the gardens, including a new one we just planted in the spring. I love this color.

Now they are sharing top billing with the sweet peas. This has been the best year ever for the old-fashioned, wonderful smelling flower. I bought three different varieties from Renee's Garden, and will get them all again next year:

Antique "Cupani's Original" - An especially strong blooming strain of the first cultivated sweet pea. Perfumed, heat-tolerant and beautifully bi-colored in deep maroon-purple and orchid-violet.

"Painted Lady" - The first named sweet pea cultivar, dating from 1737. Painted Lady is a beautiful rose, pastel pink and cream bicolor that is deliciously scented and heat tolerant. Begins flowering early.

Knee High, "Jack & Jill" - Blooming in dainty salmon-rose and soft mid-blue, our perfumed duet grows just 3 feet tall. These nostalgic and charming flowers bloom early offering heat tolerance and strong garden performance.

Now if I could only post that fragrance!

You've been seeing the monkshood as the banner photo for a few days. It is the only flower in the garden which is that color at this time of year. The blue/purple color is much more common in the spring with the iris, lupines, mountain bluets, lilacs, and violets.

On the farm front, we've decided to section off part of the north pasture. We have fewer animals than we used to, and they don't need so much grazing land. We wanted a bigger area to walk with the dogs. This pasture connects with the yard outside the kitchen door, where the vegetable garden is.

Just as the dogs are shedding, so is Daisy the miniature donkey.

donkey dreads :<)

Two weeks ago today the man up the road who grows blueberries called and said the first ones were available. He used to put up a sign outside his place, but now he doesn't. He just calls whenever he has picked and we go over and buy them. We put them on cookie sheets in the freezer, and when they have frozen we transfer them to freezer bags. During the year, I take some out and put them in a bowl in the refrigerator, and the next day we add them to our morning yogurt.

Last week's egg count was 52 and this week we got 50.


  1. What a highlight! Too bad you can't post the smell, indeed. Onions, garlic, sweet peas, mowed hay, and warm fur.

  2. Do you ever brush your donkey? I wonder if it would like to get the dreads off. I see two big Great Perynese (sp) dogs in the area that is never combed. It drives me crazy. I'm not anal or anything. tee hee... Leek soup sounds so good. Haven't had any since last winter. Is it dinner time??

  3. Flowers are lovely. Those squash look so interesting. Kind of a zucchini/yellow mix.

  4. Love the donkey dreads. Oh how I wish you could post the smell of those beautiful flowers too!!!

  5. I so love all the photos you post. I am especially nuts over the gorgeous flowers (header shot is awesome).

  6. The monkshood is such a stunning color! Thanks for the link to Renee's Garden - have just had a nice look around. Would love to try some sweet peas next year!

  7. I just stumbled across your blog and I have to say that I'm in love with it :D Your land and your produce and everything is just so gorgeous!! Can't wait to revisit over here!

  8. Ok then Nan -- I'm selling the RV, buying a farm,and settling down again ;>)) Not really, but your beautiful post is just about enough to make me want to do that (forget the bucket list). And the soup sounds so good. W/ fFresh garden ingredieints, what could be better?

  9. I've never seen Donkey Dreads before :)

    I would like to grow and freeze some Leeks next year. Do you just clean them up, as you've photographed, and then freeze raw?

    Lovely post Nan.

  10. I love the color of the Jack & Jill Sweet Pea! So delicate and I'll bet it smells divine.

    Annie-dog is shedding quite a bit these days, too. I need to vacuum almost every other day. And she really needs to brushed every night, which she loves!

  11. Nan, I love the sweet peas, especially that salmon colored one-just beautiful! I love your new daylily too. I hope your donkey sheds out soon-I remember my horses doing that. Love the picture of your hubby I'm assuming mowing the field-brings back memories of our farm in NJ. Have a great week and enjoy all your veggies from your garden!

  12. Our garden is very slow this year - we were late getting it in this year. But we are enjoying sugar snap peas. And there are lots of farms selling fresh veggies nearby so we're not suffering :)

    Your daylily is beautiful!

    I have sweet peas coming too - my first year to plant them from seed. I'm looking forward to the blooms even though I can't remember what kind they are.

    We have wild blueberries growing in the field behind the house. Not many but enough for a sprinkle on our breakfast cereal every morning!

    You must sell or give away your eggs? 50 some is a lot!

  13. Oh, I envy you all those tasty leeks. Nothing better than leek and potato soup on a chilly fall afternoon!

    City girl that I am, I had no idea that donkeys would shed!!

  14. J.G. - that would have been a nice title for the 'letter.' :<)

    Lisa - we don't. Way back when we got her in 1988, we were told you didn't need to brush or curry them as you do horses, so we never have. Though I think Daisy would enjoy it. She's very affectionate.

    Kay - I adore this squash. It is not common. In fact I think Johnny's may be the only place that sells it having developed it there. I love the taste and I love the look.

    Staci - the only thing that comes close to the sweet pea fragrance in my opinion is freesias, which of course don't grow up here. It is just wonderful.

    Thank you, Bibliophile! Lucky shots is all.:<)

    JoAnn - Renee's is such a nice place to shop. The drawings are just gorgeous. The descriptions are clear and accurate, and the results are fantastic! I hope you do try sweet peas. Just be sure to get the ones that say 'fragrant.' Not all of them do. The old ones are amazing.

    Why, Chris, thank you! Welcome, and please come again.

    Sallie - I smiled when I read your note. I haven't traveled since 2001! :<)

    Niki - yes. I pick them, chop off the white part and a little of the green, cut them, and put them in a freezer bag. I do one meal per bag. They don't have to be cut in any fancy manner either because they go through the food mill when I make the soup. One of life's little treasures. I buy plants from Johnny's and we split them with a friend. They grow great!

    Les - Sadie loves being brushed, Ben not so much. Did you happen to read Margaret's posting on the furminator? Do you have one? We do and it is great.


    Sherri - yes he is mowing. It is the field which was formerly pasture. Now the four of us go walking each evening!

    Island Sparrow - yes, Tom brings them to his school and they are snapped right up! The $2 selling price pays for their grain.

    Pamela - most people make it with cream but not me. Just potatoes and leeks sautéed a bit in butter. Yum.

  15. This post is full of delights, even a donkey. My sweet peas are reluctant to flower, only a few so far. I am impressed by all your produce.

  16. Great post! Love the monkshood header, the sweet peas (one of my favourite) and great produce! Gladys Taber has some of the best comfort foods!
    Thanks for sharing!

  17. Cait - although they talk about sweet peas liking cool weather as peas do, this summer has been very hot and sunny and they've never been better. So who knows?

    Joanne - have you ever read Gladys' quote about heaven? Pretty similar to my thoughts. :<) I'll email it to you.


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