Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Surface of the Sun

That is where I live. Seriously. The heat here is intense. Paired with the humidity, work during the hottest part of the day is impossible. The garden dislikes it as much as I do. Or perhaps it is my inattention that is killing it? It depends on when you ask me as to which answer I might give you. I have started and stopped a post over the last month multiple times, and each time it stressed me out so much that I just deleted it and moved on. On the plus side, the shop has had progress made on it. It has a full roof and one wall. I, of course, could get nothing accomplished outside while Brad was working on the shop because I had Liam to attend to and by the time Brad was done working he was too tired to tend to him. It is stressing me out and making me angry just talking about it so I am leaving it at that. Lets just say that my tomatoes are hanging in there, the peppers barely, and nothing else has survived. The shop was worked on though... that is something.

The last 2 weeks have been a complete wash. Not even the shop got worked on. The factors have been:

1- we are running the homestead with no truck. That means we have to borrow one every time we need lumber or anything too big to fit in my little car.

2- Brad's brother is no longer able to help with the shop.

3- Keegan has had Band camp which means 4 trips to and from school every day. He goes in the morning, pick him up for lunch, drop him back off 1.5 hours later, and then pick him up that evening. It makes it difficult to get started on much.

4- Liam has had a double ear infection topped off with some kind of nasty virus. He has had a scary high fever, has been so congested that he can barely breath, and has been dehydrated but refusing liquids or food other than nursing, which thankfully he has still been doing. The poor guy has been miserable, and none of us has had much sleep for over a week. Thankfully yesterday evening his fever broke and started drinking and ate a little bit. I don't think I have ever been so thankful to see a wet diaper. I had almost forgotten how scary having a sick little one was. I didn't miss that part. I'm so glad he is finally on the mend. Now maybe once he can start breathing properly again we will get a good nights sleep. In the grand scheme of things, him being healthy is all that matters.

Anyway... my having a type A personality... Well. I haven't dealt well with seeing everything around here go to pot for simple lack of time to deal with it or ability to walk outside and get it done. Just thinking about it makes my brain tingle, eyes twitch, and chest tighten. Que Serra Serra. I'm letting it go and not stressing about it anymore. I have claimed the next few days as mine to get as much work done as possible. The grass desperately needs to be mowed, the garden rows weed-eated, and the peppers staked and tied.

 The tomatoes have gotten so tall that they are bending over the top of the trellis and growing halfway down the other side. I need to get another picture of Keegan standing in the row to show scale. But, to give you an idea; I am 5'10" and when I stand and reach my hand as high as possible the tallest vines still standing up are at least a foot higher than my fingertips. Who knew that 8ft t-posts would be this inadequate?
 These plants were volunteers in one of my store bought lavender plants. I don't know what they are but they sure are prolific! Liam much prefers the egg yolk tomatoes though. These seem more like store quality grape tomatoes. They keep forever but are tough and don't have much taste.
 My favorite tomatoes! Cherokee purple. They are finally getting ripe. Sadly, they seem to be more at risk of being damaged and half of the ones I have picked have been half rotten already for one reason or another.
 The guineas like to help in the garden. They are the only poultry really allowed in there because they don't damage anything by scratching around or eating any low growing fruit. The chickens have managed to sneak past the fence lately and scratch all of the hay out of the rows though. After I took this I had to pick it up by hand and put it back... again. Someone-who-shall-not-be-named-for-their-own-protection borrowed my rake and used it a bit too vigorously. The handle broke in half. Coincidentally, the same someone also broke my broom handle in half that very same week. Grr....
 Here is a better picture of the tomatoes bending over the trellis. Early blight has started at the bottoms of all of the plants already. Some of the sickly ones and the few determinate tomatoes that I planted are faring much worse than these amish paste. They are troupers for sure!
It is bowing the top of the fencing over. Perhaps another t-post would be good next year, although it seems to be holding up pretty well.
 Here is the shop. It looks small in this picture but it is pretty good sized. 12ft wide by 16 feet long. The windows need to go in next and then the walls can be completed.
Pretty much everything else is dead or dying and the grass is growing out of control. The upside of this is that it is almost time to replant anyway (there is no upside to the grass growing, except of course, that I need the exercise and honestly enjoy mowing). I can still get in another crop of beans, cucumbers, and squash. I also have fall crops to put in.


  1. We planted some Cherokee Purples this year, just two plants. I am in love. My favorite tomato for sure. One of ours got humongous. I spent last Saturday and Sunday morning pruning all of our tomatoes. They got a serious haircut. Everything was going to vine and not enough energy to those beautiful little yellow flowers. I decided I'd give it a try. So far, they have held up well. I'll let you know if it helps. Overall though, ours haven't done well this year. I know you will enjoy the shop!

    1. I got a really huge one the other day too! It had grown almost all the way around the vine. I had to break it in half to get it loose. I will have to check to see if I remembered to get a picture of it. Please let me know if pruning the plants helps production! I'm not getting nearly as many as tomatoes as I had hoped. Especially since I planted over 100 plants!