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DON'T LAUGH!!

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Re: DON'T LAUGH!!

Post  Megan on 7/15/2010, 6:56 pm

Speaking of butterflies... here are a few I saw just a few moments ago. They were hanging out on my bee balm. I have never seen either type before.

I tried Googling the first one; it looks kind of like a Buckeye, but the color splashes are in the wrong places, this one is much more brown and I don't think it has any "eyes" on its wings (unless they don't show on the wing undersides? she was moving around pretty fast.)






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Re: DON'T LAUGH!!

Post  nancy on 7/15/2010, 7:12 pm

the second one might be a great spangled frittilary. we had tons of them this spring. not sure about the first. it could be a red admiral, but i'm not certain. how fun, tho'!!!

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Re: DON'T LAUGH!!

Post  Megan on 7/15/2010, 7:22 pm

Thanks!! I was just outside again, and the first one definitely does NOT have any "eyes" on the tops of its wings. Couldn't get any photos but I got a good look. It is still hungrily loving on the bee balm. Smile

I love sightings like this. Makes me want to be outside all day with my garden... keep wondering what I am missing! Very Happy

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Re: DON'T LAUGH!!

Post  nancy on 7/18/2010, 7:08 pm

look who came to dinner


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Re: DON'T LAUGH!!

Post  Megan on 7/18/2010, 7:11 pm

Beautiful!

Nancy... my two were ID'd as Silver-spotted Skipper, and maybe a Sachem Skipper.

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Re: DON'T LAUGH!!

Post  nancy on 7/18/2010, 7:25 pm

excellent! i love the variety of species i'm seeing (noticing for the first time?) this year.

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Re: DON'T LAUGH!!

Post  nancy on 7/22/2010, 3:44 pm

Not much going on in the garden lately. The tomatoes are getting bigger every day, but are not yet changing color. Here is an isis with tons of flowers:



I seem to be doing much better with the cherry tomatoes. The roma looks rather sad. We did get one tomato off of it so far and the kid absolutely loved it. I wonder if I will get enough to make sauce? As of Tuesday there were 3 small fruits on the Rutgers and the Empire was giving up.

After picking the first watermelon too early, I now only see one more growing - and it isn't even round. Hmmm... We're going down tonite after work and hopefully we will see a few more. The beans are beginning to come up, as are the new carrots. We pulled our first "old" carrots Tuesday when everyone was pulling theirs. I have to admit we didn't like it. It was too peppery-spicy for us. We'll try steaming the next few. Here is a picture of one good one and two that were planted too close and neither thrived. Also shown are the lovely onions that are falling over daily. I should have washed everyone before the photo shoot, but it didn't happen - sorry!



We saw our first ever swallowtail caterpillar on the carrots this week! That was very exciting. Surprised that it wasn't on the fennel that was planted specifically for it, but I have planty of carrots to spare.

Friday I got the pumpkin bed half filled and put in the first pumpkin seeds. I can add the rest of the mix later. So far 2 have already come up in one spot - trimming will be a difficult decision. I'm more hopeful this year than I was last year - at least I know to cover them before the deer find them this year.

And my new guilty pleasure - I found "The Fabulous Beekman Boys" on planetgreen. 2 boys bought a gorgeous farm in upstate NY and are letting us watch their adventures. They share the organic mind-set and grow their vegetables in raised beds. It's funny and informative (for me anyway).

It's still disgustingly hot & humid here, which is normal for the middle of summer, but I'd really like a break from the humidity for a few days. Both good & bad are the chances of rain every afternoon. My rain barrel fills right back to the top after I fill my milk jugs, but perhaps late-day rain is part of my tomato problem. On Tuesday it began raining while we were watering! So we came home and I quickly filled my milk jugs in the rain so I could capture more rain - what a hoot! Happy Thursday!!

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Re: DON'T LAUGH!!

Post  nancy on 7/28/2010, 4:29 pm

Still not a lot going on. The tomatoes aren't turning red yet and everything else is coming along, but slowly. The sunflower is now taller than me, which isn't really saying much. I'm just excited that it grew in 6" of MM!



And last night we FINALLY found 7 monarch eggs and 2 caterpillars on the tropical milkweed in the butterfly bed. I have babies again! This picture does not show any of them, it's just a pic of how well the tropical is doing in a square foot bed. Lots of yummy food for those babies!



Other than that, we wait. I'm horribly embarassed by all of the weeds surrounding my beds. The guy who mows at the garden can't get between them, so leaves it alone. So now I am doing research on a trimmer. Something I never wanted to do; however, I love my garden that much. Argh.

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Re: DON'T LAUGH!!

Post  nancy on 1/19/2011, 10:31 am

So today is the first day of sitting down with the paper & pencil excel spreadsheet and mouse to plan out the 2011 beds. This morning I'm thinking I want to group my plants together instead of going for symmetry like I did last year. And I'm ordering shorter peas! I can't decide if I want to order lettuce seeds, or buy seedlings from the local garden center like I did last year. I think between AJ Rahn's and Burger Farms, I should be able to find a good selection. The early spring box will again contain broccoli, peas, lettuce, spinach, carrots, and onions. The back right corner will get the taller plants as I have come to think the whole garden (and hence my boxes) is not laid out north / south, but is a bit skewed. Go figure.

I am ordering some lovely watermelon seeds. I can't wait to grow those again this year! While we only got 2-3 melons last year, I think we can do better with a year under our belts. Also new this year will be stevia. Has anyone else grown this yet? How did you dry it and use it? I am completely undecided about tomatoes - what kind / how many. We had mixed results last year - both with the growing & the 6-year-old deciding what she liked to eat. Ah well.

I have really been wanting to go down to the garden and see how it has done over the winter, but haven't made it yet. And we are supposed to get another 4" of snow tomorrow, so there isn't much point yet. I really want to begin adding yummy compost to the top of the beds, but not when they are still covered by snow. Ohhhh I'm really itching to get going!

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Re: DON'T LAUGH!!

Post  Megan on 1/19/2011, 8:19 pm

I have grown stevia a couple of times, from bought starts, and honestly I was not sure how to use it except in teas. It gets leggy pretty quickly, at least it did so for me, so you might want to experiment with pinching to make it branch out.

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Re: DON'T LAUGH!!

Post  quiltbea on 1/19/2011, 11:56 pm

I tried stevia last year in a pot from seed, but it didn't thrive so didn't get to try it.
This year I'm going to try to buy a started plant and see if that works better for me.
I have no idea what to do with it to use as a sweetener.

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Re: DON'T LAUGH!!

Post  Megan on 1/20/2011, 12:08 am

I did some reading on stevia. It doesn't seem to do well in baked goods at all. But tell you what, it is SUPER sweet so would go nicely in tea, maybe in herb crusts, etc. I have gotten away from liking super sweet things....kinda funny, as when I go for sweets I really go all-out (super-rich dark chocolate, etc.) but I like the semi-sweet/bitter sweet more than the really sugary. Funny how tastes change as you get older. (Mind you, this does not prevent me from lusting after candy every once in a blue moon! Very Happy)

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Re: DON'T LAUGH!!

Post  nancy on 1/25/2011, 11:29 am

Thanks for the feedback ladies! I did order some from Baker Creek and am going to give it a try. I'll keep you posted. Smile

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Re: DON'T LAUGH!!

Post  Lavender Debs on 1/25/2011, 11:50 am

@quiltbea wrote:I have no idea what to do with it to use as a sweetener.
I noticed it was an ingredient in many of the tea blends I liked from the HFS. In summer I like to go to the herb/tea garden and snip blossoms and leaves into the pot while the water comes to a boil. A single stevia leaf gives the perfect amount of sweetness to my midmorning pot. I have not tried this yet but I am told that a few leaves julienned and added to fruit suryps or cooked fruit is nice. I does NOT replace sugar in jams or other fruit desserts that depend on sugar for structure or as a preservative.

The leaf is quite sweet when nibbled on but adding heat to the leaf seems to bring out the sweetness.

Deborah...who just thinks of it as a tea garden herb.

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Re: DON'T LAUGH!!

Post  nancy on 1/31/2011, 2:46 pm

went down to the garden yesterday to take a look around. everything is still brown and my allotment is VERY overgrown with weeds. it's going to take a lot of elbow grease this spring to get it pretty again. if i had known how nice it was going to be saturday, i would have spent an hour or so down there. it was sunny and in the mid 40s. ah well - maybe this weekend will be so again. if i do a little at a time, it might be more manageable. and i really might buy a trimmer this year! i threatened to several times last year, but never did it.

at home, the snowdrops are coming up. the clover is already taking over the backyard. and something that vaguely resembles daffodils is coming up in places where i planted bulbs. surely they can't be poking their heads up already?! curious little buggers. of course we're due for about an inch of freezing rain beginning this evening, so nothing much will happen this week. we still have all of february to get through - and a few weeks of march, too! oy!!

i received my seed order from baker creek on saturday! very fast service! so maybe i can start some seeds soon. i'm getting way too anxious already!

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Re: DON'T LAUGH!!

Post  nancy on 3/12/2011, 4:09 pm

So I went down to the garden last night to talk to the peas and to tell them that I would be planting some company for them this weekend. I was stopped in my tracks; however, when I saw this:



Everything is under a good 4 FEET of water! We can't even see the tops of any rain barrels or compost bins. The Ohio River isn't supposed to crest until Tuesday! And it will stay above flood-stage for several days after that. At first I was simply blown away by all the water and it's power. But as the evening went on, I began to worry about my particular plot. I'm the only one down there who uses raised beds. Are the beds even going to be there when the water recedes? I was going to plant carrots, broccoli, spinach, and lettuce today. We were going to go out to Burger Farm & get some raspberries and maybe another strawberry. But Mother Nature has changed our plans.

So this is what we saw today:



I thought it looked a bit lower, but I'm not sure. It shouldn't be. There are parts of other allotments I could see today that I couldn't see yesterday. I saw someone's compost bin that had floated away. (I also saw a blue heron - so totally cool!) I'll go back every day to check and to just stand there and be mesmerised by the flood. We went over to a park (Bass Island) where we could see the Little Miami from another vantage point. Simply incredible.

It's hard at times to still be grateful for what I have - we really haven't suffered at all compared to what so many are experiencing. Yet when I think about how much time and energy - plus the money - I put into my 25x25 space last year and to think it could all be gone just breaks my heart! Some of my perrienals were beginning to come up, and I had 2 squares of peas that were so pretty! That brand-new shade of green that I love so much. I'll keep you posted. It doesn't seem right to ask for prayers, but if you could send some good karma, I'd be very grateful!


Last edited by nancy on 3/12/2011, 4:20 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : posting picture forgetfness)

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Re: DON'T LAUGH!!

Post  camprn on 3/12/2011, 4:16 pm

Well, do you have a boat? Wink it's hard to say, but it doesn't look like the water is moving rapidly so I would hope your beds aren't very buoyant & are still there. It's quite possible that the water will recede and will have put nutrients into your garden! Fingers Crossed!

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Re: DON'T LAUGH!!

Post  Megan on 3/12/2011, 4:23 pm

Oh my gosh, Nancy! Sad

I am blown away and my heart and prayers go out to you. I know it's "nothing" compared to what's happening in Japan and elsewhere right now, but it's still yours, and that's got to hurt.

Small words of comfort, but, it's only March. You still have plenty of time. Do you need seeds? I am getting ready to plant the Ice Ballet milkweed you sent me last year, I am so excited about that.

HUGS! BIG hug

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Re: DON'T LAUGH!!

Post  windrider1967 on 3/12/2011, 5:05 pm

JINKIES!!!! I am so sorry about the trouble you are going through. We have gotten a TON of rain and most of my yard is a swamp so I can (kinda) feel for you. That is why we are putting the garden in at my neighbors - she had a bit better drainage.

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Re: DON'T LAUGH!!

Post  dizzygardener on 3/12/2011, 5:16 pm

Oh My Goodness! That is amazing. Hopefully it recedes quickly so you can revive your garden.

Until then... I wonder how much rice you can plant per square foot? Shocked

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Re: DON'T LAUGH!!

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/12/2011, 5:58 pm

I understand your request for prayers, I would have sat down and cried right then and there. That is a lot of work!!! Please keep us posted and let us know if you need any seeds!

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Re: DON'T LAUGH!!

Post  quiltbea on 3/12/2011, 6:53 pm

Nancy,
What a terrible mess.
I hope you can salvage your garden area when the waters recede.
Thoughs and prayers for you and the others there.

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Re: DON'T LAUGH!!

Post  middlemamma on 3/12/2011, 8:37 pm

I would have cried right then and there.

Sending you all the good thoughts and prayers I have.

Jen

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Re: DON'T LAUGH!!

Post  happycamper on 3/13/2011, 4:34 pm

Nancy, I am so sorry about your garden. I understand completely how you feel as I have lost mine from 4-5 feet of flood waters several times.

My prayers and positive thoughts are with you. You will be able to replant and your garden WILL thrive in 2011!

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Re: DON'T LAUGH!!

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/13/2011, 9:28 pm

Sending good wishes your way. I hope the waters go down soon and you find the beds just waiting for you. Maybe with a rich deposit of nutritious silt sitting in your beds.

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Re: DON'T LAUGH!!

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