Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happenin's Around the Farm

Summer is here at the Little Farm in the 'Hood!  We've got a bags of cucumbers and squash and rattlesnake beans in the 'fridge...and God is good.  Unfortuately we have had a few less-welcome guests as well.
First, the squash bugs have arrived in full force.  I mean FULL force.  It'sa downri ght infestation.  We've been pickin' and squishin' their eggs (like you see in the pic) and trying to knock the adults into soapy water (for a chicken snack).  I just sprayed some diatomaceous earth on the leaves as well.

My other strategy has been succession planting. I sowed more squash and zucchini plants indoors a few weeks ago, just in case my grown plants fizzle out. Thanks to the bugs, about 4 of our plants have died, so I replaced them with new baby plants. Hopefully we'll outlast the squash bugs life cycle with succession planting (not sure if that's actually possible here in North Carolina, but we'll try).
 Another unwelcome guest has been drought.  Not "official" drought, but around here, any time our rainwater catchment system is empty, it's a potential drought.  Between two of these babies in the backyard and two smaller pickle-barrel rain catchers in the front yard, we can hold onto 630 gallons of rainwater.  That's 630 gallons of FREE water from the sky.  I have no idea what I would have to pay the City of Raleigh for all that.  Anyway, every water catcher we have was completely empty last Friday.  I was going to have to, reluctantly, start using the water hose.  But God came through.  One between two storms in the last 48 hours, we have more than 500 gallons of water in our catchers!

 We built a new growing bed just outside the shed.  Amie wants to train something to grow up the old, reclaimed ladder (the wood is also reclaimed).  The free dirt came from all the times we've sifted the goat pen, so it's got built-in goat poop fertilizer for whatever plant we put in there!

Yeah, that's an old box spring with a bike wheel hanging on it.  Makes a great trellis, too!

June watermelon dreams start small but end tasty.
Our rattlesnake beans from Amie's grandfather's garden have been producing beautifully, and they taste great.  Thanks, PawPaw!
An artistic bean trellis.
A second round of roses coming in bloom.
Day lillies by the mailbox.
Here's our cool tepee cucumber trellis. 

Finally, we built a clothesline on the back porch.  We're excited to save 33 cents a load by not using our electric dryer.  Everytime we hang up clothes it reminds me of my mom hanging clothes out to dry back in the day.  Between not using our drying and "mostly" not using AC this summer (so far), we trying to wean ourselves off of unneccesary comforts that just cost too much.  Sometimes it's just plain hot, but honestly, it hasn't been as bad as I thought.

Thank God for summer!