Saturday, July 23, 2016

Let Your Love Grow Tall


 As you can see, Jack's experiment with the tomato towers has gone really well this year.  This is only 2 plants but has really taken off and producing a ton of maters.  Unfortunately, this tower is planted with MoneyMakers and I have not been very impressed with them.  They are mostly hollow and the tops are not ripening well at all.  Some of them are more solid and ripe but the majority I just throw to the chickens.  I thought maybe it was the structure of the tower somehow but the Golden Jubilees planted in the other tower are fantastic.  Very full and ripe all over.  Both plants are very healthy as far as foliage too.  The maters planted in the main garden are doing pretty good but the foliage looks pitiful compared to these.

 The garden as a whole has done very well this year and I'd say it's mostly due to Jack's hard work.  He has really busted his butt this year keeping it weeded and mulched well and generating new soil with compost and such.  I started the plants from seed and planted and then have done the harvesting, but he's done the really hard stuff.  I have done some weeding but not as much as him.
Some things, like the squash and zukes, have about pooped out at this point and are not as full as this photo shows anymore.  In fact, I've pulled up about half of them.  The corn there is much, much taller though.  The corn in the new expansion has not done as well but that soil is new and very lean, so that's not unexpected.  We are getting some corn to eat but it's not real full.

 The stuff in the concrete block is still doing well but must be watered often.  We were in a bit of a drought there for a while and were watering practically every day.  Fortunately we have gotten some relief lately and are not having to water as much.

 The cukes have slowed way down but are still producing some.  Maybe I should have staggered their planting a bit.  They have been very tasty though, not bitter at all and I've heard a lot of folks complaining that a lot of the cukes from the farmer's market have been very bitter.  Lack of water I guess.

 So, we have been getting a great harvest this year, especially with the blueberries. They have been fantastic! and I've kept them all to myself!  haha!  Actually, we have given some to my mom and other family but I have frozen a bunch.  The cucumbers are Marketmore btw.  I'll grow them again I imagine.

 The tomatoes have been a mixed bag, literally.  The Snowballs are great! (that's the cream-colored ones). Very tasty, mild flavor and I don't seem to react to them badly.  The Golden Jubilees are great also but I've grown those before and knew I liked them.  In fact, I've been so happy with these because they are from seeds I saved.  The Green Zebras....well...I'm not even sure if I got the correct thing.  What I think is the Zebras taste okay but I'm not real impressed with them either.  The Black Cherries are great as usual (old favorite) and I have some other red ones that honestly...I don't even have a clue what they are.  Every plant (that's red ones) looks totally different.  The tomatoes I mean.  One plant kinda looks like Cherokee Purples or Black Krim, one looks like giant Black Cherries and then one other is just a nondescript red tomato.  Who knows?

Anyway, they're pretty!  I think Jack has kinda decided the farmer's market isn't his cup of tea but now I have all these veggies to do something with!  So, social media to the rescue!  Facebook certainly has it's drawbacks but I have found it's great for selling stuff.  So...I just put the word out on the weekends and so far I've about sold out every Saturday.  We are not making a ton of money by any means but it's paid for some of the stuff we bought to improve the garden this year.

Of course, we are keeping most of the fruits of our labors for ourselves. In fact, tomorrow is a big canning day.  I've got peas, beans and salsa ready to go, so tomorrow morning will see the ol' pressure canner in action once again.  We still have a fair amount of jams left from last year so I don't know that I'll do much more of that but I might make some pickled okra to give away.  Sadly, I really can't eat it anymore but I know several people that enjoy it and we are getting a good bit of okra this year, so...!  It's an easy gift.
How goes your garden this year?  Or do you depend on the farmer's market?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Been Caught Stealing

Hey Folks!!  it's really me!!  I am back for a little post.  I have a little bit of an excuse for being away so long this time, as we did a little more traveling and I've been busy doing a few little welding projects for other people.  But other than that I've just been a turd for not writing. lol!

I wanted to address a certain question I was asked in my last post and then I hope to get back to posting about the goings on around here (our garden is doing real well this year) and some stuff I've been up to.  But first, the question and reason for that title.
One of my longtime, faithful readers asked me if I could share more images of my art (such as what was in that last post) and if I could make the images larger.  Okay, I have no idea how to make the images larger.  When you do a post, Blogger gives you 4 different sizes of images to pick from.  I always pick 'large' so it shows up well in the posts.  I have tried 'x-large' but for some reason that makes it where the image is so large it bleeds over into the text and side stuff.  Sometimes if you click on the image it will take you to another page where it enlarges it and sometimes not.  I have no idea how to make them any larger than what Blogger will allow me here.

Now, on to the trickier answer for the other question.  I know my longtime readers are on the up and up as far as my images go and most all people are actually.  Many of you have asked me for permission to use my images for backgrounds and what not and I'm perfectly fine with that.  However, I have learned the hard way, and not just on the Internets, that you can't just blindly trust.  So, I will probably not be sharing very many images of my sculptures.  Pottery is one thing, because it is so individual.  It's extremely hard for even good potters to throw just like someone else.  Other art is different.  Now, I am not under the delusion that my art is SO wonderful that people will want to steal it or try to copy it.  However, I have had some crazy things go viral from my images here that I never would have guessed.  For instance, the post I did years ago about the rebar handrails I made; that has been shared and pinned literally thousands of times (best I can tell) on Pinterest and a number of other sites dealing with houses, DIY, etc.  Not one person ever asked my permission to share my images or information.  It never has bothered me a whole lot because, for one, the rebar handrail was not my original idea.  That's been around for a while.  And two, all of the pins and posts I have followed always linked back to my blog, but who knows how many others did not.  There was one other post I did that has also been pinned a lot but I can't remember what it is right now.  It may have been the stained glass window I made for the bathroom.

Anyway, the image below is part of the answer also and just goes to prove that some people will steal anything, either in real life or online.  This is a rock I used to have that I found here on my property.  I loved it because, as you can see, it is perfectly heart-shaped and was rather large.  Probably 6 inches across or more.  It sat in a very prominent location in one flower bed because I liked it and liked to see it every day.  Well, after a visit by some "friends" one day, I noticed shortly thereafter that the rock was gone.  Very few people come to visit me here so I remember things like that pretty well.  I remembered the rock well because I liked it so much and it stood out because of where I placed it.

I cannot prove those people took it and I will admit I may very well be wrong....but I have looked everywhere for months and months and it is nowhere to be found and the timing would be a very odd coincidence. 
When I was young I was very trusting (naive) and then when I got out into the real world I learned some hard lessons.  Not everyone that calls you friend, is.  And what's more, they think you don't notice.  Even people that claim they love you dearly will deceive you.  Repeatedly if they can and no matter how much they know it will hurt you.  And now, in a world with the possibility of total anonymity via computer, you really can't trust anyone.  Hell, disagree with a person on Facebook (or in my case, prove their false propaganda wrong) over even some trivial matter and some of them are so psychotic you will have to pull out all the cloak and daggers to get away from them.  I do not want to make my blog private due to the large amount of construction information that it contains.  If there is the possibility that could help someone out there I'd rather have that.  But that means I have to limit some other information from now on.  I will not be sharing any plans for the future either other than just very general stuff (see Facebook reference).  I do not mean to implicate anything about any of my long time readers.  On the contrary, it's the people that have never made their presence known that would probably be up to something.  Or those that just happen by.  In this day and age though, I just think it's best to be prudent with certain information.  I hope you all understand.