Oh, sunny day!

Just check out these sunflowers!

We now have two seed heads on the originally planted giant varieties, opening up.

The first one to start opening is getting big enough, the stalk is starting to droop quite a bit – which means short little me can see it better! 😀

Nice to see the pollinators busy at work on the second one to start opening!

Speaking of pollinators, they are just loving our squash bed right now. So many new flowers. Including in the pumpkins.

Look out big this pumpkin is getting!

This pumpkin mound has two plants growing in it, lots of flowers but, so far, there is just this one pumpkin that seems to be growing. There is another on the second plant, but it doesn’t seem to be getting bigger.

This one is on the plant in the mound I’d planted 5 seeds in, and it took so long to come up, I thought none would germinate. Now, not only is the plant just big as the ones that sprouted earlier, but it has a pumpkin that’s almost as big as the other one!

I still don’t thing there is enough of a growing season left for the pumpkins to fully develop and ripen, but I’m still enjoying how they are doing now.

The Re-Farmer


Last night, a massive storm system passed over us. In parts of the province, there were tornado warnings.

Here, we had rain.


It started to rain somewhere around 2am, and didn’t stop until about 7am, and we might still get more, later.

For all the watering of the gardens we’ve been trying to keep up on, it couldn’t match last night’s deep soak, and it really showed!

We now have several of the self-sown, tiny sunflowers under the platform bird feeder with seed heads opening up.

The pumpkins had been starting to bloom for a while, but I was only seeing the odd male blossom here and there. This morning, there was an explosion of flowers and new buds, and…

Our very first baby pumpkin.

This is on one of the first pumpkin plants that sprouted. I found a second one, on the mound that took so long to sprout one of the 5 seeds planted in it, that I had begun to think none would come up there.

We’ll keep an eye on them to see how many more begin to develop, then select one or two on each plant to keep growing. It’s still highly unlikely they will have a chance to fully ripen, but who knows; we might have a long and mild fall this year.

The big sunflowers have been pretty remarkable.

More and more seed heads are developing, which I would expect with these ones that are well above my head.

There are others that are quite a surprise.

This is one of the deer damaged sunflowers. You can see the dark spot in the middle, where the original top of the plant had been eaten off. Two branches have now developed into stems, and have their own tiny seed heads starting to develop among the new leaves.

Which is impressive, but this next one shows resilience at a whole new level!

You can see, lower down, where the original top had been eaten off. Of the two new stems that developed has also lost it’s top, and basically all the leaves have been eaten off – and yet there it is! A seed head, developing among the tiny cluster of new leaves.

How absolutely remarkable!

The Re-Farmer

How does the garden(s) grow?

I realized I’ve neglected to take progress photos of some of our garden beds, so I got a few this morning.

Here are our two potato beds.

I was shooting blind, because my phone’s screen went completely black in the sunlight. Still, you can see the potatoes among the mulch, separated by a path of grass. Some have bloomed and the plants are starting to die back. We could probably harvest baby potatoes now, if we felt like digging under the layer of straw. I’ve never grown potatoes this way, so it should be interesting to see how they did.

This next photo is the second squash bed.

I just happened to catch a locust flying by in the picture!

We are currently inundated with grasshoppers and locusts right now. Hopefully, they won’t eat up too many of our vegetable plants.

This second bed is the one we planted the day after we were hit with one last frost. The sunburst squash are huge, with many flowers and many little squashes. The mixed summer squash has a couple of plants that are doing well. Interestingly, it seems that plants on the south end of the bed are struggling more than the ones at the north end, rather than any particular type of squash having a more difficult time.

Here is the first bed that got planted.

These are the ones that got frost damaged, even though we had covered them for the night. Some died completely, but a surprising number have managed to survive – with some downright thriving!

This picture is the same bed, from the other end.

The transplants had died at this end, so when some gourds in the seed tray actually germinated, I transplanted them here. Three of them are marked with bamboo poles. Much to my surprise, the one that got dug up by a skunk digging for grubs is surviving. Given how late they germinated and got transplanted, I’m not actually expecting much from them at all, but it will be interesting to see how much the manage to grow.

Then there are the pumpkins.

These were from seeds that were being given away for free at the grocery store near my mother. I had taken one (it even had a sign asking people to take only one), and then my mother gave me two more. Clearly, she didn’t read the sign, because she still had a pack she kept for herself and planted in her own little garden plot that she has this year!

The pumpkin in the above photo is the one from a pack that had 5 seeds in it (the others had 3 seeds). This is the only one of the 5 that germinated, and it came up much later than the ones that germinated in the other two mounds. One mound had 2 seeds germinate.

In spite of such late germination, this one is probably the biggest of the bunch.

It is also the Northernmost mound.

When we started planting here, I’d made a point of planting in the Northern 2/3rds of the area we had mulched. The south side of the area has a lot more shade from the spruces my parents had added to the north side of the maple grove. I didn’t even try planting at that end for that reason. The middle third of the area still gets a lot of sun, but the north third gets basically no shade at all, at any time of the day.

I think that might actually be why I’m seeing differences within the same beds of squash, and the pumpkin mounds.

Something to keep in mind for any future planting in here!

Then there are the beds we made where the old wood pile used to be.

This is the layout of what we planted here.

The beets we got were a collection with Merlin (a dark red), Boldor (golden yellow), and Chioggia (alternating rings of purple and white)

In the foreground, you can see the parsley bed in both photos. It is doing very well. To the left of the parsley bed are the deep purple carrots, with white satin carrots on the right. The carrots could be doing better, but overall, they’re okay.

In the midground of the photos, there is a bed of rainbow carrots above the parsley bed, and beets on either side . Another bed of beets is in the background, beyond the rainbow carrots.

I don’t know how well you can tell in the photos, but there are not a lot of beet greens. The deer have really done a number on them. 😦 We should still have some to harvest, though.

Of the two muskmelon we bought to transplant, one died. This is the survivor.

We planted a lot of kohl rabi, but this is all we have that came up and survived.

The large leaves that you are seeing are from 2 plants.

Yup. Out of all that we planted, only 2 survived.

Actually, there had been four.

It turns out that deer like kohl rabi, too. You can’t even see the second one that was nearby; it, too, was reduced to a spindly stem!

In case you are wondering about the plastic containers…

Those are what I used as cloches to cover the muskmelon overnight, to protect them from colder temperatures after transplanting. The containers used to hold Cheese Balls that we got at Costco. I just cut the tops off, then drilled holes around near the bases for air circulation.

I now have them set up near the surviving muskmelon and the kohl rabi. When watering the garden beds, I fill those with water. The water slowly drains out the holes I’d made for air circulation, giving a very thorough watering to the plants. The first time I’d tried this was with the muskmelon, which was pretty small and spindly. The next morning, it had grown noticeably bigger and stronger! So I put the second one by the struggling kohl rabi, and the difference the next day was just as dramatic.

Until the deer ate the two littlest ones.

This worked so well, I’m trying to think of ways to use other cloches we have, most made from 5 gallon water jugs I’d bought for the fish tank, to set up near some of the more struggling squashes.

This morning is the first time I’ve harvested some of the parsley, along with a few carrots. What I don’t use right away will be set up to dry. Which is what will happen with most of the parsley we planted, as we tend not to use fresh parsley all that much.

And now I’m going to stop struggling with our nasty internet connection, which really doesn’t like inserting photos right now, and start on the scalloped potatoes I have planned for supper. I think I’ll find a way to layer some carrots in with the potatoes, too! 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Morning roundup, and I’m a tree!

After the heat we’ve had for the past while, it actually got remarkably chilly last night.

It was great!

I had some concern about how it got for the kittens, but the basement is pretty good at remaining a constant temperature.

This morning, I took one of the long boxes that held pieces of my new bed frame and lay it out on the floor for the kittens to play in.

They just loved it!

Leyendecker, however, got distracted by something that was apparently much more interesting.


He climbed me like a tree! All the way up to my head, where he began to tackle my ear and try to eat my hair.

What a silly boy!

The outside cats were eagerly awaiting me when I got outside. Their food bowls had been completely cleaned out. By them, or other animals, I’m not sure.

Butterscotch allowed my daughter to check her out yesterday, and it seems she is pregnant again. Considering how it went when we tried to bring her in before, that is just not something we can do again.

I’m happy to say that, when both Butterscotch and Creamsicle joined me while checking out my mother’s flowers, there was NO fighting, at all.

When checking out the squash beds, I’d found a pleasant little surprise.

Some pumpkins are sprouting!

These two hills had 3 seeds each planted in them. The other one had 5 seeds in the package, but so far, none have sprouted.

Most of the more recently transplanted squash are noticeably growing bigger, though they have also gotten pretty yellow. One of the possible reasons I’ve seen is a lack of iron. Which means we likely should supplement the soil with bloodmeal. I just haven’t been able to find any!

More potatoes are starting to show up through the straw mulch. When mowing last night, I moved out the wooden frames that were around the beds. They are no longer needed, and taking them out makes it easier to mow around the beds. I don’t know if I’ll be able to finish the mowing today; we might be getting showers this afternoon.

This evening, we’re planning to get all wild and crazy. Father’s Day and my daughter’s birthday fall on the same day this year. Knowing how busy things are likely to be on Sunday, we’ve decided to celebrate today. Our favorite Chinese restaurant is open again, so we’re planning on ordering a whole lot of take-out!

It’s going to be such a treat!! 😀

The Re-Farmer