Friday, August 26, 2011

Smoke, Earthquake and Irine

Talk about a strange week!
First on Monday last, We had an Earthquake hit the region about 1330.The center of the quake was many miles to the north west of us and there was not any damage here in the locale area. Just some shaking.
Now the smoke on the other hand! Abut 5 weeks ago during a thunder storm, A fire was started by lighting strike in "The Great Dismal Swamp" about 45 miles from the Homestead. And over the next week it grew to over 6,000 acres! The 160 fire fighters that have been fighting this thing have been able to contain this thing, BUT it mostly involves a Peat Bog and is producing large amounts of smoke! So much so that now everything smells of smoke. Depending on the direction of the wind, It has been so bad at times that the State Patrol has closed some of the roadways until the winds shift and the smoke moves to anther area!
And now for Irene!
It is 1230 Friday afternoon and the leading edge of the storm is already producing rain. It comes in bands and is quite heavy at times. The predictions is that we could receive 6" - 10" by the time the storm moves off to the north. This in one way could be a good thing. If we get enough rain and it can penetrate the peat bog and get at the fire, it may be able to put this thing out!
Boy I hope so!!
I will be back after the storm is over!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Wordless Wenseday

At least the flowers grow!

Mass Disruction!

If you read my last post, I showed you pictures of the Mellon bed and told you how well they were doing.
Well I left the Homestead last Wednesday for the job and returned home last night after midnight.

Got up this morning and this is what I found!

Crows had gotten into the bed and broke open several of the melons. Its not a total loss, But I had high hopes for this bed. And of course They got the biggest melons! I was able to harvest a few small ones and we made smoothies out of them tonight.
I have learned my lesson and next year the hole garden area will be enclosed in a hoop structure that will be covered with chicken wire.
Thees melons were the "Moon and Stars" type and some of them looked like they were going to be a real good size! But there are only 5 or 6 left and they are pretty small.
I have been using a deterrent spray to combat the Deer and Rabbits, But CROWS?
Well I guess I will know better next year!
So far this year, here are the crops that have been a flop:
Potato's....To hot and not enough rain.
Carrots.... Root maggots got to them.
Summer squash.... Bugs!
Pole beans..... Nothing, not one single bean!
Onions... Just disappeared!

I some times wonder why I even try!
Like they say.....MAYBE NEXT YEAR!?
I hope your growing season is doing better then mine.

Be good.. and if you con not be good, HAVE FUN!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Melons and more Melons

The growing season has been both good and bad. Weather here in North Carolina has been hot and very little rain. Tomato's are starting to come on and we have had lots of cucumbers. Summer squash was doing well...But then all the plants just stopped producing and are the plants are dead!
But the melons are every where! Lots of volunteer's and  the "Moon and Stars" watermelons are in great shape.This is the only melon I planted from seed and are in a raised bed (4' X 8') and are spilling over the side. Weeds are not much of a problem as the plants are so heavy they shade them out for the most part.
One of the nice things about the "Moon and Stars" is that the plants are Indeterminate and the melons will not all ripen at the same time and at last count there were 14 melons coming on!
The hard part is keeping the Deer and Crows out of the bed!

So I am building a PVC structure to place over the bed that will be covered with chicken wire and is high enough that they can not reach the melons.

But I also have melons in other place's on the homestead.

In the tomato bed.

And in the flower beds!

And even where last years compost pile was!

The reason that the tomato beds and the flower beds have the melons is because I used a lot of Worm cast in the beds and the Worms do not eat seeds. And the seeds ended up in the beds. Once they got started, I couldn't get myself to pull the plants!

And talking about the Worms!

Here are a couple of hand fulls from right out of the Worm beds!

And the last picture is of a hard working member of the garden team!

This young Lady has been pulling her own weight by ridding the garden of grasshoppers by the score! Now normally I get rid of spiders (I have a bad reaction to spider bites!) , But she is where I can see her and make sure I stay clear of her. I even toss her a grasshopper now and then!
So that is the Melon Report. Hope yours are doing as well!