Hither & Yon – a peek into my garden, bunnies, life & food
Well, the lack of weekly words is not for a lack of writeable experiences – just a lack of time to write about those experiences. I would say I could capture the entire vibe of the week with one word :: “SUMMER”.
First, let’s talk garden updates.
Harvest has been hands-down better than last year. I have found a few rockstar producers that are both tasty & bountiful. Here are my current faves ::
- Chadwick tomato
- Martino’s Roma tomato
- White scallop squash
- Rugosa Friulana
- Kudo Long 8 carrot
- Tender Burpless Cucumber
- Zucchini Green Bush Squash
Things are definitely green and growing – but growing a little crazy. I have made a few mistakes in the garden planning department. Well, planning isn’t quit the right word. I gave some plants a little more freedom than I should have. First, I let my giant African marigolds go to seed last year. ((African marigolds are used to deter pests)) When seedlings started popping up I just let them bloom where they sprouted and now those 4-foot tall bug-repelling beauties are crowding out my vegetable plants. Oops.
On a sidenote, the garden is also full of butterfly weed. This plant is less obtrusive and so pretty! It’s sole garden purpose is to attract desirable pollinators. As a bonus, it adds some beauty to my green garden mess!
Earlier in the season, I planted my squash seeds in mounds. I dropped 5 seeds in a small hole and mounded the dirt around. I was supposed to pluck out all but one or two seedlings — but they all looked so healthy. Ultimately, I couldn’t make myself rip a few perfectly good miniature squash plants out of the ground. Now those healthy, miniature seedlings have spread hither & yon, stem to stern, east to west, north to south and everywhere in between. The vines are overcrowding not only themselves but all of their neighbors and their neighbors neighbors. Bummer.
Even with the overcrowding, the production is far better this year. I think the increased harvest can be attributed to a more purposeful selection of seeds, amending the soil over the winter and the selective, restrained use of SEVIN dust. Last year, out of 12 squash plants, I was only able to harvest one measly squash and 4 cucumbers. I vowed to beat the squash bugs this year. Early in the season, I spotted a few clusters of eggs and one vile squash bug. We have treated with SEVIN dust 3 times and haven’t seen a bug since.
Now, let’s move on to my very own backyard bunny farm!
It’s so hot outside & we are on HIGH heat alert for these cuties. Toby got a shave – she wasn’t thrilled about the new hairdo, but I believe it will help her survive the hot 100° + temps of the Okie summer. Each hutch has been outfitted with fans and a hose-misting system. Even with fans, misters and the breeziest, shadiest spot on our property, I was stilled concerned that the bunnies would get too hot.
So, David fashioned 7 air conditioners out of styrofoam ice chests, fans, a little PVC and frozen water jugs. These simple chests are the ticket to summer bunny survival. Cut a fan-sized hole in the lid, fit the fan into the hole and fill in any gaps with spray foam. Cut 2 to 3 1½” (or whatever the diameter of your PVC) holes in the side of the chest and place PVC pipes in the holes. Stick a frozen jug of water (and as many frozen water bottles as you can) into the chest and place the lid tightly on top. Switch the fan to on and watch how fast the bunnies realize you are pumping cold air their way!
Still, at the hottest part of the day, I place ice blocks in every pen – the bunnies love laying on them!
Last topic to address :: FOOD. This week we had the privilege of hosting 4 college guys at our house. They worked all week at a local day camp (Pine Cove Camp in the City) and we were given the treat of housing and feeding them. Let me tell you a little about what I fed this crew.
Swig Sugar Cookies ((only the best for our guys, of course!))
Big Country Breakfast Bread Pudding
Firecracker Wings ((they all agreed this was one of the best wings they have ever eaten))
Coconut Curry Wings ((Kade’s favorite!))
Lots of pizza!
Also served: a yummy twist on Ooey Gooey Butter Bars ((- recipe coming soon)), chocolate mirror cake ((recipe coming soon)) and some of the best snickerdoodles I have ever tasted.
It has been a full week – oh and I almost forgot to talk about my Summer Kid’s Cooking Classes!
We had a great Swig Sugar Cookie Class last week and I am looking forward to 5 more classes before summer’s end (aww, it’s gone so fast!).
Up next: pasta, funfetti cake & kitchen science! A few spots remain in each session – email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your space!