Saturday, July 30, 2016

Garden photos

Black-eyed Susans and native coneflower. 
Shasta daisies, daylilies, roses and dogwood
More daisies, daylilies, roses and grasses
The galliarda are finally blooming.
Behind the chicken wire, protected from the dogs, the switchgrass is finally taking hold.
Purple coneflower
The transplanted phlox is really taking off 
New fireplace bed is looking good.
Veggie garden is really productive this year.
Cherokee Trail of Tears beans on my trellis
Lots of purple things blooming. Russian Sage, Liatris.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Kid's Bathroom, take 3.

So, last October I re-did the shelving in the kid's bathroom. Which was great! Until the bottom shelf literally ripped off the wall. Fortunately no one got hurt when the whole thing came crashing to the top of the toilet.

And the train shelf just was not up to the task. So. Out it came. Blank slate. I decided this time I couldn't go for the nice minimalist brackets and needed something more heavy duty. Something that also would be able to screw into the wall stud.

Et voila! Shelves and brackets are from Rubbermaid. They were easy enough to install in an hour or so. The middle bracket both top and bottom are screwed into the stud. Along the top row on each outer bracket I used Elfa screws that I had left over from the boys' closet installations. The kind where the anchors expand behind the drywall to distribute pressure and provide a more secure fit. Another alternative would have been a toggle bolt, but I had these on-hand so in they went. 
My kids climb on their Elfa shelves, so I figured this, combined with the middle bracket being secured to the wall stud, means that these things shouldn't be going anywhere. I hope. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Processing the harvest

And so it begins.

I turned about a pound of beans into dilly beans. I have been repeatedly warned against doing water-bath canning on my glass-top stove, so I just do lots of refrigerator pickles. Fortunately C and G adore them. I used my mom's recipe, which came from her Aunt. This is one of those wonderful family recipes that gets handed down and it's not your typical format. It started off with 2 lbs of beans; the amount of brine specified was for 3 pints; a final note indicated that 3 lbs of beans makes 9 pints. You do the math! And woe be unto the person who didn't read it all the way thru.

The color looks different because I was using my Royalty Purple and Dragon Tongue beans and the hot brine "cooked" away the purple! You can see the smaller jar on the right the purple beans still in place. I think that brine was cooler when I poured it in. We'll see how these turn out in a week or so.
For the first time ever, I have a surplus of yellow squash and a dearth of zucchini. So I made several batches of large and mini muffins using that instead. G loves the mini muffins in his lunch.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Beans, squash and corn

Lots of beans and squash. Corn is looking nice. Here's our "Sugar Buns" hybrid sweet corn.
And our popcorn is also coming along.
Busy bees bouncing about the corn and pumpkin flowers.
For those of you not familiar with how corn pollinates, the tassels are the male flower on the plant. They produce the pollen that then drops down on to the sticky silk on the corn ear (the female flower).
Corn is technically considered wind pollinated, but bees can also knock pollen grains down as they work the plant.
Further down you can see we've got our female flower (the ear of the corn) all ready.
Our pumpkin plant is also putting out these MASSIVE beautiful flowers.
A nice view of our Three Sisters - squash below with beans climbing the corn stalks.
I found at least one pumpkin! I need to look for more when the bees aren't quite so busy.
In other parts of the garden - Royalty Purple Pod beans.
The morning's harvest. Lots of beans. Lots of summer squash. Two cucumbers. One eggplant. One zucchini.
My favorite beans to grow with little kids - Royalty Purple Pod and Dragon Tongue. I can't wait to pickle these up into dilly beans.

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