Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Early Strawberries, Stunted Peas and Skunks

Let's start with the skunks. Happy to report, not a close enough encounter to have pictures to share. (NOT to say that I would think about snapping pictures if I had a skunk's nethermost end pointed in my direction.)

Last night at a meeting, one couple was telling of their recent adventures with a mama skunk and her babies living under their garage. Whew-ee, I thought. Sure am glad we haven't had a skunk around here for several years.

Hubby went out to do chores first thing this morning and as he stepped out of the door from the house onto our enclosed entry porch, he said, "Omigosh, strong skunk smell out here." We immediately decided it might not be in anybody's best interest to let Zoey the Wonder Dog go out with him as she usually does.

An investigation determined the smell was strongest on the enclosed porch and on the front open deck on the opposite side of the house. The deck on the front is within the fenced in area, and there should have been no way (famous last words?) a skunk could get under the house in the back where the porch is. Hmmm.

After a careful perusal of the premises and no sign of our odoriferous visitor, we decided there was nothing to do until the smell went away or . . . something else happened. It's after 7 p.m. now, we no longer can detect any odor nor have we seen any black and white "kitties." Hope that's the end of the story.

I took this picture at least a week or so ago when the strawberries were in full blossom. I think we have more blossoms this year than I can ever remember seeing. The time of the blossoms signaled we're going to have an earlier than usual harvest.

Look what I found when I was walking through the strawberry patch this afternoon! The berries will indeed be ripe sooner than their usual July 4th date this year, folks. No doubt about that.

Peas. I planted my Lincoln shell peas on May 19th. They have a maturity date of 67 days.

I wasn't going to plant any edible podded peas this year because I end up giving most of them away or they go to the chickens as we just can't eat all of them fresh, and I don't have much luck freezing them as they get mushy on me.

But then a week after I had planted the shell peas, I caved (surprise, surprise) and put in just 8' of Oregon Snap Peas. Okay. So we'll eat them like crazy when they're in, give the surplus away and hope we don't have too, too many of them. The snap peas were planted on May 26th and have a maturity date of 65 days.

So here are the shell peas today reaching a wimpy 5" tall if they stand on their tippy-tippy-toes and stretch. They're darn close to a month old.

And here are the snap peas, with one week's less growth time on them, at a lusty 8" tall.

Makes me wonder if I happened to get the snap peas planted during the right phase of the moon, but missed with the shell peas. In the past, I have tried to do all my planting coordinated with the lunar calendar but didn't pay much attention to it this year because it's really difficult as we have such a small window in the spring/summer to plant in order for our crops to have time to mature. (Didja get that?) At any rate, it will be very interesting to see if either or both these pea crops mature in the time frame that they should.

All peas around here should be happy, happy, happy as we've been having lots of cool, wet weather. Matter of fact, the bulk of my garden hasn't done diddly-squat in the last couple of weeks because of nearly total lack of sunshine. Plenty of natural moisture, but no sun. We're never satisfied, are we?


Lorie said...

Your garden looks wonderful. It is a good year for berries, we had 117 lbs. of strawberries and the blueberries are just starting... they sure are yummy.

ThyHandHathProvided said...

Everything looks great and I love that header photo:-).

Susan said...

How the goslings have grown! We don't like those black and white "kitties" here, either. Hope it was just passing through. I love your new profile picture - a true garden-lover! I had given up on strawberries as we had a few freezes after they blossomed. But it looks like I will get about six!

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Lorie - 117 lbs.!!? Wow, hope we do as well this year!

Hey, ThyHand - That shot of the goslings was taken weeks ago . . . wait until you see what they look like now. Post and pics comin' up later.

Howdy, Susan - That new profile pic was one my hubby snapped last year. I had just passed out from exhaustion. Then he threw a bucket of water on me. (Tee-hee, just kidding.)

Enjoy those six strawberries to the utmost!

Erin said...

Everything looks really healthy, lush and green! I never have a problem with too many peas, we never have enough! Our timeframe is so short between too cold and too hot we are lucky for our peas to finish up before the heat sets in. I am going to start planting more and relying more on the fall crop for peas, we have a long fall and cooler nighttime temps should help. Love the new header, the baby "geeses" are getting so big!

Mama Pea said...

Hey, Erin - Your comment about trying to squeeze peas in between too cold and too hot weather just shows to go that ALL of us gardeners face our own little difficulties to work around.

Last night when we were contemplating building a fire "to take the chill" off the house before bed, I mentioned to hubby about the 100 deg. heat you've been trying to work in. We both agreed we'd go put on another layer and be happy!

Jenyfer Matthews said...

So glad you are back! I never once thought that because you weren't blogging, you weren't busy :)

My mouth is watering just looking at these pictures. I love fresh pea pods and would happily eat them every day during the summer months.

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Jen - Thanks for the welcoming words!

Yup, I love edible podded peas, too, but sure wish I could find a way of freezing them so they would stay crisp. Don't want much do I? Well, guess we should follow ". . . to everything there is a season" and enjoy them to the utmost when they're fresh from the garden!

Katidids said...

Wow, I only had 3 of my pea plant grow...sad 3. But I'm the only one that will eat them so they are my snack when weeding! We had a lab get skunked one year & he lived outside for a week....nothing worked to get rid of the smell

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Katie - What's wrong with those people you live with?? Hardly anything beats fresh peas from the garden! Yay, for fresh peas; boo-hiss for skunk spray.