Monday, August 19, 2013

As the Summer Rolls On

We woke to a very yellow sky this morning and it looked for all the world as if we were going to get a good rain storm.  It would have been welcome because we haven't had any rain since July 18th.  But before more than 25 drops of rain hit the ground, the air cleared and sunshine prevailed.


Since it was still cool enough, Papa Pea grabbed his chain saw and went back to put in about an hour on the wood pile.  For all of you who have experienced it, you know chain sawing can warm a body up very quickly even in cold weather so getting out in the coolest part of a summer's day is a wise move.  We're debating on whether to brave the (glorious) sun and (welcomed) heat and do some splitting and stacking in the wood shed yet this morning.

Harvesting and processing shell peas and bush beans have kept me hopping lately.  I picked peas for about two hours yesterday, and I do believe if I hadn't had Chicken Mama sitting with me at the kitchen table shelling them, I'd still be doing it.  It was a big batch but I now have as many peas put up in the freezer for winter consumption as I had as a total last year.  Unless I somehow lose all the rest of the peas still out there (which is a significant amount), we will have an AMPLE supply this year.


My green beans are still not up to size, but the Rocdor yellow beans are producing well.  How's this for a luxuriant row of beans?  It's nearly four feet wide and sixteen feet long.  I've picked them twice but the bulk are yet to come.  Not bad for seeds from 2008, eh?


I don't think my Sweet Peas have ever been more prolific than they are this year.  I have bouquets of them throughout the house and the aroma is intoxicating.


My first patch of corn (which got knocked flat by a windstorm earlier this season) couldn't be looking much better.  I didn't even think it would stand back up let alone look this good.  We're finally getting the formation of ears so who knows?  We just might get a good harvest yet.  Starting on the left of the above picture and going clockwise, you see my second planting of shell peas, then a small patch of corn I stuck in because . . . well, because there was a bare space in the garden, then the first planted corn and then the east end of the potato patch.

We've had three banty hens go broody on us.  Two are sitting on one nest and one on another.  The nest with two mamas now has four fluffy chicks that have hatched.  They're not bantams (don't tell the mamas) but rather standard size Black Australorps.  The three hens and their eggs/chicks are in a separate enclosure from the rest of the chickens, so we haven't disturbed them enough to check on the remaining eggs.

Well, my husband is making noises about wanting to go out to split wood so I'll have to suit up (actually change to cooler clothing) and be big and brave and go out to do what needs to be done.

23 comments:

tpals said...

Wood questions: when were the trees cut down and were they dead already? Will these be dry enough to burn this winter? How enclosed is your wood shed?

I'm still fairly new to wood burning obviously. :)

Myrna said...

Love the sweet peas. They were a favorite of our fathers and he loved to plant and pick them. Yours are so pretty and bring back good memories.

Carolyn said...

Those pea flowers are beautiful. It's hard to think about firewood and hot burning fireplaces when it's the middle of the summer....but that's farm life. Which reminds me, I should probably get to splitting some wood, Paul has done ALL of the splitting so far this year and I actually feel a bit guilty now.

Sandy said...

You can never have enough wood to heat a home during the winter. Good for ya'll working in the heat to get prepared.

I love your garden pictures, everything looks very healthy and soon you'll have a healthy harvest.

DFW said...

The garden looks wonderful, especially that corn!

Mama Pea said...

tpals - These particular trees were cut down three years ago. They were live when cut by a logger. Normally, we don't let them sit in those 8' long lengths that long, but we got a good deal on more wood than we needed so they've been waiting to be cut up back in our wood working area. Luckily, we're finding they have dried a lot sitting there and very few of the logs have gone "punky" or rotten which can happen if you let the wood sit in the long lengths. So yes, they will be dry enough to burn this winter. Both our wood sheds (we have two) are enclosed on three sides but the sides are not solid. They are made of rough cut lumber for "siding" with about 1" spacing between the 1" x 6" horizontal boards.

Sunnybrook Farm said...

I cut and split wood in the winter as like you say it will warm you up. Just take it easy as this isn't a good time to work wood. I probably won't cut any here in Virginia until December and that will be for the next winter.

Mama Pea said...

Myrna - Thank you! Sweet Peas and Hollyhocks are such beautiful, old-fashioned flowers.

Mama Pea said...

Carolyn - Before we had a wood splitter and split all our wood by hand, I enjoyed doing it a lot. And was pretty good at it, if I do say so myself! So you get out there, Girl, and split your share. Somehow I just know those split pieces will be flyin' when you're wielding the axe!

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - My hubby always says having a good supply of wood is better than money in the bank. My grandpa would never convert his big, ol' wood burning furnace in the basement to gas or oil or coal because he said if worse came to worse, he could always keep his family warm by burning wood.

I'm kinda surprised that the garden is looking as good as it does after the awfully slow start it got this year. Thanks for the nice words.

Mama Pea said...

DFW - With all the cool weather we've had this season, I am surprised the corn has done so well. It was developed in the mountains of Montana so it's pretty hardy stock!

Mama Pea said...

Sunnybrook Farm - We usually have all our wood working done in April, but this past spring gave us tremendous amounts of snow in April which really fouled up our schedule. So far (well, up until this week), we've had unusually cool weather in August so have really lucked out with the wood working. Next year will be different and we'll be back to getting the wood done in spring time, I sure hope!

Stephanie said...

Your garden is gorgeous! It's funny, because I started so late, that my stuff is just sprouting, but I am sure we will get a good batch of stuff, since we have a longer growing season.

Kristina said...

I love the smell of fresh cut wood. We were lucky this year with free oak, but we did do all the cutting, splitting and stacking. Lots of work, but lots of winter warmth.

Little Homestead In Boise said...

What kind of woodstove do you have? And do you have a wood cookstove? Photos? :)

Susan said...

I keep forgetting about sweetpeas! I love them - and will plant some next year. The only thing as satisfying as stacks of nice, dry split firewood is a barn full of hay bales! And why is Papa Pea wearing your apron? Is it making dinner, too? Heehee.

Susan said...

Is HE making dinner, I meant...

Mama Pea said...

Stephanie - Yes, I'm sure you will have time for your garden to mature. Isn't it fun watching it grow?

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - We don't have any oak up here but I know it's a great hard wood. Isn't it a good feeling to know you can provide warmth for your family in the cold season?

Mama Pea said...

Little Homestead in Boise - We have two identical wood stoves for heating our house, both Jotuls, one in the kitchen and one in the living room. If you go over to my right hand side bar and scroll way down to the Search box, and enter "Jotul stove", you'll pull up some posts that have pictures of the stoves. I had a wood cookstove for many years, but couldn't fit one into our present kitchen. I still miss it!

Mama Pea said...

Susan - Yes! I so agree with you regarding a barn full of hay bales!!

Oh, if only Papa Pea was wearing an apron to cook! (The dear man doesn't even grill!) 'Tis not my apron he's wearing (ha-ha) but rather a heavy canvas thingie he wears for wood working so he doesn't ruin the front of his clothes. (Unlike his wife who is constantly getting stains and tears in her clothing!)

Endah Murniyati said...

I haven't ever see sweet peas with big and colorful flowers. In my country just there are peas with white, pink or purplish color. Are their pods edible? Or just an ornamental plant?

Mama Pea said...

Endah - These Sweet Peas are strictly an ornamental flower. The pods and/or seeds aren't edible, but it's very easy to let the pods dry on the vine and collect the seeds for next year.