In which Spring springs, and we try to dodge the Tomato Curse once again

The blueberries are growing!

Strawberries, too!

And cherries...

...and plums...
...and pears!
Elsewhere in the yard, all the purple flowers are blooming:Chives.

Rhododendron bushes in the foothills near the Farm grow taller than I can reach when I'm on Fiddle's back!
This bush, located behind the woodshed and receiving no tending whatsoever, is nearly as tall as the woodshed roof. You can understand why this is the Swampland State Flower!

Not everything is so easy to care for, unfortunately.

Down in the vegetable garden, we needed to replace the fence to keep Twelve out of the tomatoes. The old fence was meant to be temporary, and it lasted 6 months longer than I had originally planned!

Jim started by sharpening fenceposts...
...then he handed me the chainsaw and I got to practice my chainsawing skills. The Husquevarna saw is actually a bit too big and heavy for me, but the "lady" chainsaw needs some tinkering, so I muscled the big saw around and made fence points.

The garden posts, ready to set.

We thought it would take a long time, but it was a beautiful day and all three of us worked on the project--we got it finished in a single afternoon!

You can't see the single line of chickenwire in the photo, but it's sufficient to keep Twelve outside. We'll add another topline of chickenwire later this week.
Yukky hay makes good mulch for the paths between planting beds.

Normally I don't use mulch, because it is an excellent habitat for slugs -- bleh! -- but having the garden full of slug-eating chickens over the winter has pretty much eliminated the slug danger.

I hope.
Climb, peas!
Climb, tomatoes!

Jim planted the tomatoes again this year, because we had plenty of rain over the winter and we are determined to outrun the Tomato Curse. Therefore, I've done nothing to the tomato plants except take photos of them.

Wish us luck--it worked last year. Fingers crossed, right?


  1. Oh wow! Everything is SO green and just exploding with life! Call me when the strawberries are ripe ;)

  2. Hey Funder, we're having a party on June 20th. You're invited. Bring some of that Memphis 'que, okay?

  3. If I don't get to do Cooley Ranch, I will come, how about that? Zach just sent in his entry, and if it's closed, I'm going to tell them to drop me and enter him.

  4. help, there is something wrong with my tomatoes! i didn't do anything differently from last year but the top leaves are all curly: ( i'm so scared we won't have tomatoes - our most important (and relevant) crop.

    everything is way behind you here, but the rhodies are finallys starting to bloom this week. in fact, a neighbor asked if i wanted some rhodie blooms for a vase and i said "rhodies are not vase flowers. they are our state flower back home and no one would put them in a vase."

    we're having some sort of creepy inchworm problem in this region - as we were out geocaching in the woods, on a very hot day, it felt like it was raining. i mean it sounded like it was raining. i could hear things falling on all the dead leaves of the forest floor, but it was not raining. it was inchworms eating and ...pooping? i'm guessing that is what it is, cuz everything had a covering of tiny black dots. as we went through the woods, we had to keep removing inchworms from each other. weird huh? back home our baby chickadees are feasting on them, cuz the parents bring a beakful every 5 minutes.

    so did your cilantro make it? i have actually succeeded in growing cilantro for the first time - so far so good anyway.

    did you know you can eat those purple chive flowers? i've been munching on mine even though they're not fully open.

    our most successful plant so far is the radish - i had no idea what it was when i planted it cuz the top of the seed bag had been ripped off. then i figured out what these things are, and *sigh* i don't like radish at all. of course they are the biggest, healthiest-looking thing in our greenhouse right now!

    two people gave me wild garlic starts (bear garlic?). it's not really garlic but the leaves taste like it. they attracted slugs right away so i threw out some slug bait and the next morning i counted 23 dead slugs, *evil laugh*.

    i decided this week that next year i'm planting corn. cuz corn on the cob is an american thing, buying it is ridiculously expensive and it never tastes very good. screw it, i will grow my own somewhere. (will it grow in a greenhouse?)

    your cherries and pears, oh, i'm jealous. last year we got one cherry and no pears, but this year i have hope.


  5. Hi, just found your blog from somewhere. I'm really enjoying reading it! You live in such a lovely spot of the world; I love the Pacific northwest. Your flowers are beautiful, and I'm looking forward to reading more about your garden and endurance adventures. I'm a big fan of Standardbreds. It's an under-appreciated breed.

  6. hey aarene, you won't guess what i got in the mail today.

    my mom sent me a package for my birthday and she always stuffs lots of Seattle Times articles inside that she thinks i'll enjoy. i really do! one of them had your name - it was a photo contest you submitted an entry for - no idea when - a pic of hana in the woods. awesome! and i'm so happy my mom remembers your name when she sees it in the paper: )

    what else was in the package? ranch dressing packets (whew!) and taco seasoning (yes!), trout recipes, a bag of dried mangoes (i love those) and some american money i cannot use. haha, it's a hint to come home.


  7. Wow, the flowers were all so pretty. Not many flowers grow here without constant tending as it's so dry here.
    Nothing in our gardens here either. We just had a cold spell down into the 30's a few days ago, so we all know better than to plant until after Memorial Day.

    We do have the beginnings of peaches and apples, though, so that is truly wonderful!

    Wish we had blue berries here. My kids would go crazy! They love 'em.

    Looks like you got a lot accomplished. Yesterday I hand sheared my angora goat. Took me over an hour with scissors, but she was grateful and kept nuzzling me and licking my hands. And after I got all the matts and long curls out, she was dancing on her hind legs all over the paddocks with her goat friends. lol!
    That was all the thanks I needed. :)



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