around the farm

i’m enjoying all of the farm and garden posts i’ve been following along with on various blogs, and one of the most beautiful is sure to be farmama. she started doing “around the farm” posts on thursdays, and i realized i could easily join in with this, with the excessive photos i take of my garden. and since my garden really wants to be a farm, and this mama really wants to be a farmer when she grows up, i’m just going with the title as is. 🙂

meet the farmer (photo by quinn)

and her garden elf

part of the garden, wide angle so you can see another important member of the cast of characters- giant sitka spruce tree. gardening in the shade is fun!

one of my favorite flowers is in bloom- columbine, grown from seed, which means i’ve waited two whole years to see these blossoms! i’m very excited.

with lovely green spruce boughs in the background…

a pleasant surprise- ultra early tomato! i bought this plant… but the 20 i raised from seed are starting to flower, too!

many of them are growing in buckets. you never know when you might need to pick up your tomatoes and head for the hills. (i’m not really allowed to dig up the whole backyard… landlords are picky sometimes. but a girl’s gotta have her tomatoes.) here you can also see some comfrey plants, a volunteer some-sort-of-fruit-maybe-plum tree, a nice big lavender plant next to an heirloom brandywine tomato (also one i purchased).

the potatoes seem to be thriving in the shade of the spruce… with lots of straw that i keep piling onto them. behind them you can see critical snake habitat (piled up cardboard). i have been trying to attract snakes (they are a natural predator of my nemesis, slugs) by piling up rocks, but the cardboard is where i finally had my first snake sighting! hurray yelled the (not shown, nearly leafless) bean plants!

our blackberry patch is producing salmonberries, i get the feeling there is some trace mineral in them that pacific northwest kids need to eat in late spring. i pile as many of them as i can into this boy.

more potatoes, going into our community garden bed to be donated to food share in the fall. quinn has been pretty impressive lately, with all he knows how to do around the “farm”.

our cultivated strawberries are still in flower, with some green berries forming, but our wild lawn strawberry patch is bursting with flavor right now!

and finally, this very morning, i helped my friend milk her goat for the first time. some of you know i grew up on a dairy farm, and i have to say, the muscle memory is quite intact. i had no idea, really, i trusted i’d still know what to do, but i also kind of figured it would be easy for my friend. it turns out, it’s pretty hard to put it into words, just exactly how to use your hands to do this job. just how you manage not to yank or pull, not to rub or be abrasive, but to get your fingers to roll down (only two fingers in this little goat’s case) and get the milk out. it’s apparently not as easy if you didn’t grow up doing it. 🙂 i had fun. we also got to try to teach the babies how to bottle feed, with some success for their first practice run. it’s nice to feel useful!

6 comments to around the farm

  • Wild lawn strawberry patch? That sounds luscious!

    Fun to see a picture of your lovely face. And impressive, what you do on a rented patch of land!
    6512 and growing recently posted..Homestead happenings- the festival of summer

  • marybethrew

    this seems to be a great year for the wild strawberries actually producing fruit- there isn't a "bumper crop" (whole cup full) every year. or maybe the slugs usually get 'em, but now the snakes are getting the slugs. i don't know! we were lucky the lawn was already full of wild strawberry, we didn't plant them!

  • of all the pics, i love the one of your shining face the best. my second favorite is of a certain elf boy with his strawberry harvest. (my great aunt's front lawn had wild strawberries and i have fond memories of combing the grass on hands and knees. they are the best!)

    i also like your sneaky snake cultivation. brilliant! i am tucking that one away into my bag of tricks. xo
    mary good recently posted..“Around the Garden” Thursdays

    • marybethrew

      i got the snake idea out of toby hemenway's book gaia's garden- guide to home permaculture (i may be paraphrasing that subtitle…) and then have seen lots of the same on the permies forums. between the systematic am and pm slug patrol, the cups of beer in the beds, AND the snake, AND that we are now in our relatively speaking "dry" season, i think i can fairly say the slug population is almost under control. 😉

      i'm glad you have memories of wild strawberries- i had a friend in grade school missy whose backyard (huge) was covered in them and we'd spend hours and hours…

  • I'm impressed to see potatoes thriving under a spruce tree, and the snake habitat is such a cool idea- my boys would love it. Great to see your helper elf in the garden there with you!
    Leah recently posted..Around the Farm

    • marybethrew

      welcome leah! your blog looks so cool, i'm glad you stopped by. i, too, am surprised at the potatoes' vigor, there must be some sort of microclimate thing going on under that tree, since the snake apparently likes it too, and should only like toasty warm places… maybe it's warmer at night? caught that your garden boys are also "elves" hehe!

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