About Us

Enjoying the modern conveniences of life in a sustainable manner through technology, resourcefulness, and Zone 8a (North Texas) Gardening.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Is She or Isn’t She


…that is the question?


Our beautiful chicken, Jewel seems to be attempting to crow. She’s also developing some rather manly …. shall we say …. roosterly features.


2013 04 28_9531

2013 04 28_9533


I really hope that Jewel Jim is a Jewel because Jim would be illegal in our city. I guess time will tell….which comes first; the cock-a-doodle-doo or the egg?

Monday, April 29, 2013

483 Days till Harvest

You read that right! 483 days till harvest. I started the artichoke January 2012 and I harvested my first artichoke yesterday. I planted Imperial Star; which is supposedly an annual. I followed all the directions and exposed it to cold temps last February/March. But the Spring of 2012 was fairly warm and short-lived. In 2012, this was all I got.

April 2012 (shows only one of the three planted)
2012 05 04_6626

October 2012 (shows all  three)
2012 10 28_8102

Then, this winter, I figured I had lost them for good after a few freezes left them looking …. well, dead. Didn’t take a picture of them because I thought that was all she wrote; given this variety is to be grown as annuals.

Well, this spring, I noticed that they had perked back up and even started to grow. Good thing I didn’t pull them up. In March, they looked like this. You can tell that they are smaller than they were in October, but they are clearly alive and well.
2013 03 29_8721

Then just a month later, in April 2013:
2013 04 14_9221 2013 04 07_9092
2013 04 20_9507

And today, I pulled these two beauties that had started to open up (that is a quart sized jar to give you an idea of their size).
2013 04 28_9525

These are just the beginning. I hadn’t gotten a picture yet, but there are ….maybe….. five more coming into size. I just hope they beat the Texas heat. I believe that if I cut them back just as the eat sets in, I can get another harvest in fall…..we’ll see.
2013 04 14_9221

This week also brought some collards, turnips, and I am beginning to unpeel my luffa’s (grown last season).
 2013 04 28_9259

Check out more early season harvests (or late season harvest depending on which side of the equator you are on) over at Daphne’s Dandelions Harvest Monday.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Herb Garden Blooms

Who says the herb garden is full of only green plants of different textures?

Take a look at a few – blooming - plants in my herb garden.

2013 04 28_9537

2013 04 28_9540
2013 04 28_9539

2013 04 28_9542

The bees are loving it! I enjoyed a great harvest before the bloom. After the bloom, I will trim them back and start the grow-harvest-grow-bloom-cutback process all over again.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Let’s Get Things Moving


This weekend I went for it! It’s April and my garden is not planted yet. Why? Because Mother Nature has decided to play peek-a-boo with Spring. Spring peaks out at us and then goes back into hiding for a day or two.


Spring peaked out this past weekend and I took advantage. I planted the basil seedlings.

2013 04 07_9099

Tomato and pepper seedlings.

2013 04 07_9093

I also direct seeded beans and peas.


It was also a great chance to check in on some of my other plantings.


The artichoke looks great. I planted these last year and this is my first artichoke. Almost one-year to the date of my transplanting them outdoors. I thought they were dead this winter, but they have come back with vengeance. Now, I need to figure out when to harvest them.

2013 04 07_9092


The garlic looks great! I need to fertilize, but I think they are on track for a May/June harvest.

2013 04 07_9094


Some of my potatoes were harmed by one of the many late frosts, but most are doing just fine.

2013 04 07_9095


These turnip tops didn’t last long. As I was snapping this picture, I thought about a bowl of greens and promptly put the camera down and cut all these turnips down to their roots. Maybe I’ll get another flush of leaves before they all bolt. One of the positives of our slow-coming spring.

2013 04 07_9097


The onions are also doing well. They look even better than last year.

2013 04 07_9100


My first promising attempt at leeks. Looking good so far. Pay no attention to that cabbage in the corner. There is no chance it will form a head before bolting; even with this spring. It is a left over from the fall garden; I harvested a head this winter and hoped to get another one this spring. I doubt it will make it in time.

2013 04 07_9101


The broccoli is done and I have pulled most of them. The broccoli was good and bad this year. The good is that I harvested the most ever. All the plants yielded a nice sized head. The bad was the lack of side shoots. Last year I had one broccoli plant to yield a head followed by bowls of side shoots. This year I had about 5-7 broccoli plants yield a head and not even a bowl of side shoots. Next year, I am shooting for 7-9 broccoli plants with bowls and bowls of side shoots.

2013 04 07_9102


This weekend, we hope to get the coop finished and get some supports in the beds. I like to get those in early so that I don’t disturb the plants after they have gotten larger. Plus, this is a good time because the garden doesn’t require a lot of time right now…..only task now is to water.


I’m pretty excited that I’ve finally gotten things moving. We’ve had frosts the last two nights and I’ve had to run out and cover the seedlings. I had to get them planted though; otherwise, they have no chance of yielding a harvest before our summer heat brings them to a screeching halt. No tomatoes or peppers in July and August due to the heat. Now, if only Mother Nature will allow spring to stick around for awhile….things will really start moving!