Monday, November 14, 2011

Happenings In Our Fall Garden
With each new planting season, I learn. Some of the learning is refreshing while some, not-so-much! Some learning has cost us money while other learning has gained us free produce. It all evens out is my motto, but the fact that we grow it ourselves is so cool. This fall, our garden has thrown us another learning curve. My husband and I have slightly different opinions on this one but never-the-less, something needs to be done about the amount of sunlight distributed to our garden (or the lack thereof, rather). Things have been planted since the second weekend in Septemeber (10th and 11th and a few dates after as well) and as I've been watching things grow, some have really struggled. Duh! Sunlight helps. We have a large tree in our backyard that has grown more than anticipated this past year and as much as I hate cutting down trees, we're really thinking about it. Due to the fact that it's fall and the earth is at a different tilt, we do know that some other trees are effecting this shadow-like-effect on our garden. The question is, will cutting down the Jacaranda tree help? It definitely needs pruning, that's for sure, but should we cut it down altogether? We could definitely use the firewood and I'm sure Rob would love some of the lumbar to build with. I don't know what kind of lumbar it would produce since Jacarandas aren't very strong to begin with. This tree has to be at least 70 years old though. It's huge! It produces beautiful purple blossoms in the spring and I'd hate to loose it, but if we can't grow anything in the garden, it's costing us money and food. Sigh. Something will be done, just not 100% sure what yet. Anyway, here are a few pictures of the fall garden. These were taken back in late September (I'm so late, I know). Certain things really took off (ones that didn't need an incredible amount of sunlight) and certain plants (tomatoes, legumes, lettuces, etc.) are struggling to survive.

Blueberry plants transplanted.

A tomato plant struggling for sunlight. Can you see how it's curved? It's naturally growing the way the sun is in the yard. Tomatoes should grow straight up and this one is saying, "Help! I need more sunlight!"
Beans are actually producing, but the leaves are slowly turning yellow from lack of sun.
Pumpkins were coming up beautifully until worms destroyed them. Sometimes I wonder why I even try squashes. The cucumbers are doing nicely though.
Watermelon came in great, but even though they got transplanted out front, they still don't receive enough sunlight and aren't growing nearly as fast as they should.
Zucchini are doing well. I do think the squirrels are attempting to eat the blossoms though. Need to place netting on top.
Despite our bad luck with the garden this fall, these ladies are laying nicely! We're getting approximately 10 eggs each day and they are so pretty. This photo doesn't do them justice in how beautiful they are. (Do you see the rooster in the background? We have two.)
These little ones are our Freedom Rangers which we'll be processing in a few weeks. They're huge now and I'm so glad we gave the meat birds another try since it was only the protein level in the food that we messed up with. They're beautiful birds and love enjoying their fresh air and sunshine. We have 7.

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