Category Archives: Children

Garden in March, Eastern NC, Zone 7b

March 7, 2016

Here is our first harvest of 2016:shoShe joins the rest of the girls, who now outnumber the boys! 🙂 the girls(# 1, 2, 6, and 7)

There are joys and challenges of having a newborn in any season. I can’t take her out in the garden to sit in the bouncy seat while I work like I would a spring, summer, or fall baby. However, it’s winter — I’m not spending much time in the garden anyway 🙂 So it works out.

Here is a look at what the garden looked like last month versus what it looks like currently…

Garden at the beginning of February:Nieto Photography 2016Garden at the beginning of March:Nieto Photography 2016At first glance, you will see:

  1. A LOT of tarp has been ripped up and recovered with new mulch.
  2. The hoops are uncovered (though they are still covered with fencing to keep the deer away).
  3. The bushes and trees have been pruned.

If you look a bit closer, you will see:

Nieto Photography 2016Many of my broccoli plants died BUT…Nieto Photography 2016A few sprouting broccoli survived and…Nieto Photography 2016There are some small cabbages that did not rot and have not yet been eaten.

You will also see we have some spinach that survived the winter, mostly uncovered…Nieto Photography 2016And some carrots as well! Nieto Photography 2016This past month, I have been pruning…Nieto Photography 2016Planting seeds in my milk jug greenhouses… (I have planted all of my cool weather seeds and most of my warm weather seeds. I need to make a few more greenhouses to plant more tomato seeds.)Nieto Photography 2016Planting asparagus crowns (no pic) and I just started planting potatoes this week. I planted 50lbs last year. This year, I will plant 60 or 70lbs. I planted the early season potatoes first…Nieto Photography 2016Purple Viking, Purple Majesty, and Mountain Rose (5lbs each) were planted here and then covered with 8 inches of mulch.

The TO DO list for the rest of March is:

  • Finish planting potatoes
  • Finish planting seeds in the greenhouse
  • Plant peas, spinach and possibly some other cool-weather crops like lettuce, and root vegetables
  • Plan out and expand the chicken run so we can cut back on our feed bill

What are your plans for March? Are you planting yet? Happy Gardening!

I will leave you with another spring bulb that has bloomed already 🙂Nieto Photography 2016(Crocus)


9yo’s Garden Update

August 19, 2015

My tomatoes are doing great. I had two tomatoes but I didn’t pick them early enough and the worms got it! All our tomatoes plants used to be bending over with fruit until we made cages to stand them up. We found a hornworm on the tomatoes but it had wasp eggs on it. The wasp paralyzes the worm and lays eggs on it. When the eggs hatch the babies eat the worm. We like seeing wasp eggs on hornworms.

Our potatoes are being used up like crazy. I got one that was 4 inches long and 3 inches wide that was huge. I planted two potatoes and six plants came up! There were even more potatoes than plants. I boil my potatoes. We eat mashed potatoes like crazy. The other night we had zucchini quiche,pasta primavera, and mashed potatoes. We sometimes have potato salad but not as often as mashed potatoes!

We have been growing cilantro a lot. When they flower they look like the Queen Ann’s lace flower. When they flower we put them to dry on the road and put the seeds in a bowl to plant later on. We have thousands of them.

The chickens are doing great.On June 21 we were supposed to have more chicks out of a black Australorp but something happened. We normally put the momma chicken and her eggs in a dog crate about two days before they are supposed to hatch. We did that but we put the wrong hen in the crate so the momma might of crushed them. All we know is we found eggs crushed in the morning! We also have a broody hen that has gone broody two times now! Chickens going broody means they want to have chicks so they peck at us when they want to keep their eggs. On August ninth some more chicks were born! I was excited! It was five chicks out of five eggs!

Our strawberries are doing well. We still get a few even though the groundhog got a lot of them. On July 26th we got about thirty! The first time the strawberries disappeared, we put up a fence around them. We have seen the groundhog many times now.

We haven’t got any corn this year. We planted corn and sunflowers next to each other on the same day because when there are really big storms the corn stalks blow over. Well, sunflowers grow fast and so it shaded the corn out. The raccoons also tore down most of the corn for us.

Our zucchini is done for the year I think. Around July 28 we picked our last zucchini. I was sad. I liked making food out of zucchini.

My cucumbers are doing well. I’ve gotten at least 20 cucumbers this year! I got cucumber plants for my birthday this year. I eat 2 cucumber slices a day or more! Everybody else in my family does too. Some of my cucumbers I give to the chickens. One time my brothers and I ate a whole cucumber in one day!

We plant beets every spring and fall. This year we gave some to our neighbors. We tried something called Roasted root vegetable hash that had beets in it but we did not like it. The two things we do like made out of beets are beet pancakes and beet juice.

9yo’s Garden Update

July 16, 2015

My tomatoes are a funny shape but they are still green. I saw some of Mamma’s tomatoes were turning yellow! I can’t wait until they are ripe! Yum!

I think my peas are about done for the year. There are less peas when I checked on them June 16. The bottom of my pea plants are turning yellow so that means they are dying.

My cucumber plants have expanded a lot over the last few days. They look like squash plants to me. They have big flowers. One of my baby cucumbers grew really, really fast. Mamma says it looks like a cucumber you would buy at the store! I have other baby cucumbers growing too!Nieto Photography 2015

I’m getting more potatoes too. I made boiled potatoes and french fries. I like digging potatoes up. I will never get tired of yummy potatoes!

We are starting to get zucchini from our garden too. We make zucchini quiche and zucchini fritters out of zucchini. We also eat a pasta that has zucchini in it. I think we have gotten 4 zucchini this year. We also made a new recipe called zucchini frittata. I like zucchini!

We have been weeding a lot lately and I think the reason for that is last week we didn’t weed at all because we were so busy. So now four of us go outside and pull about three 5 gallon buckets full of weeds each day! We feed the weeds we pull to our chickens.

Our chickens are doing good. We have another broody hen! We have never had a black Australorp go broody before but now we do. These black chickens are really known for their egg laying in winter so I was surprised. That’s the good news. The bad news is that recently a momma hen and her two chicks got taken!

Garden Update…by the Nine-Year-Old

June 11, 2015

I am getting carrots and peas like crazy from my garden. The carrots are little,but I am not patient so I eat them when they are small. My peas are really plump.

Nieto Photography 2015

I have about 4 cucumber plants and 3 have a flower ! I’ve never tried to grow cucumbers before and I’m excited! My tomatoes have flowers too and I love to eat juicy tomatoes.

We go into the garden every other day and pick strawberries, peas, and spinach. When blueberries are ready to harvest we will probably be out there more than 1 hour! June 6, we got our first blueberries. Last year when I saw Momma picking I went out to pick with her. We have about 31 bushes! This year we will need everybody to pick!

Our lettuce tasted good until around the end of May. It started bolting and tasted bitter when we ate it, so we gave it to our chickens. I planted lettuce later. I picked my first lettuce on June 7! I had a salad of lettuce, peas, and carrots. My lettuce does not taste bitter! I was surprised.

Our beets look about ready to pick. We make beet pancakes and beet juice out of beets.

In March, we planted seed potatoes. June 2, I got my first 2 potatoes. I boiled my 2 potatoes when I picked them.

Nieto Photography 2015

Some watermelon seeds I planted came up with the seed on top! I’ve only seen beans grow like that and even Momma was surprised. I think it’s just a different type of seed.

June 3 my brother,sister,and I went out and weeded the raspberry bed. It took us about an hour to get done! It was messy.

We have had 3 hens go broody this year and just recently a 4th has gone broody! That’s a lot of chicks! June 4 one of our chicks died. I was sad. Last year we hatched some chicks out and of 2 chicks 1died and 1 survived. The one that survived was a rooster so now we don’t have to borrow eggs to hatch anymore. We had 2 roosters before this white rooster but one hurt my 4yr old brother and another hurt my sister so we made one into soup.

Lately, our cat has been bringing us rats and moles. June 4, we saw her eat a moth! Yuck! We saw this while we were weeding the broccoli bed. It was less messy than the raspberry bed but still messy.

We should start calling our garden a farm. It is that huge!

2014 Garden Issues, 2015 Solutions (hopefully!)

January 22, 2015

Throughout 2014, I have been keeping a gardening journal. Because of that journal and this blog, I hope I will be able to make some changes in 2015 in order to produce more food for our family and our community. My goal is to give away 20% of all we grow this year (including eggs).

Here are some issues and possible solutions:

CarrotsDSC_6137Issue: trouble sprouting                                                            Possible Solution: DE

Brassicas (kale, cabbage, broccoli)DSC_6003Issue: cabbage worms                                                               Possible Solution: Cover with agribon

Tomatoes & Peppers (most things in the greenhouses)

Issue: nothing grew well in the greenhouses this year        Possible Solution: duct tape them (Greenhouses did well in ’13. The only difference is I did not duct tape them closed in ’14)

Onions, Beets

Issue: they never grew very large                                            Solution? (not sure): plant more 🙂

RaspberriesDSC_5587Issue: Rotted on the ground, ants ate them                          Solution: trellis them


Issues: cantaloupe never grew & want more!                       Solution: plant in full sun, grow more    (I planted cantaloupe at the base of sunflowers (too much shade) and I am growing 9 more types of fruit this year, including two cherry trees and fig trees I ordered this winter.)

Chickens, Eggs, Run

Issues: Lost some chickens                                                       Solution: hatch out more chicks             .            Had to buy eggs from the store                                                 : freeze eggs, new pullets          .           Trouble making sure they had enough grass                          : designing the run differently

We’ll see if these solutions really do solve anything 😉

Today is the official end of our Persephone Days! Planting starts soon!

I am linking up with Simlple Lives Thursday and Green Thumb Thursday. Maybe someone can suggest solutions to my beet and onion issues (not bulbing as big as they should).