Tag Archives: cucumbers

Harvest Monday

October 12, 2015

First, some pics from last week. Here is the damage to the coop. I will not show you the damage to our flock (you’re welcome). Nieto Photography 2015Raccoons ripped the door clean off!

On a lighter note, we had a more varied harvest this week. We had our normal tomatoes, raspberries, and green beans. We also harvested some carrots, celery, our first peas, and cucumbers this week!Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015This week, we boarded up the coop to keep the raccoons out. Since the chickens did not have a chicken door to go in and out of the run, we opened the big door and let them free range a couple of days. They ate into a watermelon a bit so we went ahead and harvested it. Thankfully, it was very sweet 🙂 It’s nice to get a late watermelon (we aren’t as excited in September when we are eating them every day)!Nieto Photography 2015My husband put up a new wall on the side of the coop and an overhang. For some reason, that side of the coop alone has been rotting over the past three years. Raccoons had already ripped a hole into another part of it previously but were (thankfully) unsuccessful at gaining access.

I put the shingles on the overhang this past week (quite the feat for this 24week pregnant old lady!) and painted the first coat of paint. I am going to paint the second coat on the wall this upcoming week.

I also need to re-cover my brassicas (uncovered because of high winds of Joaquin), plant some more greens and root veggies, harvest, and spread compost this week. I am having the hardest time getting everything done now that we’re doing school again. The kids concentrate better in the morning so that is when we do school but most of my energy is gone by 1pm, when we’re done with school, so gardening as gone by the wayside. 😦

Check out what other gardeners are harvesting at Our Happy Acres 🙂


Harvest Monday

August 17, 2015

We harvested a few raspberries and strawberries, cucumbers, potatoes, tomatoes, our first watermelons, beans, sunflowers, cilantro seed, and some late-planted carrots and beets this week. Nieto Photography 2015

Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015Nieto Photography 2015Nieto Photography 2015Nieto Photography 2015Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015(the 4yo’s job every day is to collect tomatoes)

I freeze about 4-5 gallons of tomatoes each week. Not to mention all of the tomatoes I give away! I think we’re going to be good with soup, pizza sauce, and marinara sauce this winter!

If you have been keeping up, we have harvested 2 watermelon and 3 cantaloupe this year. The groundhogs ate about 20 and the raccoons have eaten the last 10 or 15. We have now bought electric wire and are playing with it, getting it just right before we test it out. I want the charge to be HIGH! I am fighting back!

We have been cleaning up a lot these past few weeks as well as planting for the fall/winter garden.

  • The remaining potato plants that were all beautiful and green? Yeah, I found those a couple of days later COVERED in potato bugs. I covered them in DE and they have recovered pretty well.
  • I tied up the tomatoes (they had outgrown their previous tyings).
  • I planted another round of brassicas for the fall/winter garden and covered them.
  • I chased the groundhog out of the garden a few times (still can’t find its hole).
  • Remember the raspberries about to ripen? A deer (or something tall) ate those so we fenced in the raspberry area (which has watermelons and cantaloupes so the fence does double duty).
  • We continued to try to outsmart the raccoons with fencing…
  • I collected some compost from our soil manufacturers and spread it around 1/2 of the garden.

Last week, we:

  • Planted another round of beans, and planted more beets, carrots, kale, and peas for the fall garden.
  • Cleaned up all of the spent bean plants (most of which had been eaten down by deer).
  • Harvested the dried beans and sunflowers.
  • Spread more chicken compost on the newly-cleaned up areas.
  • Started fencing in the garden with electric wire low (raccoons and groundhogs) and fishing wire high (deer). The plan is to, next year, shoot a crow and hang it up in the middle of the garden, like Paul does. They have gotten WAY too comfortable walking around in the garden!

Unfortunately, our cat hasn’t figured out the electric fencing either and she has gotten shocked 😦 Not what I wanted but…what can I say? I want FRUIT next year!!!

This next week, we will spread some more compost, plant some more fall/winter seeds, and finish up the fencing.

What are you harvesting? What gardening chores are you doing this time of year? I am linking up with Daphne’s Dandelions today to see what others are harvesting around the world 🙂

Harvest Monday

July 20, 2015

This week, we harvested the last of our spring carrots and the first of our summer beansNieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015PotatoesNieto Photography 2015Tomatoes (and a handful of strawberries)Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015They all ripened indoors and were promptly eaten or frozen for marinara sauce in the winter. We have to ripen them indoors partially because they split from our wet July, partially because our groundhog(s) love them so much).

CucumbersNieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015(enough for fresh eating and then LOTS of overripe ones (on purpose) for the chickens)

Spaghetti SquashNieto Photography 2015(the groundhog was showing interest so I decided to go ahead and harvest it)

and…we harvested FIVE watermelon this week! (and one butternut squash)Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015or should I say, the groundhog(s) harvested them. Grrrrrr. The chickens got what was left of the unripe melons. What a waste! We made cages for the melons and winter squash we have left. (sorry, no pictures) Hopefully, this will work. We’ll see. I loathe those stinkin’ critters! If I owned a gun… and breathe. I’m sure you empathize – when you spend time growing something beautiful like butternut squash or moon and stars watermelon, you want to EAT the fruit of your labor! 😛

Anyway, we ate one of my favorite meals this week with our produce: Pasta Primavera (onion, tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, yellow squash, patty pan squash), zucchini quiche, and mashed potatoes (potatoes). Mmmmmmmmmmmm. Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015This meal barely beats out my other favorite – bean burgers – with the same sides along with steamed green beans and a salad (just don’t have the energy to make ALL the sides 🙂 )

Since the whole garden is weeded (yay!), we spent the week tying up raspberries and volunteer tomatoes, making cages for the melons, and weeding the brick path. Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015We will finish that up this week – then it’s on to the newly mulched area. We added a new area to the garden this winter but bit off more than we could chew and it shows! The bermuda grass is coming through everywhere. So, this week, when we finish weeding the brick area and the perennial bed beside the brick path, we’ll start tackling the bermuda grass. Pull, cover with newspaper, cover with mulch, repeat. THEN stay.on.top.of.it. I did that last year in the section we added last August and it worked.

What are you harvesting? What are your relentless critters and how do you take care of them? Check out what other gardeners are up to at Daphne’s Dandelions.


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!

Harvest Monday

July 13, 2015

We are harvesting potatoes, tomatoes, patty pan squash, zucchini, carrots, beets, lettuce, cucumbers, and a few strawberries here and there. Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015
Some cucumber and watermelon vines are creeping into the strawberry patch and in turn are keeping the groundhog out! 🙂 The raspberries are being stolen by that stinkin’ groundhog we have yet to catch and he ate all of our ripening blackberries. I am thinking of putting fencing around the raspberries…AND I am thinking about putting fencing around the whole garden next year!

Originally, I was planning on planting enough food for us, 3-4 other families, the chickens, and enough to put up for the winter. Because of the lovely animals who found our garden this year and the fact that I am probably working at about 50% energy right now (June was more like 10-30% energy), we are only able to grow enough for 1/2 of the chicken’s food, fresh eating for us, and enough for 2 other families.

For example, instead of 10 gallons of berries frozen, I have 0. I was planning on growing lots of kale, cucumbers, and celery to juice and freeze while in season so I would not have to buy it later. I do not have enough energy for that currently even though we are getting plenty of those things. So, I am letting most of my cucumbers get HUGE and overripe for the chickens. They LOVE them and it really keeps them satisfied on the hot days we’ve been having!

Energy was up a bit more this week 🙂 We were able to tie up most of the tomatoes and get the last of the weeding done. I can’t believe it! This WHOLE garden is weeded.Nieto Photography 2015

Amazing what you can do when you have some helpers! This is the first year I’ve asked for their help weeding (9yo, 7yo, 6yo, 4yo) and unfortunately for them, they were so helpful, they will be more involved from now on! 🙂 Also, thanks to the BTE method of gardening, as long as we stick with it, there will be no more big weeding weeks, like there have been these past two weeks. The weeds got HUGE because I was out of commission for about 6 weeks. Now, we just need to go out once a week probably and walk the garden for small weeds.

Of course, this does not mean there is nothing to do! This week, we are tying up the rest of the tomatoes, planting another round of cucumbers, beans, squash, melons, and fall broccoli and cabbage, weeding the bricks by our house, weeding the perennial beds by our house, possibly putting netting around the raspberries, and definitely covering our ripening melons with fencing. I hear groundhogs LOVE watermelon and cantaloupes. We have quite a few that are close to being ready to harvest and I do not want to lose them!


I read a couple of weeks ago that chickens need about ½ cup of feed/day. I always thought our chickens could handle less feed but I never knew how much. I didn’t want to feed them too little and lose our egg production but I don’t want to spend money on feed when I don’t have to! So this week, I took the time to measure how much we were giving them daily…about twice as much as they needed!

Considering the fact that half of their run is filled with grass and we give them a HUGE cart-full of weeds and food from the garden each day, they do NOT need that much feed. I feel much better about how much feed we are giving them now. I would still like to cut back more but until I am feeling 100%, I am going to keep everything as is.

We have 12 2yo laying hens, 2 roosters, 3 hens sitting on eggs or with chicks, and 12 chicks (and 5 eggs due to hatch in two weeks). I think some of our older chicks may have started to lay. I found a small egg in with the rest of the larger ones the other day. We’ll see!

What is going on in your garden? Is weeding taking over your life or do you have it under control? Are you preparing for a fall garden? Head over to Daphne’s Dandelions to see what other gardeners are harvesting this week.