Tag Archives: peas

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.

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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.

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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!


Harvest Monday

June 8, 2015

We harvest Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On these days, we are harvesting

  • a little bit of spinach and baby lettuce (isn’t bitter like heads of lettuce)
  • strawberries (the groundhog has taken to digging so we are not getting very many)
  • raspberries here and there
  • starting to get a few blueberries! (no pics – never made it out of the garden)
  • carrots
  • beets
  • peas
  • potatoes

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Nieto Photography 2015Nieto Photography 2015The beginning of the week was the last of the strawberries. The stinking groundhog is stealing them all—except for the ones in the trap, of course 😛

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We picked the beets and potatoes for friends.  This is what we were able to deliver this week.Nieto Photography 2015Our potatoes are starting to die off though so weekly potato harvests will begin to increase. This is it for the first planting of peas. We are going to pull the plants this week. The second planting of peas is starting to produce pods but I am not expecting much, as it is in the shade so much.


Last year, we expanded the chicken run in the summer; which resulted in 4 chicken deaths. They were spaced out about every 3 weeks. It was odd but we assumed they just got into something.

This winter, we split the run into two runs so the grass could grow some while they rotated They spent most of their days in the original run and were let into the other run once or twice a day. The deaths stopped but we didn’t think it was related.

This spring, we bought chicks from the feed store. We have also been hatching chicks out. The chicks went into the second run. The feed store chicks kept dying (about two weeks apart) but the chicks with their mama were fine so we thought it was just weak feed store chicks. Lesson learned.

We separated the mama from her chicks because they were old enough and she was picking on the feed store chicks. Not a week later, one of the chicks we hatched out died. My husband was researching, trying to figure out what’s going on and he found that acorns can be deadly to chickens.

That is when it all started coming together. The second run includes a HUGE oak tree. When we originally expanded the run, including the oak tree, 4 adult chickens died. When we split the run and they spent most of their time away from the oak tree, the deaths stopped. When we moved the chicks into the run with the oak tree, chicks were dying.

SO, we have rearranged the runs again. The oak tree is not in any of the runs – hopefully no more deaths!

As we were moving the runs, I discovered all the work the chickens have been doing. The soil is beautiful! I am thinking about making a section of my garden like Paul’s. I am nervous to do it though. The woodchips are my safety net. I know they will keep the weeds at bay. I am nervous that if I put this soil on top, I will be inviting weeds. But this is the ultimate goal…It is why we got the chickens in the first place, afterall – to be our soil manufacturers.

The biggest issue right now is that I am going through morning sickness right now so the energy involved to haul all of this beautiful soil out of the run and into the garden is just not there. We’ll see if soil transfer becomes enough of a priority or not to get it done this summer.

Winter Garden

This week starts planting for the winter garden! If you remember from last year, I do not plant indoors so in order to start my winter crops, I have to start them in an incredibly shady area. We are sowing some cabbage seeds this week. I have chosen this spot:Nieto Photography 2015Very shaded most of the day (a little too shaded for these cabbages to grow but I think it will be perfect for growing seedlings to be planted out later this summer).

What is your garden up to these days? Are you already planting for winter harvests? I am linking up with Daphne’s Dandelions today.

Garden in June, Eastern NC, Zone 7b

June 4, 2015

I have been looking forward to this post for a couple of weeks now. There is SO much to share – beware: this is a LONG post with LOTS of pictures 😀

Beginning of MayNieto Photography 2015

Beginning of JuneNieto Photography 2015Loving all the green! At first glance, the peas that I was worried about (yellow) greened up on their own, the peas surpassed the cabbage hoops, the fruit bushes and trees have really filled out! A lot more green altogether. Love it! 🙂

As always, I’ll start from the front of the picture and work my way to the back:

Shaded Patch…quite the hodgepodge. This is shaded most of the day. It is more of an experimental area than anything.Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015Lettuce Nieto Photography 2015Peas Nieto Photography 2015Beans Nieto Photography 2015More lettuce (maybe if I harvest them small (rather than heads), they won’t be as bitter?) Nieto Photography 2015Pretty pitiful patch of spinach Nieto Photography 2015another sowing of lettuce Nieto Photography 2015Kale Nieto Photography 2015and some carrots

Corn, Sunflowers, Beans, and Melons (Patch #1)Nieto Photography 2015the section by the driveway is doing much better (see pic below) Nieto Photography 2015(green and beautiful above, yellow and pitiful below – same patch) Nieto Photography 2015I threw some chicken manure on the yellow corn. This week has been really rainy so I am hoping all of the compost tea will help with the color and growth.

Peas and CabbagesNieto Photography 2015We are harvesting LARGE amounts of peas every other day.Nieto Photography 2015Cabbages are not ready to be harvested but they are sizing up nicely. I am going to uncover them and see if they are healthy enough to withstand ‘the elements’ (ie. bugs). Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015Here is a recently weeded and mulched section. So pretty 🙂 Nieto Photography 2015Potatoes. Doing well. Flowering more than in past years. I assume that means they are healthy. I can’t wait to harvest them but I am trying to be patient 🙂

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Carrot and Beet bed: I just realized I don’t have a picture for that bed! We are harvesting carrots and beets now. YUM! I’ll post pics on Harvest Monday, for sure 🙂 I planted a row of melons where we have ripped up lettuces. A friend is giving us a cattle panel so the hope is they will climb that and not overtake our garden. We’ll see.

Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Ground CherriesNieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015These are the smaller of the tomatoes. The larger ones are setting fruit but I found horn worm droppings on them yesterday so I’m going to have to keep my eye out! Nieto Photography 2015Our summer and winter squash seem to be doing well (though I’ve already found 4 squash bugs – HATE those things!!!). The cucumber plant in the pic above actually has baby cucs on it now 🙂Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015

The ground cherries have always had holes in them but continue to grow. I do not know the culprit but I assume they are okay for now?

Onions and Celery. Between our larger tomatoes, we have onions and celery growing.

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Raspberries are starting to ripen. We have been able to harvest about 7 in June so far 🙂

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Crops planted in the ‘new’ raspberry bed: I had some extra room in the raspberry bed so I planted some kale, beans, lettuce, and carrots.

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Blueberries: bushes are LOADED! Just waiting for them to ripen! We typically get our first harvest mid/late June.Nieto Photography 2015

Broccoli: nothing is heading up but I’ve never had such healthy broccoli!Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015

Strawberries: the plants eaten down are starting to bounce back.Nieto Photography 2015Looking healthy! See the fencing falling down to the right of the picture? I didn’t notice and that night, something got in there and ate most of the berries 😦 The fence is back up and hopefully the strawberries are, once again, protected. Nieto Photography 2015

More Corn, Beans, and Sunflowers: much healthier than the patch by the house.Nieto Photography 2015Greener, and growing bigger, faster. Nieto Photography 2015There are quite a few crops I am missing…more sunflowers and zinnias, kale, sweet potatoes, more tomatoes, more onions, more spinach…I am planting every couple of weeks but one sprout looks like another so I spared you 🙂

Chickens & Eggs

We harvested 223 eggs in May. Down 50 from April. We currently have 2 mamas with their babies and another broody sitting on eggs. I thought we were done with broodies; and frankly, I was ready. Then another one decided she was ready to be a mama.

Thinking long term, we need to keep hatching chicks in order to feed our family and others. Right now, with our 16 hens (12 layers), we are getting about 6 eggs a day. That is barely enough to feed our family. I would like to get enough eggs to feed other families as well. In order to do that, we need to keep hatching them out (do you hear me rationalizing?)!

What is going on in your garden? I am linking up with Green Thumb Thursday today.

Harvest Monday

May 11, 2015


We’re still harvesting spinachNieto Photography 2015lettuce, and cilantro…more and more each day 🙂

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We have enough for a big salad of some sort every night now. Our spring season is so short, we NEVER tire of these greens and are sad to see them bolt. The first planting of spinach is already starting to show signs of bolting (pointy leaves). Sad news. However, I have found that if I harvest in the morning, everything is much sweeter. If I wait until the afternoon, the lettuce is bitter.

This is the last of the sweet potato harvest : (

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I baked these for the baby. She eats 1/2 of a sweet potato each day. So for 1/2 a month, we have no potatoes. Now, if I were a good homesteader, that would be it. But I’m not…not yet. So for 1/2 a month or so, I will be buying potatoes from the grocery store :\

The sweet potatoes I buried in pots have started producing slips! 🙂

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Another exciting thing to happen this week: strawberries started turning from this…Nieto Photography 2015to thisNieto Photography 2015My parents came to visit for Mother’s Day so we went ahead and picked our first strawberry, just for them. I knew they weren’t quite ripe but I’ve never been known for my patience so…yeah, it was not ready to be picked. oh well. Lesson learned 🙂 It sure is pretty though.

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Some pea harvests seem to be in our future 🙂

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We finished painting the coop this week so it is finally DONE.

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Behind our house is starting to look like a jungle so we are letting the chickens take care of that. They don’t mind 😉

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All of that greenery has now been turned into ‘Run #4’

Our egg count for April was down from March and is down for this month as well. The reason? More and more broody hens= less eggs laid! Broody #1 (aka Cute) has 5 chicks. Nieto Photography 2015Broody #2 (aka Jealous) just hatched out 4 chicks. We gave her 5 to sit on. One died (didn’t quite get out of the egg). I am very pleased with the success rate this year! We finally have a good rooster (we’ve been through a few). First pic is the 8yo transferring a chick that had hatched a few days early.

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This pic was right after we transferred her to the dog crate (the eggs started hatching 2 days earlier than expected).10460293_934443089939874_2468228464457102282_n and Broody #3 (aka Little Red Hen) is due at the end of May. And to think, we bought 10 chicks from the feed store in March because I was afraid none of our hens were going to go broody. Well, as I said before, I’ve never been known for my patience 😉

We moved Cute and her baby chicks in with the ‘big’ chicks this weekend so we could move Jealous into a dog crate in time for her eggs to hatch safely. She is a good mama; I’ll give her that! She attacked the ‘big chicks’ any time they came close to her babies. She wouldn’t let them in the coop at night though. We put netting in the cage to keep them apart. Crisis averted…for now.

We have a friend who had a mama hen eat the chicks of another mama hen so we think we need to keep ours separate until the chicks get larger. Now to figure out where to put everyone! We have 3 mamas with babies and ‘big chicks’. That means 4 places to sleep and 4 runs…We have not figured it all out yet – I’ll keep you posted with pics when we do. Of course, I want to do it without spending money at all – now to get my husband on board with that idea 😉

Finally this week, my husband tried to pull up all of the poison ivy in the blueberry patch. If you remember, before we started gardening BTE style, we covered everything with tarps in order to keep weeds away. This is what it looked like after ripping up all of the poison ivy and tarps.

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The kids cleaned up all the tarps and I wondered if we needed to worry about them being exposed but my husband says all that was in the tarps was the roots so they would be fine. The 8yo is now covered in poison ivy. Fun times. I would say, ‘At least we got rid of it’ but you know how poison ivy is. There seems to be no ‘getting rid of it’ – it just keeps coming back year after year.

We’re applying peppermint everywhere except her eye. We’re putting tea tree oil there. I’ve heard doing this consistently should get rid of it in about 4 days. Here’s hoping!

What’s going on in your garden? What are you harvesting? I am linking up with Daphne’s Danelions today. Check out what other gardeners are up to.

Garden in May, Eastern NC, Zone 7b

May 6, 2015

The garden has changed quite a bit in a month!DSC_7737-Edit(beginning of April)Nieto Photography 2015(beginning of May)     A lot more green but the real story is up close.

Peas and CabbagesNieto Photography 2015The first planting of peas never did well. I think it was too early and too wet. This is the second planting (mid-March). It has doubled or tripled in size since last month’s update. Nieto Photography 2015The cabbages are looking good under the covers. ^^^ Green cabbages above. Purple cabbage below. Nieto Photography 2015The third planting of peas are doing well. A little yellow, which is weird because they are planted in aged chicken manure. I’m just going to wait them out. Maybe I won’t need to add any compost tea. Lettuce is growing to the left. They were both planted at the end of March (2nd planting of lettuce). Nieto Photography 20154th and last planting of peas are just starting to come up. Nieto Photography 2015Spinach: First planting (first of March) on left, 2nd planting (mid-March) on right. I have succession planted 5 plantings. I am just starting to harvest the 3rd planting. The 4th planting is just starting to come up. The 5th and last planting was just planted under the shade of the apple tree.Nieto Photography 2015Lettuce: First planting (mid-March) is a little sparse. Some sprouts died in the Easter morning frost. We are just starting to harvest from these. I have made 4 succession plantings so far. The 4th was just planted this week.Nieto Photography 2015Cilantro is a new plant for me this year. We are enjoying nibbling on these Vitamin C treasures. Nieto Photography 2015I also grew some lettuce in the milk jug greenhouses. These are the greenhouse transplants (transplanted in the carrot/beet bed).  Nieto Photography 2015Carrots and Beets:  This is where most of the carrots and beets are planted. Going counter-clockwise, starting at the bottom… The carrots at the bottom were planted first of March. Beets were planted to the left of them but the Easter morning frost killed the beet sprouts.Nieto Photography 2015 First planting of carrots (first of March)Nieto Photography 2015 Moving counter clockwise, here is the second planting of carrots and beets (planted mid-March). Nieto Photography 2015If you keep moving counterclockwise in the first picture, you will see the transplanted lettuce and then from the 12o’clock position to the 9o’clock position are the 4th and 5th carrot and beet plantings.

Potatoes: The first plantings of potatoes are coming up nicely all over the garden. We are still waiting on the second planting (beginning of April).Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015Strawberries: The plants are looking as lush as ever. They are flowering beautifully…Nieto Photography 2015And are starting to set fruit 🙂 Nieto Photography 2015The blueberries are coming along as well. The bees are almost finished pollinating them. SO thankful for the bees!!!Nieto Photography 2015Kale: the transplants are coming along…not as big as I would like but I’m sure as it warms up, their growth will speed up.Nieto Photography 2015Broccoli: doing well under the cover.Nieto Photography 2015Flowers: Some sunflowers, zinnias, and Asters (I think?) are starting to sprout.Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015My tulips, on the other hand, just sit there and tease me. Meanies.Nieto Photography 2015The warm-weather crops I planted have not sprouted yet (summer squash, winter squash, beans, corn, melons) but last week gave them a good soaking and this week is starting a warming trend so hopefully they’re not far behind.

Lastly, the mulch path I made this past winter because of all the mud needs another layer of mulch. How do I know?Nieto Photography 2015 Bermuda grass is coming through like crazy! :\ It’s one of those things that is not high on the list of priorities but at the same time, it needs to be done before it gets too overrun.


Our chicks are getting bigger (both sets)! And more eggs are set to hatch next week 🙂Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015(the 5th chick was under its mama) Nieto Photography 2015(one of the 10 chicks we bought at the tractor-supply store – 2 died this past week because of all the rain and chilly weather 😦 smart chicks didn’t know to go inside the coop to get warm) Nieto Photography 2015Our old biddies (2yrs old with the 1yo rooster) don’t know what to think about all the hulabaloo 😉

That’s what it going on in our Back to Eden Garden at the Beginning of May in Eastern NC, Zone 7b. The plan for May is:

  1. Continue to succession plant carrots, lettuce, beans, summer squash, and winter squash.
  2. Harvest Strawberries.
  3. Continue to harvest spinach and lettuce.
  4. Possibly harvest kale, peas, and carrots?

What does your garden look like at the beginning of May? I am linking up with Green Thumb Thursday today.