Ruffled Feathers and Spilled Milk

Farming with ducks and dairy goats, chickens and children.

Victory.

Posted on | October 10, 2014 | No Comments

We had a lovely vacation.  And I was mentally prepared for whatever was waiting at home.  After all, everything likes to get sick and die as soon as I step foot off the property.  That’s how powerful I am.  My presence alone keeps everything flourishing.  Either that or my system of farming is so complicated and haphazard that no one stands a chance of keeping it all together while I’m gone.  Let’s just say it’s the former, not the latter.

In any case, I only lost 2 chickens (the crested Polish, of course) and 1 of the goats was reportedly a royal beeyatch on the milkstand.  All tolerable.  Especially as a trade off for a week of this:

I was nervous about the garden, though.  Most of the fall plants were seedlings or delicate transplants when we left.  I had no idea whether there had been insufficient rainfall or a drenching strong enough to drown them while we were gone.  The plants could have withered and died in extreme heat or been choked out by henbit or chickweed in pleasant, moderate temperatures.  So imagine my surprise when I came around the corner in the garden and found this:

I have no idea what happened down there.  But the results were fabulous.

The kale needed cutting immediately!

So did the spinach.

The broccoli and brussels sprouts had been heavily visited by cabbage moths and their leaves were peppered with holes.  Until they weren’t.

And the bok choy.  Oh my!

Even this veggie, which I planted but forgot to label (I think we’ve discussed this habit previously), was thriving.  Too loose for cabbage.  Too flat for lettuce.  Too rounded for beet leaves.  Anyone wanna bet it’s green radicchio?  Probably?  Maybe?

But most impressive was all the lettuce.

Black Seeded Simpson.

Red Sails.

Romaine.

And Buttercrunch.  The tastes-so-good-I-can’t-believe-this-is-lettuce lettuce.

A fabulous lettuce crop is a joy all its own.  But this year I was still collecting 6-8 large tomatoes a week.

With more Better Boy….

….and Homestead on the way.

And, of course, until frost we’ll be eating Super Sweet 100….

….and whatever this tomato is (ugh, the labeling again!) that is much larger than a cherry tomato, but smaller than a globe tomato, but not a grape or pear.

Which means I finally accomplished the gardener’s dream.  Fresh luscious lettuce growing alongside rich, ripe tomatoes.  The 2 vegetables that go great together but whose seasons rarely overlap.  Throw in the bell peppers still chugging along nicely….

and it was like I had been here the whole time.  Slaving away in the garden—-coddling the seedlings, encouraging the summer plants to limp along, checking for insects, pulling weeds.  But I wasn’t.  I was in the hot tub.  Or taking a nap.  Or, at my busiest moments, sitting on the sand and supervising this:

Even the dahlias burst into bloom while I was away.

And the beautyberry bush I got for my birthday in March set an awesome amount of berries.

Now that’s what I call a victory garden.  Although, I can’t help but wonder where it all went right.  Perfect temperatures?  The right amount of rain?

Maybe just God’s way of saying,

“Girl, I still think you’re beautiful….

….but vacation’s over.  If you plan on ever putting your work pants on again, how ’bout a salad?”

“I’m just sayin’ ”

Keep it real, God.  Keep it real.

This post dedicated to Grammie and Grandaddy.  Thanks for loaning us the beach condo.  We had a great time and we love you tons!

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