Sunflowers turned to seed

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We have bird feeders we use throughout the winter and fill them with sunflower seeds for the birds.  This year we planted a sunflower garden to grow our own seeds.

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The first picture is the patch 2 weeks ago in full bloom.  The other 2 pictures are when we planted the garden in June and 3 weeks after the first planting.

We shared this patch with our pumpkins.

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As you can see this worked very well.  The pumpkin picture is just one row and we have 8 rows with pumpkins.

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The beautiful sunflowers are now turning to seed so tonight we took the time to cut all of the heads off to use to feed the birds throughout the winter.  Some of the heads are loaded with seeds while others have already been worked on by the birds.

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In the end we have 2 very large bags filled with flower heads and seeds.

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We will hang these from trees throughout the winter for the birds to pick at.  They will also be used as a treat for the chickens.

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You can see how they enjoy picking at it once it’s hung in their run!

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Mother Nature

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If you look closely you will see this strange situation happening.  This sunflower is growing out of a crack in a dead tree by our garden.  It’s amazing how mother nature works!!

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We fill a few of our bird feeders with sunflower seeds so a bird must have had a nest in this tree at some point.  But how it started and found it’s way out of a crack into the sunlight is amazing to me.

Harvesting

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Fresh lettuce daily

It’s a special time of year when you are finally “eating” what you’ve sown.  A few of our garden items have been producing very well in this wet summer we are having.  Here is a peek into some of our harvested meals.

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We are growing head lettuce, romaine lettuce, and purple leaf lettuce.  Every day it’s great to have a choice of which fresh lettuce you are going to eat.  We grow most of this to feed the rabbits, goats and chickens as well as ourselves.

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Kale chips

With our lettuce we have our kale planted.  We have 5 huge plants full of thick heavy leaves perfect for kale chips, soups, and kale salads (the teen’s favorite).  She uses just the kale with apple cider vinegar and some taco shredded cheese.

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The pea plants are producing in one spot only.  Some of them have become molded from the rain.  We have a second planting of 18 plants almost ready to go into the ground.  We are still getting about 7 pea pods from each plant but we need WAY more for my kids!

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These were the only strawberries we collected this year from our plants. We lost quite a few plants to rabbits/voles this spring.  They have been replaced but won’t produce until next year.

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Beans and basil are doing well.  This is a store bought tomato as ours are not ready yet but with fresh basil, this caprese salad was awesome!  The beans did not make it past washing them.  The kids ate them immediately.  Luckily I have a previous harvest already blanched and frozen!

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One of the last 3 jars of peaches left from last summers canning.  Still a sweet treat.

Looking forward to the many more items to come!

Rainy Day Gardens

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We have had so much rain this season.  It’s not even fun to be outside as the bugs are overwhelming in the early morning and from dusk until late evening.

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The gardens cheer me up with their happy little flowers.  This wildflower garden is a bit wild as I can’t get in there to thin it out even when raining as the mosquitoes attack!  I love the pink, orange, purple and yellow all blending together.

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Along the garage the red and white impatiens compliment the red and white of our old farmhouse.

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The entry way to the house is dotted with color.  However, there is one dark black thing that doesn’t belong.  She insists on cutting through this garden and hits a plant here and there!

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In the mini rose garden I truly believe Mary is praying for some dry weather.

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And while so many flowers are starting to bloom or in full bloom, others are losing their luster and filling their little sleeves with seeds to fly away in the wind when they are done and start little plants for next spring.

 

Garden update

Things are starting to produce in our little garden.  Now is the time for some tender loving care to keep these plants healthy and productive!

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Hopefully nothing happens while I am Toronto bound with the boy for a hockey tournament this weekend.

You can see more of our garden pictures on my Facebook page here:  Garden update