07.14.19 Chauvin Produce Company – Things they are a changing

Things, they are a changing in the garden!

This week I harvested our entire crop of potatoes.  See the picture below. It was not the large basket full of potatoes I hoped for.  But it will provide us with maybe 4 meals of potatoes so that’s good. Once the plants above the ground died off you’re supposed to wait two to three weeks and then dig them up.  I did that and didn’t get the big crop of larger potatoes I wanted.  There is no peaking under the soil to see what’s going on so they all got dug up and that’s that! If anyone reading this knows I did something drastically wrong, please let me know!

I cooked all of the really small ones and made homemade mashed potatoes for dinner.  It was accompanied by pork chops cooked in a sauce in the crockpot.  Also smothered okra from the garden.  For those who don’t know.  Smothered okra is ground meat, onions (etc.) and cooked okra. One of Roy’s mother’s recipe that he loves!

I chose four of these potatoes to be our seed potatoes for the next crop.  I’ve read about planting potatoes in sand and pine straw.  Once the seed potatoes sprout we’ll be trying out that option of potato growing down in the sandy soil by the pond.  I’ve been raking up pine straw by the pond getting ready for that next experiment with growing potatoes.

These are the chopped okra that I made the smothered okra with.  This was two days’ worth of picked okra.  Okra growing is neat because every two to three days each okra plant has an okra pod ready to pick.  Once you see them start, within four days they are ready to pick!

This is the mashed potato made with potatoes from the garden. The okra in the smothered okra came from the garden.

The whole garden has gone through a thinning out process.  Removing the small, crowding plants to make room for expansion of the healthier remaining plants.  This is what it looks like now.

The 20 original tomato bushes have grown tall with many branches.  They all had to be tied up which makes the plants look scrawny which in a way they are.  These have been the scrawniest, lots of branches and tallest tomato plants ever. They have produced a tremendous amount of cherry tomatoes and a reasonable amount of large tomatoes.  Once Roy added lime to the soil the “blossom rot” stopped.  For a while, I picked the larger tomatoes when they first started turning so the “blossom rot” wouldn’t take hold.  Now I don’t have to pick until they are completely ripe without any “blossom rot”!!!   It looks like the tomato bushes are stopping their production and when they do that we will pull them up.  We will then refresh the nutrients in those two rows and plant cauliflower, broccoli and Brussel sprouts that we are now growing from seed. You may remember we tried to grow broccoli and cauliflower this spring and it got so infested with bugs that we pulled them up.  We are hopeful that this fall crop will be different.  We will be checking them very often to make sure that doesn’t happen.  They will also be planted farther apart which we hope helps! We have Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower seeds planted in individual cups and under the grow lights right now.  It will take them around a month to get ready for transplanting outside which should work well with when the tomatoes plants look like they will be ready to come out. When I checked these today several of the brussels sprouts and broccoli have sprouted!

All of the potatoes were dug up and we’ll plant the next potato crop down by the pond so the first row in the garden was open!  Instead of growing tomatoes from seed, this time we purchased 7 small Creole Tomato bushes and Roy proceeded to get them planted for our Fall tomato crop. For the spring crop next year, we purchased Creole Tomato seeds and will get those seeds planted early in 2020.

Our cantaloupe vine has finally produced a cantaloupe.  It was about the size of a baseball a few days ago when the picture was taken.    

One of the changes in the garden is that all of the original corn stalks have produced all they were going to and the stalks began dying like they were supposed to.  I pulled them all up and a few days later planted few new Kandy Korn corn seeds we got from the Feed and Seed in Hammond.  They have all sprouted and some are almost a foot high already.  The seeds were not all planted at the same time which explains the difference in corn stalk height.

The bell pepper plants have been thinned out. Those plants not having any blooms or new bell peppers were pulled up giving more space for the remaining ones to expand.  Each remaining plant has multiple tiny to medium size bell peppers growing!  Six bell peppers were ready to be picked this morning!

These are all of the bell peppers that were blanched and have been frozen today to be stuffed later and enjoyed!. Yes, that is a red bell pepper in the pot.  After it was picked it turned red which is something they do sometimes!

The artichoke plant is still growing but no artichoke yet!

The okra plants are doing really well.  They were thinned out last week like the bell peppers and original tomatoe plants were.  The gardenhad gotten so congested that I couldn’t make it through each row to pick or maintain the vegetables.  Every 2 to 4 days an okra pod is ready to pick on each plant.

There are multiple pods forming at the top of each plant which means we’ll have okra ready to pick for quite a while.

This is an eggplant plant which is one of the plants very congested.  There were not any that should be pulled up but I was able to prune lots of lower leaves which helped.  The lavender flowers may be hard to see on all of the plants but they are all over the plants.  Those flowers are potential eggplants which means their second crop is in the making. One of the several actual eggplants on the bushes.

All of the sweet potato blooms were cut off and a lot of the vine cut back.  This was done in preparation for the vine to die down. The sweet potatoes are getting ready to be dug up.  The original vine was so thick and tall that it wasn’t allowing the sun to get to the other vegetables growing next to it.  After trimming this back I could see a couple of nice sweet potatoes showing through the soil!!!

This was our harvest this morning. Beautiful tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, bell pepper and some of our yellow onions.  The yellow onions were not as big as they could be but the sprouts out of the ground had fallen over which is supposed to mean they are ready.  They were not ready but they did have the yellow paper like skin on them before I cleaned them. Even though they are small I will chop them up to use in cooking soon!  There are several more yellow onions still planted.

Our fig trees are full of figs but they haven’t started turning brownish purple which means they are ripe.  One is turning a tiny bit and we are hoping for the rest to ripen soon.  A dear friend of ours let us go over to her house where her figs are plentiful and lots were ready to pick.  Thank you, Donna and Chuck, for sharing those little gems of deliciousness with us!

Thanks for following our efforts to grow some vegetables. We’re changing now to the Fall Crop time so this is an ongoing Chauvin Produce Company garden.

Oh, and we had Hurricane Barry come through here as I wrote this.  We are happy that it didn’t turn out to be much of a storm for us.  Other areas including New Orleans flooded.  Homes and vehicles were lost in other parts of Louisiana and in Mississippi but we’re fine. Thanks to those who checked on us!

 

 

 

 

06.27.19 Chauvin Produce Update – It is Harvest Time!

Read on to find out what this is about!

The vegetable plants are as big as they need to get and they re all producing.  We are now harvesting daily!

Instead of showing the garden itself, I’ll share some photos of the harvest and a couple of the garden! We’ve been dealing with hungry little insects and bugs and spraying and spraying the plants

Every morning I go out to the garden and harvest whatever is ready.  Maintaining the garden and picking the vegetables have turned out to be difficult because my back gets inflamed within a minute of starting to bend over.  The rows seemed to be well spaced before the vegetable bushes grew to full size.  Now we feel they are too close together which is something we’ll change in future gardens.

 

 

Our corn has produced 12 corn on the cobs. They are so delicious!!! As time has passed the quality of the corn has gotten better and better.

When each corn stalk produced one and sometimes two corn cobs they started naturally withering and dying.  We’ve pulled up around 10 stalks so far.  There are around 5 stalks remaining.  New corn seeds were planted where there is available space and the next crop of corn has sprouted.  The picture below looks pitiful but they are doing what they are supposed to.  I cut the top half off when they need to come up out of the ground so Roy knows which ones to pull up.

These are where there were originally beautiful potato bushes.

Now, most are gone which is what they are supposed to do.  The potatoes growing under the ground take what they need from the plants above ground until there is nothing left of the bush.  The almost nothing you see below means things are going right!  They need to be in the ground a while longer before they can be harvested.  

Cucumbers are being harvested every day and they are big cucumbers.

I pickled four jars full a couple of weeks ago. Once we started eating them we realized I shouldn’t have pickled these really big ones since their skin is tougher.  I’ll be pickling the cucumbers while they are smaller from now on.  

We’ve been enjoying garden fresh tomato and cucumber salads every day. The lettuce in this picture also came from the garden!  I think this is the part of our vegetable garden adventure we are enjoying the most! We grew these from seeds, isn’t that cool!

At least a dozen usable bell peppers have been picked.  A few nonusable bell peppers were picked, the bad spots cut out and then the remainder chopped up to use for seasoning in my cooking. Three nice eggplants were picked so far.  Several eggplants are hanging on their bushes getting bigger every day.

I stuffed 12 bell peppers with ground meat, rice, garlic, onions, bell pepper, etc.  They were frozen in groups of three. 

This is the pot of eggplant that is being smothered with ground meat and seasoning.  We were able to make two large casseroles of smothered eggplant.  One casserole we’ve already eaten and it was delicious! The other is in the freezer. It looks totally different when the eggplant is cooked and smothered down!

The number of tomatoes in the bowl below are being picked every day.  We’ve either popped them in our mouth to enjoy or put them in a salad.

We pick about the amount of okra shown below every day.  We’ve picked around 40 okras so far. They are all being chopped up and frozen.  When we get a big enough bag we will fix smothered okra.

Our bigger tomatoes are just now starting to turn red.  Some of the bigger tomatoes have developed “blossom rot” which comes from a deficiency of calcium in the soil.  Roy researched it and found that lime needed to be added to the soil so he bought a 40 pound bag and treated the soil of the tomatoes, bell peppers and eggplants since those last two can be affected by blossom rot.

The okra plant makes this beautiful flower as it is growing.  You can see behind the flower in the picture are several budding okras.

Our one and only artichoke plant is doing well.  No artichokes yet but it’s a neat plant to watch it grow! 

The first of our green onion crop has been harvested and chopped using it in our cooking.

Now for the fruit

Our eight blueberry bushes were moved this year so we didn’t anticipate much of a crop and that’s what we got.  We let Madisyn pick the three blueberries and she shared them with me!

Our watermelon vines have one watermelon that is growing every day.  First is a close up of the 4-inch watermelon and second is the vine the watermelon is growing on.

In the garden down by the pond the watermelon vine is finally growing and flowering.

The cantaloupe in that same area is blooming really.  I am hopeful there will be fruit growing on each within the next week.

The fig trees are growing really well and figs are all over the trees.

The garlic and yellow onions are still growing and aren’t ready yet to harvest.

Our militon vines are having an issue with yellowing and dying leaves.  While those yellowing leaves dry up and fall off, lots of new green growth is blooming all over the vines. We researched this whil the yellowing occured and learned that the new green leaves may start growing so we are happy to see that happen/ Militon plants don’t start blooming and producing until around August or September so we’ll see how they do then!

The sweet potatoes are still a big bunch of vines that haven’t shown any sign of being ready to go away so we can dig up the sweet potatoes.  If these sweet potatoes do well and we decide to do it again we will NOT plant it in the middle of a garden.  The vines are so long and even though we let them go up and down a fine, they still take over a lot of area in the garden.  The big bunch of leaves on the right are the sweet potato vines.

Different types of inspects and bugs have attacked the plants in different ways. We’ve purchased three different types of insect sprays to wipe out these bugs that love the plants.  With the vegetable plants close together it is difficult to spray the whole plant. Lots of lessons are being learned so that’s good!

After I finished writing this yesterday I was in the garden and found 3 eggplants on the ground that had fallen off the bushes and had a bad spot on them.  Between that and the spots on a few bell peppers recently I decided to pick all the eggplants and bell peppers that were almost the right size to pick to avoid the possibility of a bad spot on them.  This morning I did that and here’s what I picked.  This mornings harvest included picking some smaller cucumbers that are better suited for pickling than the larger ones were. It only takes a couple of days for these cucumbers to grow from the small size to the large!

That’s it for now on our Spring 2019 gardening adventure!

 

06.05.19 Chauvin Produce Company Update

This produce update we’re starting with the bad news and then will go on to all of the good news.

Well, it was just not time for us to grow broccoli and cauliflower.  The plants got big, but bugs got the leaves.  We treated them all three different times using Sevin Dust, then Insecticidal Soap and then some stronger solution. After pulling them all up and putting them in a big bag the contents of the bag were sprayed and the dirt where they were planted was sprayed really well. The picture doesn’t in any way show how eaten up and almost leafless a lot of the broccoli and cauliflower were.

The healthy bushes to the right of the eaten up plants are our sweet potato plants.

Here’s a picture from the internet which much better shows what the broccoli and cauliflower plants look like.

The row is now empty after digging up the plants!  I’m not sure exactly what we’ll plant in their place or if we will plant anything.  I’ve been researching what to do about the soil I pulled the diseased plants out of.   As always, we’ll see!

Now on to all of the good garden news! The vines are doing well and producing really large cucumbers.

These cucumbers were picked this week.  We’ve eaten two and they were delicious!  I have saved some of these cucumber’s seeds for our next crop!

Tomato bushes – ours are really tall and thin but they are loaded with tomatoes!

 Big tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

Bell Peppers plants and baby Bell Peppers

Okra plants and baby okra

Fig Trees

Peanuts, finally are growing down by the pond!

Watermelon vine finally growing down by the pond

Watermelon vines in a pot between the middle two blueberry bushes They are doing really well!

Cantaloupe growing well also with several blossoms

Blueberry bushes – still only three blueberries total!! 

Garlic and Yellow Onions – these won’t be ready for a while, it’s what they do! 

Cornstalks all have one ear of corn and some have two

Sweet potatoes are now growing up a little fence that isn’t really showing up in the picture.  It will be a while before these are ready

We have two lettuce plants.  Both are doing well!  They had a hard time at first but they look great now!  Eggplant plants, with flowers and with a baby eggplant.  Potatoes, the five bushes to the right of these are dead and gone, not a bad thing, that’s what they do.  This means it is two to three weeks until we can dig up those potatoes.  These were planted later than those. ArtichokeOur first corn harvest.  We may have picked them too soon because the cob was not full of kernels.  We ate these three corns this evening though and they were delicious!  Our first corn with not many kernels and the kernels we have are small!

We went to the grocery just now and saw that we could buy corn in the husks for 25 cents each!

Then Roy brought me over to see the already husked corn and said: “See honey this is what corn is suppose to look like!”  Good thing I love that man!

The whole main garden

The heat these last two weeks is not good at all for the vegetable gardens.  We water every evening, a really saturated kind of watering.  I’m hoping we can put up some kind of shade covering for the afternoon extreme sun.

Today it stormed and when looking at the weather the next week it will rain every day so that takes care of the heat problem for a while!

Ya’ll come back and have a Blessed Week!

 

05.07.19 Chauvin family is expecting a new baby!

Our tallest stalk of corn is expecting its first baby corn!!!  It’s not time for a full vegetable garden update but this new development is too wonderful to wait!

This is the stalk that was started from seed inside and was the only one that lived long enough to be planted outside!  The rest of the stalks were seeds planted directly outside so they are a bit behind that one.

Roy and I are very proud grandparents and cannot wait for the arrival of our newest grand baby, even if it is a corn!

The proud mama corn stalk

Baby Corn, due date unknown!

Ya’ll have a Blessed Week!

Image result for graphic scripture

 

05.03.19 My sister came to visit and Chauvin Produce Company Update!

 

My sister Harriet and brother-in-law George came to visit on Monday!  There are few people I feel very comfortable talking with and my sister and brother-in-law are two of them.  Their visits are moments I cherish. We had a great time visiting and laughing over lots of silly things! Roy and I are planning a “Family Reunion” at our house in late May with Harriett’s children and grandchildren and ours.  We haven’t done this in a few years and several family members have been added in that time.  Can’t wait to get together with all of Grannie Jo’s children and grandchildren and great grandchildren and one great great grandchild on the way!  Our house is small but we have lots of outside space for playing and visiting!

Now on to our garden update!

We’ve learned that some crops do better when the seeds are planted directly in the garden instead of when the seeds are planted inside, sprouted and replanted in the garden.  They are corn, okra, cucumbers, watermelon, and cantaloupes.

The peanuts planted down by the pond are not growing at all. I planted more peanuts this week.

The tops of the Brussels sprouts plants down there were chewed off a couple of weeks ago and the remaining stalk of the plants are gone now.

I planted carrot seeds this week where the Brussels sprouts were.

A week or so ago the watermelon vines started growing really well.  A few days later the vines were almost all gone.  Again some critter struck and there went the watermelons. For now, we’re putting pots over what’s left of the watermelon and cantaloupe plants at night to protect them from being eaten.  So every evening we will be going down the hill to cover the watermelon and cantaloupe plants and in the morning we will be going down to take the pots off them.

The yellow onions are doing very well but they don’t look like much since the yellow onion is growing under the soil.   The buckets are over the last of the watermelon and cantaloupe vines that have survived whatever animal is chewing on the vines. The little bunches of rocks are where the vines were before getting eaten. Looks like a little graveyard! Nothing like putting the most pitiful picture first!

We had several watermelon seeds left so we planted them in a pot with good soil. When they all sprout we will move them to a large area behind the blueberry bushes since the critters don’t seem to come up the hill. One little watermelon seed sprouted so far! .

All that is what’s going on in the garden down by the pond.

It’s a very different story in our main garden.  Everything growing in the main garden is doing well and all seem to be happy little plants. The pine straw I added down each row is helping so much.  We’re only watering every other day now instead of every day like we did before adding the mulch.

Here are photos with some descriptions of how that vegetable is doing! You can see how far they’ve come from seeds. They are right now about the size they would be when we previously bought plants from the store.

REGULAR TOMATOES AND CHERRY TOMATOES
Since they were planted from seed, they are now about the size I would have purchased plants in the past.

SWEET POTATO VINES
The vines are spaced far apart because the vines grow really long. ROWS OF OKRA, CAULIFLOWER, ARTICHOKE, SWEET POTATOES, BELL PEPPERS

GARLIC AND YELLOW ONION
The garlic and the yellow onion pretty much look the same above the ground!BELL PEPPERS AND CORNSTALKS in the center in the first photo below

CORN STALKS

The tallest corn-stalk is the only one that was grown inside the house from seed.  All the others started inside died.  The rest of the corn stalks were planted directly in the garden from seeds.

BELL PEPPERS
They are all doing well.  A few looked like some bug got on them so they were treated with Sevin dust.

One ARTICHOKE PLANT
Never tried this before, I am happy with how it’s doing.CAULIFLOWER
It is really too early to plant Cauliflower and Broccoli so I am pleased they are growing well.  There’s only 4 Cauliflower plants and 3 Broccoli plants so they are all on the same row.

BROCCOLI OKRA
All of these tiny okra plants are growing from seeds planted directly in the garden a couple of weeks ago. None of the ones I grew inside lived 😦 EGGPLANTS
Nine plants, three in three rows growing well. CUCUMBER VINES
I have planted several seeds and only 5 have done well.  I just planted several more and they are sprouting, yay!! MILITON VINES
This is one vegetable I am really happy about.  Roy’s mom always grew militons and I kind of feel like we’re carrying on a family tradition.  We have four vines growing well in the garden and two militons inside that we’re hoping sprout soon.

REGULAR POTATO PLANTS

GRAPE VINES
These are over where Dora use to live but they are part of our growing experiments! Roy dug the grape vines up a few months ago and planted them into the top of a bucket with the bottom cut out.  He was trying to get them into a taller amount of good soil. So far so good!

That’s it for the garden update! I found a program called Grammarly that is helping me with my writing.  It doesn’t catch everything which was obvious when my last post included the word “bring” two times when I meant “brain”.  Roy catches these things for me and I appreciate that so much.

Ya’ll have a Blessed Week!

 

04.02.19 Chauvin Produce Company and Rock Painting

Okay, so the garden is doing some odd things and I’ve made mistakes. Some things are going really well and I’m learning! Again, not a blog post everyone will want to read but here it is! I just read it through one last time and it really is not tantilizing!

I wrote about my rock painting at the bottom so if you’re interested in that and not the gardening, skip to it!

At first I plated three garlic cloves inside with their papery shell on them and they sprouted, then transplanted them outside where they are growing well.  Then I  planted several cloves directly into the garden outside without the papery shell on them.  After a couple of weeks wondering why the second batch wasn’t sprouting I decided to watch a video about growing garlic.  I’ve watched several videos about growing garlic before but somewhere along the way my brain threw away what I learned and went with some alternative. Two of the peeled cloves are now sprouting so we’ll see how this goes as time goes on.  Garlic is a long growing plant and won’t be ready until early fall so stay tuned.

The rest of the other vegetable seeds that have sprouted were going through the hardening process I mentioned in the last post.  Roy feels like they aren’t as big as they should be at this point considering the seeds were planted two months ago. These include the cherry tomatoes, big tomatoes, bell pepper, cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, okra, chives.

We found a four shelf hard plastic shelving unit at the local junk yard on Highway 16 and purchased some very low cost LED plant growing lights.  Roy put it all together and its now in the “rock painting” room where the grow light is programmed to come on at 6 am and go off at 10 pm every day.  That was just a few days ago so we don’t know yet how that will go.  I planted two cherry tomato and two big tomato plants from the “rock painting” room into the garden today to see how they will do there compared to staying inside under the growing light.

Three of the five cantaloupe sprouts growing down by the pond died.  I bought another cantaloupe, scooped the seeds out and dried them for several days. Last week I put all of them in the three plantless  mounds.  We’ll see how that goes! There is a 4 x 20 patch behind the blueberries that I’m thinking of experimenting by sprinkling more of the cantaloupe seeds there under the leaves.

After the last two nights of 39 degrees its all beautiful warmer temperatures ahead.

Sweet potatoes are doing really well but the vines are not quite at the point where they can be split from the sweet potato yet.  I did some research and since they can be put out in the garden as they are now I did it to day! Three have nice vines and a couple have tiny vines but they all went out.  Lots of mulch put around the tender sweet potatoes.

Bell peppers are doing really well but like the sweet potato they could go outside so I put four bell peppers (of the 20 total plants) out in the main garden to see how they do there. It’s a risk but I have exhausted my supply of patience waiting! The rest are patiently waiting under the growing light.

Lettuce, chives, broccoli, cauliflower were struggling and I’m hopeful the grow light will help them get to where they can go back outside for hardening.

The five original watermelon sprouts planted down by the pond are doing well and look very healthy.  The seeds I planted down there last week are beginning to sprout.

A bunny or something ate the tops off of most of the brussells sprouts.  The tiny brussells sprouts are still there and I’m going to leave the plants there to see if the sprouts grow bigger without the leaves.

The yellow onions planted in the main garden and the pond garden are all sprouting.

All of the corn seeds have sprouted and are between two to six inches high now!

All of the original potato plants are very healthy and growing well.  The second batch of potatoes that were planted a couple of weeks ago are not coming through the soil yet so I don’t know how they will do.

I piled pine straw on top of the militons and cucumbers and they are growing well now.  Only one of the five militons hasn’t sprouted yet but the others are doing really well and are attaching themselves to the fence Roy built.  About half of the cucumber seeds I planted are sprouting.  They are not tall enough to reach the fence yet.

I piled pine straw on top of the garlic, yellow onion, white potatoes, corn and four tomato plants that were just planted this week. It should help especially when the summer heat starts here in Louisiana and the ground gets dry easily.

The peanuts along the fence near the front road are all growing and have a few leaves already.  The peanuts down by the pond are not growing yet. One has sprouted but more should soon.

I have had a bad chest congestion and coughing for the last few days.  Roy was sick with it before me. Tried my best to say in bed and I succeeded a bit.  I want it to go away, doesn’t everyone when they are sick! I’ve been rock painting since I can just sit still while painting.  I have a bunch ready to go out and a bunch more on the work table getting ready for Easter.

The ones that are ready. The big blue M&M rock was hidden today in Kentwood.  I love the M&M rocks with a chunk taking out. They are quirky and I do a few large and small from time to time.

This is a new phrase I’ve started writing on my rocks. I think that saying will make anyone who reads it think about God for a minute which is the whole idea.  The second are a bunch that are ready to out.  If ya’ll want to contribute some 3 to 6 word evangelistic or just cute phrases that would inspire or make someone happy please send them to me as a comment.  I especially like the ones with words that have letter that can be colored in.

The ones being worked on are below.  These cross rocks will have 1 Cross+3 Nails = 4 Given  written across the front of the cross.  A bunch more gold rocks will have “HE IS RISEN” painted across the front.

I started the Rosie Rocks Facebook group almost one year ago and we now have 73 members.  That means around 60 of my rocks that were found, the finder joined the group and posted a photo.  If you’d like to join or see the rocks that have their pictures posted check Rosie Rocks out at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1707652262651874/https://www.facebook.com/groups/1707652262651874/  I’d say that photos of about 1 out of every 50 rocks hidden wind up on the facebook group. I would LOVE for all to be posted but at least I know that most all are found and hopefully they put a smile on the finders face and meant something to their heart!

Ya’ll have a blessed week!

 

 

03.12.19 Chauvin Produce Company update – sticks, sticks and more sticks

Progress is being made in the garden.  A little bit at a time.

This update is long and not all that interesting 🙂 I wrote it to help me keep track of how the garden is progressing and to look back on how this years garden was grown when planning the next garden.  If you want to learn with us as we experiment with this spring’s garden read on!! If not, feel free to go outside and walk around a while enjoying God’s beautiful world instead of reading on!

The three beautifully sprouting militon plants were planted in the garden on Thursday, March 7th. These lived on top of the refrigerator until they started sprouting and then they lived outside for the last couple of weeks except for the freeze nights. After just a few days in the ground they have already sent out their little feelers and curled along the wire!  You see a little bit of the militon is sticking out above the ground.  That’s how it is suppose to be for them to grow right.  The end where the roots grow down and the vine grows up is below ground and the other end above ground.  Two newer militons that haven’t sprouted joined the first three in the ground on Saturday, March 9th. All five militons are planted along the wire Roy put up to give the militons and cucumbers a place to grow up.

The cucumber seeds have not done well, unlike how well they did last year.  With only 3 seeds sprouting I decided to plant 10 seeds directly in the garden on Saturday, March 9th along the same fence the militons are growing on. It looks like only sticks are growing there right now!

The potatoes that have been growing outside in a large container were planted in the garden on Thursday as well.  They sprouted and have been growing well outside in a pot, being moved inside when it froze. Two more potatoes are now cut in pieces with two eyes each waiting to sprout more and the outside hardening before going in the ground.

Half of one row is now planted with garlic and the other end with yellow onions. The three garlic I started inside have sprouted well and were planted in the garden on Thursday, March 7th.  Several more garlic cloves were planted directly in the garden on Thursday to see how that works compared to starting them inside and moving them outside when they sprout.

One yellow onion set (tiny onions) was planted inside and sprouted really well.  12 yellow onion sets were planted directly into the main garden. Ten sets were planted in a big pot a week ago and are still there.  18 sets were planted in an egg carton two weeks ago and were transplanted (with good roots growing) in the pond garden.  There are probably 40 onion sets left unplanted.  Those will be planted during the summer.

My efforts starting corn inside were pretty much a failure.  Only one did well and was planted in the garden on Thursday.  Around 20 corn seeds were planted directly in the garden on Thursday.  More research showed that starting inside is not a good idea so now I know for future gardens.

Here’s the garden with potatoes, garlic, onion sets, corn seeds, militons and cucumber seeds planted.

Sprouted watermelon (Jubilee) plants and cantaloupe plants (from our own seeds) were planted into the garden down by the pond on Thursday, March 7th.  Watermelon seeds of a different variety, Allsweet, were planted in the ground in a straight line in the pond garden.

The three sweet potatoes were cut with two eyes on each piece.  They were planted in an aluminum pan and were growing well in the pantry and have started to make leaves.  It will be a while before the splits are ready to be removed and planted in the ground but for now they have joined the rest of the other plants outside of the pantry!

The brussels sprout plants were dug up from last year and were planted last week in the pond garden are doing well in the ground.  When I planted them I saw tiny little brussels forming along the stalk.

Between 12 and 20 peanuts were planted near the Brussels sprouts last week but nothing is sprouting yet. 10 peanuts were planted in the flower garden along the fence near the front of our property.  Peanuts don’t require much care so I am planting them wherever there is an open space! This looks like pretty much just a bunch of popsicle sticks but there really are some small plants there!

The seed plantings that are not ready to plant outside are spending a couple of hours outside each day hardening them.  They are in a protected environment inside the kitchen which is drastically different than outside conditions.  Spending a bit more time each day outside in the elements help prepare them for when they live outside all the time.  I didn’t do any of that last year.  The seeds were planted in their little individual spaces and lived outside the whole time. Today is day 3 of their hardening process.

The seed plantings going through hardening right now are the bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, big tomatoes, okra, green onions, eggplants, cauliflower, broccoli.  All of them have 3 or more leaves on them and just need the hardening.

The beautiful leaves sprouting on our two fig trees froze earlier this week but there are new ones sprouting out already!  The eight blueberry bushes are all sprouting new leaves and blueberries.  Some bushes more than others, but they all seem to have survived the big transplant last year!

While gardening is a very fulfilling experience it has frustrated my brain this week. I thought I had some safety net things in place to help me remember what’s planted where. However, I planted some seeds in two containers and before I could make markers to identify what they were I forgot what I planted.  Didn’t even stay in my brain 10 minutes.  I had to dig them up to figure it out.  I have several small pots with cucumber markers in then that I don’t really know if there are seeds in there. Nothing is sprouting yet so there probably is just dirt but I’ll give it a bit longer hoping I did actually plant seeds in them.

My sweet honey Roy saw I needed more popsicle sticks for identifying plants as I’ve used all I had (sorry Madisyn, they use to be yours in your craft box!) He went to the store and bought me over 100 large wooden (popsicle like) sticks so I could write on both sides what the plant is to put one next to each one as I plant them.  There are now popsicle sticks all over the gardens.  Last year I painted rocks with the names of each vegetable.  Because I don’t remember what a plant is without seeing it’s name I painted a second one for each vegetable this year to put one at each end of the row.

I am finding that while I’ve done a lot of research about all of the vegetables I don’t remember most of it.  I made a spreadsheet with lots of the information to help me with that. But I have to remember to update the spreadsheet for it to be helpful, I haven’t updated it in a month.

I need some help figuring out where to plant things in the garden down by the pond and Roy helps me with that.  Seems like that should be something I’d never need any help with but I do every step I take with it.  He sits with me (I’m sitting in the dirt, he’s sitting in a chair) down by the pond and it gives me a great comfort. I also have a fear of snakes living under the storage building so Roy is also there to protect me from what he calls “sneaky snake!”

In this picture I am moving sprouting onion sets from the egg carton I started them in. They are now in the pond garden where I am hopeful they grow into full size yellow onions.  Had to shake my head when I saw what an old biddy I look like in the picture but that’s me when I’m crawling around in the dirt!  I require a shower and clean clothes every time I do that!

Well that’s it for gardening by the Chauvin’s this week.  More will be transferred to the garden next couple of weeks, I hope.  Today the high temperature was 80.  We had a delightful visit at our house with my sister Harriett and brother in law George and I got to show her all my gardening efforts!

Ya’ll have a blessed week!

 

02.28.19 Chauvin Produce Company Update – Hey HONEY let’s stop at the junk yard!

Monday we had some errands to run around Amite and Hammond.  I told Roy I’d like to find a metal table to use outside to have a place for repotting plants, etc.  He said he previously saw a glass and metal table at the junk yard. It’s a big yard with junk in it! They sell whatever people give them! As we were driving down Highway 16 towards downtown Amite we passed by there and stopped.  I love stopping there to see what they have for sale.

20190228_134928.jpg

I looked at the round glass and metal table but it just didn’t ring my happy bells. We saw a rectangular glass outside table with metal trim and legs.  We both agreed not only could it be a gardening table but we can use it for when company comes to eat and visit! We need to get an umbrella to go through the hole in the middle of the table for shade. I’ll take a used one if anyone wants to give us one!!!  We settled on a great price with the young lady at the junk yard and Roy figured out how to strap it to the top of our truck bed cover to bring it home.  A nice policeman followed us home I guess to make sure the table didn’t fall off and cause an accident.

I cleaned the table this morning and the next phase of gardening began.  Most all of my little vegetable and fruit seeds have grown big enough plants to transfer them to bigger pots. That took a long time but I got to know them all really well.  I’ve always talked to my plants even before having dementia.  They respond well, so if you haven’t tried it start talking to yours!  It will be a while until these tiny plants are ready to go in the garden but we now have a kitchen floor full of pots. It was not sunny today but spending hours outside was such a blessing!

These pictures above were taken before the table got full and I finally realized that sitting down in a chair made the whole process easier…………… duh!

The brussells sprouts plants from last year have been replanted down by the pond. There are seven of them and when I took them out of the container they were in I saw tiny brussells sprouts growing!  We’ll see how that turns out!

Both fig trees are blooming!

All of the eight transplanted blueberry bushes are blooming and one even has a few blueberries on it already!!

I also planted 5 more peanut plants down there.  I planted 6 last week in the front of the garden along the fence.  I just planted the 5 peanuts and 7 brussells sprouts and after an active day I am pooped out.  I’ll plant more peanuts tomorrow.  The soil down there with what Roy added and tilled is beautiful and so easy to work with, it’s just the bending and digging that’s rough!  Thanks again honey for my second garden!

I have mirliton vines and potatoes ready to plant.  Next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we will have freezing temperatures at night.  Once that is past I’ll begin planting those in the garden. The watermelon, cantaloupe seeds have nice size plants now and will be planted down by the pond then.  The cucumbers will also be ready for the garden and will be planted on the same end that the mirliton vines will be on growing up the fence Roy constructed!

Not ours but a mirliton vine with mirlitons on it. That’s what I’m striving for!

This is what a mirliton vine and mirlitons look like.  Roy’s mama always had one and we enjoyed many of her stuffed mirlitons!

Roy created rows in the garden last week.  It’s beginning to take shape. It’s only growing a couple of weeds right now but soon it will be filled with lots of vegetables.

Ya’ll have a blessed weekend!

 

02.12.19 Chauvin Produce Company – Getting the Gardens Ready

It would be oh so nice for gardening to just be dumping some dirt out, making rows, planting some seeds and watching them grow!  But OH NO that is not how it is!

Our venture into gardening vegetables in the fall was a learning experience.  This year we are going the extra mile in every step along the way.

When I say “we” I mostly mean Roy.  I’m usually along for the ride helping make decisions, or doing some of the grunt work or supervising! For over a week we’ve been spending large chunks of most days on getting the garden ready to accept the plants when the seeds, the mirlitons, potatoes, garlic and sweet potatoes are ready to plant.

Again, our friends Chuck and Donna loaned us their tiller and our very gracious neighbor Daniel loaned us his trailer to pick up the tiller, dirt, and other items.  We used the tiller last year to prepare the blueberry beds and the small garden in the back yard.  This year Roy expanded the garden from 8′ x 16′ to 16′ x 16′.  We also prepared an area down by the pond where crawling fruit like watermelon and cantaloupe can grow.

I’ve tried to document with pictures all we’ve done and will try to identify what’s going on in each picture below.  I’m already thinking this may become a two part post because I’ve identified over 50 pics I want to share.  We’ll see.

The cool weather recently has allowed us to work for hours on end without being drained like the heat does.  We were worn slap out and our joints/muscles screamed at us after a few hours and overnight but we’re still standing and I have to think it was a healthy week of working out, at the very least.

Nothing is ever easy.  After Roy dug up all the grass where the garden expansion was he had to locate the electrical wire he laid down there last year to run electricity to our storage building. We couldn’t find pictures that showed exactly where it was so he dug until he found it.  The tiller would rip up the wire at the level it was, so after finding it he dug much deeper and relaid the line.  This was a full day’s project after the two days he spent digging up the grass.

We shopped for more frame lumber to go around the expansion portion of the garden and the rebar to make it all stable and stay in place. Here’s Roy working on putting it all together.

When we bought the boards and rebar we also bought five fence posts to create the fencing for my cucumbers and merlitons to grow all around.  Last years flimsy structure that cucumbers grew one was pitiful.  This one will withstand a hurricane!

The original gardens dirt/compost/peatmoss and the new gardens just dirt was tilled.  Over the course of this week I’d say Roy tilled both gardens entirely 10 different times.

One day last week Roy and I visited three different dirt pit locations to see, price and decide which dirt was best for us.  We chose a place called Zemurray Pit a few miles from here.  The guy running the place was very helpful and worked with us to get the best dirt before the rains came.

The next day Roy went to Lowe’s to buy the Peat Moss and Cow manure/compost, pick up the tiller and came home to till all that in. After the first tilling four huge bags of peat moss were added, I kicked it apart, raked it in several directions, Roy tilled it and I raked it one last time.

Here’s the bags of cow manure/compost that Roy added and I raked it out.  Roy tilled all of the peat moss and manure into the dirt. He tilled for a couple of hours before calling it a day.

He got up at 7:30 am the next morning (I know alot of ya’ll are at work then!) and went to get a huge load of dirt from Zemurray Pit.  He brought that home and tilled that into the stuff he tilled the day before. I got up when he came home and had worked for an hour and a day full of fun began for me.  What’s seen on the trailer below is what was left after he put half of the dirt in the garden with the nutrients and tilled it. 

Here’s the finished product.  One 16′ x 16′  vegetable garden that will withstand earthquakes, hurricanes and who knows whatelse!   Between doing research, shopping, and labor I estimate 30 hours went into this.  Certainly not the simple garden that the garden looks like! It’s amazing what all goes into it!

Here’s the view from the garden of what I call “down by the pond.”  The second garden that is down there isn’t as structured as this but many hours of work went into it also.

On our way down there looking back up the hill to the first garden.

Here’s where we tried out growing watermelons and cantaloupe last year.  There are some weeds that I knew would only get worse if I didn’t dig them up, so I did. Two hours later I was finished and Roy brought down the hill the remaining dirt.  At one point I crawled on top of the dirt to throw out onto the ground chunks of dirt.  It helped break them up to get ready to be tilled. Look at all my grey hair.  Can’t wait for the blonde stuff to go away so it will all be grey!

This is just the dirt raked out.  There are several inches of sand underneath the dirt. After church yesterday we went to Home Depot and picked up more Peat Moss for this garden area and several larger peat pots to move the seeded vegetables into when they get bigger, before they are ready to move outside. .

Here it is after Roy tilled the sand, dirt and peat moss together.

Roy handed me the shovel and sent me off to the front of the storage building to dig up sand that washed down the hill and settled there over time.  Roy rescued me and took over the digging going much deeper than I did.  He got several wheelbarrows of sand from that spot and dumped it behind the storage building for the garden. 

It was tilled before the dirt was added, after the dirt was added and after the peat moss was added.  I thought Roy was going to stop at that point but oh no, he kept on.

A lot of the dirt mixture behind the shed was shoveled into around 15 wheelbarrow loads and moved up the hill.  It is a steep hill and very difficult to get up with a wheelbarrow.  My honey did it though and about every couple of loads he’d rake the dirt over a large area next to the house we’ve been working on to get grass to grow for a while.  I have to admit I worried he’d pass out or die at this point.  I asked what I could do to help but he kept saying no.  He did rest often which is probably what saved my honey from something bad happening.

This is the area he dumped the dirt and spread it out before calling it a day and making a campfire near where Dora use to live so we could enjoy the beautiful weather outside after dark yesterday.  The soil mixture that he left behind the storage building is plenty for me to grow the second garden watermelon, cantaloupes, peanuts and maybe a couple of tomato plants there.

Some of the non seed plants we are helping sprout are our potatoes, garlic, mirlitons , sweet potatoes and Brussels sprout plants dug up from last years crop. Southerners know what mirlitons are and how absolutely wonderful the dishes they are cooked in are.  When our crop starts producing I’ll share some of the ways we cook it down here in the south!

We purchased three seed sweet potatoes.  They are cut up with either two eyes on them or the end for sprouting vines that are pretty.  Lots of people grow the vines in their garden just for the leaves, not the sweet potatoes! I’ve learned a lot about the difference between potatoes and sweet potatoes.  They are in no way related and grow in very different ways.  When the vines get to a certain point they are removed from the sweet potato since they don’t need it anymore.  They’ve grown roots by then and the vine with its roots are planted in the garden to grow more sweet potatoes.

The larger peat pots are in the picture below.  Our kitchen has turned into a plant sprouting place.  You can see the sprouts coming up really well in the other two pictures.  We’ve already decided that next years seeds will be planted in the little Jiffy pucks which are the little things in the smaller container in the second picture.

The only thing that isn’t planted for sprouting somewhere are the 100 yellow onion bulbs.  Those produce quickly and can wait a bit longer before being planted and can go directly into the ground.

Roy and I love the time we’ve spent on the road sitting around campfires visiting and enjoying the warmth of the fire.  We have some old wood we’ve wanted to burn for a while so Roy did that yesterday after it got dark.  Chip even came over to join us and got to have some dad/son bonding time when mama went to bed!

This garden project is wonderful for my brain because I am always doing research to find out something about growing some plant.  I don’t remember a lot for very long so I document it to go back to when the information is needed. That brings us current on the Chauvin Produce Company. Looks like I fit it into one post!

We are resting, catching up on things like this and a bit of being lazy today! Ya’ll have a Blessed week!