A personal record of what's going on in my Northern Michigan zone 4 gardens. I use raised beds and grow organically. Nothing fancy--just trying to garden with nature in mind.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Garden Thief and a Scummy Pond Bed Update


This has been an incredibly full week.  I finally started digging up the scummy pond---and got it removed. It was an old tank that had rusted through. I didn't know what it was-the previous owner used a lot of "cast-offs" for projects around here.

We have had the grandson up from Arizona for 8 days. They left last Sunday and I can't believe how much energy a 3 year old has. He's amazing and funny and so eager to learn.  He loved helping me in the garden--here he is harvesting lunch. He was quite amazed when these potatoes turned into Mashed Potatoes. It's funny when a little kid has that "light bulb" moment.


Here he is cruising the aisles of the blueberry patch--scoping out the last of the Chandlers.  All of the varieties of blueberries are now done.



It must be love, if I let him steal the few carrots we had this year.


All varieties of my tomato plants are fully loaded---but NOT ripe. Despite our extremely hot July, it just wasn't enough.



The melons are also huge and UNRIPE. Sigh.

Below-the blackberries are beginning to ripen, and of course, the birds have found them.



The Scummy Pond ended up being over 3 foot deep. It's a bigger job than anticipated!





The fall broccoli is coming along okay, but it's doubtful I'll get any before we leave for our final trip.


The nights have started cooling down and most mornings find us with a HEAVY dew. Within a couple weeks we'll have frost. Looks like a no tomato year. Rats. So close!


Another shot of the carrot thief. He made trip after trip out there to steal them. Brat. I miss him already.............

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.


60 comments:

  1. lol--what is it with toddlers and carrots? My niece Lele who is now 4 was obsessed with my carrots this year.

    Here are some ideas to force ripen the green tomatoes
    http://gardening.about.com/od/growingtips/qt/Green_Tomato.htm

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    1. Tonya-great link-thanks. I need to get busy pinching off all the flowers/underdeveloped ones. Thanks so much!!
      :)

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  2. Awww. Do you realize your little guy is going to be thinking and talking about the visit to Grandma for a long time to come? The new experiences, the attention, the love. That last shot of him determinedly walking through the garden . . . can't you see him 30 years from now in the same setting in his own garden, head down, thinking of new seeds to try or the harvest he's on his way to pick?

    P.S. You can grow blackberries? How come you're warm enough and I'm not?

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    1. Mama Pea-I was amazed--he remembered so much from last summer--at only TWO--WOW!

      The blackberries are "tucked in" under some trees-I think they must protect them somehow.

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  3. Oh, he is really adorable! What a wonderful thing to be able to teach your dear little grandson about fresh food and how it grows. Your can be sure that he will forever be changed from all your efforts. I remember my aunt and uncle's garden from when I was a child and I attribute part of my gardening desire to those earlier times.

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    1. I'm always SO happy to hear that--I would love to think that he will always remember his grandma's garden. It's such a big change from the desert--he seems to really love spending time here.

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  4. aw.... =)That's super cool that he now knows where mashed potatoes comes from. What a cutie!

    Frost in a couple weeks? Woah. I was wondering what the big deal was with green tomatoes at this point. Wow. You're such a northerner! Good luck.

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    1. Yup-our first frost is usually the first week of September--followed by WEEKS of warm days but COLD nights. It's all a trade off I suppose. I'm usually very cool in summer and I LOVE that!

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  5. Sue - Nothing nicer than teaching little one's where their food comes from :) When he was younger, MKid loved pinching tomatoes of the vine whenever he could.

    Your scummy pond looked a huge job - hope you had help?

    Enjoy your trip... :)

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    1. No help on the Scummy Pond. Where were you?
      LOL!

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  6. ahhh,he looks precious .Don't know how you manage only a few days a year with him,but than I go a little crazy cus I have mt grand children everyday just about.it is all about the energy ,of what I have none of.can I be nosy and ask why you travel so much.? is it for a job or just because you like too

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    1. Judy-we're travelling a LOT this year because that is IT for us. From now on we will be shucking out the money to bring the grandson up here as I feel it's important for him to experience different climates.......and I need lots of hugs too!
      :)
      We used to LOVE to travel but it's all getting too expensive, too noisy, too crowded, or are we getting TOO OLD???

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  7. I hope you charged him. You can't have him growing up thinking carrots just grow in the dirt!

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    1. LOL!!!
      Actually, I should have charged him. It was a TERRIBLE year for carrots---and he ate most of the few that came up.

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  8. My 3-year-old granddaughter was kept busy with planting a bucket of pole beans, checking their growth at every visit, watching them wither and dry, then shelling the beans for the seeds for next year's garden. She grew nearly 100 bean seeds for me! That's the only thing that kept her from the carrots, which were her passion last year. But last year I had lots of carrots to share, this year not so many.

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    1. My grandson and my plumbers granddaughter completely dug out one of my raised beds. It took them hours. They put the dirt in the aisles. I have absolutely NO IDEA what their thought process was, but they enjoyed it so much, I just let them go. Next year I'll do the beans---much more productive! Thanks!!
      :)

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    2. I think that proves you're the smart one!

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  9. That is the cutest thief I've seen. I can't believe that your tomatoes won't ripen. Will you make something with the green ones before you leave?

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  10. What a darling little helper! Isn't it fun to share our love of gardening with them! I hope your melons riped as they look so good! Sorry about your tomatoes but mine have not done well this year either. Your alyssom and flowers are beautiful. I have frozen herbs but then I forget to use them or don't want to bother locating them. Are you more organized? I just used a plastic bag when I did do it. I have thornless blackberries and they look like yours. How do you prune yours? Hope you get rested up after your little visitor! Nancy

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    1. Hi Nancy-I hack away at the blackberries whenever they seem to be getting in the way--I keep them at about 4 ft. I had wanted to put up a trellis system for them, but I'm taking a summer off from everything. It's running wild--but I look at them as "new' plants for next year.
      As for the herbs--I'm an organized FREAK. My freezer (the biggest they make) has to be or I'd lose a lot of things. I bought extra baskets for things in there and check it once a week. I have no life--LOL!

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  11. Something happened to my comment so I'm redoing do it. I think that is the cutest little thief I've seen. I'm wondering if you will make something with the green tomatoes.

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    1. Karen, I'm sorry-no, we don't like green tomatoes--we've tried everything. No-they are for BLT's around here. Sigh.

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    2. I totally agree...I was hoping that maybe you could convert me to a green tomato lover. I have had fried green tomatoes but I'm not that crazy about them.

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  12. Your grandson is such a cutie! I'm sure he'll be talking about the fun he had with you for a while. :-) Have you ever tried green tomato salsa? We had a boat load of unripe tomatoes two years ago and the salsa was really good.

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    1. Anke-as the grandma who only sees him once or twice a year-I hope he's driving the other one MAD-bwa-ha-ha! I do like salsa--maybe that is worth a try-thank you.

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  13. It's such a special treat to have the grand kids learn where their food comes from .. the garden or farm. I ripped out my non productive melon plants this week to make room for some winter kale. Our tomatoes are all green but there is hope :)

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    1. I hope you do get those tomatoes ripened. I would try and save mine from that first frost but we'll be leaving shortly after so I'm letting them go.......
      :(

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  14. I love those pictures of the little guy!! A fun, and exhausting age for sure!! We have had some cooler nights. .into the low 60's, and it feels really refreshing in the mornings!! I guess I just didn't realize how HOT it was. .80 at 8 am had become pretty standard. Enjoy those blackberries.

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    1. Melanie-thanks! So glad to hear you've had some cooler weather. Now, some rain.............
      :)

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  15. Cute carrot thief.
    Sorry about the tomatoes. Everything looks good at your place otherwise. Love the shot of the dew with the clothes on the line. We had a weird one today. We broke the record low for this date by getting down to 51 degrees. Weird. Lucky for us, we had scheduled today off from work to take care of some business and enjoyed the cool morning with a bike ride. Good chance of rain tonight and tomorrow. Hoping....

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    1. A bike ride-how wonderful. I'm so glad you're cooling down. And hopefully bucketfuls of rain is close behind.....though I'm sure by now that will not be helping the crops. So sad.

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  16. You're making me wish I had some berries right now!

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  17. Good-you always make me wish I had YOUR gorgeous garden!

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  18. What a cute tomato thief!

    I do hope you have more than a couple of weeks before a frost!

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    1. I sure hope so too, but with the HEAVY dews we've had, I don't know. We got down to 40 the past 2 nights. Getting closer.......
      :)

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  19. Sue, your grandson is adorable. How nice to have a little helper in the garden. I had to laugh at your mashed potatoe comment. your garden looks wonderful. The blackberries look yummy. Great post, Happy Sunday!

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    1. Hi Eileen-I just wish I could have that helper more than once a year. It's tough being a grandma from 2000 miles away!
      Have a wonderful week!

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  20. You have a beautiful garden. I'm a fan.

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  21. He sure knows where the good stuff is and when to eat it - right from the garden bed!

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    1. Can't get fresher or more loaded with vitamins than eating something within a minute of picking!
      :)

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  22. What fun to have a grandson in the garden. Ours are now in Arizona as well. A long long ways away...

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    1. Troutbirder, I guess it's an excuse for a road trip, but golly, I sure do miss him.......

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  23. Wow! Looks like he is having fun in the garden. I really love having kids in the garden. Having them around is really fun.

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    1. Thanks! He is a lot of fun,but wow-the energy!!

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  24. I'm thinking your melons will beat the frost. They better, 'cause they look delicious.

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    1. Jody-thanks--we finally got our first one yesterday--hooray!!!
      :)

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    2. I can't believe how much our gardens are alike right now. We have ripe and unripe melons. Our fall broccoli looks just like yours and we have a million green tomatoes hanging around on slowly dying plants. It will be interesting to see how things turn out for you and us.

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  25. That's quite a helper you have there. I had my four year old granddaughter planting potatoes early this spring. My mother in Wyoming is sure her tomatoes are going to get frosted also.

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    1. Greggo-we looked at moving to WY years ago, but decided their climate was too harsh--late planting dates, too dry, early frosts. Guess what?----SAME AS HERE--LOL!
      As a gardener, perhaps I should have been thinking CA or OR????

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  26. What a cute guy! He looks right at home in the garden. I hope the frost doesn't come as early as usual, and some of your tomatoes ripen.

    What are you going to do with that big hole you have now? What a deal!

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    1. Hi Sue--I was going to build a GOOD pond, but we had a change of plans due to the beehives we have--we're going to make a "native plant" garden there. Thanks for stopping by-I appreciate the visit!
      :)

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  27. what a cute garden helper you have!

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    1. And what a temper he can have-LOL!

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  28. Your little carrot thief is absolutely adorable and it looks like the two of you made some great gardening memories together.

    Your photo of the laundry hanging on the line is one of the best blog photos I've seen in a long time. Frame it!

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    1. Thanks, Donna--my son says that's all he's been talking about since they got home--Oma's garden. It's always nice when we get another gardener in the world!
      :D

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  29. Looks like I'm not the only one with loads of green tomatoes... Maybe melon pickles?

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  30. Dear Diary--
    :D
    I'll pass on the pickles. Good luck with yours!

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  31. What a cute carrot theaf! And your Alyssum! IT is gorgeouse, it always makes me think of my Grandma Bostek. I have to plant it every year.

    Lucky us we like fried green tomatoes.


    With All That I Am
    Carrie "The Handmade Homemaker"

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    1. Carrie-Thank you so much!
      And if you find a source for BULK alyssum seeds, let me know-LOL!
      I love it too!

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