Saturday, May 15, 2010


We've had steady rain for the last two weeks, and everything around here is growing like mad.

The garlic are growing.

The snap peas are growing. I must put in some supports, to help keep them off the ground.

The rutabagas are growing, and due to be thinned soon. Actually, I have volunteer rutabagas growing all over my garden. That's what happens when you let a few plants overwinter and go to seed the next year. I'm thinking of naming my garden Scandinavia, because there are Swedes everywhere!

The celeriac roots that I overwintered in my fridge, then planted out this spring, are doing well. I plan on harvesting some of the stems, and then letting them go to seed. I know five roots isn't great for genetic viability, but it's what I've got to work with.

And the lettuce is growing. I'm so pleased! This is the first time I've grown lettuce. I was afraid it wouldn't do well in my clay soils, but they seem to be quite happy. I've got three different varieties pictured here (again, gotta do some thinning soon). I think the one on the left is forellenschuss, the one on the right is crisp mint, and I forget the one in the middle. A red splotchy kind.

Okay, I need a bit of help with this picture, and the next. I had planted spinach and swiss chard quite early in the season, but I never saw anything growing, so I figured I jumped the gun and the seeds had frozen/rotted in the ground. But now I see several of these bad boys sprouting up through the dirt. Is this what a spinach seedling looks like?

And is this what swiss chard seedlings look like? I've never grown either of them.

Veges aren't the only things growing around here. Here is our little doeling goat, now six weeks old. She is such a sweetie.

And here she is again with her twin brother.

And here's our other little buckling. Can you believe that I haven't named them yet? Since I hope to sell them all, it just doesn't seem that urgent. So, anybody interested in buying a goat? They are lots of fun, and eat ANYTHING. Vegetative, that is. No tin cans. They're great for weed control, and would make an excellent companion for a cow in a pasture. The cow eats the grass, and the goat eats the weeds. Goats actually prefer weeds to grass. Except stinging nettle, that is. They won't eat nettle. I've heard they can be trained to eat it, but I haven't bothered.

Today was so lovely, after work I spent an hour or so weeding in the garden. The boys helped a bit. Owen attacked thistles with the hoe (and when I saw attacked, I mean it--"Prepare to die, thistle plant!" and "Take this, evil thistle!"), Graham pulled weed sprouts from the garlic bed, and Benjamin used a hand rake in an area that hadn't yet been planted. He's still too young to tell the difference between weeds and veges. But he'll learn. Oh yes indeedy, he'll learn!


Frustrated Farmer Rick said...

I vote yes on both counts for your spinach and chard seedlings.

Mama Pea said...

Wow, Jo, your garden is going great guns! Everything's looking really good. I agree with Farmer Rick . . . you labeled your spinach and Swiss chard correctly.

So much fun to take a "walk" through other gardens. Thanks for the pics.

Thistledog said...

Yup, that's spinach and chard, alright. Lookin' good, too! Rain is such an amazing thing for gardens.

Since you mentioned you've never grown Swiss chard before, I'll just chime in and warn you that each plant can and will get REAL BIG if you give them plenty of room and lots of water, so plan for that. (Best with a square foot each at a minimum.) It's one of my favorite vegetables - better than spinach for fresh steamed or braised greens, I think. Tender and mild and none of the chalky aftertaste.

Lucky Lizard Ranch said...

Thanks for the tour! I love seeing other gardens too; the new plants just hold so much hope and anticipation don't they!
Do you milk your goats? They are absolutely adorable!
Have a great weekend!

Erin said...

yep you got the chard and spinach right! Everything looks great! The goats are way cute right now!

Leigh said...

Lovely photos. You sound like me when it comes to planting and labeling. I'm trying very hard this year to make a chart of where everything is! The Internet is great though isn't it. The perfect place to get help from like-minded friends.

Jo said...

Thanks all of you! I am so grateful for my internet buddies, always willing to help out a novice gardener. You're the best!

Liz -- We do not milk our goats, although I suppose we could if we really wanted to. They are angoras, bred for mohair not milk production. Guess it would be like milking a hereford beef cow? Their udders, when full, are about half the size of a dairy goat's, so it would be a lot of work for not much reward!