the little wild kingdom

flowerbug

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since i had a bucket of Purple Dove beans sitting here this morning i figured i could time how long it took me to get them shelled. not bad, about 2hrs.

they make excellent shelly beans, we just had them for late brunch in bean burritos. for flavor they are mild pinto bean and the texture is creamy.



and since Purple Dove beans are an interest of mine i'm curious about their parents. perhaps this picture has a few clues (the markings/lines). similar to a bean picture from the bean thread (on TEG) called Rio Zape. hmm... :)

the bean with the large splotch on it (in the middle) is the only bean out of many thousands of Purple Dove that i've shelled so far that has any kind of different or odd marking as compared to the rest.




p.s. those items are not sitting on the hardwood floor, they're on the kitchen counter which is made out of the same wood as the floor. when they were building the place they weren't sure what they were going to make the kitchen and bathroom counters out of and i suggested using the same wood as the floor and they actually listened to me and did it. i was surprised, but it does look nice. :)
 
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flowerbug

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finishing up shelling out the beans that were picked last week.

keeping busy putting up gardens for w-w-winter (not wanting to really say that word yet) and it rained so i had some time inside to get caught up for a change. i'm trying to be careful to only do so much each day to avoid injuries.

i should be able to get a large hole filled in today as i've layered it with garden debris, dead heading and then layers of topsoil sandy loam and the subsoil clay to start the process of getting it all mixed well again. it may take a few years before i actually get back through this garden again to turn it very deeply - i normally don't dig much of any garden up, but i needed to mix some of the clay and i had some ashes too that needed to be used up (almost done with those at last). the worms like the organic matter that is buried down more deeply and it gives them more places to hide from the cold or hot spells. this garden needed this done to it years ago, but i had to get some drain tubes and pea gravel removed from underneath it first. it is so much easier to work in there having those out of the way and also most of the tulips are also moved or gone now.

get that done and then on to the next, there's always plenty to keep me busy here. :)
 

flowerbug

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the weather has been mixed for the last week so getting gardens finished up and ready for winter has been a bit of a scramble when the breaks happen between rains. also i had one day of dealing with a truckload of wood that my brother brought over from having his deck redone. it wasn't a very nice day that day either, but i was able to pound out and pry out the nails after backing the truck part ways into the garage. 6hrs of pounding out nails wasn't my idea of fun, but much better than stepping on a rusty nail or having to deal with them later.

i have about 1/3 of the garden space inside the fenced area to finish up but that was put on hold while i did some work on the north garden and another garden (which we see all winter out the patio door so i didn't want to leave them looking a way that would give Mom reasons to complain all winter). i finished those up the other day and got the garlic planted.

the next break in the weather then i'm back to the fenced gardens and can get those put up. i hope this week i can get them all done if the weather will hold off on rains and freezing long enough.

the past few days it's been more rain than we need that is for sure.

we scrambled this morning to get the hoses brought in and the bird baths wrapped up for winter before yet more rains came along. napping all afternoon.
 

flowerbug

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i finished up the first sort of the red beans and decided to cook up the rejects as we're both hungry for some beans. about 7lbs total with 26oz of rejects (a lot more that would be usual but that is because of how i grew them - lesson learned... i hope. :) ). so those are on the stove.

i'm normally a hermit, but this past week has been more busy because of the yearly cleaning/checkup with the dentist and i had to take Mom's car in for a check as it was dripping oil. i suspected the oil plug from the fast oil change place not doing it right, but it was the oil filter itself. so the mechanic tightened that up and hopefully that will take care of the leak. no charge from the mechanic - i tried a few times to give him at least the price of a cup of coffee for the time and using his lift but he wouldn't take it...

it is a new guy who bought the place our previous mechanic sold when he retired so this was the first introduction to him and he seems decent so we'll see how it turns out. a good mechanic is another blessing IMO. :) he knows where we live and he lives a few miles down the road from us.

note the old mechanic we had was good and he often "forgot" to include things like oil changes and some parts or labor were not on the bills. he'd just shrug when i mentioned them as i think it is important to keep good guys in business... we were worried when he retired that we'd have a tough time finding someone decent who's new so this may work out.

oh and just as a tidbit since i'm nattering along here. :) when he had the car on the lift and saw the leak he showed it to me and i was looking at the bottom of Mom's car and he was showing his flashlight around at the brakes and stuff to check them quick and i swear i could almost eat off the bottom of Mom's car, it was so clean... other than the bit of oil splattered around from the leaking oil filter... i need to stir the beans i'm cooking so i'll remember to tell Mom this too. :)

beans are done.

looks like i will get out this afternoon to finish up some gardens and to get some fresh ashes dug into a few areas that can use them. these ashes were just delivered this morning to me and if i can get them emptied and get the buckets back then that will help give me a few more buckets for next year when he drops them back off in the spring. in the past these folks would throw their wood ashes in the trash, but they've been giving them to me to use in the gardens and around the yard. there are enough bits of charcoal in with them that it is appreciated here and the clay soil we have is lightened up and improved by both the ashes and the bits of charcoal. i do need to check the pH eventually but this is still the first round of ashes i've put down in many gardens so i've not bothered to do that yet.

the wood ashes i like to think as a way to build up some more elevation too as we do lose some ground each season to erosion. we're in the middle of surface flows for the area when it gets above flash flood capacity in the ditches. i'd like to eventually build up even more than we have already but there is no easy way to bring in any more fill unless i want to wheelbarrow it one at a time (which i have done, but ran out of time and money back when i did it last)... it's a big four part mess actually, but i hope to start fixing one or two parts of the mess next year (the other two are major issues and i dunno how those will pan out).
 
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flowerbug

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weather has been near perfect so a lot of gardens are now done and put up for winter. mainly everything inside the fence is done, but i have a project i just took on to work on for the next few weeks as weather allows. a patch of lilies/daylillies has a lot of grass growing in it so that whole area needs to be dug up and returned to bare dirt for a few years to get all the grass out of there. more veggie space for next year, it will be a good place to grow more peas/beans and perhaps buckwheat, radishes and some turnips.

outside the fence the squash garden has piles of stuff on it i will need to get buried tomorrow (the last day before rains are in the forecast).

the north garden had a plastic edge ripped up that we worked on putting down yesterday, but there is a large chunk of the edge uphill that also got removed by Mom as her method of weeding along the edge removes way too much dirt so i told her she needs to figure out another way of doing things if she wants the edges to stay in place. and then i asked her if we could move the section of the edge i have to put back in place back further along the edge of the pathways/gravel/etc so that there isn't that edge to weed along, it basically doubles the work for little to no gain and then she can run the lawn mower over the daffodils when they're done and i will help get it all planted and help her weed it. as it currently stands i have no incentive to weed it because there's nothing interesting going on there and no cover growing on it means more weeds. if i'm weeding an area i'm either growing stuff in it (or planning to) or have a cover on it ASAP. i just want to try something different. along with this change is an edge of some bricks we had as extra that i put down over some landscape fabric that she will be able to run the mower right over and not have to scrape it. i hope it will last for a few years before too many weeds start getting between the bricks, but even if they do that's ok with me, it won't be as many and the plastic edge is in place to block the grass roots. it is a winding transition so that means more gaps between the bricks but i will see how this works and i'm hoping Mom will like it enough to consider it ok. since it looks like a winding snake i called it Jake the Snake. :)

i have a ton of thyme i can move along this edge once we get the plastic barrier moved back. all of this can be overgrown by the daffodils, they're really thick along this edge already. and there is also some spots of thyme already growing in there so that's a start. just this part of the edge is about 100 feet. the downslope area along the north garden i was glad to finally have put back down, but i also put it down deeper so water can flow over it instead of having it being routed to the bottom of the garden and then causing mud/dirt to flow into the gravel next to it. i have a good ridge in place now to prevent most of that so once i can get it all planted with creeping thyme that should clean up any rain water coming off and any major dirt flows. it's coming along and looks very nice right now since it is all weeded and scraped and the creeping thyme is still green and growing.

i do want to move a lot more creeping thyme to the east edge to get that started. another 10 - 15 feet of fine weeding is just what i need, but it does look so much nicer once i can get that growing instead of the bare dirt slope. i've already moved a few chunks but need to do a long strip taken from my nursery growing stock along the bunching onions. there's a good 10 feet strip right there i can move all in a few pieces and that always makes it easier to weed when there's less gaps for weed seeds to exploit...

pictures eventually when we get stuff tidied up a bit more. :)
 

flowerbug

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well i got the creeping thyme moved and watered in and then cleaned up the other edge so now all that is left there is the uphill edge i need to put back in somehow. right now i feel a nap coming on. :) heehee... tired. warm enough out there today to be dripping sweat. this will change in a few days back to more seasonal temperatures. and yes i did take some pics, will get a few posted eventually... zzz...
 

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