Little miracles

Yesterday was one of those comfy days.  After reading your comments I was feeling well and cared for and worked all day in a little blog cuddle bubble. Daisy gave 36 pounds of milk in the morning and 26 in the afternoon. The weather was mild and the weeds pulled easily. 

The Tall Teenager found a frog in the pigsty, hiding under their filthy paddling pool and afraid that the big pigs would eat it (after our discussion about them being omnivores) he caught it and we released it into the frog garden where there is a pond under the path. 

Everything grows well in this little self watering garden but all the frogs disappeared in the heatwave.

I started some watermelon rind pickle. The recipe is here – foodblogandthedog.  Natalie also has a beautiful feta and watermelon salad. I would like to say that these are my own watermelons but the plants have died, as have most of the zuchinni.  So John came home with fruit from the store the other day. And miserably I think all my cucumbers are going to die next.  Just too hot and too dry in those back gardens. But I am still trying very hard to grow the majority of what we eat.  Soon we will be living off tomatoes!

Of course the zuchinni we just keep reseeding in a different spot in the hopes of it out running the bad bug and the drought. These butternut squash are doing well though but did you see that bug. They are my nemisis. 

I needed some heavy lifting help at The Old Codgers yesterday and so I took the Tall Teenager with me for the first time and out of the blue there was a little miracle. They struck up a friendship.  Talking model battleships. These connections often jump generations. So tomorrow the young man  is going to bike over to visit the old man  (seven miles) with some of his models and visit again.  How wonderful is THAT!  

Good morning. All the garden shots are tight because there are big gaps in the gardens now from the unusual number of plants that have died in the heat and dry.  I cannot water every garden every day.  However so far we are managing to feed ourselves.  And we are much better off than many.  After all I made strawberry ice cream yesterday with the last of the strawberry preserves. Every time I make ice cream I hide a tub of it in the big freezer for winter treats.

You all have a lovely day. I am going into the hives today to see about harvesting some honey as last years last jar was scraped clean a week ago.


PS Here is what was happening  on the farmy on this date last year. Housing the captured swarm. bees move house.  We are much further along this summer. Last year we had piles of rain.

71 Comments on “Little miracles

  1. So sorry to hear about your garden, C. It’s a rough year for everyone, it seems. Having the Boy strike-up a friendship with the Old Codger soothes the soul, even if it does nothing for the stomach… 😉
    Besides, you can live on tomatoes, cheese and eggs for a while, right?

    • Oh yeah i can live on tomatoes, cheese, eggs and milk for a long long time! as long as i can add an onion! c

  2. Squish laughed out loud when I told him what you were using the watermelon rinds for. “Pickles? That’s silly!” He studied your photos with the eye of a farmer. “What’s that? Can that be a pickle, too?”

    I hope you get ahead of the weather really soon!

  3. Hi Celi!
    I’m sorry about your watermelons and zuchinnis…but the tomatoes and squash are looking good 🙂
    I never thought of using the watermelon rind, I will take a look at this link when I come home.
    Is great when the youngsters connect with the elderly, is not obvious, but they have a lot to share and learn from each other.
    Have a lovely day you too!

  4. What a lovely tour of your garden C. But so sorry to hear things have been so hot and dry your plants are not producing the food rush they normally would xx

  5. It surprises me that milk yield is measured in weight rather than liquid volume. I can’t imagine a pound of milk, but I can clearly see a pint, a litre or even a bucket. I have a little chart on the fridge door translating American spoons into a scale that I understand (metric or avoirdupois) which also mentions liquid in weight. Glad to see that you rescue frogs – we’re endlessly fishing them out of our swimming pool and returning them to the small lake next door.

    • A pint of milk weighs about a pound. So she is giving about 60 pints a day. 8 pounds is about a gallon. You might be able to remember that without putting it on the fridge.. maybe I will give you a test later!! c

  6. A lovely, heart-warming story about young and old. I think that so many youngsters see it as ‘un-cool’ talking to the elderly. That elderly generation however have so much to offer, giving insight to a whole other world for our young people. I hope that they become firm friends!

  7. How lovely – a little blog cuddle bubble.
    What magical news about the tall teenager and the old codger too!
    We have had several warnings of flooding and below zero temperatures for this weekend- I am wondering if they have it right. I thought how much worse off your veggie garden would be here if that is the case.
    Have a happy day C – hopefully another one in a little blog cuddle bubble.
    🙂 Mandy

    • flooding and freezing sounds a bit dubious! that sounds like freezing rain to had better stay i this weekend mandy.. c

  8. I’m sorry about your beautiful garden my friend but positive side, those are some gorgeous tomatoes 🙂
    Can’t wait to see your pickle rind using watermelon – wow!

    Choc Chip Uru

  9. i can feel your veggie pain! my zucchini plants are done for i think. something has eaten them to the quick. same with my summer squash. my pumpkin plants are huge but no pumpkins have set. however, my container gardens are doing great though they only produce small amounts. something ate all of my grapes too. oh well, you never know what will happen with gardens in any given year!

    • I honestly think it this incessant heat and you have had it much worse, but something eating the grapes is a crime!! c

    • Crossing fingers! I had a pic of the barn swallow chicks to put up too audrey but they looked so damn scary that i took pity on you and did not.. you would have had nightmares c

  10. I think my zucchini (courgette) plants are suffering from TOO MUCH rain – loads of leaves and no flowers. Why can’t the weather sort itself out more equitably? I’m glad about the new friendship – we oldies often get on better with the next but one or two generations.

    Your little blog cuddle bubble is delightful!

  11. Glad yesterday was a good day for you. I saw the pickle recipe too – am intrigued by it. Will you eat it with some of your lovely cheese? Good news re The Tall Teenager and The Old Codger – heartwarming 🙂

    • My fresh cheese is getting better and better, probably because my yoghurt is getting stronger i will have to start again with a fresh culture soon! we will see how the pickle turns out.. c

  12. Miracles are great, but miracleworkers are what always get my attention and thanksgiving. It was you who brought the boy and the man together.

  13. What an awesome kid! 7 miles to visit and share…why aren’t stories like this all over the news? 🙂
    I do hope enough of your garden survives to put a few things up for the winter.

    • He rides his bike (with the trailer and the dog) that far visit his grandmother, so it is only another mile to Dales.. all flat land and he rides very early in the morning, this is what happens when a house has no tv, or xbox .. kids get OUT SIDE! morning jess

  14. Good morning, c, and the farmy! How lovely for the tall boy and Dale to find mutual interests. I love when time and age have no meaning; one offers interest and the other offers experience.

  15. I am sorry about the garden and these hot weather but your tour of your garden was lovely and I was loving the picture of the zucchini flowers and tomatoes. You can make a lovely pasta with that and of course some garlic. Take care, BAM

  16. Wonderful that the tall teenager and the Old Codger connected. Your poor garden, wilting in the heat: maybe you need to get a few strategic shade trees going? Or make some awnings you can drag or wheel around? Not that you don’t already have plenty to do already, but there must be a way to protect some of your food supply (besides the part that is on the hoof).

    • You are right this is my food supply, I do have trees growing, but OH they take such a long time, in fact today is watering baby trees day so i am dashing back and forth moving my dripping hose, John has gardens that get some shade and that is where he plants the late summer stuff.. but we need them to be bigger! c

  17. Very cool about the Tall Teenager becoming friends with The Old Codger!!! Now, as for the hives. I must admit I’m still trying to figure it all out, as a beginning beekeeper. I thought any new box added to the original brood box was a super. But a friend told me it’s not a super unless you put the queen excluder on and then a super that will be for honey storage. Is that correct? So, if there are too many bees, do you raise up the super with the excluder and add another brood box under it for the queen to continue laying, and thus still increase the colony in the new brood box and continue to collect honey (in the super with the queen excluder) for human and bee consumption during the winter? Thanks Celi! Di

    • I have investigated and used queen excluders but I can never FIND my queen, so i gave that up a few years ago. If a tray has brood in it i just don;t take that one in for honey and watch out for the queen. In my tiny experience i find that the bees do either OR, so I don’t get brood in my honey. My hives have two major big supers on the bottom. (this gives them between 60 and 80 pounds of honey for the winter. I never touch these except to inspect for disease once in a while). At the moment they also have Honey supers on top as well, These smaller honey ones are the ones I will take off and steal from. Then i will put them back out on the grass for the bees to clean, then they are wrapped and stored for next year.

      So the quick answer is no, I do not use a queen excluder. and also it is a choice as to whether you do. You do not have to.


  18. Strawberry ice cream…yum!! I think it’s wonderful that the Teenager and the Old Codger have made friends! I hope the Teenager will be allowed to take a camera along so we can see their fun with model battle ships.

    ~ April

  19. As hot as it’s been, I bet the lack of rain has been the real killer. I wonder how the corn crop is doing? I guess we’ll all find out soon enough at the grocery. Sorry to read your garden has suffered so, but you couldn’t possibly keep up with it. Your tomatoes look great, though, and your ice cream delicious. Sometimes all we can do is make the best of what we have.
    Have a great morning, Celi. I’m off to “my” market! 🙂

    • yes .. we need rain.. but there you are. And you are very right, I will just put ‘up’ icecream! have fun at the market! c

  20. Dear, you are a little miracle in a hot, dry world. Thanks for writing.

  21. Those pigs are smart – I’d be tempted to eat the frog too!
    I’m sorry to hear about your courgettes, but your tomatoes look fab 😉

  22. How wonderful for both the Tall Teenager and the Old Codger that they have become friends. So much life for them to share there. Glad some of your garden is still doing well. I have my first teensy cherry tomato growing in a pot on the deck, and just planted some zucchini. I know it’s late, but with shade it doesn’t really matter. Maybe I’ve avoided the bugs…they are such a beastly problem!

  23. Gardens all over North America are the same. Here in Canada, they’ve declared a level 2 Drought….and that is NOT good. I’m spot watering as much as I can!
    Have a good day…….hope you/we have a good rain soon…….real soon.

    • yikes .. ;level 2, well i am sure we are not that bad yet.. choosing what NOT not water is the hardest.. c

  24. This is the truth: Last night as I was picking large tomato worms off of an almost destroyed plant, I laughed (sort of) and thought of you! My internal comment went something like, “You have this piddly little plot of garden and you can’t even keep it worm free, think of how much garden Celi has to manage!” I really did…Don’t worry, I don’t really make many comparisons, but I’m always in awe of how much you must do to manage your farmy! So when you tell me about the loss of some of your well-loved veggie plants, I can see that no matter what one does, there are conditions beyond our control! Like you, I took pictures of the worms…I gotta at least get a good blog post out of their damage! So glad to hear that Dale has a new friend. How marvelous for the pair of them! 🙂 Debra

    • well i do have big gardens but this is my full time job! So i should be more on top of it than i am!! I know those big tomato caterpillars are they green the same shade as the leaf?.. we have not seen any yet but when we do john gets his bucket and goes from plant to plant cursing and swearing, pulling them off then races over and feeds them to the chooks! ghoulish fellow!! c

  25. that was a beautiful story, and i could see myself living this life, if i had some help. love peace and quiet, and i think sometimes this is why i hide in my own skin, because life is chaos most days here

  26. All the plants in your self-watering garden look happy and healthy. Gorgeous tomatoes. We are lacking rain big time also, hope we get a good soaking real soon.

  27. I’m confused… both links in your post refer back to (your) last years blog. I was curious about the watermelon rind pickle. We have a sweet version here – lovely gooey spicey syrup with chunks of crispy rind – yummy jam 🙂
    The Farmy rubbing off on the Tall Teenager – saving frogs and clicking with Dale, fantastic! Hoping some rain comes along soon to resuscitate your veggies. Laura

    • Mercy, thank you laura for picking that up, i have gone back in and fixed it. That is what happens when you create pages with your eyes still shut!! Oops.. ..thank you again c

  28. I saw a recipe in one of my books the other day for a fresh yoghurt cheese called labna from the Middle East if Daisy is feeling super productive! 😉

  29. It’s so hard watching those water-loving plants shrivel and die. Daisy is the liquid producer supreme. Pity you couldn’t water the garden with milk!
    Wonderful intergenerational connection between the teen and old codger. Magic happens around you and because of you. May the rain fall soon.

  30. I’m so proud of your teenager, his boundless youthful energy will invigorate the Old Codger, I expect! I’m so sorry to read that you still have a drought.. and bugs! Nasty things.. is there an old remedy, like some “soap” solution that would get rid of these things?? Love those pickles.. I saw them the other day and thought they might be lovely in some sort of drink… xo Smidge

  31. It is always amazing and comforting to me how much generations can have in common. And mmmmmm….strawberry ice cream!

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