Monday, July 21, 2014

A Week in Review

This past week was pleasant and relaxed. No more shuttling children to practice and games, just a week of wide open nothingness.

It started with an update and sermon from missionaries in Istanbul. They've been there 17 years and still loving it! A city of 17 million, 10 times the size of New York City. 

Monday we picked mulberries and sand plums. While we were occupied in the prickly plum thickets, Meg ate half of our picked berry cup making a mess all over herself.

Tuesday morning I awoke to a beautiful sunrise glowing into our bedroom windows.


Caroline built a tent playhouse over the clothesline with rag blankets, towels, and sheets. It didn't stay up long though because the weather turned into a drizzly-overcast-back-east-kind-of-rainy week and because we didn't want to kill the newly sprouted grass. The girlies enjoyed having a kitty in a bucket and a sand plum snack in their private dwelling.

Riley sold his four remaining African geese on craigslist.

Friday evening we attended a lovely wedding in eastern Kansas. It was a perfect night to be outside strolling the lawn, munching on sandwiches, chips, salad, homemade ice cream, and cake. The little people frolicked in the wide open grass and slept soundly in all manner of positions!

On our way home Saturday, we stopped in the big city to shop a little, and brought back a trampoline, basketball goal, and volleyball set. 

And that is a simple week in the life of the Bowmans!

Fourth of July Celebrations Annie

On July 5 I went to Farmer's Market for the second time. It was nicer than the first time in early June. I got 4 or 5 customers. I sold out on one thing, cheese breadsticks. I sold Banana Bread, Cheese Sticks, and Chocolate Chip Cookies. I haven't sold any of my snap purses. That was what I wanted to sell in the first place. So I made baked goods to attract people. I am looking forward to going next time. And I hope I do as good as I did this time.

That night we went to a barbeque at a friend's house. They had the house decorated with balloons. We had fun playing with the extras.

Then Riley shared his sparklers with the children. After dark they set off some really big fireworks that were loud and pretty.

This is Meg at home with one of our kitties. She loves finding, catching, and holding them. She imitates their cries really good too! We have 4 kittens that are fast growing up. Just like Meg!

Happy Independence Day!
Let Freedom Ring!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sweet Corn

The beginning of April Riley worked up the pasture below our house for a sweet corn plot. He wanted to make a little cash at farmer's market in the summer. With high hopes of getting his corn on the market first, he might even be able to charge top dollar.

Temptation and Sugar Buns seed arrived in the mail and planting went as planned. He got 3 sprinklers set up in the corners and the corn came up!

He had learned that sweet corn and green beans were the most profitable vegetables to sell. He was not interested in picking beans so that left corn growing as the crop experiment.
Throw in some African geese to eat the weeds and we've got a serious project going on.

Riley (and his dad) built a pig panel fence around the patch and moved the goose house down for the poultry's predestined duty.

Unfortunately the timing was off a bit  -(geese too old, corn too young)- and Riley ended up weeding the patch himself...and then just letting the weeds take over.

Also the worms got to the ears before he sprayed for them and the anticipated yummy corn didn't quite produce as expected. It was too wormy too sell and almost too yucky for us to work up. But we did anyway.

"ooh, worms and bugs Mommy!"

one of the better ears

Riley washed his hands of the whole deal, so the girls and I picked, shucked, silked, and put 5 pints in the freezer. Not exactly rewarding, but at least food didn't go to waste! We ate approximately 8 dozen too.

The very next day it rained torrents and flooded the corn patch. This picture was taken after the water receded some, but was still puddled up. So glad the job was finished!

And that is the story of our sweet corn experiment in 2014.

P.S. Riley has half of his seed left, so next year he is going to try again as an experienced vegetable gardener.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Garden Grows

I started a few seeds indoors in early spring since I had a light to help the stems grow thick and straight. A friend gave me some of her spindly heirloom tomato starts so I added those to my collection of flowers, herbs, peppers, melons, and cukes.

This is one square foot section of green beans. There are a couple more and there are some regular rows too...wherever we had room to plant...a few scattered here and there! They're growing nicely along with the Celebrity tomatoes behind them.


The first basil I transplanted got uprooted by Miss Meg. The next seeds went into a planter and are growing bushy and tall shading out the other herb seedlings!

The snow pea plants took awhile to get established, then quickly yellowed. We are still picking a few, mostly getting nibbled by various passers-by. Altogether they've probably produced less than 3 pounds. 

The onions are a strange story. We planted more than ever this year, nice and early, but they have grown super slowly. Each of the five patches does get a variable water amount. It looks like the Wal-mart sets are doing better than the plants I ordered from Berlin Seeds. Hmmm.

The cabbage has went about the same as the onions: still hanging on, but not thriving. Our family likes raw cabbage and sauerkraut so well I hope we can harvest some cabbage crunchiness.

This is Caroline's garden. Her peas did quite a bit better than ours until the grasshoppers devoured them to the nubbins. (They were growing up the tomato cages.) She planted sweet corn around the perimeter to make it like a sheltered house, but it is tasseling and hasn't grown very tall. Her carrots, beets, and zinnias sprouted and died or didn't sprout at all, but she has a pumpkin, watermelon, and cantaloupe doing well.


The potato rows: some seed potatoes and some grocery store sprouted potatoes. They all came up except the reds from the store.

A side view of the potatoes. They have green beans beside and between them. The beans between have produced longer beans and the plants are a lot taller and better looking, though they were later in blooming. The grasshoppers and potato bugs are thick in this area, but so far most plants are still growing.

Lettuce finally took off after I bought fresh seed.

I tried French Breakfast radishes (they have the white tips) for the 1st time. They've grown well!

So there are photos of some of the garden plants in May and then June in our green 'flower' beds that are right outside our back door!