Found this knife out in the southern Arizona desert about 15 years ago.  it was laying open just like this but was dirty and rusty.  Folded it up and brought it home where it was forgotten until today when I found it in the tool box.  Derusted it, lubed it a bit, cleaned it up on a wire wheel and then, since it was SOOOOOOO dull, hit it on the carbide wheel to sharpen it.  Did try on a honing stone but it would have taken a real long time . . .

IMG_0357 (1024x690)My new garden knife!

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harvest and preserve!


PHENOMENAL year in the garden!!

IMG_0352 (1024x903)Am only growing 5 chard plants this year in a container no less.  This was a batch harvested on Sunday.  a few leaves went into a salad. the rest got chopped and frozen and measured out at a little more than 1/2 a gallon.  Harvested some again yesterday for salad, and again this morning for a friend.

Purslane has been awesome also.  have never had enough to harvest, have never had it last so long. usually about the time it shows up, it just succumbs to the heat and is gone!

Have about 8 good size zucchini in the fridge for canning. and yesterday discovered one of those hidden baseball bats that Zucchini is known for.  over 12” long and 3” in diameter.  While I don’t mind them that size – great for making zucchini pizza or stuffing – the DH does. so this morning peeled off the skin and sliced it up for zucchini chips. lots of nice juicy garlic (hope its not tooooo intense when dry), a little oil, some salt and pepper.  letting it marinate and into the dehydrator it will go.

Right now, the heat is back on, and everything has slowed down.  do see some romas ripening up.  and see the hornworms have been around. by the time I get out in the morning though, the birds have taken care of them.

We did have an apple rhubarb crisp over the weekend and have slowly munched it down.  but there is more rhubarb out there and from what I see, might be able to split that crown for multiple plants next season.  Maybe dig it up and pot it into the greenhouse to winter over.

This has just been such an incredible year for the garden and am trying to make the best of it for the oncoming year.

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update and harvest


At this time of year, the garden is just flourishing.  From what I hear, am not the only one in town with a fabulous, best ever, garden!  Every morning now its harvest zucchini and green beans.  Freezer is getting full of zucchini, so will end up canning this bounty and leave room for other things, like green beans, which we don’t like canned.  Chard is also doing really well, usually it also stops growing in the heat, but between where I have it situated and this summer’s fabulous weather, its lush.

IMG_0351 (1024x399)First rhubarb harvest this morning.  Unlike my last attempts, this one is doing great. Location? weather? don’t know, and not arguing. it is in a container rather than directly in the ground.

My great water butt deal has been a lot of work, but after much work, some caulk and some flex seal, filled it with water this morning and find that the bottom bung is indeed leaking.  since it is sitting where it is, will just let it sit as the leaking water will feed the tree there. and I’ll caulk and flex seal some more when I can

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use water butts for many reasons, only one is hooked up to the gutters.  the rest are various places around the yard to hold and age our chlorinated city water for use on the garden.  It gets hot enough here that by the time the summer comes, the water butts don’t hold enough to water the garden for a day!  So in general have added a chlorine filter, but want to use regular water for the other minerals that the filter takes out.  In the southeast corner of our yard have a couple of bare spots where I have container gardens.  These are all micro climates, and there is no water source in that area.  So far I’ve been using a 15 gallon plastic garbage can, but its too small so went looking for a larger one.  Local pro Build selling these 60gallon units for $39!  But needs two people to attach the bung to the lowest drain hole OR very long arms.

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dechlorinating the water


A few years ago began harvesting snow and rainwater and found a HUGE difference in how the plants did.  From there, started saving our shower warm up water in our bathtub and transferring that to water butts for the garden. 

But during the summer months I use more water than the waterbutts can supply in that manner – and when there is a winter season like this one, ie DRY from December to July, you can’t count on anything but the city well supply.

Anyway, bought a couple of dechorinators.  Chose


both have good reviews and the filters themselves can be replaced rather than having to replace the whole unit.  Rainshower says send the old filter back to them for recycling.

Am aware that depending on many factors, while the dechlorinated water is good for the natural humus forming organisms, sometimes other necessary minerals are also filtered from the water. so both filters have been set up so I can still use regular water for filling the water butts to just evaporate the chorine and still leave my minerals. between the two, plus regular feeding, think I’ll be fine.

We have hard water, but even with all the calcium, there is obviously an imbalance that keeps the plants from picking it up because blossom end rot is a real problem here.  This year started using the product that prevents that as soon as the seedlings got to a certain height and so far that doesn’t seem to be a problem.

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full moon update


IMG_0345 (1024x767)Harvesting something other than zucchini!!  Green beans are starting

IMG_0346 (743x1024)Lufa/loofa.  male flowers only so far

IMG_0347 (1024x768)the new flower garden, although a lot of the green is PURSLANE. Have never had such a vigorous crop!

IMG_0348 (1024x768)main garden, mostly green beans, zucchini and tomatoes. some pole beans in the right front and some eggplant to the left front. back are potatoes in containers. Not only lush, but productive too. So far have one full gallon freezer back of zucchini and two others (one cut up and the other “spaghetti”) in the works.  If necessary, a little further along will take them out of the freezer and can

IMG_0349 (768x1024)Nangua, a winter squash known by a number of different names. all growing from containers – a total of 7 plants in 6 x 5 gallon pots. at last two female flowers have fertilized. not I have to keep any growing up there in the tree from growing in and around branches and such.  am hoping to get at least 3, and better would be 5 – which will give me squash to share.

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IMG_0286     IMG_0287

The body seems a little big for a wolf spider, doesn’t it?  But it doesn’t look like a tarantula.  any ideas?

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