Sunday, June 12, 2011

I've got lots of pictures for you today! It's been a busy time in life and the garden both lately, and I have been lax on posting pictures, so here is a big fat pic bomb for you to enjoy.
This first picture is of Sonoran Tepary Beans. As might be expected, it is very tolerant of drought and heat. Some sources indicate that this species can produce a harvestable crop with a single watering! Nevertheless, I will water it.... I've been growing this bean out from my original seed stock, (purchased from seeds of change, no glamorous story of origin here) for about 5 years, and finally had enough to plant a good sized bed. Last year I harvested about a pound of beans from roughly 1/3 the area I planted this year, so hopefully I will have enough to EAT some this fall.

I learned my lesson about counting chickens before they hatch from my spring potato crop. Some of the books I read and planted by said I could expect a 10:1 yield on my potatoes. Experience working on farms and my disbelief in the relevance of books on gardening to Austin's climate led me to believe I might get more like 6:1 yield. That means 6 lbs of spuds for each pound of potatoes planted as 'seed'. Well, I was expecting something like 100+lbs of potatoes... I did NOT harvest that much. My yield was more like 2:1, I think mostly owing to insufficient water and excessive heat. In any case, here are most of the potatoes (minus the ones we have already eaten). They are really good, and it's still about 30 lbs of spuds, but I was disappointed.
They onions and tomatoes are quite tasty as well. This is sort of what I've been harvesting lately, thought amaranth greens, green beans and cucumbers are also coming out of the garden right now, but aren't pictured.

Here's a window that Sarah's brother gave us, in its new home.

I *finally* planted my okra. No worries though, as okra is a lot like amaranth greens in its heat tolerance. It loves heat. And, since we've been getting a lot of heat lately, I think it will do well.

Yum. Tasty melons coming to a plate near me. Maybe a month from now????? This is a 'charentais' melon, which, if you believe the seed packet, supposedly tastes better than all other melons combined. Go here: if you don't believe me.

The newest addition to the urban homestead: our outdoor shower! This is great on a hot day after working outside or riding my bike around. I also shower here in the mornings and at night sometimes, I love hearing the birds and seeing the trees in the breeze while showering, and the cool water is great. I have it set up so that it drains to our banana tree, which looks really awful right now.

Artichoke in bloom, in case you were curious.

Poblano peppers developing nicely...

Bee on a sunflower. The bees LOVE these sunflowers. I have seen at least four different kinds: honey bees, solid black bees, grayish white bees, and tiny black/iridescent bees (not flies!).

Well, that's all for now.
OH! We've been getting about half a gallon a day of milk, which we drink and make into cheese. Yum.

Friday, June 10, 2011

I made several of these felted slippers for family members last Christmas - my first adventure in felting. This pattern is from French Press Knits. These, modeled and photographed by Greg's sister Laura, were the only ones that made it to a camera.

A present for our little niece.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Meanwhile, indoors... I have several months worth of craftwork to share here. Maybe I'll just put some pictures up over the next few days, starting with this, a little gift for our nephew. It's cuter on, of course. The baby makes the hat. I found the pattern on this lovely, lovely blog: Homegrown Happy.

This cowl - a gift for Karen, who inspires often, enjoys a Christmastime post-breakfast linger with the rest of us at the table. It was a fun knit, made with a fine mohair lace and fatter needles; the pattern came from Knitty.

And here is the piece in action, with Karen and our January garden.