I normally try to reply to your emails but I have gotten behind. I have read all of my emails and I enjoy hearing from you and reading how you are doing and what is going on in your lives.
I have been busy sewing masks for Charles and family and some of the workers that are out there working the grocery stores.
The last several weeks we have been busy cleaning the last of the hurricane damage so we could open our walking trail in our yard. We have a small yard so I had to be creative how to make a walking trail so little by little we ended up with a twisted Labyrinth.
We separated our yard for a Potager garden with paths and small garden beds. Then outside the potager garden is more of a nature area because we have birds and squirrels and chipmunks.
Our three little doggies love the potager garden. Above is Katherine exploring as she is investigator Katherine. Elizabeth and Bernadette play chase around and around the paths.
They never get bored in the backyard.
With the stress of the pandemic and Charles still being out working 5 days a week, we have both been very concerned with keeping him from getting the virus and bringing it home. We are doing all we can figure out how to keep him safe. He is wearing masks, we have his phone and tablet in zip locks, he wears gloves when he needs to touch things. He washes his hands regularly and when he comes home, as I have previously written about, it is big ordeal to get from the car to being actually in the house after much cleaning and leaving his clothing outside.
By opening the walking paths it has helped to have a way to get exercise. I make laps around the twist and turns of the paths and it is possible to walk a mile or two depending on how many laps we go. We had it measured off before and made a counter out of pvc pipes and when going under this arbor above we push cut pieces of pvc over a rod and it would keep up with the laps. But we have extended the paths so we need to do new measurements.
Our yard is like a distorted triangle. The upper corner is where the shabby cabby (camper) sits. We tore out half the floor a few years ago due to a leak and still have not gotten it put back down. It is on our list of to do things.
The arbors are made of all kinds of wood and things we find. Carolina Jasmine grows over this arbor. It is always a good place to stop and rest as it is cooler here in the summer.
I am taking you along for a stroll. The other day I took you around for a lap but all the pictures were blurry as I went too fast clicking along so I could not use them.
This weekend next to the shabby cabby we worked this bed and planted flowers and herbs. This is before we cleaned up this bed and planted. Charles also is making yard art to go between those two posts.
We love whimsical yard art. This is a very worn lady made from wood and copper wire. I design things, Charles builds it then I paint it. He does some of his own designing such as wooden cucumber handles on gates and wooden benches and many other things.
He kept the patterns for the 4 sisters that are hanging around the yard. This one above is one of them. It is interesting how the birds watch what we do, they seem to really like all the things we do in the back yard.
Here is an article from 4 years ago showing what the 4 sisters looked like.. http://gdonna.com/living-like-the-past/i-love-the-1940s/
I turned around to look back after I walked up to the top of this trail.
I have walked around the back of the shabby cabby and coming out the other side heading to the potager garden...
I am standing under another arbor and the wood gate and wood post and such are part of the hurricane damage that we have been cleaning up.
There are many things to look at along the way. Charles is always adding birdhouses and feeders around the yard. I cannot tell you how many birdie families have been raised in these bird houses.
Back behind these greenhouse doors is the gate I walk through to come back from the shabby cabby path. there is a path on both sides of this greenhouse. These were inexpensive hoop greenhouses we purchased and Charles added posts and doors to these which has been very nice to be able to just open a door instead of unzipping.
The dill in the background has reached the top of the greenhouse and we have left some lettuce and arugula to seed out to harvest the seeds. We harvested the cauliflower and ate the leaves last night for supper, they are very tasty and we cook them as we would collard or turnip greens and just boil them with salt and pepper and I put one piece of bacon in them for flavor.
This is the cleaned and torn cauliflower leaves just before the water starts to boil. They turn very dark green during the cooking. They were so very good. Now I want to grow more cauliflower in the fall.
This is cauliflower leaves, surprise sweet potatoes, and some tenderized beef with gravy.
Charles was moving some garden pots and noticed that sweet potato vines were emerging and so I wanted them to make slips and he found three sweet potatoes from last fall that we missed so we ate them. :)
This brings me to Victory gardens from the past.
Here on my blog I have many posts about ww2 and our history projects. Victory gardens were very popular and very much encouraged during world war 1 and world war 2.
I feel anyone that can should be growing a victory garden now, one reason for the fresh vegetables and another for exercise. We do not know how long this virus is going to be giving us trouble. The less we can be in stores the better. I am hearing that many farmers are saying that they cannot get the help into their fields to harvest so the crops such as strawberries, blueberries, squash are going to rot in the fields and not make it to market.
I am just stating what some of these farmers are saying and this is concerning. We can do something about this for our families by starting gardens.
Here is a link to when we first started our 1943 history project. An article talking about planting a victory garden. This was five years ago....
I love walking through the potager garden, we have move on from the victory garden in our small space to mixing flowers, herbs and vegetables.
We have cabbages planted very tightly in the greenhouse but it is getting a bit too warm for them so we may have to eat the leaves instead of the heads that are just forming. We will give it a little more time for now.
The first tiny tomato for this year... We have planted tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, beans, peas, okra, zucchini, onions, carrots, garlic, basil, rosemary, sage, oregano, chives and more...
Pictures of Blackeyed Susan's in different stages in our back yard... I hope it brings you joy...
Consider planting a spring/summer garden to have some of your favorite vegetables and flowers just outside your door just like your generations before you did.
Do all you can to stay safe, Grandma Donna