Death… on the farm, it’s all around us.

I’ve always prided myself on being a Kansan because we are the most common-sense, down to earth, pragmatic people I’ve ever met.  I used to think it was because we live with the knowledge that everything can be taken away in a gust of wind, but when you rebuild it’s even better, and because we know just how precious life is and how tenuous our grip is upon it.  Continue reading »

Weeding… here’s why you have to do it often and early.

This morning, I began weeding my raised beds at 9 a.m.  At 10 a.m., my gardening angel joined me.  By 11:20, we had weeded 3 large beds, a medium bed, and 3 small beds.  We still have 9 small beds to go.  What was the most frequently found weed out there?  Bindweed?  Chickweed?  Henbit?  Dandelions? Noooo… it was grass.  Continue reading »

We were lucky, again.

Yesterday, more devastating tornadoes, more damage to homes and businesses, and more loss of life.  Today, the most likely area to have tornadoes is well east of us.  If you’re in the danger zone, keep your eyes on the sky.  Continue reading »

Break time’s over. It was nice while it lasted!

I didn’t intend to take a break from gardening (or blogging) – it just sort of happened.  A little period of anergy overtook me.  It started with unsettled weather.  I’m not eager to plant if there’s baseball-sized hail in the immediate forecast.  None of that happened here, though, and we’re still in a drought, which is really disappointing but not at all surprising.  This week is still unsettled with moderate risk of storms, but I’m back at it now, planting, weeding, maintaining, and mulching.  Last night, even though I was dead tired and had way too much going on, I planted 32 okra plants that I had pre-germinated in a wet paper towel.  There was some question as to viability, so I did that to have a better idea whether they would actually germinate or not, and about half of them did.  That sounds like an awful lot of okra, doesn’t it?  Continue reading »

Paying attention to the weather, a lot of attention.

I recently had a conversation about weather with a non-Kansan.  His impression, I believe, was that Kansans in general (and me, in particular) have an odd obsession with constantly monitoring the weather.  I don’t mean just knowing the predicted high and low temperatures, but I mean being really obsessed with it.  Like having a website open with real-time Doppler radar running constantly, at least in the spring.  As a Kansan, this is perfectly normal behavior, and I’m sort of amazed that other people aren’t as weather-conscious as we are.  Continue reading »

It rained, barely!

So far, 0.13 inches.  I know, I know… that’s not much.  There are several more days of possible rain, though, and I have hope for the first time in awhile.  Continue reading »

The never-ending dilemma… to water or wait for rain.

Where we live, we are having drought conditions.  We have cracks in our backyard that I don’t even want to try to measure – they’re deep.  It’s worse in a lot of places than it is here, but since this is where we grow, this is what we’re concerned with.  So, how thrilling it is to have the possibility of alleged rain in the forecast for not just one day, but several days!  My plants were really dry yesterday, though, and my last experience with the local weather guys predicting rain was really disappointing. Continue reading »

Tough love for tomatoes.

Well, I grew my tomatoes from seed this year, as usual, and I nurtured them and loved them and cared for them, then I almost killed them, saved them, almost killed them again, saved them once again and now, I’m going to put their lives at risk yet again, all for the sake of “hardening off” in a really difficult spring.  Continue reading »

A different take on pesto.

A few days ago, I blogged about my obsession with pesto.  Yes, I am a pesto purist… I prefer original, classic pesto made with fresh basil, however… my basil is only a couple of inches tall and there’s enough to make about 3 teaspoons of pesto right now.  While I wait impatiently, I am going to try something new and different today.  I am going to make pesto with cilantro! Continue reading »

“Shopping for free” at the recycle center!!!

I take my neighbors’ recycling once a month to a great recycling center in El Dorado, Kansas.  Whoever designed this place is brilliant.  It’s a drive-through building, so even in the horrible weather we often have in Kansas, it’s not an ordeal to do a good deed for the earth.  I’ve been there in rain, snow, sun, and ice.  I choose to go a little farther to El Dorado rather than the center in Augusta because I always get fabulous stuff in El Dorado, and it’s all free! Continue reading »