Flowers of Stoney Acres

Okay for the most part if you can’t eat it we don’t grow it around here.  But we still have a few flowers.  Here’s a quick tour of what’s still blooming this fall.

Mrs. Stoney loves Morning Glory.  Any where there is an empty space she’ll plant it.

I really like Sun Flowers, the great thing about them is you really only need to plant them once and you will have “volunteers” for years to come.

This Rose of Sharon is at least 8 years old and was here before we move in.  It never seemed to do much until we transplanted it to a sunny spot near our deck.  Now it thrives!

The former owner of our place loved Hollyhocks, they planted them all over the yard.  We have thinned their numbers over the years but we still let a few seeds come up every year.

This Trumpet Vine is a favorite of the local humming birds!

Butterfly Bushes are easy to take care of and offer these nice bunches of flowers for most of the summer and fall.

This last picture is proof that even in the city there can be some beautiful scenery.    Believe it or not our 9 year old took this picture.  Maybe I should just turn the camera duties over to her.

Harvest Monday 9-26-11

It was another busy harvest week here at Stoney Acres.  This week will actually be the biggest total harvest week of the year.  We dug our main crop potatoes on Saturday which will always bring up the totals!!

Between the two types we planted, we dug a total of 160 lbs.  We do have about a half of a row still to harvest.  But that row is currently over run with pumpkins and we were afraid to disturb them as the pumpkins still have a few weeks of ripening to do.  These potatoes will sit on our curing table for only a couple of days and then they will be cleaned off and go down stairs in cold storage.

The tomatoes are still producing well.  We got another 12 pounds that we canned on Saturday.  Plus about a pound of cherry tomatoes.

The strawberries are a lot slower than they were a month ago but they are still producing.  We got a total of 2.5 pounds.

The raspberries are at their peak.  We picked them 3 times this week; each picking was about a pound.

 

So here are the grand totals for the week:

  • Eggs – 11
  • Potatoes – 160
  • Tomatoes – 13
  • Strawberries – 2.5
  • Raspberries – 3
  • Zucchini – 1.5
  • Cucumbers – 1
  • Yellow Squash – 1
  • Total – 182 lbs

 

That brings our yearly total to 570 lbs from our 1210 square feet of space.  Not including greens and other produce fed to the chickens.

 

Don’t forget to check back at Stoney Acres tomorrow for the next installment of our Winter Gardening Series.

First Day of Fall

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.” Stanley Horowitz

The Autumnal Equinox is today, this marks the first day of fall for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere.  Fall may be my favorite time of year.  The heat (and hard work) of summer gives way to cool evenings and bountiful harvests.

We live just a little over a half mile from the only major river in our area.  This adds some real ambiance to the outdoors around our place in the fall.  Starting in early September and lasting until November we have flocks of geese flying over our place.  You know fall has arrived here when you walk outside and hear the sounds of geese making their way south.  It’s an extra treat for us because they are usually flying very low on approach to or just leaving the river.

The first day of fall also marks an important time for the winter gardener.  Only 6 more weeks of 10 hour days.  It’s time to take extra care of our cold frame and hoop house crops as they only have a short time left to size up for the winter.

First Egg!!

After what seems like years of waiting (but what was really only months) we got our first egg on Sunday.  Our hens are 25 weeks old so it’s about time!

We found it tucked up under the nesting boxes (not in them) at about 3 pm.  It wasn’t there at 10 am when we checked so it was laid sometime between.  We are pretty sure it came from the hen we call red.  We didn’t really name our hens we just call them by the color of the band on their leg.  She is the largest hen of the bunch and also was the first to grow a comb and she seemed pretty pleased with herself all day.

We are pretty sure this egg came from the hen on the top right of this picture

Now were not sure we can eat this egg, we’ve been waiting so long that it seems anticlimactic.  It’s very small (as all first eggs are) and all we can seem to do with it is take pictures!!  We’ll save it for tomorrow and hopefully scramble it up with a friend or two for breakfast.

Harvest Totals Monday September 19, 2011

This week was all about melons around Stoney Acres.  Because of our cold wet spring our water melons and cantaloupe have been very slow to ripen.  We are a full month behind, it is usually mid August when we are swamped with this many melons.  At least the weather stayed warm enough for them to ripen.

You can see the last Sugar Baby watermelon in this picture.  It was really small but went perfectly with breakfast AFTER the kids went to school and it was just the two of us.  The cantaloupe are “Heart of Gold” it’s a nice sweet melon although not as big as some we have grown.

 

Crimson Sweet melons did well for us this year.  The bulk of our watermelons were this variriety.  These are the last of the bigger ones.  There are still 3 very small ones ripening.  For the week we harvested a total of 5 water melons and 5 cantaloupe.

After taking most of last week off, the tomatoes were back at it again this week.  We got a total of 15 lbs for the week, enough to can 4 more quarts.  We also got a few peppers.

Our one lone head of cabbage that survived the slug and snail attack was ready this week.  We added some carrots and sauce and made it into a very tasty cold slaw.

We had a few more summer squash this week, most of these went to my sister for a great batch of  Ratatouille.

The raspberries are finally coming on strong.  We got a couple pickings this size this week.  Only a few made it to the freezer for winter storage as it’s hard to resist eating all of these early pickings.

We have two kale plants that have been putting on a lot of growth as the weather has cooled a bit the last two weeks.  This kale and New Zealand spinach were added to a fantastic pasta dish my wife makes.

And finally we had the last big pickings of strawberries for the year.  We had one picking that totaled about 2 pounds and this little one on Saturday.  We will continue to see strawberries as late as November 1st but not nearly as many as in the summer.