I suppose it has been a week since the last vegetable harvest, at least for the pole beans. Today I walked away from our garden at Farm Chastain with enough beans for the family, 3 ears of Silver Queen corn, and one of Silver King. I also picked a cucumber for Martha and some squash for this week. The corn was a little early to be picked but it sure was good. I think it has another 10 days of fattening up to go, but I ran across several worms which made me nervous so I went ahead and picked some for dinner. Picking the green beans is a challenge for sure, they are super healthy so there is a ton of foliage to get through to find the beans.
I am most proud of the corn. If I were to be stranded on an island it would be a must have for me. You can also see a yellow pepper in the picture above. It needs a couple of days to sweeten up, but also looked in danger of getting eaten up out there, so I went ahead and picked.
We had two watermelons growing nicely only to come back today to find them totally rotted out. Not sure what got to them, but they were super nasty. I'll spare you that picture.
Today we got back from a week at the beach and things are coming along nicely. We definitely have a squirrel problem, and as a result no tomatoes. We probably have 100 on the vine, but they are eaten well before becoming ripe.
The corn is pretty impressive to someone that hasn’t grown corn before. We have two rows of Silver Queen and the back row is Silver King. In the last week it has grown at least a foot and ears of corn have emerged everywhere.
Moving to the left and pretty much taking over all available space is the watermelon. At my last visit our first melon was the size of a fat cucumber, today it’s the size of a rugby ball.
To the left of the melons are cucumbers, squash, bush beans, pole beans and more beans. Only the first teepee of pole beans is producing, but I definitely got enough to feed the family.
Everything in the middle is getting rampaged by squirrels. I bet there were 50 cherry tomatoes half eaten on the ground, and a couple of peppers had been eaten through. It’s time to spend a day there weeding for sure. Here is a picture of what I walked away with.
Over the past several days Atlanta has seen damaging storms roll through town. On Monday alone there were 20 confirmed tornados in Georgia. On Wednesday that same front turned around and came back through as a warm front, countered by a bigger cold front from the west. When it wasn’t storming the skies were perfect for photography. On Tuesday it was beautiful; here is a picture of the moon late that afternoon.
On Wednesday we had early storms in the morning. I set up my GoPro in the front window on timelapse and caught this strike of lightning over the trees.
When the morning storms cleared the coloring was beautiful outside with the sun trying to break through the clouds. Here is a picture of the calm between the storms.
Wednesday night we got the 3rd round of storms which went late into the night. Again I set up the GoPro, this time doing timelapse video, capturing the storm from the time the sun went down until it came back up Thursday morning. Here is a condensed version of that video, showing the stormy phase of Wednesday evening and the beautiful sunrise Thursday morning.
And finally here is a picture of the sunrise Thursday morning.
Over the past few days I have taken several photographs of the moon as it made it’s way towards tonight’s SuperMoon status. We were traveling over the weekend in Palm Beach, Florida giving me the opportunity to get a great shot of the moon in a dark sky over the ocean. The photo below was taken Saturday night.
This next photograph was taken last night with my iPhone over the Publix back in Atlanta at the Chastain Square Shopping Center. “Don’t forget to dot the ‘b'”. Based on the number of likes it got, I’m not sure many people realized it was the moon above the ‘b’ in Publix.
This morning the Sun was not going to be out-shined by the Moon, so it put on it’s own show at sunrise thanks to the haze of smoke covering Atlanta right now due to wildfires in the North Georgia Mountains and the North Carolina Mountains. Here is a picture of the sun this morning as it rose. Typically you wouldn’t be able to get a clear shot like this without glare.
Finally this evening the true SuperMoon came along. The day was full of haze, blue skies muffled and gray as the wildfire smoke moved across Atlanta. This evening was no different and I almost abandoned the photo trek all together. Convinced by my friend Lily to try it anyway I headed to Tower Place in Buckhead to see if I could get a good shot with a building in the foreground. It wasn’t happening, at least when I needed it to. Last night it seemed to rise earlier, and tonight I just didn’t have as much time. After walking around for 45 minutes with no moon, I headed back to the car (after being chased down Peachtree Road by a lunatic screaming “come here bitch-ass” at me). I drove closer to Lenox Mall and decided to check out the roof top parking at Pirch above Dick’s Sporting Goods. While it wasn’t a great spot, it did turn out a couple of pictures of a ghostly blood orange moon rising above the trees looking east.
It was clearly affected by the haze, and much darker than usual, so I proceeded to head back to Chastain Park to see if I could grab one more picture on the way home. I got several pictures of the SuperMoon as it continued to rise over Chastain Park.
Once I got home I snapped a couple more from the front porch, probably the clearest shots of the night.
Over the past couple of days I have noticed some of the green beans getting pretty big in the garden. This morning I picked a couple of handfuls of beans and two pretty red tomatoes. Tomorrow night I believe we will be having green beans, tomatoes with basil and a cucumber for dinner!
At Matthews Farm, 2016 will be the year that I defeat the squirrels and chipmunks. Each year my garden has grown bigger and bigger, and each year more critters come out to enjoy the harvests the night before I come out to pick the fruits of my labor.
This offseason I decided to build real cages around each raised bed, and my strawberry & carrot bed has a hinged top as well. The other bed cages will be organic, as in they will grow with the crops as needed. I plan to build trellis’s for the tomatoes, cucumbers & squash, and keeping those caged in will be an ongoing process.
Below are lots of pictures of the evolution of the garden, the planted crops, and some early seed bloomers (pole beans) that will grow in a bamboo teepee. I am also quite proud of the set of sawhorses that I built thanks to direction from familyhandyman.com.
I’m looking forward to a summer full of fruits and veggies from the back yard!
We were always told that the first year of NYO kid-pitch would be a long season, mostly due to the kids getting used to pitching, and hitting against fellow players instead of coaches. Well it hasn’t been horrible, Ben has definitely been hit a lot, and you can tell when he is up to bat that it’s going through his mind. Up until today our Whitesox have not won a game, we are something like 0-13, but today was our day. I took a video of the last few minutes of the game just in case and it paid off. We won our first game in style, stealing 3 runs in the bottom of the 5th inning.
Here are some pictures to give you an update on how the summer raised garden is coming along. We have 30-40 tomatoes growing, one bell pepper which appears to be turning red, and some baby squash (I picked the first one too early and it was not ready). We had lots of blueberries but those were eaten soon after harvest. We can’t wait for those to mature so we can have gallons of blueberries in the summer! Until then we have veggies…