Tag Archives: garden

Asian Long Pole Beans

These beans are so amazing that they just need a bit of bragging upon!  A small handful of seeds given to me by a friend from Philippines at least a decade ago resulted in being planted every year.  Not only are they easy to grow, they produce like crazy, taste great, and plenty left for seed saving. (normally i harvest those allowed to mature early in the season, but this year there were people wanting seeds, so i’m gathering now.  Does it make a difference?  don’t know, have to leave that to the plant scientists and agronomists)  In addition to preparing and eating a lot of these and giving a lot away, I still froze up about 12 gallons so far, even though i planted them late.  Production is really slowing down now due to continued drought, but mostly shorter days as we transition to fall.

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Dried mature beans, fresh beans to eat, and a plateful of harvested seeds from those dried shells.  Those beans clear to the left are too mature for eating, so i’ll pop those inside beans out and use them to cook and add to my salads.

 

 

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My row is 24 feet lot and 8 feet high!
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A long bean i missed harvesting at the right time. Now it’s past prime so i’ll leave it to mature, then harvest the inside bean seeds to plant for next year’s crop.

 

Happy Gardening!

tauna

Hornworms in my Garden!

Hornworms earn their common name by the hornlike structure at the tail end of the caterpillar.   The tomato hornworm is actually the larva of the Five spotted hawk moth (Manduca quinquemaculata), whereas, the tobacco hornworm develops into a tobacco hawk moth or Carolina sphinx moth (Manduca sexta).

Tomato Hornworm (2)

Typically, the tomato hornworm is found in the northern part of the United States, while the tobacco hornworm is found in the southern.  Not sure how north Missouri is defined, but all i’ve ever seen on my tomato plants are tobacco hornworms.  Hornworms are not defined by what they are eating, however, since they tend to defoliate potato plants, eggplants, moonflowers, peppers, as well as tomato and tobacco.

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Destructive little buggers!

Eggs deposited on the plant hatch into larvae in about a week in late spring, grow to maturity at about 10 cm (3-4 inches), then drop to the ground to pupate into moths.  They overwinter near the host plant – ready to infest the next year’s crop.

Control of the hornworms is essential if you want any crop production.  On smaller garden plots like mine (only 25 tomato plants), i pluck them off by hand and feed them to the laying hens.

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Parasitic wasps are a natural control.  I didn’t introduce this wasp, but it found this worm in which to deposit its eggs.   After hatching, the wasp larvae will feed on the internal organs of the hornworm.  On the back and sides of this hornworm are visible the cocoons of the wasp larvae.
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Another species of hornworm without the horn!  This one is found on a wild grape vine, Virginia Creeper, and such.  It is an Achemon Sphinx. 
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I added this photo for fun, though it is not a hornworm, but the larva of a Luna Moth!

On Safari in Missouri!!!

tauna

Antique Farm Machinery

So, i didn’t find any buyers for the old farm machinery i found on one of my farms last fall, so i put it on display!  Crazy, i know, but it’s either that, or they go to scrap iron for 4 cents a pound.

The two smaller pieces were fairly simple to wrangle into place, but the riding one bottom plough required the use of tractor and front end loader to lift into place.  Son, Dallas, took care of that.  He also was the muscle behind getting the shaft on the big wheel rotated so that it would set level.  I applied liberal amounts of rust buster stuff as well as loosened the rust around the opening with maul and punch.  Thankfully, the set screw came loose easily.  Using an old wagon jack, i lifted the low side up, then we started with the big pipe wrench, then as the shaft moved closer into place, i switched to a smaller wrench and a cheater bar.  Like i said, Dallas put all the grunt into the actual move.

There is one more piece i plan to move into my antique garden – maybe i’ll have time next week.

Life on the Farm!

tauna

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My John Deere 267 horse drawn Stag Sulky looking quite lopsided.
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Looking very dapper in its level ride position!
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“John Deere never saw a green tractor
From the time he revolutionized the plow in
1837, John Deere continually looked for ways
to improve equipment to make life easier for
farmers. While steam engine tractors began
to appear in the 1880s, when Deere died in
1886, the world was still using the walking
plow as its main means of turning the soil.”  The Plowshare

 

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Antique cultivator

 

 

Powell Gardens

Public gardens provide a quiet oasis in the midst of many large cities in the world and they are typically on our list of  tours whilst on holiday with my children – even now that they are in the 20s, (though they usually travel by themselves now :-(.

The Royal Botanic Garden in the heart of Sydney, Australia,  Missouri Botanical Garden in St Louis, MO,  Kumpula Botanical Gardens, Helsinki, Finland and so many others provide a relaxing retreat from the noise of car and public transport.

Powell Gardens, though calling itself the botanical gardens of Kansas City, is actually located some 43 minute drive from Kansas City in the town of Kingsville, MO.  (actually closer to Lone Jack, Missouri)

Powell Gardens has a tiny connection to our family by way of my father-in-law’s uncle, George Powell, Sr who grew up on a farm near Linneus, Missouri.

Currently, Powell Gardens is a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organisation operating on gifts and donations.  It is a beautiful place with seven themed gardens, the Marjorie Powell Allen chapel (available for weddings, funerals), educational center, picnicking areas, and year round organized educational and art events, activities, programs, featured events, and annual festivals.  If you have time and can schedule a tour, it will be worth the time.  If your legs cry for a rest, hop on the free tram which runs daily to the various gardens and is wheelchair accessible.

Please bear in mind, the gardens are closed for daily admission in January and February.  As far as i can tell, the only way to get to the gardens is via car (no public transport), so your visit will need to be well planned.

Powell Gardens maintains a Facebook page as well as other social media outreach.

Ultimate Recycling

The most recent issue of Rural Missouri carried a short article on composting.  I never seem to get around to building a compost pile, but i compost all the time on the fly.  I compost straight into the garden or pasture.  The less materials have to be handle the better in my book.  BUT, on a small scale with limited space for growing plus needing a place to ditch those apple cores and coffee grounds, backyard or porch composting is awesome!

Composting:  The Ultimate Way to Recycle

Author,  Pamela A. Keene bases her article on the expertise of Joe Lamp’l, founder of www.joegardener.com and “Growing A Greener World” television show.

Backyard Composting: A Simple Recipe for Making Great Compost

 

Happy Gardening!

tauna

DIY Cold Frame

Just planted some lettuce and spinach and hope to extend its production as late as possible.  Hate to spend money, so found this old kitchen cupboard and a storm glass that is close in size and put them together.  We have lots of cupboards and windows, but i did have to buy the t-hinges.  Tons of hinges around our place, but no t-hinges.  It’s likely that future cold frames, i’ll use the hardware from the door of the cupboard, but the door on this one was missing already.

 

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Cupboard found – missing door.
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Old aluminum framed storm glass – nasty things, but perfect for this project.
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Cleaned up and painted with paint we already have.  I used an outdoor rated spray paint simply because it needed using before it became useless and won’t spray out.  Dark colour is great for absorbing heat.  Before painting, i removed all extraneous hardware.

 

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Cheap hinges from Orscheln’s
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As you can see the top hole of this hinge doesn’t reach the side board, so using a Sharpie marker, i located a spot that would reach.
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Then using our drill press made an extra hole in each.  However, when i installed the hinges, I found that two screws would be sufficient for the hinged glass ‘door’ would have been fine.
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Box completed – no use doing anything to the inside though i may add some sort of insulation on the bottom.
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Voila!  Ready to go to work.  Too early yet – we are expected to have temps in high 80s for another week!

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Price Reduced and Offering Change

My farm in south Missouri has been recently split into two offerings to hopefully generate interest by people with different interests.

This link is to Whitetail Properties who is representing and showing the property.  This piece is 30+/- acres fenced pastures with two ponds, nice shade/timber, beautiful updated earth contact home, detached garage and one bedroom apartment.  Huge barn out back, horse arena, and round pen.  Horse property with home near Springfield, MO.

The other piece is 173 +/- acres just across a lightly used paved road and also includes an RV barn with electrical hookup, fenced, live water, several ponds, stunning views, mountain and mature timber with world class hunting opportunities.  Currently leased for cattle pasture.  Pasture/Timber

Of course, it is also available in its entirety.

Located in Christian County, Missouri

Share and reblog if you will – thanks in advance!

Cheers

tauna

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View from the front porch of updated home.
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Farm View