Saturday, June 22, 2013

Gardening...not just for little old ladies anymore

Few weeks ago I took a *long* day trip to Lancaster County and on the way there stumbled upon the Rodale Institute Farm -- those are the folks who publish Organic Gardening magazine.

In their bookshop, I couldn't resist this sucker -- a Hori Hori.

They're used for especially for perennials so you can break up or cut through root wads to separate and plant them.

Either that or its an excuse to own a bayonet but call it something else.

Mine is stainless steel, didn't realize till I got home the same company makes them in carbon steel which I might've preferred since I'm getting pretty decent with sharpening stuff and its far easier to hone a sharp edge on regular steel then stainless.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ham & Sauerkraut

Ham slice grilled up.

Carrots, onions, and my own sauerkraut made last September sauteed up.

Sauerkraut I tried earlier in the week and it was way too salty. But I drained the rest, changed the water a couple times this week, and today it was fine for eating.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Garden Notes to self...

Tonight: -- Sprayed Cabbage with Bt -- Sprayed deer repellent on daylilly & hostas...though they haven't been touched in the month or so since I last did that. -- Sprayed the Japanese Knotweed along Prince Hill Road.

Old Maps of Windham County

Came across a couple old maps of Connecticut.

Windham County from the 1824 map of Connecticut:

You can see the main road from Brooklyn to Windham is what is today known as Windham Road or Brooklyn Turnpike. The more northerly present day Route 6 which would run to Hampton thence through North Windham to Willimantic isn't shown.

But this was before the Turnpike company improved that route (1826) and the map clearly shows it was before the Turnpike built present-day Route 6 from Brooklyn Center to Danielson in 1845

THE WINDHAM AND BROOKLYN TURNPIKE This road extended from the courthouse in Brooklyn to an intersection with the Windham Turnpike in Windham about a mile east of Windham Green and near the scene of the famous Windham Frog Fight It was built by the Windham and Brooklyn Turnpike Company under a charter granted at the May session of 1826 and was probably completed during the following summer It is now the direct road from Brooklyn through Howard Valley and the northerly part of Scotland to Windham Green or Old Windham. The corporation endeavored to make money for nineteen years moving its gates and altering its location in the effort evidently with some success for in 1845 was willing to take over the road from Brooklyn to the bridge over the Quinebaug at Danielson and bear one half the expense of the bridge Probably the bridge had been recently washed away and the town was willing to make such a trade to secure a new one On this new road the company was allowed to erect a gate with half tolls

(From the Turnpikes of New England and Evolution of the Same)

Another interest road is Route 97 north of Hampton -- the original "main road" split from present day Route 97 and instead headed over Station Road and Morey Road towards Eastford, and back in 1824 to Ashford via today's Kennerson Reservoir and Bebbington Hill Roads.

I haven't narrowed it down, but I believe much of the section of today's Route 97 from Station Road to North Bigelow Road in Hampton is a modern creation in the early 1900s to create the present day connection to Abington; previously traffic to Hampton would've gone down North Bigelow and Hammond Hill Roads.

And now even older -- from a 1766 map of Connecticut:

I haven't figured out the exact location of the old north town line of Canterbury -- it was somewhere between Beecher Road (which aligns with today's north line of Plainfield, from which Canterbury was taken) and Fairgrounds Road.

Monday, June 17, 2013

More Gardening!

Sunday night I got photobombed by a deer...never saw her till she moved after I took the photo:

Close up -- don't know what her deal is, I also have a family of six deer that occasionally come through.

Squash on the right, taters to the left. Only a few of my summer squash mounds germinated, but that's OK...I planted them like May 1st on the theory seed is (relatively) cheap, and whatever didn't survive I'd plant again once the soil conditions were less cool and damp. Figured what did germinate would have a good heads start. The re-planted mounds germinated last week.

Put up the T and U posts for the tomatoes, eggplants and peppers.

And I got the cables up for the grape trellis this weekend, do want to put another 6' T post in the middle for better support. Now I have to start training the vines to it. Fishing line "scare wire" is up for the deer, I don't have severe deer pressure and that did well last year to protect the green beans and sunflowers.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Finally a garden update this year!

Finally got some pics this year!

My planting on some stuff (peas, onions) was much later then I wanted. Just finished planting my winter squash yesterday, so they're about on time (could've been a couple weeks sooner).

Weeded today -- the straw sure makes a big difference where it is.


Red Cabbage and peas...gotta get the trellising setup. I don't expect a big pea crop this year...heat will be hear sooner then the plants will be big.

Broccoli bolted instead of making nice heads :(

I do have a pretty nice milkweed patch forming...I hope there are Monarch Butterflies taking advantage of it.

Hmmm...this corner of the fence needed cleaning up, and I was considering just spraying it -- but look at this, I got a nice wild grape vine growing. Thinking I'll clean this up and train that along the fence or maybe string a wire for it.

Beans will soon be climbing the fence...gotta get the deer scare wires up to keep them from grazing the outside.

Outside the perimeter:

I planted Zukes & Summer Squash *real* early (May 1st?) that a bunch of mounds didn't germinate didn't surprise me. Cheap enough to replant those.

Tater row -- using driveway flags to remember where the species break. I expect a nice harvest, this is last year's summer squash row. Trenched, seed spuds dropped in, then dirt, straw, dirt, and straw...I think they'll like that mix.

An Eggplant & Tomatoes & Peppers row.

Simple trellis made with T-posts for grapes. Bought two plants at Agway (one white, one purple); I can fit several more plants on this row eventually. For now I've planted some wildflowers. Really want to get some wood chips to deeply mulch this eventually.

I'll put up another tall T-post in the middle before I string the trellis wire.


Working on re-building a couple beds. My raspberries failed badly the last two years (something must've infected them). I'm re-orienting them into the new rows, and the rows are wide enough so I can mow between. Would love to have a big enough free wood chip supply to fully mulch the paths.