Posted by: David | June 16, 2008

Mid June Garden Update

It seems that the dry spell has come to an end. With only half an inch of rain for May and with June half over at 2 inches of rain we seem to be back on track for precipitation. The gardens are just about fully planted. A little later we’ll have a look. This is a rather lengthy and perhaps boring post. Oh, and there are also some really disgusting bits. I apologize in advance.

Let me tell you about my vow of silence!!

So Father’s Day was pretty good. I’m a lucky guy to get Father’s Day a week after my birthday! And it’s just SUPER when those fall on Sunday! After breakfast and the weekly dump trip, we went to the feed store in search of some more seeds. Found the carrot seeds but no pumpkin seeds. That’s a bad thing. We need them punkins. After the required Sunday dawdling and planting some carrot seeds, I took a bike ride to Newport.

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As mentioned the Chicken Farmer graffiti is restored.

Got home at about 6:30. My daughter was there and got me a wonderful Father’s Day gift, one of my favorite things: a six pack of Long Trail Double Bag. Thanks sweetie!! We arranged to go get some fried seafood takeout from the High Tide over in Hillsborough (a 20 minute drive). It was good, but I recommend eating it there unless you live in Hillsborough. Then takeout would work. Fried stuff doesn’t travel well. Their onion rings are wonderful!!

So I have today off from work and arranged for the guy to come and pump out the septic tank. Originally he was to come in the later afternoon, but he came in the later morning instead. I’d already uncovered the top of the tank. It costs $240 for the “honey wagon” to come suck all the sewage poo out of the 1,000 gallon tank then take it away. The young fellow was cheerful and fast. You know I had to take some pictures. For those of you keeping track, we’d last pumped out our tank 4 years ago. It was February 2004, and our toilets were not flushing well. So we waited a little too long. But the tank was healthy! There were little tiny scatophagous maggot creatures wiggling around, doing their best work on our disgustingly human waste.

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The “honey wagon” has a vacuum tank and a long long hose.

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A job to be glad that you don’t have.

I guess I owe you an apology Internet. The title of this post is Mid June Garden Update and here I’ve literally dragged you through the … well you know. I’m sorry. I DID warn you … But you should be glad I didn’t get a good video of the poo-chompers at work. I tried. How disgusting are they? (Rhetorical question) So disgusting that they would turn even Romi’s stomach! Moving on … Let’s see where were we?

Oliver had a trim the other day. My wife bought some new blades for the clipper. They were nice and sharp! The Dog don’t like being clipped.

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His eyes burned with the fires of Hades! He tried to bite the clippers.

I had to help hold him still after taking the photo. Toward the end of the procedure he was really mad. Growling and snapping. I had to hold his mouth closed and scratch his neck (his favorite type of heavy petting). If getting-a-haircut-Oliver had a last name, which he doesn’t, then his middle name could be Cerberus, that wacky hell-hound. Luckily, without a last name one cannot have a middle name. Right?

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But the result is worth the trouble. Happy cool dog with a giant head.

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Lookin’ good Oliver! (This chipmunk has lately been taunting Oliver mercilessly.)

So the aloe vera plant at work is doing its thing again. I posted about this magnificent plant back in February. Thanks to Nancy for keeping this plant happy and telling me when it starts flowering.

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It’s just getting started. I wonder if it makes seeds?

Back at home, the garlic is starting form scapes. Now I find out that you’re supposed to be picking the scapes before they start to curl. But they look so cool when they do that!

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Almost like question marks. Garlic asks: WHY? WHAT? HUH?

The Hood River Garlic Farm has a wonderful website. I see that I planted my garlic way too close together last fall. So the garlic bulbs, which should be harvested in July, will probably be pretty small. Oh well, next fall I’ll know better. Garlic is bed #1. Bed #2 is some lettuce and about a half dozen tomato plants. The main tomato patch is behind the barn, but it’s nice to have some tomatoes close by.

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Bed #3 (left edge of frame) is (are?) peas. They’re flowering.

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Bed #4: onions in back, brussels sprouts in foreground.

Note the thick band of weeds between the peas and bed #4. They are growing in the path between the the beds and are thick with chamomile, poppies, dill, and mustard. Weeding there will cause too much “collateral damage” to the plants we want to keep. Plus, the weeds in the path are harder to pull because the soil is more compacted from us walking on it. And the other thing is that the peas don’t seem to mind having the weeds shade them a little? These are the top 3 excuses for not weeding.

This is starting to get a little boring isn’t it? Read on, please, and don’t forget my 100% Money Back Guarantee. Anyway, beds 5 and 6 are cabbages (green and purple), cauliflower, and broccoli. If I’m bored with this how must you feel, Internet?

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Bed 7: carrot seeds just planted, bed 8: glads, green beans. The rocks are the first cairn attempt after CuriousC’s Cairn Meme. FAIL.

By way of apologizing again I submit that this post is as much for my own garden records as anything. Apologizing for the tedium I mean. I often feel this way when giving garden tours to people who politely ask for them. I feel their boredom too. Justa buncha plants. Sheesh. La dee da.

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Hey look, we got a new bird feeder! The perches are a little short for the grosbeaks- they have to flap a little.

OK and here’s what Oliver looked like before he got his trim.

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Whaddya mean “get a haircut kid”?!? You talkin’ a ME?

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Beds 15, 16, 17: hot peppers, peas, cauliflower and the jerusalem artichokes.

Look we skipped a bunch of beds. You didn’t miss much so don’t worry. To wrap up the garden update, here’s a final shot of the corn, tomato, and winter squash patch over behind the horse barn. My wife found some pumpkin seeds today at the farm store down in Henniker. Thank heaven! Another disaster averted.

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The corn is there but pretty much invisible. Squash out of frame left. Paste tomatoes near the barn.

I’m sure everybody is wondering where I planted the rutabagas this year. Well I didn’t plant any. And I probably won’t. Last year I WAY overdid it on the rutabagas and many of them went into the compost after they started sprouting around February. Probably not gonna plant no taters either. However, we are trying to grow some okra and cotton. So there ya go- the Mid June Garden Update.


  1. Just so you know, when I requested a tour of your garden in the past, I was not being polite – I was intensely interested πŸ™‚ I love your garden – now I have to take some pictures of my urban patch and send it along. I feel inadequate in comparison but I will have tomatoes and beans at least. Be sure when you harvest to send a few tips to the internet on root cellaring.

    Thanks LKR. I know you were intensely interested. I can usually tell and adjust the tour accordingly. πŸ™‚

  2. Um, I had that job. I worked at the wastewater treatment plant, so where the honey trucks dropped off their loads afterwards, plus where all the civic poo went.
    Pretty niiiiice.


    But you have an awesome backyard and garden. I bet it gets real yummy come September.

    Wow Talea, I am speechless! You are one incredible woman! Lucky Jason! One of these days I’m going to try weeding with a butterknife. πŸ˜€

  3. Your garden looks great. I’m working hard on mine this year, but don’t have much space.

    “Honey wagon” is a horrible name for such a service. Just terrible.

    Thanks Adam. I hope you take pleasure in your gardening.

    Honey wagon- I didn’t invent the term. Pump truck is more accurate I guess, but the company that provides this service has this little quote on their bill: “In This Game, A Flush Beats A Full House.” Nyuk.

  4. Oh WOW!! Can I come over for some veggies? Your garden looks wonderful.
    And all the greenery around your place is beautiful. Lovely place you got there!
    And Oliver, handsome Oliver. Love him looking shaggy and clipped!

    Oh, and nice poo.

    Thanks Red. Man you just love it ALL don’t you? πŸ˜€

  5. Poo? Poo to the poo! I mean… uhm…

    The garlic photo looks very kewl.

    Yeah, I can’t help myself sometimes … 😦

    The garlic scapes surprised me last year, I didn’t know what they were. It was fun to learn about.

  6. OHHH please, I could handle that poo-chomper vid! Hahaha πŸ˜‰

    PS: fires of Hades? Cerberus..? I am such a sucker for that intelligent-humour bizness…love it πŸ™‚

    Yeah, I know you could handle it but the video was just too low quality. You just couldn’t clearly see the crap-eating mini-maggots … 😦 I like YOUR blog for the intelligent humour bizness too- what a coincidence!! πŸ˜€

  7. Man, you got some green going on! Awesome pics.

    β€œHoney wagon” is such a nice term. I knew someone who did that job and he called himself a caakee sucker.

    Trust me, he fit the term.

    Thanks B&G. The summer solstice is this weekend so we be at maximum green now.

    Caakee sucker. I wonder how that’s pronounced. What a wonderfully descriptive term. Rather than compare the term to the texture of the substance being sucked out of our septic tank, I think I’ll just stop. I’ve gone far enough with this shit.

  8. Thanks for all this green! I love it. Sooo restful on the eyes. Your garden looks so great. But the shit! Oh my god, that abyss of shit! It’s burned into my brain and now I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep tonight.

    I bought new blades for my dog clippers too! New blades are so wonderful, the process would almost be fun if not for the snapping and snarling part. Oliver’s eyes blazing with the fires of Hades was hilarious. You guys did such a better job on him than I did on Sydney. But Sydney’s poodle hair is more like sheep shearing and I get tired and let him walk away.

    You’re welcome desert dweller. Sorry about the poop. But honestly I somehow just HAD to post that event. It’s a compulsion I guess. SICK! SICK! SICK! I’ll send you some deep alpha waves through the ether wormhole so your REM sleep is restful.

    My wife used to shear our sheep too. After a time SHE would get tired and walk away. But all stooped over like … πŸ™‚

  9. Yes, I do love it all .. thank ya very much!

  10. > I wonder how that’s pronounced.
    To the best of my recollection: CA-key SA-ker. But we were drinking and not just because he was very, how you say? Verbose about his not so chosen profession.

    The only way I could distract his scatological meandering (there’s only so often you want to hear a person tell you they have the ‘key to the caca’ trust me on that one) was to play Warren Zevon songs. He was very enthusiastic about the line in Lawyers, Guns, And Money,

    “The shit has hit the fan.”

    Last time we visited that establishment we were informed that he’d been barred. He wouldn’t go into specific details but it did have something to do with his truck. He did say, with a chuckle,

    “Really, you should have been here. It was something to see.”

    I bet it was.

    What an awesome comment! πŸ˜€ That fact that your poopologist friend responded to Warren Zevon is of considerable merit, in my book.

    My BFF, who worked some years as a standup comic/magician/emcee, and I agree that shit is one of the best and most dependable media for all sorts of creativity. In fact, it may be the essential symbol of it. This is a question for the philosophers. Which reminds me of a joke …

    How do you get a philosopher off your porch? You pay him for the pizza. πŸ˜€

  11. I met Zevon, told him how much I liked Transverse City and he said,

    “So you’re the one.”

    πŸ˜€ That is really awesome! I can’t believe it’s been 5 years since he died. Someone needs to turn back the time acceleration knob.

  12. I took the photo of the chicken farmer declaration, because I think that on the photo that I have there aren’t any of those little white flowers.

    As the weather gets warmer, wouldn’t Oliver lose his winter hair anyway?

    I have not yet finished my tax declaration. Some 10 days ago I told myself I had to do 3 hours a day, instead of only about 1, but just could not in fact do it. Instead I spent time cleaning things or rearranging things or cleaning the window or emptying out some drawer or re-naming the folders in the computer and setting up old posts as new ones. I think I can finish today or tomorrow.

    To postpone that awful moment when I will have to sit down at that table, see what I am doing? Reading your post, the third blog I am reading today, because this way it won’t be possible anymore to start before lunch time, and so I will be off the hook until two or three.

    I rode past the chicken farmer rock yesterday cantueso, and the little flowers are in full bloom now. They are daisies.

    Oliver does shed, but he has what they call the “rough” or “broken” coat, with its characteristically scruffy look. It’s the guard hairs that stay and grow out beyond the undercoat, but the shedding is less apparent with rough coat dogs. He seems to like his summer haircut.

    Are Spanish tax laws especially complicated? Or maybe your situation income-wise is complicated? For me, working just one regular full time job, I can usually get my income tax form done in a couple of hours. When my daughter was in college it was a little more complicated, but still nothing like what you have to do. Good luck.

  13. It drives me nuts, just the idiocy of it.
    And so I absolutely have to walk away from it and find something to do or to read.
    Now it’s over.

    I have seen onion plants only in no man’s land here. I thought that maybe gypsies or poor immigrants simply plant onions on small unused bits of land or even in a park.

    I found most beautiful white and pink flowers. Do your onions have flowers like that? The flowers were like tiny lilies arranged on a small central sphere so that all together formed a large sphere, similar to the sphere formed by the seeds of a dandelion.

    Poppy seeds : have you seen how the poppy forms like an urn, a Greek vase, an amphora? Now I have one on my table to watch while I eat (because as I told you before, I get so bored while eating, I need to read or look at something).

    There are many wild species of onions or others of the allium family that could be growing in the no man’s land as you call it. Onion flowers are spherical, as you noticed, with florets on stalks radiating from the top of the flower stem. Each floret becomes a seed and the whole stalk flops over and plants itself so to speak.

    We have poppies that come up in our vegetable garden beds year after year with no help from us. When those “urns” mature and dry out the seeds inside rattle around. There are little holes at the top of the ‘amphora’ where seeds escape in the wind.

    We all read while eating too. But not necessarily because we find eating to be boring. In fact I’ve been on a long campaign to erase boredom from existence. To be bored is to tell one’s own brain “you are so stupid you can’t even find something to think about!” DOWN WITH BOREDOM!!

  14. I am sorry Oliver hates it so much to have his hair cut. And when he is completely shorn clean, he also looks as if he felt humiliated, which I thought is also what happens to little boys when mummy sends them to the barber. They feel ashamed afterwards to walk around and other kids sense that and so point it out : “So you got a hair cut eh?” (And what was the story of Samson? A story in the Bible about a man whose strength was all in his hair).

    We think that Oliver likes his haircuts after the fact. And he gets equal humiliation whether shaggy or shorn. It’s the dog’s life.

  15. “Boundandgag”‘s line of “so, you are the one”: it is by now all over as a joke about somebody who tells a blogger that he regularly reads his blog, and the blogger answers:

    “So you are the one”.

  16. Took me a long time! I wanted to link the Oliver photo to some post of yours, not to the blog, since I believe that 99.999% of viewers need to be told exactly, not approximately, where to go, unless indeed a blog is thoughtfully organized as a supermarket tabloid where viewers simply spend 3.5 minutes clicking left and right.

    I did find many posts that would have been just right, but in all of them I myself loomed too large.

    May I express my gratitude again for this looming? Well I do anyway. Thank you for being such an ever-present commentator here. And the post you’ve selected to link to … I guess it’s as good an exemplar as any. I hardly ever re-read my old posts. I’m hoping that the internet will still be around when senility sets in, so I can get some use out of these idiotic entries of mine.

    So my blog ISN’T as thoughtfully organized as a supermarket tabloid? ? ?

  17. No, your blog is linear and chronological, representing a very simple idea of order; I mean really simple, how shall I say.

    For an online tabloid that would be deadly. Online tabloids distribute things that catch the eye all over a page, because they know that a viewer stays for an average 3 minutes and the idea is to get a maximum number of hits from that stay. The rest of the page can be just fillers. —

    Anyway, an online tabloid has to have a 3 or 4 column layout.

    Really simple. That is my goal. Hooray for me. I like that you linked Oliver’s photo to this particular post, since it contains a pretty broad spectrum of my “offerings”. Thank you.

  18. Did you finally plant cotton? But what would it be for? You wouldn’t know how to spin it, would you? First spin and then weave: calculate about 20 hours of work for a rag of 4 x 4 inches.

    No. I don’t think our growing season is long enough, not to mention all kinds of other limiting factors. We’ll leave that task to the farmers in more southerly climes.

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