As my dear friend Dori reminds me, I’ve only made three posts for August. I had hoped to make smaller, more frequent posts over the past few weeks, but my brain and body have been too exhausted to do much at all.
Here’s a bit of trivia for you: A full keg of beer weighs about 165 lbs.
Over the past two weeks AJ and I have hoisted approximately 65 open kegs (averaging 83 lbs. each) and have shoved around at least as many full kegs. AJ has a back injury, so I do as much of the lifting as I can manage, on my own. I estimate that I have moved at least 16,087.5 lbs of beer since I last posted. In addition, I have weighed thousands of bottles of liquor and hoisted dozens of cases of beer and liquor. Then, I sit down and do some brain taxing math and detective work for two to three hours per day. All the while, I am wishing that I could just take pictures and write about fun stuff; but I’m so drained by the time I get home that I promptly fall asleep by 2:00pm. Then I wake up, figure out what to do for dinner, surf the net and hit the sack again.
That’s my excuse for being so remiss. It’s also about as much as I’m going to make you read, because the bulk of this post is comprised of pictures.
Thanks to Dori and her coworkers for keeping me motivated to post. You are a true inspiration!
Things are happening so fast in the garden that most of these photos are already outdated. I do plan to get out there and do some major overhauling tomorrow. I’ll do my best to post an update afterward.
AJ has been working diligently on our little Boston Whaler in order to make it a user-friendly flats boat. He built seats with rod holders as well as a new hatch cover. Combined with some mechanical improvements and a good cleaning and waxing the boat is ready for anything. As a matter of fact, he is out fishing right now. Last evening he caught a giant trout (which he claims measured at least 30″). I have put in a request for a slot-sized fish that he can actually bring home and cook up on the grill.
He “commissioned” me to paint an anchor hatch cover containing certain subject matter (namely a snook with a bamboo border). About halfway through the painting, we both decided it should have been less complicated. Too late, I was under time constraints and already sick of painting that piece, so it is what it is. He has already prepped a backup cover so that I can paint a redfish on it and he can change it out depending upon the season. He is now telling people at the boat ramp that his wife is “A local artist”. I love that man (even if he does take unflattering pictures of me when I’m not looking).
Finished, and clear-coated by our neighbor.
Ready for fishing. (Wish AJ would have cleaned out the leaves before shooting.)
Today was the first time we’ve gotten any real rain in ages. The past two weeks have been extremely dry and I have been watering every day.
Our first wild bananas.
“Pocket Pepper” almost ripe.
Amaranth or “Callaloo”
Seminole Pumpkin Squash that I planted. This poor plant has suffered severe insect and caterpillar attacks.
This Seminole Pumpkin Squash sprouted from a discarded seed in the compost heap, turned garden bed. Notice how green and healthy this one looks? I also have beans, bananas and some mystery cucumber or melon vines growing here. Either the soil is toxic and repelling pests or so rich that the plants can fend them off.
View of our lot from the road.
Papaya tree growing in leaps and bounds.
I seem to be an expert caterpillar rancher. Here is a tomato horn worm finishing off what’s left of the tomatoes. I gave up and let the bugs have these, since they are all but gone. I do plan to save a small section of the plant and see if it will pick back up in the fall. Hopefully, I will have some organic, bacterial caterpillar killer by then (B.T. Kurstaki).
Here is “Tomato Alley” on “The Back 40”. I built this nifty trellis from bamboo. The tomatoes are all but dead. However, I have buckets of basil. When it cools down I hope to have tomatoes etc. covering the trellis.
As illustrated by my prolific compost heap volunteer tomatoes and the vibrant volunteers sprouting there now, I seem to have the best success with things I don’t try to grow. Here is another example:
I bought the biggest, most beautiful green pepper from the local produce stand. I tossed the heart, only to realize later that the seeds were sprouting. I planted the thing in a pot and didn’t hope for much. The seedlings have subsequently been moved and replanted many times. when I got them into O2, they went wild. Someone told me that store-bought peppers were not likely to produce viable seeds. These seeds didn’t know that because I’ve currently got five plants with 7 or 8 good-sized peppers growing up fast.
This is unequivocally the greatest success of my summer gardening efforts! If anyone wants seeds from this (or any other of my plants) let me know. I’ll be happy to share.