Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Gardening Big and Small

After weeding one morning I sent Emily in for the camera so she could document that our corn was indeed knee high by the Fourth of July.  After reviewing the camera this was the best of what I had to choose from.  Granted none of these kiddos are giants but the corn is nice and tall and now this week it's starting to tassel out.  Hot, buttery corn on the cob is just around the corner.

Fresh homegrown lettuce.

And now for a few pictures of the BIG garden AKA cranberry marsh.  I had wanted to get some nice pictures of cranberry blossom but by the time I got around to it the blossom was on its way out.  This variety is called Stevens; they are a later variety meaning the blossom was still present along with just a few pinhead cranberries starting.  Cranberries were named after the Sandhill Crane because the blossom is thought to look somewhat like the head of a crane.  See how the pink petals turn upwards exposing the orange stamen.  That's the crane head and then the neck is represented by the delicate yet woody stem the blossom is hanging from.  It curves just like the long neck of the crane.

This variety known as Hy-Reds is an early variety.  The blossom is earlier and the berries set earlier.  See the difference.  The berries already have significant size for early July.  This variety can be harvested earlier as well spreading out the harvest season making it a little easier on the body and mind.  We plan on harvesting the Hyred beds in late September rather than mid October for the rest of the marsh.

Here's another macro image of the Hyreds with honeybee hives in the background (the white boxes).  We bring in over 60 hives of honeybees to pollinate the cranberry blossoms.  Cranberry pollen is heavy (relatively speaking) and therefore relying on wind pollination is not the best plan.  The bees come for about 3 weeks during peak bloom.  Our bees come from Minnesota but they stage them in Texas and California throughout the year.  Those bees get around, I tell ya.

This beautiful web and spider were spotted in one of my flower baskets.  I don't know the species because all my nature guides are still packed away from our May flooring project.  Slowly but surely I'm getting things put back together.  Isn't that extra zigzag of white fascinating?  If you know anything about this spider please share in the comments.
That's it for now.  We celebrated our Sam's 7th birthday on Sunday, sent Emily off to Bible Camp, started Totus Tuus and planned a late August mini vacation.  This week has been busy with all the normal stuff too.  Laundry, weeding, animals, marsh work, meals, phone calls... you know, the stuff that never goes away.  Hope you all are enjoying this mid-summer heat.

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1 comment:

  1. What lovely gardens you have! Beautiful pictures and beautiful kids!


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