Posted by: oceannah | July 1, 2012

Homestead Happenings 1st of July

It’s been busy here.  We’ve been hot here.  Everything is growing with wild abandon.

For the first time since we planted day lilies we have some flowers!  Usually the deer munch them down to the ground each spring and they struggle to get back up to just some greenery.  I love their color!

The fall flats are starting to fill out and will be ready for planting in another week or two.

The blueberries are not near ripe yet, which is good, since there’s a lot to be done elsewhere but they hold the promise of a very robust harvest.

When we first bought this property there were no elderberries to be seen.  After a meditative conversation with the local birds, I found a few straggly young elder bushes here and there.  Today we have numerous elders and these are some of my favorite berries…even if they are a might difficult to process they are well worth it.  No taste compares to elderberry.


Kale kale kale kale…there is never enough kale for me.

Black currants running now.  We inherited these from the previous owner and could not be more thrilled.  The only drawback is that I’ve not found a way to use them that does not require a substantial amount of sweetener.  Anyone out there have a good black currant jam recipe that is low/no sugar AND not artificially sweetened?



This tangled mess of nonsense is actually a nice sized patch of Jerusalem Artichokes.  Like the day lilies, they usually get munched to bits by the cloven hoofed locusts around here.  Maybe there are fewer deer about?

Beets will be ready to pull every other one this coming week for baby beets.  Then we’ll let the others size up a bit more.


For me, broccoli is right up there with kale.  I could eat broccoli every single day!


This is our biggest garden on the property.  It certainly puts out a lot of food, but it is also a lot of work.  Would I change that?  No way!


This is another gift from the feathered ones…  The black raspberry takes up about 15 square feet and produces an enormous amount of very sweet fruit.  Many friends have requested (and received) starts from this bush.  They are about ready to make and when they are on, it’s just a pickin’ frenzy.

Other good things happening here and there, but that’s all for today.  Thanks for stopping in.  What’s in season at your place?




  1. Great garden! I just recently read a post on preserving blackberry syrup for winter sore throats. I don’t know where I saw it, but a google search would probably bring lots of results. I’ve never had elderberries – but glad your birds were reasonable and listened to their talking to.

    • Aha! That sounds about like the elderberry syrup I make. Not sure of the medicinal qualities of blackberries, but the eatin’ is sure fine.

      • Hi Anna, Happy Fourth of July!!
        Is this your blackberry (listed here under “black raspberry”)?
        If not, there’s also a few more species (only 20; ) listed under “blackberry”…

      • Not quite certain that it’s one in the same…when we put the addition onto the house the guys w/ the cement dropped a big heap of it in the yard. I was mad as a wet hen since it had already solidified and was rather large! BUT, the following spring a raspberry popped up next to it…liking the radiated warmth, the slightly sweeter soil from the lime-y cement?? who knows. We waited to test the fruit and were well rewarded. Now that chunk of cement is in the center of an enormous shrub of delicious berries, Who knew!?!

  2. what a great tour of your wonderful garden, we are growing chives chives and more chives this year–the little devils are like rabbits, and tomatoes and peppers (which are not like rabbits to finish the analogy)- nothing compared to the harvest you are going to have

    • Hey Louann, Just think of all the delicious things you can do w/ chives!! I cut them up with scissors then dry them so I have a nice supply all winter.

      • I never thought of that – did not even know you could do that – thanks

      • yes, it’s easy peasy.


  3. What a dedicated homesteader you are! I’m thrilled to meet you – thanks for dropping by my site.

    Here on the West Coast, I have the same issues with my lilies – deer. This year, they are green and proud with no bloom. I decided to investigate – do I need to pull up the bulbs over winter. I didn’t in previous years and they were glorious until D-Day. Every blossom gone!

    I eat kale and broccoli regularly too…just found a recipe I adore with kale, quinoa, dried cranberry and yellow bell pepper. My friends agree – it’s delish.

    Because I share an island with deer, one needs expensive fencing to garden. However, I composted an old sandy bed of soil all winter that became home for many earthworms and I’ve been rewarded with some volunteers. So far, peas and squash. The pea plant is so huge, it must have read Jack In The Beanstalk! May post a photo soon.

    See you again!

    • I’m so happy that you have a few volunteers in your compost bin! Now there’s a smart and thrifty way to get some veggies. I hear you on the fencing. Before we even stuck a spade in the ground for the edition, we put up an 8 foot fence that the deer summarily jumped right over…then we extended it to 13 feet, ha! No more deer in the garden!
      Your kale recipe sounds delish!
      Thanks for stopping by Souldipper 🙂


  4. Beautiful garden, Anna!

    • Thanks Sandi it is my own private Eden if you please.

  5. Don’t you just LOVE bird-donations? Seems like I’m constantly torn between potting up or ripping out seedlings of lilac, wild grape, mountain ash, black raspberry… Could you please tell me what type of conditions/places would be most favourable to find (and/or grow) elderberry plantlings? Unfortunately our closest hydro lines are buried, ’cause I’d love to grow some, if I could find them (and assuming we have the proper environment…)
    Your Jerusalem Artichoke bed looks like mine, lol! (Good thing Golden Rod has so many uses too, eh? ; ) But seriously though – you have such a gorgeous (monstrous!) garden it makes me green with envy – okay, maybe not so seriously; )
    Hope you have a great Fourth of July!

    • Fourth was lovely! I have many gifts from the feathered ones…and I love the majority of them. Sorry to hear our J. Arti’s look similar, mine are a sight indeed…but at least the deer stayed off them 😉

  6. Nice garden, Anna!! We have blackberry bushes growing wild at the turn in our driveway…yummy! Walked through our friends blueberry patch today gleaning a few ripe, although tart berries, a few more weeks!!! They have around 100 or more plants, we love picking there!!!!

    • WOW! That’s a lot of blueberries. I think you’re getting ready for your race….GO GO GO!!! Looking forward to hearing how it went 🙂

  7. Beautiful! I envy your kale and look forward to fall planting so I can join you in feasting upon its goodness! 😉

    • I LOVE KALE!!! Glad you’ll have some to enjoy too 🙂

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