Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bean Tepee Aesthetics

Beet splash!  If you've ever tried to simultaneously hold a beet, direct a garden hose spray onto a beet, and take a photo of the resulting beet splash, you know how much excitement I have for this photo.  Go ahead, click the image and zoom in on all those pretty water droplets.  Not a bad beet splash photo, eh? 

I'm happy to say, that after planting my cool heirloom beans no less than three times, I finally have bean plants.  Only the one that sprouted from the first planting is big enough to begin climbing the bean tepee, but hopefully the others will soon catch up.  

I found out that the beans my friend gave me were from some that he pulled off the plants this spring, which meant they had been out in the weather all winter.  Well, no wonder only one sprouted!  I planted beans twice before I mentioned to him that I wasn't having any luck, and that's when he told me about my bad beans, and then gave me some good ones that spent the winter indoors.  As I was planting the beans for the third time, I was a little frustrated with the bean tepee.  Because of my not so brilliant idea to fill the inside of the tepee with sticks from tree trimming, not only did I have to work around and under the tepee legs, I also had to trip and struggle to work around all the sticks.  Ugh.  Of course, I never expected to have to plant beans under it three times, but still, it was kind of pain in my neck.  And my back.   

But, now that I'm done planting seeds, I remember why I like the bean tepee, even without beans.  I think it looks cool.  It's tall, and a unique shape in the garden.  

The tepee is big enough that no matter where I go to examine my vegetables, it's always there, providing an interesting background element.  

I caught Helen and Mrs. Hall in the act of eating the cabbage!  I think they felt justified since I've been letting the bugs have their share, so they helped themselves to a cabbage feast.  

Can you see how they ate the top off of the little cabbage that was forming in the center of the plant?  I put up some fencing to keep them out, but I don't know if this one will recover.  Thankfully they only ate one.  Stupid chickens!

They haven't bothered the little broccoli yet.  A few of them have already started to bloom, so I really need to harvest them even though they are small.  

A bonus pumpkin!  This plant volunteered from the compost pile, and I let it grow to see what it would be.  I love pie plants.  

This year's star performer is the Swiss chard.  From two short rows, we have plenty of leaves for smoothies and juices almost everyday.  I like to add a few baby carrots, and several carrot top leaves, parsley leaves, and a beet leaves too.  It seems like the chard can send up leaves as fast as I pluck them off.  And so far, the chickens have shown no interest in it.  

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