charms of the simple life


                                                                  * click to see large

i left the garden alone for a week. it was far too long. i returned to find inedible and tough green baseball bats that 4 or 5 days ago were zucchini. the goldfinches are still stripping the sunflowers of their seeds and they were striking against the blue gray storm clouds rolling in from the west. there was a refreshing cool breeze and i could detect a hint of autumn on it.

grasshoppers clung to the stalks of the okra. they are gorgeous but destructive and it gave me no pleasure to cut them in half with the pruners. the okra were also too big to taste good but there were a handful of tender pods that should be rolled in cornmeal and fried tonight or blanched and frozen for some fall night when i make my grandmothers gumbo.

the first squashes are over and moldy. i pulled them up. the later plantings are struggling but stilll are setting blooms and giving us golden crooknecks and the light green striped zukes and the darker "black beauties". the lemon cucumbers are not doing well and i dont know if any will fruit. the same story for the cantaloupe.

the watermelons delight me. some are solid green and some are striped. i think the striped ones are "crimson sweet". they have spread far beyond the garden and into the field. they are heavy but still too small to eat.

the sweet potatoes vines are lush and full and curiosity finally got the best of me. i pulled one up and harvested my first root vegetables. how beautiful they were and i kept finding them as i dug. kinda tricky though; how to dig without nicking the flesh with the tool. i couldnt stop smiling as i pulled one after another out and i demanded that V look at each one and proclaim it beautiful. he did so and reminded me that i need to plant much more blueberries and to figure out how we can entice more turtles to live with us.

Easter laid her first egg on wednesday and i found another in her nest box this morning. i love her! what a chicken. what an amazing excellent hen. of course those eggs only cost $649.19

3.50 for easter
17.00 for a 25 lb sack of starter crumbles
17.00 for a 25 lb sack of layena
485.00 for the new chicken coop
12.50 for a big bag of suncoast pine shaving bedding
2.69 jif peanut butter for treats
39.00 for easter's travel case
60.00 in materials for easter's night pen

but the joy of a pet that also happens to be a laying hen? priceless.


  1. You tickle me to no end with your lovely birds. How sweet is that picture of her? It makes me want a chicken, too. Your garden is amazing! All we've managed: tomatoes, sunflowers, squash, melons and gourds. Oh, and zinnias and cosmos. And our pear tree has been amazing this year (the June beetles didn't come this year). Give easter a pat on the head from me. xox

  2. what a bounty you have perched on your windowsill. what a great way to display the produce. it's mighty pretty indeed .. :)
    that easter turned into a very pretty chicken. what color are her eggs?

  3. Found you thru Yoborobo's blog. What beautiful writing, wonderful descriptions of your garden!

  4. Somehow that picture of the kitchen has thrilled me. Maybe the intensity of the color and the non intensity of the subject. Just a beautiful shot.

    I know I will click through a few more times today just to look at it some more.

  5. Now that is a hen! I envy you, but I know I will get to where you are at eventually. This is just so lovely.

  6. yobo: well, to be fair, that chicken money spent has been for ALL the chickens not just Easter. i also have:

    peggy jean (favorite)

    pam, for a first garden i cant be disappointed. i am planning for this week to put in seeds for radish, beets, spinach broccoli, carrot, lettuce and greens. too late fro pumpkin but i will buy a few to cut up and put as my scarecrow head. i KNOW you would like that (spoooky)

    hey foamy! well i guess that you are now back in school i wont see you? but a long weekend this fall might be fun. im serious! and you can see for yourself that Easter's eggs are a soft white with a hint of pink. i love to display the food. whe the sunflowers were still blooming the cabin was full of them. made me so happy.

    RLR: welcome! you are so sweet, thank you. its been a very exciting summer and i am shocked at how well it went even though i made a lot of mistakes - mostly crowding.

    walking man: thank you. i like looking at it too. i dont have a dishwasher so the time at the kitchen sink is extended. might as well set up a nice view for myself.

    enemy: you will love a situation where what you put in is what you receive back. its about as true as it gets. thank you -it is lovely and it took my anxiety level dowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwnn.

  7. (Almost tempted to find the car keys for an impromtu road trip to Atlanta)

  8. shamy: c' mon!!!! i'll look for morels. it rained like hell last night

  9. Loved the top picture.
    The overflowing cornucopia effect.
    It must be something in the air.
    Last week I got 15 eggs out of the mamas. In really obvious places.
    Could it be we have moved into the age of co-operation.

  10. Easter is beautiful. Thus the name is perfect as well.

    I still think you're living in the garden of Eden. A good bowl of gumbo would prove me right.

  11. If Sham's coming, then I'm comin' too! :)

  12. I would sooooo love to have it in me to grow a garden like this. Am really getting the bug for it. Do you have the above-ground beds?

  13. Do you call her Easter, because she looks like a pretty Easter egg? She's a beauty and bwahahaha to the cost of your first egg.

    I love how you demanded V to proclaim your bounty beautiful and I think his answer was perfect.

    now I'm thinking I should book my ticket for September, not early Novmeber? What will be left for me to do? Chase chickens? Climb trees with Trout?

    Plan a revolution? :-)

    Have a great weekend.

  14. I love your art - but you can keep the okra!

  15. Wow, you're sure growing a lot of different stuff. Fine picture of some of it.

    Do you eat the turtles?

  16. Okay, I admit it, I am jealous! What bounty you have produced. I sure hope you are feeling both happy and proud of what you have accomplished. Kudos to Mr. Chickory for standing by to praise each upturned veggie. Do you throw the zucchini bats into the woods for the wildlife to enjoy?

    Easter eggs have sure gotten pricey! A beautiful little bird. I think they must act differently when they are just semi-domesticated. She has the look of assurance but I understand from your posts she is also very social?

    Loved! Loved! Loved! The Kitchen window still life. Just beautiful.
    I don't think your garden is more than a half day ride from my part of the Carolinas. I might just have to come that way to a fall farmer's market. If I time it just right, I may make the acquaintance of not just you and Trout sellling out of the bluey truck but, apparently, Boxer as well! Definitely worth a road trip

  17. 12 Hours dani, that's my drive. 12 hours.

  18. well,
    your garden
    this year still is
    amazing to outsider eyes,
    and even if it is somewhat less than
    you were hoping for -- you know well that a garden is a long term thing -- they always take years and sometimes even a lifetime to bring up to speed -- it's never ending

    ruth and i have been working our 'garden' (of sorts) since we came here 11 years ago -- it's better this year than ever before, but still is not finished

    our goals are not yours -- we're planting & pruning for aesthetics rather than for food, but the principle remains the same -- it's an on-going process through time

    i'm going to post some recent pics & notes at mo'po in coming days

    have fun!

    ¤ ¤ ¤


  19. I LOVE digging for root vegetables. It's like a treasure hunt, but you do have to be careful about stabbing, slicing, and nicking. Still, those you do get, you just cook up that evening.

    Easter is gorgeous! Are we going to get a hen family portrait soon so we know who is who?

  20. The window display of your produce and flowers looks beautiful, so too the pics of the okra and water melon.
    You do have to watch those zucchini's though, best picked when small and tender, I found that out with some that I grew...I love the striped variety.
    I think you have done really well with your garden, you must have a feeling of satisfaction as you walk through it and look at all you have achieved.
    Easter is just gorgeous, what a very clever hen she is...two eggs already. ♡
    I am so happy for you my sweet girl, I am pleased that all is going well for you.
    love to you xo ♡

  21. Impressive Easter eggs--heh!

    Gumbo is real good in November. Fuel fer the revo.

  22. An' oh yeah--that windowsill still life is gorgeous!!

  23. i'm working up an appetite now for gumbo and sweet pots. yum, yum, yum.

    two years in an apartment now without outdoor space of my own and i'm starting to crave a little garden...

    but, still not ready to give up my view.

  24. Baseball-bat zucchini? Look on the bright side. You now have a cheap home security system.

    BTW, don't kid yourself. Okra never tastes good.

  25. Dropping in via Boxer.

    I asked her about Dovey Cooledge. She explained that Dovey was yours and is no longer with us. Sorry. Judging from the photo, she was a personality!

  26. Don't believe those okra haters. Fried or in gumbo, that's good eatin'.

  27. su: and your air is so far away! yet there does seem to be a timing confluence...

    drinky: neither do i. i couldnt find any at all.

    gnome: i wish i could fedex you a batch. but im afraid youd get in trouble. gah!

    dani: c'mon!

    pam: no i dont. i wish i did have raised beds. maybe when i when the lotto? its a 252 million. think ive got a shot? grherhaha

    boxer: i think i am going to make some of my best food ahead and freeze it. then invite some people over for sat. night. we'll kayak down the toccoa and hike to the swinging bridge or jacks rivers falls. google them - youll see....

    pete!!! good to see you! might not have had it prepared properly. it must be harvested when the pods are very young and deep fried. they are tasty. when they get too big theyre horrible. i have found that half flour and half cornmeal is even better.

    /t: you are so right. it cant be rushed. it will evolve. i like that. i am thinking of neat agrden structures to add, dreaming of a shed and moving the hen house and run out there too. id like to add some apple trees which are this regions major crop. id like to also build a studio too since the cabin is so so small i can hardly do anything there (artwise) except draw. but i think its been a terrific summer of inspiration and motivation to sally forth.

    moi: treasure hunt! exactly. ive enjoyed it so. and now its time to plant carrots. this weekend i will spend a lot of time get the soil super friable so they will grow nice and straight.

    yes. that family (flock) portrait is way overdue.

    dianne: yes easter is clever. she found a way to let herself out of her pen! they have to be supervised for free ranging because they are small and therefor hawks like them. regulation chickens are really too big. its the down side of bantams but i couldnt haul 6 reg. chicks back and forth from the city to chickory. thank you sweet girl.

    aunty: thank you. its fun to artfully arrange the produce and then pick out something to make. i made peach salsa with peaches, my yellow pear tomatoes, orange bell peppers, banana peppers, jalepenos and cilantro. it was all from my garden except the peaches. yummy!!! sweet and HOT

    hey birdy!! welcome back. i would imagine that your neighborhood would have a rocking farmers market. ive seen the farmland just south of you. black gold. and the flowers!

    xdell: grrrrhahahahahaha!!! look out, nephew! you know, im sure it would hurt. okra can be good but like i told pete you gotta eat em when they are very small and tender. and you must fry.

    xl: welcome! nice to meet you. well, she was. i had her and i had red and i lost them both this past spring. they were each 5 years old. dovey was the "mean" one. she would give your hand a little correction now and then, but after red was killed, she was very very sweet and loving. and social. i think we never let her shine because red was always the lovey one. i miss her so much. but i love the new chicks too. hard having such fragile pets but the joy always out weighs the sorrow.

    dianne: :-)

    shamy: they dont know no better.

  28. Easters eggs are nearly golden! Bet they taste good too! hehe

    My zucchini are spent by now. I had a nice crop, but we have had too much water I thing... I have had a wonderful crop this year despite the rain.

    Happy Monday and I hope you are enjoying your summer!

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