Summer Fun on the Homestead

Blueberries will be plentiful this year!

Our standard division of labor had to change this spring. Normally Maureen, my unbelievably talented wife, takes on the lion’s share of planting and maintaining our vegetable gardens and I take care of our fruit tree orchards, blueberry orchard, soil amendments in all of the gardens (basically manure and compost), and the corn patch. But this year Maureen fractured her wrist in four places which required surgery, a metal plate, and a hardware store of stainless steel screws to repair it. This gave me the opportunity to take on more of the vegetable garden duties, at least temporarily.

Upper garden planted by Maureen.

I have to admit that I was more than a little out of practice when it came to this new charge. And even though Maureen still did about half of the gardens (planting beds, starts, and seeds) I was a wee bit nervous about the results of my plantings; tomatoes, beans, husk cherries, egg plants, and peppers. About 20 tomatoes were planted amongst an organic paper row cover. Pole bean quadripods were erected and planted, rows of bush beans installed, eggplants and peppers were neatly line up in rows, and the husk cherries (a new adventure) were installed. A garden of corn was also planted.

Lower garden planted by me.

It took about a day and a half to do it all. Then it rained for 3 straight weeks. Almost 12” of rain fell on the newly planted crops. The transplants were begging for life jackets. I saw seeds in small rafts trying to steer through the white water as saturated soils let the rain run off into adjacent landscaped areas. In the end enough survived so that I didn’t have to replant too much. Since then we’ve been in an extended period of hot and humid weather. The transplants have actually started to grow. Seeds have sprouted and are enjoying the hot weather. We have occasional showers to keep the soil moist but not so much that the water runs off. My corn plot is doing well. I did two separate plantings about 3 weeks apart. The early planting is about thigh high while the later planting is pushing 12 inches. If we get a normal yield we should get a couple hundred ears of corn most of which will end up in the freezer.

Sour cherries will be plentiful too!

Somewhere in there, I think it was the second to last day of June, I broke my foot in multiple places while wrestling with Cooper our male bloodhound. He zigged and I zagged and ran into our brick hearth while tumbling forward. Ouch! Double ouch! Maureen was away in Ireland and I knew I could not drive so I put a dislocated back in the socket and set the bones that appeared grossly out of place myself. Triple ouch! A couple days later I had some very nice pictures taken of a very ugly foot and found out I had broken the little toe in five places and the bone directly behind the little toe in the foot. So now I get to hobble around, wearing an air cast when I do any serious walking, while I wait for the darned foot to heal.

But the garden is doing good! Maureen’s wrist is on the mend!

And Cooper secretly laughs at me when my back is turned!

Hey, a good dog has to have a few laughs now and then. Otherwise what’s the point!

The pole beans are doing their thing!

Written for www.wildramblings in July 2013.

  • Montucky

    I sure envy you that garden! But not the broken foot. Sorry to see that! Should have waited until winter?!

  • Wild_Bill

    Yep, winter would have been much better but we don’t really have a choice in these matters. It could be a lot worse, that is for sure!

  • Guy

    Hi Bill

    You are certainly having a eventful summer. I am glad you got your garden in and I am sure Cooper feels really bad about it.


  • Wild_Bill

    An eventful summer, yes! Cooper doesn’t look like he feels bad about it. After all, it was my fault and not his. However, he is still game for a wrestling match; something I’ll have to skip for a while!

  • Emily Brisse

    My goodness! A speedy recovery to both you and Maureen, especially since I will be visiting you both right around harvest time, ready for a FEAST! Truly, gardens are one of my favorite things about summer, and yours looks in-cred-i-edible!

  • Wild_Bill

    Has anyone, ever, used the word in-cred-i-edible before? I love this! We’ll be OK. Maureen is in pretty good shape now. Still it slows us down so we can take in the summer a little more. Cramps my style significantly but it could be a lot worse.

  • Annie

    Such a beautiful garden. I know with the love it was created with it will reward you well.

    It has always amazed me how much pain a tiny little toe can share with one when it is broken. I’m glad you and Maureen are on the mend and hope that the rest of your summer is without those kind of events.

  • Wild_Bill

    Our several gardens are all looking good now that we’ve had some sunshine. Hoping for bountiful year but it has been awfully wet. We are hoping that the rest of the summer goes accident free and without incident!

  • Barbara

    We’re of the same mind Bill and Maureen… now I have to go write and post images on my blog about summer – WHAT FUN you are both having… and blueberries already ripe in Muskoka and Georgian Bay – had my first taste from up the Bay two days ago – little bit of heaven… Aren’t we truly blessed?

  • Wild_Bill

    No doubt about it.

  • Barbara

    In my delight at your photographs I neglected to do other than a quick scan of the text about your garden forays Bill. Forgive me for not sending along condolences on the accidents both you and Maureen experienced… double ouch indeed… so glad you are both on the mend – and yes our mutts do sometimes take great delight and laugh at us on occasion when they’ve bested us in one way or another – makes the day even sweeter I figure. Summer days and nights are very special. You describe them so well.

  • Wild_Bill

    Thank you Barbara. Cooper is now licking my broken foot. Amends for a silly accident I suspect. How can I not love these hounds?

  • Ratty

    Ouch! I can’t imagine how much those broken bones hurt. I’ve only ever broken a few toes, and they hurt enough.

  • Wild_Bill

    A lot and still do. I’m about 2.5 weeks into the healing process that is supposed to last 4-6 weeks. Could be worse!

  • Teresa Evangeline

    Good Lord, mister! I’m away a few days and look what happens… :) ) Yahoo changed my email and I lost my blog feeder, just realized I needed to google your site and will now attempt a new way of getting your posts delivered to me. I’m so sorry to hear of the calamity with wrists and toes, but you’ve planted one great garden in spite of it. Your tenacity is inspiring… Love the pics!

  • Wild_Bill

    Thanks. We are hanging in there. Garden looks good now with the hot weather. Everything is growing terrifically.

  • Wild_Bill

    There is a subscribe by email tab at the bottom right of this page. Try it, it might actually work! Thanks!

Nature Blog Network