July 2010

Tomatoes, eggplant, green and purple stringbeans, broccoli, carrots, Bell Peppers

I know I post a lot about our gardens but it is a big deal to us. A lot of what we eat comes out of that soil so we think about it often. I was perusing through the recent posts and saw that there needed to be some updated pictures.

We have enjoyed a few days of rain on and off, mixed with glorious sunshine. This has been wonderful for our plants which were quite thirsty to say the least! We are very happy with the turn out this year. All of our plants are growing strong and the weeding in the raised beds has been minimal and easy to control. The corn is growing fast and tall with a rich dark green in their leaves. There is a uncontrollable smile that appears on my face when I sit back and look at all of it in the early evening hours with the sun setting behind it all.

Peas, Romaine Lettuce, Kale, Herbs

I built a fourth raised bed and am contemplating planting some spinach, strawberries (for next year) and who knows what else in it. It will be for all late start plants. I hope to keep increasing our production as we become more efficient and increasing in the quality of produce. We would like to start selling some soon. I am looking in to what is widely available and maybe maybe start growing what is not, but yet still desired in the area.

Corn, various squash to the left, Rhubarb at far end.


Maybe make your own hot spring!

There is a small town on our way to my brothers house called Centralia, Pa. This town has a unique feature in that it is almost a ghost town. You see around the late 70’s and early 80’s it was found that an underground coal mine had caught on fire. While growing up, I had heard a few theories about how it got started. One theory was that it started by a lightening strike. I don’t know the details as to how this would have caused it but alas it is a theory. Another possible way was how the borough used to burn trash in the nearby dump. Apparently the fire wasn’t extinguished correctly, or at all. The other rumor, or theory, was that the state set it on fire so it could relocate the residents and, use eminent domain, then extinguish the fire and start mining the riches of the coal underneath. You pick.

More smoke...

In any case, Centralia is a neat place to drive through. It is basically a field gridded with old streets and sidewalks. A few homes still exist, maybe 5. There are parts where you can see smoke rising from the ground and other parts that are just gray and everything is dead. They have had issues with sink holes and subsistence along the main route 61. It’s an interesting piece of local history and I encourage you to stop by if traveling through that area.

For more pictures go here.

I thought it was smoke at first...

I was on my way in to work this morning, a nice hot stuffy early morning. Don’t think I am complaining, this is how I remember good summers of my childhood…hot! We haven’t had one like this in a while. Even though many can find reason to complain, me included, it really is nice to have a good hot summer again.

What it looked like while driving along side the field.

Anyway, while driving along my friends field (where he recently plowed and planted an assortment of oats and timothy, I think) I saw what looked like plumes of smoke coming from the ground. The weird thing was that the smoke was in small clouds about 3 to 6 feet off the ground. Though it was slightly moving, it was not rising, just hovering. It took me about two seconds to realize that it was some sort of swarming insect, globs of them, just buzzing around in groups basking in the morning sun. I pulled over and looked around for my good camera. This is one of the reasons I like to have a camera with me at all times…you never know what you will come across at any time.

So I realized that all I had was my Droid phone camera. That would just have to do. I snapped a few pictures and am posting them here to see if anyone has an idea as to what insect these may be. It was really neat to see the sun reflecting off there white bodies and wings.

Tried to get a closeup of a swarm.