The garden is really taking shape now! We have already harvested squash and onions. The watermelon vines have tiny watermelons on them. Can't wait!
Rickie found two pumpkin seedlings that came up where we threw out some old pumpkins last year. He dug them up and moved them to the garden and they are growing. He will plant the rest of the pumpkins in their alloted row next week.
The grapes are pruned and looking good. Since we won't have any peaches this year (the drought hit them hard), the grapes are our only hope for jelly! And maybe a little wine.
Our blackberries are in their second year. We may get a dozen berries this year! Life is hard for blackberries in our area. The Arapaho is doing better than the Navajo.
The Maximilian sunflowers are coming up, which puts me in the mind of Autumn even though we just hit Summer! Papa always had a row of sunflowers in our garden when I was little. I always think of him when the sunflowers bloom. He was the first person to instill in me a love of gardening. He was a stern and a practical man, not really sentimental, but I took note of how he added flowers to the vegetables. His daughter, my mother, taught us how to shell peas, preserve figs, cook fresh corn in a skillet, and process and preserve the bounty from the garden.
It's been a busy month at the ranch. Besides getting the garden going, I tried my hand at masonry work. It was my first attempt. I learned a lot and did a few things wrong but fortunately I like the rustic look! I stoned in around the garden shed. A few weeks before Rickie and I had added a hay storage lean-to on the garden shed. I am happy with how both the hay storage and the masonry work came out. My knees are happy that I have finished that work for a while!
We have had so many birds around the garden and the cabin the last few weeks. Painted Bunting, Scott's Oriole, Summer Tanager, Cardinal, Blue Grosbeak, Ladderback Woodpecker, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, and Hummingbird are some of the ones showing up at the feeders. The turkeys are still hanging around, a group of 4 mature hens and another group of young hens born last year. A couple of gobblers. And a few buzzards that come in and look for food scraps and drink at the water trough every day.
Each morning I feed the longhorns, fill the bird feeders with seed and the birdbath with water, grab a cup of coffee and head to the garden to see how it is doing. I love the garden. I walk among the plants and see how they are coming along; my grandfather and my mother walk beside me.
And the joy we share as we tarry there none other has ever known.