As the Garden Grows

As the sun has been shining brightly, the plants are beginning to grow more quickly.We have a large variety of plants this spring and it is fun to wander through the garden and see how much growth has occurred during the last day.

Jerusalem Artichokes "Sunchokes"

The jerusalem artichokes (also known as sunchokes) are a fun plant. A beautiful yellow flower blooms on tall stalks in the fall. Or if you want to eat them, dig up the roots for a tasty tuber. Last year, I unintentionally planted some pole beans next to the sunchokes. As the two of them grew, the beans wrapped themselves around the stalk of the sunchokes. This year, we did it intentionally to see what will happen.

Beans growing

We’ve tried many types of supports for pole beans over the years and have found that it is not easy for us for some reason to find a good solution. In the past, we’ve resorted to bush beans which can be harder to harvest as the beans get lost in the foliage.This year we’ve set up a fence for the beans to grow on and that seems to be a perfect solution for a large crop that needs support.

Artichoke plants

 

This is the first time we’ve grown artichokes and it is interesting to watch them grow. Starting plants from seed and seeing the cute little leaves turn into broad large leaves always amazes me. We’re keeping them well watered and have put manure around the base of the plants as they like lots of fertilizing.

 

 

 

The natural beauty of plants continually keeps my photographer’s eye in heaven. The light at different times of day offers a completely unique view of each glorious plant. The colors are so beautiful!

Evening beans

Heirloom Eggplant baby

Baby Purple Cabbage

Baby Kale

 

The strawberry patch that Ofer made this year is starting to give us some darling little strawberries.

New strawberries

Strawberry baby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They’re sweet and delicious when popped into the mouth directly from the plant! The figs are also growing prolifically providing a different shade of green in the garden. We have already picked the first of the blackberries, just one or two, but they aren’t as sweet as we’d like them to be. So, now we need to figure out what to do to sweeten them up!

White Figs

Red berries

 

Whenever we’re in the garden, the cats are not far away. It is fun to see how differently they enjoy helping us. Lao is the overseer.

Checkin' out the grapes

 

He is always sticking his nose into everything to make sure all is running smoothly.  Every time I turn around  he is  underneath the plant next to me, looking closely at the seedling I just planted or smelling the flowers nearby.

Overseeing the side yard

Lao standing guard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jade prefers to follow nearby looking for a petting hand, watch from afar or tussle with Lao in the dirt.

Jade on swing

Lao and Jade helping

 

Sumiko is the more distant overseer. She doesn’t want to be near people too much, but she is constantly doing her rounds of the property, taking good care of her territory. A talented climber, Sumi is often up a tree or making sure the grapes are growing well.

Sumi in the garden

Peeking at chickens

Cattail grapes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The chicks have arrived! We are thrilled to have some new flock members this spring. Iowa Blue, Russian Orloff and Wellsummer chicks are now residing at the Sugi Garden. They are so tiny when we get them, only a day or two old. Yet, each day they are a little bigger and cheeping more enthusiastically!

Baby chicks

Fluffy chick

Cuddly chicks

 

The black ones are the Iowa Blue, a rare breed that lays brown eggs. The yellow ones are the Russian Orloff, an exotic looking bird that lays tinted eggs. And the darker brown chicks are Wellsummers, sweetly tempered chickens that lay a dark red-brown egg.

I'm exhausted!

 

 

It can be alarming the first time you have baby chicks because, like all babies, all they do is eat, poop and sleep. So, after running around pecking and eating, they will suddenly fall to the ground in slumber. It looks like they’re dead and it can be tough to watch until you’re used to it!

True to form, Lao is watching all the goings on quite closely. Initially we were concerned about the cats, but it turns out that they are very respectful, Sumi is actually wary, and they stay a safe distance away like guards.

What's that?!