I rearranged and refreshed the hugelculture beds in my garden a few days ago and found these under a half rotted log. Not sure about the white ones but the other is Sarcoscypha coccinea, commonly known as the scarlet elf cup, or the scarlet cup. A cluster of very tiny, bright red-pink-orange cup shaped mushrooms growing from rich soil and organic matter.

    Very tiny white mushrooms growing in soil and organic matter

    This morning I discovered a small group of pawpaws growing just 150 feet from my cabin! 🤗 I planted 2 in a different spot last spring but these volunteers are growing in the other spot I was considering. Which leads me to think there must be more in the area that I have yet to discover. 🤗

    A small tree/shrub about 2 feet high with very large, dark green leaves. The leaves are smooth, elongated coming to a point at the end. Leaves are each 2-4

    Working on getting my blackberries sorted for the summer. Under the layer of grass clippings are layers of all sorts of paper and cardboard and under that are many very happy worms loosening up the soil. Still have a bit of weeding and transplanting to do.

    Grass clippings are layered over hidden layers of cardboard between two rows of blackberry plants. In the background are a variety of trees.

    I was lucky to get a couple of volunteer pumpkin plants this year so for the next few weeks I’ll be making a lot of my favorite winter soup: curry pumpkin coconut vegetable soup! Easy to make. 10 minutes to cube half a pumpkin then about 1 hour total cook time.

    A group of harvested pumpkins sit in the grass

    1/2 medium pumkin 1 onion Frozen mixed veggies 1 can chick peas 1 can coconut milk 1 cup macaroni or rice (optional) 1 cup lentils

    Salt Garlic Curry Cayenne pepper

    I cut a medium pumpkin in half. 1 half goes in fridge for the next pot of soup in a few days. The other half I cut up into cubes, remove the skin, seeds and stringy inside stuff. Raw pumpkins are pretty hard to cut and remove skin, be careful! I probably need a sharper knife.

    Put in a pot with enough water to cover the cubes. Boil for 15ish minutes. Mash it with a potato masher in the pot with the water until it’s just a kind of mash. Set it aside.

    Sauté one onion with a little oil and water till soft. Add it to the cooked pumpkin mash. Add spices to taste. I usually do about a tbsp of salt, tbsp of garlic powder (or 3-4 cloves, maybe more), 2 tsp of curry, 1 tsp of cayenne pepper. Alter as needed.

    A half bag of frozen mixed vegetables… probably about 4-5 cups. Use whatever veggies you like… I like the standard mixed veggies because they’re usually the least expensive. Bring it to a boil, turn it down a bit and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

    Add in a cup of elbow macaroni or cooked rice. And let it simmer for 10 minutes. Add in can of chickpeas (or whatever cooked/can beans you want). Add in can of coconut milk. Let it simmer for 10 minutes. Ready to eat when the macaroni is done.

    The soup!

    several pumpkins sitting on grass

    I didn’t have a big garden this year but I was lucky to get a volunteer pumpkin plant and harvested 10 pumpkins. Most of them will be made into pumpkin curry coconut soup over the next couple of months.

    I’ve harvested pawpaws once from a few trees on the side of a gravel road. Amazing. A soft banana/mango flavor and texture. Planted a few in my forest garden and waiting for them to grow.

    How America’s most enigmatic fruit is making a comeback | The Guardian

    Growing in the sunny spots around the garden, garlic chives, sweet coneflowers and western ironweed are current favorite feeding spots for bees and butterflies. 😍

    A bumblebee feeds from white clusters of small flowers. Yellow and purple flowers in the background. A butterfly feeds from white clusters of small flowers. Yellow and purple flowers in the background.

    A morning task: transplant 3 small hazelnut bushes. Also, enjoy observing a red ant exploring a garlic chive flower cluster.

    Small, recently planted hazelnut sapling in soil, surrounded by grass and fruit trees in background Small read ant on a cluster of small white flowers

    Volunteer squash in my garden. I think it’s a pumpkin though I have no idea where the seed would have come from.

    Solar punk tiny house! Flowers in foreground: Vernonia baldwinii, the western ironweed is the purple flower. Rudbeckia subtomentosa, sweet Coneflower is the yellow.

    Built a new spiral garden bed. Not much planted in it yet: Mint, a purple coneflower and a ground cherry.

    In the garden today a great spangled fritillary on a daisy and my finger. Also a bumble bee collecting pollen from a daisy.

    An orange butterfly with white and black spots hangs from a white daisy with yellow center.
    An orange butterfly, wings closed, rests on a hand
    A bumblebee collects pollen from the yellow center of a white daisy.

    I'm not growing a lot of food in my garden but I enjoy every little bit I do grow! Most recently, lettuce and strawberries. And plenty of wild daisies which are edible though I've not tried them in my salad yet.

    A bowl of lettuce in a bowl
    Two strawberries, still attached to a plant and laying on top of brown leaves in a garden bed.
    Several wild white daisies with yellow centers in foreground, background is more daisies, green foliage and a blurred tiny house.

    Spring 2016 Garden Update

    Been busy gardening and made a good bit of progress in March and April getting things  reestablished. Lots of natives put in for wildlife habitat as well as small food garden consisting of hugelculture beds. The kale and lettuce is looking great. Just got in a few peppers one tomatoes too. Oh, and two blueberries. Not as large as the gardens I had before but a good start at getting things going again. Depending on how my well holds up I’ll consider adding a bit more each year.

    The fruit trees I put in back in 2008 are doing pretty good especially given they had little to no attention over the past three summers. Should have a nice crop of peaches, plums and pears. My three female hardy kiwi’s  didn’t make it but the male did. Will need to get in some female plants if I want any fruit!

    Back at the Lake or Life is like a box of chocolates...

    A new video about rebuilding my garden now that I’ve returned to the lake as my residence. It’s been a long while since I felt the need or desire to really write. I think that drought may be over at least for awhile. Really feeling the need to explore and remember a bit about who I am and where I’ve been. No doubt related to what led to my move back to the lake and what my future might look like. More coming soon.

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    Not the prettiest of plants but that's okay, the
    nutritional content and taste make up for it!
    This little grouping is growing very happily
    in one of our swales right between our rhubarb
    and blueberry.
    My new favorite cooked green is a “weed”! As much as I love spinach I don’t grow it that often and when I do I don’t get great crops. I’ve mostly replaced it with kale which I’ve had good experiences growing. But I’ve found a new favorite and as it happens it is a what many would call a weed: pigweed. Of course pigweed is also known as amaranth and there are many varieties. I’m not sure of the exact variety we have growing around Make-it-Do but I can tell you it tastes fantastic when sauteed in a bit of oil or butter with some salt and garlic. Not only does it taste fantastic but it is very nutritious as the greens alone are “are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and folate; they are also a complementing source of other vitamins such as thiamine, niacin, and riboflavin, plus some dietary minerals including calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese.”

    We have it growing in several locations around here and it’s no wonder. It self seeds readily and tolerates a wide range of soil. Well, we’ve got pretty nice soil and are happy to let it set seed. In fact, I’ll be doing my best to help it along by scattering seed in various places. The more of this the better!

    Great Tomatoes!

    Big tomatoes! These are some amazing plants we have this year! We’ve got great soil which we’ve made better with plenty of composted goat manure and hay. Really good stuff. No sign of tomatoe hornworms yet but I’m sure they’ll show eventually.
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Almost all of the tomatoes planted!

All of the tomatoes are finally planted! Edit: we decided to extend the small row and finish off the tray…. so, almost all of them planted!

We had lots of cedar from our observatory project at the top of the hill so we’ve been putting those branches to good use. In this case, a sturdy, tall trellis for our tomatoes.

Crab apple!

Planting our first tree together! A crab apple for aid in pollinating the Arkansas Black. That's three apple trees total. Of course we'd like more fruit trees but it's a start! As usual I can depend on Kaleesha to write up a beautiful post about it.

2014 Spring Garden Update

We've been making fantastic progress this spring! Thus far: potatoes, rhubarb, comfrey, goats, a new raspberry trellis and duck pond!