June 26, 2012

June on the Homestead

I don't know about where you are, but it has been HOT here.  Missouri hasn't seen 100° temps here in June since the 1950's.  We start early in the morning getting everything soaked down, critters fed and fully supplied with cold, fresh water and then hightail it into the house before noon if possible.  With temps like these though, the critters have to be checked on all afternoon to be sure none of them are suffering from the heat.  Yesterday we even put fans on the chickens it was so bad, not sure what the humidity was, but it was high.

Here are some odds and ends of what we attended to this morning:

Grape Tomatoes

Cucumber and Green Bean Patch
(Straight Eight and Dasher Cucumbers and Strike Green Beans)


Thai Peppers
(Cute little plants, but I'm not sure what to use them for)

Orange Bell Peppers

Tabasco Peppers
(Not quite sure what I'll do with these either)

Winter Onions
(Walking Onions)

(Planted late in hopes of missing the squash bug cycle)

Roma Tomato Patch
(Two dozen plants left to grow willy nilly)

Kale for juicing!

One can never have too many Hollyhocks...

Our mystery melon...
(Any produce last year that wasn't consumed or preserved went to the chickens.  This spring I was delighted to find all kinds of mystery plants where our chicken tractor happened to be last fall.)

Big Beef Tomatoes
(Covered in Diatomaceous Earth for the Aphids)

This is your red flag.  Here is a perfect example of what to look for before the leaves on your tomatoes begin to disappear.  This is hornworm droppings.  If you watch carefully, you can spot this on your leaves and remove the worms before they devour your plant in two days.  Believe me, it doesn't take long at all!  Once you spot this, get down on your knees and look at the underneath of the leaves just above the droppings.  The big green worms should be easy to find!

See, there he is.  He was on the leaf just above his droppings.  (See the Aphids? Not as easy to get rid of as the worms.)  Feed these big, juicy worms to your chickens and they will love you for life.  Whatever you do, catch the worms early!

And last but not least, here is a fella that has never had his picture taken before:

This is our daughter's beloved rabbit, Pippen.  Her grandfather and her constructed this handy dandy pen for him which includes a back and sides that can be closed up or let down depending on the weather.  She absolutely fell in love with him at the pet store.  They told her he was a dwarf bunny and she spent $30 of her own money on him.  We soon discovered how clueless the local pet store people are when he grew into an almost full size rabbit that she could've gotten from our neighbors for $5.  Lesson learned but either way, she loves him and that's what counts.

I hope you are managing to stay cool today!  If you have any suggestions what I can do with those hot Thai peppers....please let me know!!


  1. Hi Sharon, your flowers and veggies look beautiful. We aren't as hot here as you, of course, but we are much warmer than norm. We hose down the horses, sometimes twice a day when it's really hot. This year I'll have to pay close attention to our silkie babies as they can't take the heat too well.

    I see salsa in your future with all those peppers. :) It's funny you should mention DE. I just ordered 10 lbs. of it a couple of days ago. I am using it as a home remedy for a kitty with worms, but it will be used in the garden too...I can't wait until it arrives.

    Cute bunny! That's too bad that it didn't turn out as expected, but I know how that is...once those animals are in your possession, the kids just fall in love, no matter what. We use to have 3 bunnies, a mini-rex and 2 lop earred, but that phase is over. :)

    I hope you get some relief from the heat soon (wishful thinking). Have a great week!

    1. The DE works great for chickens to dust themselves in too! Thank you for your wishful thinking....102 today!

  2. It's hot up here in North Missouri too! I can't believe it is this hot in June...What will August be like?

    1. I don't know about you, but I can't even begin to think about August! Although, we are three weeks ahead with everything....would it be too much to hope for to think August may be more like September?

  3. Thai peppers are used in Chinese cooking. I think they usually use them whole. I'm not sure what else. Tabasco can be used in salsa or to make hot sauce. Either one could be dried and chopped for use in spicing up whatever you like spicy. A dash in soup or taco seasoning. Yum!

    1. I think I'll dry them for spicing up things later, thanks for the idea!

  4. Your garden looks absolutely beautiful!

    1. Thank you! Just as soon as I think I've got something figured out, I learn that I don't. Soooo, this year, everything is an experiment.

  5. The dwarf bunny lesson ~ too cute. Your garden look great. I was reading prior post on the blueberries and blackberries. Yum. Our blueberries are just starting to fill out... no blue ones yet ... and the blackberries will be another month yet here in northern Wisconsin before they're ready. I can't wait, as I'm a big berry picker and jam maker:)

  6. The heat is brutal on rabbits. We freeze two liter bottles of water and put them in with our bunnies. Despite doing this twice daily, we still lost one to the heat today.

  7. I'd like to invite you to join me at the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week! http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/11/clever-chicks-blog-hop-8-turkey.html

    I hope to see you there!
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick


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