Summer Snipets. And What I Learned About Me. 

We’ve been a little blog MIA lately enjoying all the sunshine! Here’s a little photo story of what’s been going on here on and off the Gardner Homestead. 

Our hen Margox hatched our first ever batch of   homegrown chicks. All 7 chicks are growing up fast. 

First time seeing those tiny feet!

Spencer and I lucked out on some KID-FREE time and went to see Smash Mouth. Save to say I was wayyy more excited than my hubs. 

Our little Murphy girl is a walking, running, babbling adorable toddler now. How did it happen so fast?!?

Oh Ireland, my Ireland. Please stop growing up so darn fast! Love, Mom

If we harvest nothing else, there’s always onions.

Thank you to whichever previous tenant planted the beauties. This our third summer here, is the first year they’ve had a full bloom. 

See that cute spud? Yeah he and his siblings froze to death in Mid-June. They’ve finally bounced back…

Happy 4th of July from these Gardner girls. 

What’s a homestead without a messy backyard full of chickens?

This baby is chore partner, she’s always by my side (or on my back!)

Kato’s first time packing. Deaf dogs need jobs to right?

Getting lost in my hop jungle, our third season with these Willamette Hops is sure to be a big producer.  Can you say home brewed IPA? 

Exploring the Metolius River trails with my tribe of toddlers and dogs. 

My little Irish earthlings

Symbiotic hiking partner, she’s a versatile baby. She gets a free ride, while providing never ending cuteness, drooly kisses, and keeps me in shape!

Some of that 4th madness! Shhhh…

I can’t survive a summer without these, my favorites!

Exploring our natural world close at hand.

Planting beans for nitrogen to feed the corn
1/2 Farm girl 1/2 daddy’s little princess
Giving some summer lovin’ to my favorites
Ireland saw her first play, The Little Mermaid

The peas, oh these lovely purple peas. 

Weekly harvests are almost over.
Ladder rack rabbit tractor? Oh, yeah!

One thing I’ll never do again is plant the hops so close to the house. They’re a harbor for bugs and insects, some good and some bad, but all of them right at my back door 🙁


Like I said, I knew there would be onions. So far we’ve harvested radishes, onions, lettuce, kale, zucchini, and shelling peas. 

That’s just a little of what’s happened this summer. Trust me there’s more but I won’t bore you with it here. Head on over to IG to see our full homestead photo diary @thegardnerhome. 

Oh yeah, and if I know anything about me it’s that I love summer, case and point for this short update. I’m spending more time with family, less time with technology, and that’s OK. Keep an eye out for some of our new projects and plans… YouTube Vlog? 

No spoilers yet!

What have you been up to on or off your homestead this season? 

Peace and Love,

Quincy

WHY THE 3 SISTERS GARDEN? Here it is. 

I like to think of gardening as my favorite never ending learning experience. For if I’m not learning a new task or skill, I’m learning something about myself.

Two things I learned last year are these; Native Americans knew what they were doing in the garden and I love passed down traditional gardening methods that excel in my climate zone.

Let me explain.

You see, the three sisters garden is an old Native American garden technique of extreme companion planting. This method is tried and true and boy is it beautiful to watch.

So what do we companion plant you say?

Three of the best of course.

Corn = supports the beans.

Beans = add nitrogen to feed the corn.

Squash = acts as a mulch helping to retain moisture and fight weeds.

last years 3 sisters raised bed
It starts out quite simple but can be arranged so differently and uniquely, for this reason I won’t go into huge detail on the design aspect as you need simply google ‘three sisters garden’ and you’ll find endless examples. This is just what I chose. After much deliberation and watching the sun rise and fall many times on different prospective locations I chose to use a circular pattern.

The steps we took in planting are as follows:

1. The corn is planted first. In a circle as I mentioned before. Make sure to plant after all danger of frost has past. A 5 gallon bucket works perfectly to trace the right size circle.

2. Once the corn is 5″ tall plant your pole beans. This is important to ensure the corn is strong enough to support the beans as well as not having to fight the beans for full sun. They should be planted rather close to ensure they can climb and at a 1:1 ratio with the corn. I’d say plant about 1-2″ away from the corn sprout.

3. One week after planting the beans go ahead and plant your squash. Plant your squash 2-3 seeds to a corner making a square around the corn/bean circle.

2015 Golden Bantam, Scarlett Runner, Lemon Cucumber
4. Have fun with it! You don’t have to plant the typical varieties either. I picked a few different ones so I could alternate and bring some diversity to the garden.

For instance; one circle is filled with Golden Bantam corn, Kentucky Pole beans, and Small Sugar pumpkin, while the other is Smoke Signals popping corn, Scarlet Runner beans, Black Beauty zucchini and Summer squash. 

I ended up planting two three sisters gardens. One in my kitchen garden while the other is out in the crop garden. Here’s their progress as of today!

Kitchen Garden:


Crop Garden:

Both were knee high by the 4th of July but endured a couple cold snaps which put them through a 1-2 week lull. During that time I amended them with BioLive, bat guano, and blood meal, boy did that help a lot! 

I love this garden style. You get a lot in a little amount of space and the symbiosis of these yummies producers is beautiful. 

Need I say more?

Peace and Love

Quincy

Have a 3 Sisters Garden? I’d love to see yours!