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A Year in the Garden — Part 5

Wow, the summer always sneaks up on me and then bam! it seems to end. This has been a funny year in the garden. The tomatoes are taller than I am, the pumpkins are threatening to take over, and the zucchini and squash have been bigger than ever! How has the garden been for you this year?

About this time, the cool weather crops are long gone and the harvest is at it’s peak. Maintenance in the garden is simple, just pull the occasional weed and pick the veggies when ripe. Easy peasy. But that doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels. This is the perfect time to harvest your vermiculture compost to be mixed into the garden soil before closing the garden for the winter. It’s also a great time to do any repairs to the garden boxes, trellises, and other garden features. Just a few hours spent now can save you lots of time in the future!

Here’s a glimpse at what’s growing here, and a pic of my little garden helper. He loves to pick the veggies and is thrilled each time he sees a new one growing.

Super Tall Tomatoes


Sugar Pumpkins
My Little Garden Helper
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Bountiful Farm Challenge Results

We’re having a Team Challenge!    Members of our team create a new item based around a theme – currently “Bountiful Farm.”   Here are the items that are  inspired by and crafted for this challenge!  We hope you enjoy and please be sure to  let us know how you think the participants did!   We’d love to hear your comments!

Léonï – A Little Farm Girl by FeeVertelaine
“Apple” Bamboo Baby Blanket by Tickety Bu
Farmer Outfit for 16″ Doll by Demilunes
Apples: Bamboo Hooded Bath Towels by Little Lily Bamboo
Harvest Queen by MamaWestWind
Fall Daisy Doll Sweater by luvkin
Gnome or Fairy House by Willodel
Little Red Hen Wooden Marble Set by MudHollow

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Nature Walk ~ Coastal Alaska

just this boy


just this boy


things found.....


along this shore.....


just this boy


miss six's starfish


small treasures


from there to here


My kids and I have been enjoying the cool rainy weather here in coastal Alaska. Most days we pull on a rain jacket and rubber boots and head down the hill from our little apartment to walk along the sea. Our real home is in the deep south of Louisiana where the humid heat is reaching sauna temperatures this time of year. This summer we escaped the heat to stay seven weeks at Grandma’s house. I would so love to share a bit of our summer here with you.

One of my favorite things about being out of doors with my kids is the invitation into their world. With camera in hand I follow behind them and try to capture their small treasures as they share them with me. They are especially fond of anything that looks tiny. The makings of a fairy forest. Little leaves and fungi sprouting up from the damp earth. Tiny flowers.

We talk about fairies and animals. Fungi and berry blossoms. Birds and food chains. And of course, gnomes and trolls that might live in hollow tree trunks. They tell me how we need to protect the forest, so animals (and fairies) are all safe. They say this to me with such importance, as if it were the first time this great cause had been discovered.

Sometimes we come home and pull out books to identify what we’ve seen. I see the patterns and shapes of their walks in the woods show up in their drawings. They begin to remember some of the names we’ve learned and some of the bird calls Grandma has identified for them. I know these walks are good for their little bodies, hearts, and minds.

But most of all, I am grateful to share in a bit of their wonder.

Tell me, what is your favorite part of adventuring with your children?


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Desert Gardening

“If you are going to take a stand in the desert, do not be unsure of your purpose.  More than anywhere else that I can think of, this land does not reward partial commitments.” 

This quote from the book, How To, edited by Susan McAllister, Jessie Rogers & Wade Patterson, describes gardening in the desert so well.  There are no “partial commitments”.  You are either all in or all out, as a gardener.  With blaring sun and little to no sky water gardening in the desert seems to be quite a feat.  And yet with a little tending life prevails.

This is the first year we are using the square foot gardening method.  This picture was taken soon after planting earlier this Spring, mid- April.


And here it is now.  We have very limited space for our tiny, backyard garden.  Just this little fenced in area for one garden bed, a palette herb garden with some containers on top & a small in ground bed to the left.

Vine tomatoes & two zucchini plants are growing well here.  There’s also some basil & marigolds in the center of the bed.


We’re harvesting zucchini’s semi regularly now.


The tomatoes are starting to turn from green to rosy.  The other day I counted 81!


The basil has given us many a pesto!


We’ve harvested a handful of cucumbers.

There’s something so beautiful about how the cucumber vines find their clingy way.


We have three cantaloupes growing strong.


And some Sunflowers growing along the perimeter of the yard.  They thankfully have kept the grasshoppers busy & away (mostly) from the garden.



The pallet herb garden is starting to work after a slow start in the dry heat.  We have parsley, sage, a newly planted oregano & basil.  And here also is my constant garden kitty companion.  I think she loves the garden as much as I do.

The wonderful thing about desert gardening is that we have an extra long growing season.  I hope to add more square foot garden beds here and keep them busy year round.  Wish me luck!


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Visit a German Castle Today

Sorry folks, it took me a while finish my article about a German Castle.  But I wanted to inform you that it is ready and up now! If you have read my article from last week,  Toy on a Walk,  you may want to get the indepth report here.


So stop by and visit the German castle today. I am certain the whole family will enjoy the virtual tour of this castle. It’s completely free of charge and will take only a few minutes. And  maybe my photo tour will inspire you to save up some money for that one special real vacation…

Germany is my home and a wonderful place to visit. If you have any questions about traveling there just ask away!