6-18-14 – Crooked Acres Wednesday

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Sights from around Crooked Acres.

First squash harvested – yellow straight neck, pattypan, and zucchini – along with the lettuce for that day’s lunch salad. By the time I could finally get into the garden without sinking in up to my ankles in mud, there was a zucchini that was 12 inches long and weighed two pounds. (We gave it to the chickens, because when zucchini are that big, they’re less tender and more seedy than we like.)

First ripe blueberry!

Kiwi, growing along the fence.

Red romaine lettuce. I didn’t order the seeds for that lettuce; I got them free with an order and decided to give them a try. I didn’t really like it, because it’s more than a little bitter. After I took this picture, I pulled it all up and gave it to the chickens, then planted more Jericho romaine in that bed.

The purslane is happy, and we’ve been eating a lot of it, on salads. Not only is it tasty, it’s highest in omega-3 fats of any edible plant.

Jericho romaine, two weeks after I planted it. It’ll need to be thinned soon.

The garden, last Saturday. SO much standing water.

The corn is bouncing back, but the green beans (on the left) are very unhappy. We talked about replanting, but I think we’ll get enough beans to get us through the summer. I’m not a huge green bean fan, I much prefer squash and tomatoes.

Fertilizin’ Pollinatin’ going on.

That squash plant would like to know why I’m drowning it. “Why you drown me, lady? Whyyyyyy?”

The catnip is happy, and threatening to take over that bed.

The dill is doing okay, too.

The basil’s hanging in there. All I need it to do is survive ’til we start getting tomatoes!

Standing water by the raised beds. As of yesterday, there were no more puddles, but the ground was still pretty wet.

In the front flower beds, the hydrangeas are super happy (and pretty!)

The Paw Paw trees are doing well.

In several months, this Meyer lemon will be ready for picking.


I know the Crooked Acres Wednesdays have been low on dog and chicken and duck pictures. I’ll make it up to you next time, promise!


I get the feeling Grant’s not enjoying this particular maneuver.

He seems a little happier here. Gilbert is such a bitey little brat.

Mooch, doing his morning crunches.

Flirty Grant.

Mooch spends a lot of time showing those pillows who the boss is.

“You kids! Keep it down! I’m NAPPING.”

Mooch is actually laying inside the pillow case here. He’s such a little nut.


“Paws up, y’all!”

Bitin’ Gilbert bites again.


Stinkerbelle keeping an eye on things. Despite the fact that she’s atop the kitchen cabinets in this picture, she’s actually been spending a lot of time on the floor following Tommy around. She sure does love that boy!


2013: โ€œHe just keeeeeps on talkinโ€™.โ€
2012: These pictures of Stompers are killing me dead.
2011: No entry.
2010: Who’s THAT?
2009: No entry.
2008: I wouldn’t want to see THAT carnage.
2007: Mister Suspicious.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



6-18-14 – Crooked Acres Wednesday — 40 Comments

  1. I thought Marshall was my favorite from this batch of kittens, but then Mooch showed up, and my heart just went flippitty flop. I’d be applying to adopt him If I were on the same continent.

  2. How do you keep backyard and other cats out of your catnip? The last time I did that with catnip, it got stripped of leaves and chewed right to the dirt line.

    • I’ve got a fence around the raised beds – the cats can’t get to the catnip. I imagine there’d be nothing left of that plant if they could reach it!

      • Oh, and I should add that the raised beds aren’t part of the back yard, so even if there wasn’t a fence around the raised beds, the backyard cats wouldn’t be able to get to it.

  3. Robyn, rather than throw out a perfectly good zucchini simply because it’s big (although I’m sure your chickens appreciated it), I will simply cook them differently when I end up with one that’s oversized. I’ll slice the zucchini length-wise, scoop out the seeds and blanch it in boiling water for a minute. Then I’ll stuff it with sausage/rice/tomato mixture like one would for a stuffed pepper (I think my Joy of Cooking cookbook has it listed as Stuffed Peppers with a variation that tells what to do for Stuffed Zucchini) and cook it in the oven. It’s fantastic!

    • I’m not that fancy, I’ll just stuff it with stuffing and the seeds, then sprinkle with (lots) cheese near the end.

      • I usually use pork sausage and onion, then I can smugly say “Everything in this dish came from Crooked Acres!” (except for the onion, of course, because there’s always ONE ingredient that messes it up for me!)

        Pattypan squash are really good stuffed, too!

        • I’m so jealous, fresh young patty pan squash.

          I loved it just steamed or lghtly sauted with onions and thyme.

          I just cannot find the tender ones where I live in the South. they’ll always have the hard ones later that are almost like winter squash, the rind is so firm.

  4. “Fertilizinโ€™ going on.” ….um….that would be pollination. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    “Mooch, doing his morning crunches.” – too funny!

    All the pictures are wonderful and if I were you, I would be right in the middle of the bed with those babies!!!

  5. I wonder if all the rain we’ve had will spoil the tomatoes this year? I think someone told me that too much rain caused a problem with ripe tomatoes, but can’t remember what. I sure do love a ripe tomato straight from the garden! Your salad greens also seem very healthy; I always loved Swiss Chard, it is versatile and hardy. Could have the small leaves for salad or the larger ones to cook. Alas, I don’t have a garden any longer; arthritis has prevented the bending/stooping, etc.

    • I know that uneven watering will make tomatoes split. So far only the Sungold (cherry) tomatoes have set fruit, so maybe since the torrential rains are (I HOPE) over with, we’ll get some decent tomatoes. Fingers crossed!

      I’ve actually never had Swiss Chard, but it’s something I want to try!

  6. Pillow Mooch Alarm! You could totally market that as an alarm clock for the reluctant (IE: me) risers.
    (announcer voice)
    Hit snooze too many times and late for work AGAIN?
    Out pops your patented Pillow Mooch Alarm!
    ::Swipe swipe::
    WAKE UP guaranteed.*

    *cannot guarantee however that you will not then immediately swoop up Pillow Mooch and snuggle and snorgle until you both fall back to sleep.

  7. Huge zucchini=zucchini bread! Love the garden/produce pics, keeping fingers crossed for just enough rain to keep you from having to water, we had a very wet spring last year and it ruined a lot of gardens.
    And kittens!! little monkeys.

      • One of my coworkers brought in zucchini last week and I made zucchini bread for the first time in years! The office devoured almost a whole loaf – good thing the recipe made two!

        And add me to Team Mooch! I just love his nosie! ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. Ohhhhhh – no wonder the kittens all need to show Dennis their butts! They need to be in fighting trim for butt-biting!

  9. Have you ever tried Dragon’s Tongue string beans? My best friend used to grow them. They’re purple-y until they’re cooked when they turn green and boy are they yummy.

  10. I love all the ginger kitties, esp. Gilbert! (what a great name–can’t believe we’ve never thought of naming a kitty that.) So sweet, so bitey!

    I haz a question about those raised beds: What are the dimensions (2′ x 4′?), is the wood 1 or 2 inches thick, and how did Fred put the corners together–screws or nails? (sorry, 3 questions!) I just bought some cheapie raised beds at Home Despot, but I want to make my own. (We built some years ago that just didn’t hold up.)

  11. Robyn, it’s too late now but if you have a batch of heartier lettuce like that red romaine that’s too bitter for salads, try it in pasta.

    It’s amazing how wilted lettuce tastes. Even bland iceberg is transformed when you pour hot pasta water over it. I guess ideally this is what you’re supposed to do with raddichio but I’ve seen recipes for romaine and chichory too. The bitterness I guess is better suited cooked rather than raw.

    Hot pasta, wilted lettuce, some fresh tomatoes and italian cheese make a surprisingly refreshing meal. Though it looks like a lot of people add proscuitto, pesto or roasted nuts too.

    I’ve done this when I buy too much bagged salad and I can’t look at another leaf for lunch.

    • That is really interesting! I’m definitely going to do that next time, now you’ve got me curious. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Robyn, I was visiting friends this last week in FL who have 8 cats, a hedgehog, an adult dog and a 2 month old Chiweenie puppy.
    They have a screened porch/pool & none of their animals roam freely outside but they did somehow bring a freaking baby black racer snake in the house one night.
    During all the excitement, I was thinking – well, at least Robyn doesn’t have cats bringing in snakes . . ..then Fred posted that picture of the rat snake.

    Maybe you should move to Ireland.

    • Oh, now that you’ve said that, they’ll be bringing a snake inside by the end of the day, I guarantee it!