July Garden Update

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Gardening is a safe hobby, right?

I could hear the impact of my my head crashing into the stone floor. Wait a minute. What does this have to do with gardening? Maybe I should take it from the beginning. It was Sunday early afternoon. I had finished taking care of the horses at work, my own horses, and I’d finished the have to do every day tasks in my garden. The temperature hadn’t reached three digits yet, so it was quiet comfortable. I decided to re-pot some container fruit trees, that needed bigger pots. I listened to a country music channel on Spotify, and had a great time. ..until I felt an intense pain. For a second I could’t tell where it came from. Then I realize it was my left foot. My only thought was, please, let it not be a rattle snake. Despite the horrible pain, that just keep increasing, I was kind of relieved when I saw that it was just a tiny little yellow jacket, (or two? There was a total of four stings that I could see.)

I didn’t feel good at all. It happened really fast. I screamed, and went inside. The stinger was still inside my foot. I got it out. Washed my foot with soap and water. I put some honey on the area, just in case. Somewhere in the back of my head I heard my grandma’s voice telling me to do that, to draw the venom out. Not sure if that’s the right thing to do, but that’s what I did. The pain started to increase, the foot got very swollen. I had been outside working for many hours, and I felt uncomfortable. It was difficult to say if I felt sticky, and itchy,  because I had been sweating working outside, and then went inside an air-conditioned house, or if it was connected to the stings. I decided to take a shower, and then put ice on my foot. When I’m in the shower I start to feel really bad. I can barely stand on my feet. I get out, and figure I better put some clothes on, in case I need to go to the ER (I HATE HOSPITALS.) I happen to see myself in the mirror, and I have a bad rash all over my body. I start to shake, and all of a sudden I’m ice cold. I get clothes on and crawl under the blankets. Luckily I wasn’t alone in the house. Which I’m very grateful for, by now I’m pretty scared. I’m normally a super strong, healthy, energetic person. I’m never sick. We talk to a nurse. It’s obvious that I have a reaction, but it doesn’t affect my breathing at all. As long as it doesn’t affect my breathing, I can choose to stay at home. I was recommended to take two Benadryl. I take them, and went back to bed.

I’m too scared to fall asleep, but I’m feeling like I’m sleeping, but I’m not. I have ice on my foot, which helps tremendously. After two (or maybe three) hours, I need to use the restroom. I walk very slowly there. When I’m on my way back to the bedroom everything goes black, that’s when I hear my head hit the floor. I was probably just out a few seconds. This was likely the effect of taking two Benadryl. I wake up with my friend standing over me. I get back to bed, and stay in bed for a few more hours.

Besides taking care of horses, I pretty much stayed in bed Sunday, and Monday. Today I almost feel like myself again. Just a little weaker than usual. My left foot is still a tiny bit swollen, but not bad. I had ice on it probably for a total of 40 hours, the past two days/nights. The left side of my face, that I landed on when I fell, have some interesting colors I don’t usually have.  Is gardening a dangerous hobby? I don’t know. LOL. This was a scary episode. Do you have any awesome remedies of what to do if you have an unpleasant rendezvous with yellow jackets? I did not have a clue of what to do. That itself scared me. I usually have both a plan A and B for most things that can happen. Somehow I didn’t have enough knowledge about what to do when meeting these little devils. I guess it is possible that this could happen again. I’d like to be a little better prepared, but I still don’t know exactly what the best thing to do would be? What would you do?

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Some of the container fruit trees I re-potted when I had the rendezvous with the yellow jacket(s). 

On a brighter side, the garden is doing really good. My idea of succession planting works like a charm this year. I have a constant stream of fresh veggies daily. This is a normal daily harvest. 

Harvest

This is a good amount for our family, and friends. I do some local bartering with my vegetables, towards produce that I don’t have at the moment, as well. Then there is enough salad greens, and kitchen herbs for our family to use, but I just pick that as I need it.  

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The t-posts in this photo is 8ft! It’s yellow squash that you see growing along the fence, and cherry tomatoes in the background. I always have this challenge with my tomatoes, that they take a lot of work staking. That’s a little tricky, since my tallest stakes are 8 ft. I’m doing the best I can there, and just letting them grow as they please (above the 8ft.) It’s almost like a jungle. LOL. The white powder on the ground is dried sea algae, to keep the ants away, totally harmless for humans. 

I hope your week had a more peaceful start than mine 🙂 Do you have an unexpected garden story to tell? I’d love to hear it. Be safe ❤

 

Love,

Ms Zen

Energy

After a couple cooler days in the mid 90’s last week, we’re back to normal three digit temperatures. I was planning on just doing the minimum required in the garden, and with the horses today. I was going to get a great work-out, and lift some weights in my comfortable air-conditioned house. Afterwards I was planning on spending the afternoon reading. Well….it was so much fun outside that I ended up working with both horses, and spending six hours working in the garden. A concerned neighbor actually told me that I shouldn’t work outside more today. LOL.

Well inside I didn’t exactly feel a need to work-out, or lift weights anymore, but my book is still tempting. BTW, don’t Ghost look amazing? The break in his training have done him good, and he have matured some. The heat doesn’t bother him at all. Just looking at him you could never guess that it is over 100 today. If he ever trust me enough to become an endurance horse, we’re going to be dangerous out there. He rarely even break a sweat. I kind of had hoped that the heat of the summer would make him slightly less energetic, making it easier to start him under saddle. That did not happen…

I hope you’re having an awesome day!

Love,

Ms Zen

 

Finding Zen

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The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul. 

– Alfred Austin

When I first become a single mom I realized that I had to become more creative if I wanted to live a healthy life, while still spending the majority of my time with my then unborn daughter.

I am very stubborn, and I knew deep inside of me that there must be some way to not have to work 50 hours/week for someone else, like I did at the moment. One of the changes I implemented in my life was to learn how to grow my own food. What I didn’t know was that I was going to love it so much. Gardening quickly become part of a more zen inspired lifestyle.

 

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I have always believed that you are what you eat; mind, body and soul. My ultimate dream is to have a small homestead, and be as self sufficient as possible, producing the majority of my family’s food myself. I’m working my way towards that goal, by growing as much organic produce as I can, and by continuing my learning process about how to do it (by reading, doing my own garden, and helping out at farms in my area.)

Right now I’m learning more about propagating trees. I’m homeschooling my daughter, and one of our current projects is different ways of growing a new tree from cuttings. We’re currently trying three methods, similar, with slight differences.  The purpose with this project is to see which method, of these three, that produces the strongest roots, and healthiest plant, in the shortest amount of time. You can read more about the background to the project, and the different methods here.

We worked with the most experimental method yesterday. The only one that I had never tried before. I found a video about this method of fig propagation in a plastic bottle on Youtube. I just had to try! Follow the link and watch the video. It’s a couple minutes, and pretty awesome. Basically you take a big plastic bottle, cut it open, put it around a tree branch, close it with some kind of strong tape, pour some soil in, and keep it moist.

We started the bottle a month ago. I’ve been poring some water into it every morning. I haven’t done anything else, since I started it. Yesterday I cut off the branch that the bottle was attached to, and opened it.

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I could see some roots inside of it before cutting the branch, but it was difficult to see clearly what was going on in there until I opened the bottle. I clipped the tape with some scissors. This is what I saw.

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I have never seen this much roots after only a month, with any other method.

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I planted my new tree in a pot, that I had prepared with organic potting soil. I am expecting the tree to be in shock for quiet a while, since it’s basically a branch that I cut off. With all those roots, I feel that there is a big chance that it will handle that shock. What the video didn’t tell me was, wether I should of taken the leaves off, or just kept them. I was unsure of what to do. There is obviously more work for the tree to keep the leaves. I will leave them for now, but I might carefully rip them off later, if the shock for the tree is severe. What would you have done? Leave the leaves on? Or gently take the leaves off?

The surrounding mini fig trees was cuttings, planted directly in small pots, the same day as I started the bottle fig tree. If you visited the initial post about fig tree propagation, it’s the red pots in that post. I recently repotted them in bigger pots.

It’s 6am, and I better go outside, before my horse Ghost wakes all the neighbors. He always starts calling for me at exactly 6am. It’s time to enjoy my favorite time of the day.

This is part of a Garden Galore link-up party. Feel free to join in, and get inspired! Happy Gardening !

 

Love,

Ms Zen