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. 


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 ❤



Ms Zen

Did you know this about squash?

Squash is high in vitamins A, B6, and C, folate, magnesium, fiber, riboflavin, phosphorus, and potassium. That’s a serious nutritional power-packed veggie. Yellow squash is also rich in manganese. This mineral helps to boost bone strength and helps the body’s ability to process fats and carbohydrates. Pretty cool don’t you think? BTW this super veggies is one of the easiest to grow yourself. You can even grow it in a pot, if you don’t have a lot of space.

…and the flowers are so beautiful. One squash plant produces vegetables over a long period of time. I have 12 squash plants in my garden. Half of them are planted in the ground, and half in pots. Starting in April I plant a couple seeds every other week, to spread out the harvest over the summer months. We’ve been eating squash in every thinkable shape for over a month, and we’ve also been able to share many pounds with our friends. The twelve seeds I planted will provide abundance of squash for the rest of the season. I paid $2.25 for a seed package of organic yellow squash. So far this season I’ve harvested  more than 100 all organic yellow squash, and we’re not even half way through yet. The plants are setting new flowers every day. Eating good, quality, organic food doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact it’s the other way around. If I’m counting low the $2.25 I invested in the seed package will yield 200 squash. Very likely more. You do the math.

Yes, there is some work included in the deal. I planted the squash in compost from our household scraps, and I’ve been mulching my plants with organic matters that I collected outside (available for free,) and watered  my plants every day since I planted the seeds in April. Gardening may not be for everyone, but it’s definitely for me. In Productive Organic Gardening On A Budget , the book I’m working on, I’m going to include some numbers. The actual cost of  creating a sustainable garden, and what you can expect to save, compared to purchasing organic produce at a grocery store.

The joy included doesn’t have a price tag 😉

Enjoy this beautiful day!


Ms Zen

Weekend Coffee Share

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Cherry Tomatoes

Imagine. That morning you walk out to the garden at first light, and your 34 cherry tomato plants magically transformed their beautiful flowers, into tiny tomatoes overnight. That was one of my discoveries in the garden today. Another miracle was that my yellow squash was brimming with the first beautiful produce of the season. That first harvest of the year is equally special for every plant. When my daughter woke up a couple hours later, and I told her, she immediately jumped out of bed, and ran out to the garden. Her joy was immense. After admiring all the beauty, we did a little happy harvest dance together. I just LOVE mornings! How can it not be the best time of the day? 

Are you ready to grab a cup of coffee and join me in the garden? Remind me, how do you like your coffee? Tell me about your week as I walk you through the exciting news in the garden.

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Along the fence line between my two garden areas, I’ve planted cucumber. I’ve never had any luck with cucumber before, but these plants seem to be happy.

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Organic Cucumber

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Sweet corn, (cherry tomatoes in the background.)

Talking about my garden, did you by chance see my post about our fig tree experiment earlier this week? I’m so curious to see the results of all those roots getting established.

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Yellow Squash Plant 

I’ve tried to train my squash to grow vertically this year. I had some success with it, they are not directly on the ground. They have a tendency to spread out low on the ground. When they are close to the ground they are more prone to pests, and rot. The white powder on the ground is dried sea algae, a natural organic repellent to ants, centipedes, cockroaches, and most other bugs that hurt your plants. It might not look beautiful, but it works, and is totally safe for humans and other animals.

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There’s always something happening in the garden this time of the year. Guess who’s going to eat lots of squash for a few weeks? LOL. Last year we invented a recipe where we cut them lengthwise, and used the long slices as pizza crust. Yum yum.. If you have delicious recipes with squash and zucchini, please share them! We’re going to have lots and lots. Zucchini bread was a another favorite last year.

My horses Ghost, and Fancy, are both doing great. Ghost and I are on friendly terms. He is very sweet, and appreciate his time off. I have started to put a halter on him a couple times a day, and do some short leading exercises. Without a halter his like a puppy dog. With a halter he has good days, when he is like a puppy dog, and bad days, when he freaks out and is super claustrophobic. We’re having mostly good days now.

Something fun happened yesterday when I came home. I usually park my truck in the shade, under some trees, right next to the pasture. If I come, or go somewhere, Ghost is there to loudly wish me good bye, or welcome me home. Yesterday after I parked my truck I walked into the pasture, to say hello, and check on the water. I have a big bath tub with water for the horses. It was 3/4 full when I checked it. I decided to not fill it up more at the time. (I wanted to clean it out, when it was a little less water in it.) When I start to walk away, I hear the sound of water. I turn around, to see Ghost, who had walked with me from my truck, to the water, turn the water on with his teeth. He looked awfully proud of himself!

My daughter tried Fancy’s jog for the first time this week, and also had her first ride outside the round pen. I’ve never seen a bigger smile on her face. Maybe you remember that I bought a brand new dressage saddle for Ghost earlier this spring? I tried it on him right after buying it, and it fits him perfectly. It’s one of the nicest saddle I ever owned. However, after deciding that Ghost isn’t ready to be started under saddle (I’m very happy with that decision,) I have never actually ridden in it. I look at it every day.. I haven’t had a girth in the right size for Fancy. We’ve been using a western saddle on her. I grew up riding English, and feel more at home in a dressage saddle. I ordered a dressage girth in Fancy’s size, a few days ago. It’s suppose to come tonight! I am pretty sure that the saddle will fit her. She is ready to carry my weight for at least short rides. I am very excited about actually being able to ride again. And of course start using my new saddle. Hopefully I have some photos of that next weekend.

Any fun plans for the weekend? I’d love to hear about them! Would you like another cup of coffee?



Ms Zen