First, the garden. because things are blooming and fruiting and leaping green exuberance out there, and i want to share the exitement!

the visibly-growing corn. you can stand there and watch it grow, i swear. most of it is taller than i am now. (which, for those of you who don’t live here, is 5′.)

Tassels!

more corn! a celebration of corn!

Purple Podded Pole beans, twining on the Inca Sweet Corn:

Topography in the Three Sisters patch:

We planted the patty squash on the outside edge of the patch, followed by butternut squash, cantalope, watermelon and cucumber. The summer squash has leapt up to about 3′ tall, while the others are busy putting out long vines. With the corn looming over, and the beans tangling all parts of this ensamble, this has led to a curving, sloping topography of leaves inside the Three Sisters patch, with small surprising clearings where nothing sprouted on one or two mounds.

more corn topography, from the other side:

Perspective: the Three Sisters patch from the north.

And from the south, fronted by sunflowers:

aforementioned sunflower, unfolding:

Cucumber flower

Butternut squash flower:

and fruit! (and a rather stunning corn root in the background)

The Understory: Patty Squash

The understory: a bean spiral

The Understory: patty squash flowers

The Understory: marigolds in the tomato patch

Marigold with Grasshopper

The Understory: tomatoes in the tomato patch! This is a green zebra heirloom.

Watermelon, growing while you watch.

Elsewhere in the garden: mallow flowers. This mallow is native to the area, and volunteers all over the property. We let some grow tall as nurse plants in the garden.

Orange Prince alien eyeball daisy, about to turn into a flower.

salvia under the apricot

one small ongoing tragedy: aphids in the kale. we have attacked with legions of ladybugs, dr bronners, careful leaf-massage to smash several thousand aphids while applying dr bronners solution witih pressure sprayer, etc. but this is what the kale patch looks like right now, i am sorry to say. my wanton aphid destruction attempt was yesterday, so hopefully there will be some recovery soon. i suspect we’re going to have to pull the whole patch out, double-dig the soil, and start over with brassica someplace else.

But! One of the most satisfying events of every year: the harvest! this is yesterday’s haul. the basket is full of green beans, under all that other stuff.

Newly Improved Ritual Grounds

We have spent untold acres of time this year getting the ritual ground finished. This is where and i are getting handfasted (that’s the pagan term for married) on sunday. at last, everything is done!

The Sunflower River! seen from the west:

and from the south:

and from the tree looking west. that is the gate in the north (right), with the tall stump and the second dark patch of pecan shell mulch.

and in that stump, there lives a thyme:

and, just for contrast—this is what the whole ritual ground looked like when we bought the place, in Sept 2007. All those weed elms were crowding the Grandmother Cottonwood–you can see one of her branches arcing downward on the upper left side of the photo.

This is essentially the same view today:

okay, back to the update.

rudbeckia, acorn squash (or mystery squash, anyhow), coreopsis, mint and yarrow:

some glorious yarrow shots from Vicky:

close up of the large yarrow:

Yarrow of Sunflower River! that’s rudbeckia blooming behind it, and the soon-to-be goat pasture spreading out beyond.

storm light over the ritual grounds:

Around the Property

the agave that brought home for us to give to Rev! It has since been stripped of leaves, and sawn in three for transformation into two didgeridoos. the flowers are standing in our garden, looking beautiful. And the mess underneath the flowers has been completely cleared up, thanks to the efforts of and Rev.

Emergence! a cicaida molts from his shell on the wall of the house. i love cicaidas. last night they sang spirals around the yurt as we were falling asleep. just as the cicaidas stopped chirring, the cat began to purr.

monarch butterfly caterpillar, in the garden. We picked about twenty of these off the fennel in the back garden a couple weeks ago, and moved them to the far back of the property, so they would stop eating our fennel.

storm light on the newly-trimmed big cottonwood (seen from the east). note the clean, tidy overall appearance of the farm. that is worth savoring!

a moody sky over the barnyard:

The garden, seen from the north, with surprisingly tidy margins (for the first time ever!).

from Vicky, a beautiful photo of our nemesis plant, the poisonous and extremely thorny horse nettle:

Critters! because no farm post would be complete without critters.

Baxter! he comes over to visit whenever there’s a thunderstorm, or whenever leaves the house for more than a few hours. I think he’s looking for . others think he’s looking for company. when it thunders, i think he’s looking for a house where the people will shut him inside and not let him out for a while, so he’s safe. :) at any rate, he spent a couple days with us this weekend, by his own choice.

Thistle, newly groomed (seriously; she put all that mulch back in her fur by herself) dutifully guarding the hens:

A photo of Thistle from our friend Vicky in Tucson, who visited briefly a couple weeks ago. This is the angle you are most likely to see Thistle from.

Tattersall, requesting some form of attention more immediate than photography.

New Improved Barnyard: Chickens in a freshly-mucked-out coop, with new straw

Turkeys in a freshly mucked out coop, with new straw (which, four days later, needs to be mucked again, yay)

whoosh. i think that’s everything. i didn’t catch Lucille (the black cat) for a photo this time. i should try to get her sleeping in the closet shelves; it’s too cute. Overall, we are doing very well, and everything is done for the handfasting that can be done in advance. we are ready. tomorrow my dad arrives, thursday we’ll hang out (and i’ll clean the house some more), friday most of the out-of-town guests arrive, and friday morning the pavilion gets set up and we can move some tables out there, decorate, and generally do more prep work.

Happy full moon, everybody!