We decided that we'd try out a garden this year in Montana. The growing season is only about 4 months long, so I was pretty excited when I finally got to sow my seeds of love early this year. The hardest part was deciding what to try and grow. I have a friend who has lived out here going on 11 years. She's had a garden every one of those years. She's also lost several of her crops to early frost, late frost, grasshoppers, wind, and hail storms. So I was feeling a bit concerned with it being my first attempt.
I'm pleased to say that not only was I able to harvest some veggies yesterday, but I should be getting lots more the rest of our season, which ends in mid-September pretty much. I planted roma tomatoes, crookneck squash, onions, peppers, and lettuce all from seed! We are hoping to use our tomatoes and jalapenos this winter for sauces and what not. We'll see how that goes.
After I watered and realized I needed to harvest I saw lots of fun photo fodder. Wow, say that 10 times fast, go ahead, I'll wait. Ok, got it? I harvested, then grabbed my camera with the macro on there. This is a moth hanging out on my mammoth sunflower.
I planted several types of pollinator attracting plants, and they're doing their jobs brilliantly. I've got more bumble bees in my garden than I've ever seen before. They actually sleep in the flowers of the squash plants. It's almost cute. Ok, it's definitely cute.
They're so tall that when they finally do open up they really make a statement. Like Yao Ming
I planted 4 "GIANT PUMPKIN SEEDS!" That's what it said on the package, so I thought I'd share their enthusiasm for the whole experience. They were also "GUARANTEED TO GROW!" I have not been disappointed with them at all. I planted 2 seeds in 2 different wine barrels and they have "TAKEN OFF!" That's just me sharing my enthusiasm.
Every year for the last 6 or so years, my wife and I have hosted a Halloween pumpkin carving party. This year will be no different. I'll make a giant batch of beef and venison chili with all the fixins, southern style cornbread, and deviled eggs from our chickens. If we have any chickens left by then.
*Chicken Update* We lost another girl on Sunday. Sadly, Bad Mother Clucker has been removed from the flock by either a coyote or a very large hungry bird of prey. We're down to 7 now, but honestly, 7 chickens for my wife and I are plenty.
Ok, back to garden stuff. This is a baby "GIANT PUMPKIN", it's only about 1 inch across. The flower on top will open up to about 6" across in a couple days to provide a nice room for the night for an over worked bumble bee.
While I was taking photos of this bee in it's flowery room, it literally fell over backwards. Not sure why. Maybe it wasn't quite awake or forgot how to use all 6 of it's legs, but either way, I got a photo of it in mid fall. I was going to put a little thought balloon with "oh shit" on it, but I didn't. Should I have?
After it recovered from the fall it flew away. Luckily, I managed to snap a shot of it in mid take off. I love how you can see the pollen stuck on it's back. From the fall I'm assuming. This is my favorite bee shot to date.
The leaves of the pumpkin plant are dinner plate size, like 14" across dinner plate size. I thought it was really cool how the sun found a way to light up the flower hanging out below those big ass leaves.
This is a crookneck squash. Hopefully I'll find some good recipes to use them along with my tomatoes and other garden goodies. If you know of one please share it in the comments section. Thanks for stopping by.