A Kansas Country Garden: The Back Third

This faithful cultivator has seen generations of use and has not been improved upon.
Welcome to the back third of our property. I don't often take you there because that's where the vegetable garden, barn and chickens reside and personally I don't find it as attractive as the flowers. Not everyone agrees I know. Also it is the domain of the hardworking guy shown in the photo so I really can't take credit for much of what you see although I do play a small role in the planting and harvesting with a larger role in  preparing and preserving of the bounty. The weeding, though, is all him and an admirable job he does. 
There is beauty in the vegetable garden.

 There's nothing quite like vegetables straight from the garden to the table. It is the luxury of our chosen lifestyle. Very nutritious, of course, but outstanding flavor is also a key reason to expend the energy on this enterprise. 

Squash plants are huge!

Eagerly awaiting the first red tomato.

Once squash start producing, they are true overachievers (until, suddenly, they stop). I hope everyone has access to at least a few squash this summer. Here are some links to recipe ideas you may wish to try with your squash (click on the title):

Here's what's growing in our zone 6 vegetable garden in 2014:
  • Cucumbers, 2 kinds
  • Tomatoes, several varieties
  • Peppers, hot and sweet, especially Anaheim
  • Squash, zucchini, crookneck, pattypan
  • Green beans
  • Okra
  • Beets 
  • Dill (other herbs are closer to the house)
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Potatoes, red and Yukon Gold 
  • Onions, Candy (and not enough!)
There is an abundant supply of dill this year.
Already harvested and enjoyed:
  • Asparagus
  • Lettuce and Spinach
  • Rhubarb
  • Strawberries (a few)
  • Peas

Nothing quite compares to the taste of new potatoes.

Excitement in the chicken pen--weeds to eat!
Multi-talented! Not only do our chickens provide us with wonderful eggs, they are also very happy to consume weeds. I notice that when our chickens have access to green plants the egg yolks are a bright yellow color.
Henny is an excellent mother to the keets.

Henny is raising two keets (baby guineas) which she hatched after brooding for four weeks. Keets are tiny when hatched and can walk right though a chain link fence. We obtained the fertile guinea eggs from a friend. Since we have no rooster Henny was wasting her time setting on her own eggs which she was determined to do.

I was startled to find Martha, our lone adult guinea, brooding in the centaurea under the Bradford Pear tree in the flower garden. Poor Martha. Since she is a single lady her eggs are not fertile. This is an exercise in futility. I would much prefer that she return to her important job of insect control in the gardens.
This bunny is in big trouble! Not for eating the grass in the lawn, but for eating the green bean plants. You'd better watch out little bunny--Mr. S. is not happy with you!

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