I am learning all the time……my recent lessons include “patience” and “trust”. The little back yard farm is a classroom of life’s little lessons. So – off to school!

Patience is a virtue – we have all heard that old and well-worn cliché but……..it is so true. I love to see my garden grow and most importantly watch it  produce, produce( isn’t the English langauge funny this way – same spelling but oh so different meaning) with the quality and taste absent from the supermarket produce….there’s that word again. So. my lesson on patience – I planted an heirloom variety of tomato this year that gets great reviews from many home growers, Mortgage Lifter. My friends, Jane and John here in Kingwood mention it frequently. The plant grew beautifully, tall, strong and lots of blossoms. The blossoms would bloom, then wither, die and fall off. Oh I searched the web for an answer – not much luck as  the symptoms did not show up on my adjacent tomato plants, in fact with the exception of the Beefmaster variety, everything is loaded with young and growing tomatoes. 10 days ago I was ready to rip that plant out of the ground and start over….. slow down Bishop, show some patience, let things develop at their own pace and by golly the plant stepped forward and showed me one developing tomato last Sunday – Mother’s Day! I was leaving for a consulting job off in Midland Texas….gotta pay for my hobbies – and I decided to give it another week. Well on my return, guess what – the one was looking good and several more are developing nicely – see photo below. I just did a little web search and may add morning and late evening “shaking” to my tomato cages to aid in fruit set. The Beefmaster….it too has a few tomatoes on it when I checked it this morning so it also earned a reprieve…

Mortgage Lifter – Looking good! And companions too!

Beans – they are doing well. I like the looks of the purple pole beans as they mature. They emerge from  the beautiful purple blossoms green! then as they gain size and length the slowly morph into that deep purple color. Unfortunately they lose that wonderful color while being cooked….oh well! at least for a bit…I can enjoy the color.

Well on its way to purple….they are fun to watch as they mature.

I have been gathering green beans from both my accidental plantings of bush beans and from my conscious efforts to grow bush beans…I have added more of the pole beans but they are a few weeks away from producing. I took a hanging bucket that hosted an upside down tomato plant last year and planted bush beans on the top side. They are doing very very well. Makes me wonder if “container growing” for bush beans might be a good option. My biggest complaint  – and it is not a big one – is that they grow low to the ground and I am up there at about 6’3″ off the ground….a long ways from those tasty pods. I am still limber and healthy enough at 61 to pick those ground hugging varieties but this hanging basket will make it easier to harvest the produce and actually looks pretty good to boot. There are some purple bush varieties many actually pass as an ornamental as well as a source for a side dish. Gotta give it a try.

Nice green basket – the flowers will be white – kind of boring so maybe I will try some of the purple ones too….a bit more aesthetically pleasing???

Cucumbers…asparagus…..strawberries…..blackberries…..peppers….. all are kicking in now. I checked a very dark purple/black blackberry for ripeness this morning and it fell off into my hand…….I was listening closely and I heard a plaintive cry……please, please don’t let me go to waste……so I didn’t – oh it was so good….can’t wait…wait a second, wasn’t I talking about patience….I better wait!

So close to being ready…..back off and wait!

I have getting some very nice Anaheim and Ancho peppers over the last few weeks. I roasted some on the grill last week and used them in a salad. So tasty. My Serrano peppers are a month or more away from producing. I had been looking at the nurseries for the last month and finally found some at the big box store – Lowes. I like buying at the local nursery but a man has got to do what a man has got to do.

A nice 6 or 7 inch long Anaheim pepper….I will be patient and give it a few more days!

Oh….I mentioned trust at the beginning of the post – well – I have been gone for  5 days and 11 hours, approximately….. in the past I have worried about my little plot while gone but I have become more comfortable in the last couple of years with trusting my wife to give the attention I want/need/like –  for my back yard farm…. I sent a text message early in the week as a reminder but I learned that she was tending to my babies in the back with nearly the same care I would give….Some of her efforts, I am sure, are driven by the benefits of the harvestasty goodies and maybe, just maybe driven by the love we share….. Should I run a poll on what y’all think the driving factor is?   I don’t think so…the Valentines day poll was a bit painful –  ;0  –



Did you all see the announcement – The 16th century home of Winnie the Pooh is on the market. Near the   ” 500-acre wood” –  is up for sale…just $ 3 plus million – USD – I wonder if I could put a big ktchen garden in on the property?