August 26, 2013

Proud pepper mama

Seriously, all the credit goes to Mom for these beauties, but I have never grown peppers like these before. The plants are huge: they fill out a commercial tomato cage and they are bearing like gangbusters.

There are three varieties: Red Knight, which are the big blocky peppers; Cupid, those cute little sweet ones, and El Jefe, the ubiquitous jalapeƱo. I don't think I would have thought the small Cupids to be wonderful if I had not seen Bobby Flay cut up a pepper. He did it with the pepper standing up and sliced from the shoulder between the ribs. No muss, no fuss, no seeds.

Better go and stuff a couple of these honkers.

August 7, 2013

Coop remodel

If you want buildings to last in a desert climate, don't build with wood. When we put up the chicken coop in 2007, we used wood siding. It was a pill to paint, but I managed to put a number of good coats on. The siding on the most-exposed-to-weather south side started to show wear soon and by this spring it was pulling away from the studs.

Because I grumbled long and loud about the painting chore, Dan suggested that we replace the wood with metal so it would last (and he would not have to listen to be whine). We started the job in June, to beat the monsoons, but several other projects got in the way.

The job was finished this week. We worked on a side at a time so even though we did get rain, moisture in the coop was kept to a minimum. A number of mouse families were forced to evacuate however, which I hope sent them to emigrate to far lands so they will leave my spring garden alone.

August 6, 2013

Aahh, a baby ...

Cute, but some vigilance will be needed when harvesting cucumbers and zucchini because the little blip got away among all those leaves.

August 2, 2013

It's a pond filler!

We have had great monsoons this year. Not as much rain as in the valley, but more than in recent years.  The countryside and the hills are as green as in Ireland. The garden is booming, as are the weeds. This afternoon my zucchini may have met its demise however, we got a hail storm along with more than 0.5 inches of rain.

The place immediately floods and the berms around our house and yard make the water run like a river. All of it directed away from the house, some of it down toward the road and the Willcox Playa, some of it is directed toward our "pond", aka the-hole-in-the-ground-and-keeper-of-a-little-grass-for-the-horses.

It stopped raining about 10 minutes ago and the flooded areas are already free from puddles and there is just a trickle still running. It feels tropical out there.

Hummer seeking refuge from the downpour.