The Tuttles' Madcap Adventures

the tuttles' madcap adventures

Posts tagged garden

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The end of the gardening season is always a little sad.  The garden itself looks a little sad.  The nearly empty garden basket looks a little sad.  It can get a bit depressing.  Until…

…you finally manage to wrangle your chickens into the garden to finish it off and you see the pure joy radiating out of their little (molting) chicken bodies as they run from one fallen squishy tomato to the next.  Pecking away, doing their thing.

And then…

…you take in the last of your bounty to add to the already packed freezer full of veggies that will supply you through the winter.  And you feel grateful for what your hands and the earth have done together to provide all this goodness.  And then you’re a lot less depressed about it all and a lot more delighted. 


Filed under garden chickens backyard sustainability

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Garden Axiety

Earlier this Summer we came across this article in the New York Times, Raw Panic.  We usually catch a bit of garden anxiety mid-Summer and then it slowly turns into mild neglect until things really start to look bad out there and it’s time to call it quits Autumn.

Last night we went out to the garden to see if we could salvage something fresh for dinner.  Most of the tomato plants are done for, the cucumbers and lettuces are long gone.  But the peppers!  Oh the peppers are thriving!  So last nights dinner… a face-meltingly spicy pepper-heavy tofu stir fry.  So good, so spicy.


Anything still growing in your garden?  Did you catch any garden anxiety this year? 

Filed under garden peppers raw panic new york times garden anxiety

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1. getting a head start on fall/winter knits to avoid a repeat of the knit-at-the-last-minute-as-in-on-the-way-to-holiday-gift-exchange of 2011.

2. dog pile.  this is typical.

3. ninja star

4. TROUBLE (side note:  we’re teaching the pups to shake.  instead of teaching them to, oh you know, not pull on their leashes, to stay in the yard, to leave the chickens alone etc.  it’s the shaking of paws that we’re really interested in mastering around here.  ANYWAY dolly has done a singular shake and megan squealed with delight.  it was the highlight of our tuesday night.)

5. baskets full of tomatoes.  so far we’ve jarred some sauce, made a big pot of vegetarian chili and had about a million tomato sandwiches.  yummm.

6. and the biggest cucumber we’ve ever seen!  seems as if we passed over this one a few times when picking.

Filed under garden tomatoes dogs knitting

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le weekend.

1.  Still admiring cousin Sarah’s moss wreath.

2&3. The blueberries are bustin’ out!

4.  Reading + grilling.  And a truthful bookmark.

5.  Thankful that the new rainwater catchment was set up just in time to catch that last rainfall because this weekend was HOT and DRY and we had a hot and dry garden to water.

6.  Blue blue sky and art in Chattanooga on Sunday.

7.  Us.  Cubed.

How was your weekend?

Filed under weekend chattanooga garden blueberries

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a mess of sunny photos for your summer solstice

These flowers right outside our fence are so bright and perfect they look fake.

Pickin’ time is our favorite time.

Oops.  Hello, accidental pumpkins!  No one remembers planting pumpkins in the garden, but they’re looking good.

Pups taking a dip after berry picking.

Te he he.  Those are blueberry bushes under that parachute.  Take that, greedy birds!  Can’t get to our blueberries now!

Turkeys in the straw!  Can you see the baby turkeys?

And finally, golfing as the sun goes down.


Welcome, Summer.  We can’t wait to soak up all of your sunshiny goodness. 

Filed under summer solstice garden

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Kaylon’s parents are building a greenhouse from scratch.  After our late afternoon walk around the pond, we went over to check out the progress…

They’re doing a pretty great job so far, I’d say.

How wonderful it will be to get a head start on our tomatoes next year, to have pretty, green things to look at during the grey winter days, to maybe just maybe have a few citrus trees to pick from!  

Filed under greenhouse garden

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let’s go out to the veggie garden.

It’s still early but there is a lot happening out in the garden this year.  Want to see?

This year we (Kaylon) added more raised beds around the perimeter so that we (Kaylon) could plant even more veggie goodness.

There are a ton of beans growing along the back fence.  I love their tiny purple flowers.

We’ve got butternut and yellow squash growing along (and up) the north side fence.  Last year, we had an early squash bug problem.  We’re trying to stay on top of them this year.  We LOVE squash.

And there are lots of tiny, spiky cucumbers growing along the front fence.

In the four main beds we’ve got an array of peppers, a ton of lettuces, a dozen okra plants, herbs, swiss chard, kohlrabi, some cabbage, beets, a silly number of carrots (like maybe eight.  eight carrots!?!?  what are we going to do with only eight carrots?) and about twenty tomato plants. The tomatoes are growing in huge clumps like we’ve never seen before.  They look so delicious already!  

And outside of the garden are three mischievous chickens that want to get at our delicious tomatoes too.  This is Beatrice…


What about you, do you have a garden?  How’s it doing so far? 

Filed under garden veggies chickens

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a sustainable backyard

An ode to the backyard…

When we’re feeling antsy or bored as is often the case since we live in such a sleepy mountain-top town, we head out to the backyard.  The backyard is always full of activity.  Veggies are busting through the dirt, berries get a shade darker by the minute, peaches get fuzzier, bunnies frolic, turtles sun on the bank of the pond, vines reach for and cling to supports.  This backyard is alive and well, thriving and providing.  And for that, we’re grateful.

Filed under garden chickens sustainability

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The joys of mediocrity.

I do not always do great work. I’ll tell you a secret…sometimes I cut corners. This will come as a surprise to no one who has seen the garden.

It is cobbled together with old gates for trellises, wooden pallets turned into raised bets and a fallen tree as a corner post for the fence.  I needed a post so I walked into the woods and dragged one out.

Like a man.

A very cheap, very lazy man.

There is a common theme for all of these things. They were quick, easy and free. None of this construction will last till stars die. They have all served their intended purpose, which is to allow us to figure out if we like working towards self-sustenance.

As we figure out what we like and what we don’t our construction will improve.

Until then it will look a little like an old Soviet airfeild, unkempt but funtional, and totally jury rigged.

Filed under garden

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Garden: Year Two

We are starting our second garden. Last year we had the modest goal of growing a salad. We failed. That is not true, we grew tomatoes and cucumbers until we grew weary and could eat them no more. We let many go to waste before we thought “Pickle dummy, pickles.”  

We are new to all this stuff. Sometimes we miss the obvious.

We do, however, learn so this year we planted tons of things that can be canned, dried, and frozen, so we can eat what we have grown throughout the year. That is the plan.  

We have high hopes for this plan. 

If we fail, there is the farmers market and Chef Boyardee.  Ha!

A safety net is nice. We might be working towards something like self sustenace but we aren’t really that close. This garden is a step in removing a piece of our ignorance. Can we grow more and can more this year than last?  Will we like kohlrabi? I think that we can and that will. We’ll keep you posted.

Are you growing anything this year? 

Filed under garden year two

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around here

1. A chicken escaped.

2. And Grey Cat could have cared less.  Really.  That neighbor cat only cares about rolling in the dirt and being petted and scratched by anyone walking by.  And we oblige… but with a stick… because he’s filthy due to aforementioned dirt rolling.  Seriously, don’t touch that cat.

3. And things are sprouting in the garden!  Woo hoo!

Filed under garden life with the tuttles

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Cold Frame Fun

We are about 6 weeks from our last projected frost.  Time to get the transplants started.  

Since all of our south-facing windows face trees and are therefor blocked of the glorious sunshine, we needed another option.  So we made a cold frame (keep in mind functional is not always beautiful).  We scrounged up some transplant trays, laid out our seeds, mixed some soil and got started.

We shall see if any of these seeds sprout or if we are doomed to buying transplants.

High hopes, low expectations.  We’ll keep you posted.

Anyone else starting their garden season early?

Filed under garden

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What’s that giant ball of light in the sky?

It’s winter in the wee cabin, I love books and soup and all that but we had a rare gloriously sunny day and I have a long list of things that need to get done before spring. That list just got a little shorter. Garden beds expanded….check.  Taunting dirt pile moved…. check.  Back still functional….check.  It will undoubtedly go back to the gray day + soup circuit by the end of the week, but it was damn nice to sweat in the sun instead of the shop.

Filed under chickens garden winter