Friday, May 29, 2009

Fancy Flip Flops

Here's our latest craft, Fancy Flip Flops. I got the idea from the Family Fun website. All you do is take a pair of cheap flip flops that fit your kid's foot (or grown up too I guess) and find some fabric that matches. Cut out strips 1inch by about 4 or 5 inches long (depending on your kid's foot size) with a pair of pinking shears. This will help them not to fray so quickly. Tie the pieces on one at a time and push them close together to give it the full look. It doesn't take much fabric and Kaitlyn gets a kick out of wearing them. They make a fun gift for friends and are quick and easy to put together. Let me know how it goes!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


I am always interested in finding out all about a plant before I put it into the ground. I like those long gardening books filled with the specifics about the plants. I typically don't find all the information that I would like to have in them so I just give the plant a trial to see what happens. This is very true of my zucchini plants. I've never had much luck with the squash family, mostly they just get a fungus and die. Sounds exciting? Well, these I found from the Burpee seed catalog. They have not had any fungus and have been champs at producing those yummy zucchinis. What I find interesting is how they grow. Each plant produces male and female flowers. The males are ones that proudly reach towards the sky. They are larger and it's stem remains skinny. (top) The female flower remains close to the plant and it's stem thickens with the zucchini. (bottom) The afternoon heat closes the flowers up for the day. The pollinating bee population is for unknown reasons, on the decline. Your hope is that an insect will carry the pollen from the male to the female, fertilizing and ultimately producing the zucchini. Did you know you can hand pollinate with a paint brush in the early morning if the insects are not doing a satisfactory job?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Gardening in May

Summer rains have started a little early this year. We had our week of blasted hot heat and then our mini-tropical storm that poured down at least ten inches on the garden last week. So far we are getting a fair amount each night this week, which helps with the water bill for the garden. The kids are going crazy each evening since we can't go out and play, just sit and watch the rains come down.

There are plenty of tomatoes that have set, just growing and growing. The zucchini are starting to dwindle after lots of little yummy green fingers. I've heard that you can fry up the flowers, haven't tried that yet. The cukes are getting bigger and bigger. Some have that end blossom rot, yuck! They get mushy and yellow before they can get big enough. The peas and green beans are not doing that great. I have a feeling that they don't like the extreme heat and now with the rains they have not been getting enough sun. I did get to pick my first pea pod. Kevin, Kaitlyn and I shared the three fresh peas and boy they were yummy. I will have to remember those for the fall garden.

I keep checking back with my good pal, Tom MacCubbin to make sure I am on par with what I should be doing now. Seems I am a little behind with planting my sweet potatoes. I have it going in a pot. I'm just trying to make the time to prepare a place in my garden to plant the shoots. The other day I found a sweet potato on top of my fridge and it was sprouting of course. I wonder if I can start this one even though it's late in the game. Let's hope I get a chance this next weekend to put them in the ground.