Where The Orange Blossoms Grow....

Hello! Welcome to the Stricklen's blog. We hope to keep our family and friends up to date with what is going on with our family. You will find a variety of experiences posted here -- you may find pictures of the never ending project of building our house, Callie helping William with his first steps, Mary studying a rare insect species, or perhaps you may be terribly bored with Molly's numerous fruit trees, berries, vegetables and rare plant pictures! Who knows what we may find Chris and CJ doing -- probably something having to do with a tractor or machine of sorts. Abby and Margaret will keep us entertained with costumes from other lands or a fairy story. Whatever we post, we trust it will lift your spirits and bring honor and glory to our Lord!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Our Spring Garden

Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow!
We are thanking the Lord for His boutiful
blessings on our garden!

Here are some pictures from our Spring Garden. The veggies are
in different stages. Some as seedlings to full grown vegetables.

We have made an effort this season to plant only heirloom seeds!
We plan to save our seed from year to year. The Lord has blessed
our efforts. It has been so nice eating from the garden every day
as well as from our fruit trees (we will post on them later!)


We've been having fun
planting flowers in
the garden
that we have always
wanted to grow!
We are amazed by their beauty

This is our lovely Garden Girl

Wills has become quite taken with her!


~~~~ Tomatoes ~~~~

We planted 6 different heirloom tomato varieties.
They are our favorite thing to grow!
Some of the varieties include Pink Ponderosa,
German Lunchbox, Atkinson, and Marglobe.

Hopefully they will be as productive as our Fall tomatoes!

We are looking forward with
great anticipation to
eating some delicious
and juicy vine ripe
We have a few weeks to wait!

~~~~~ Cucumbers ~~~~~

We have Edmondson Pickling cukes and
Straight Eight slicing cukes.
Our cucumbers have grown alot since these pictures and are loadedwith cucumbers! We hope to make lots of pickles!

Chris built these great trellises!


We are growing Yellow Crookneck
and Costata Romanesco (an Italian zuccini)

Meet "Luigi"
(Mr. Pickles Italian cousin!)


We harvested about 15# of potatoes -
I think we had better plant more next time!

~~~ Lettuce ~~~

This is "Forellenschluss"
An old Austrian heirloom that means
"Speckled like a Trout"
We also grew the heirloom "Little Gem"
which is a mini Romaine.

"Callie Sue"
She's a great Southern variety - not heirloom though!

~~~Sweet Corn~~~

We planted 3 different varieties of corn. They are all GMO free
(which are becoming hard to find)

- Country Gentleman Sweet Corn

- Yellow Hickory King Dent Corn
-Stowell's Evergreen Sweet Corn

Mustard Greens from the early spring

~~~~Green Beans~~~~

We planted Contender and Mayflower Beans
(these were supposedly brought over on the Mayflower with the Pilgrims)

It's always fun to dig in the dirt with a friend

~~~ Onions ~~~

We grew "Texas Early" and "Red Creole" Onions

~~~ Peppers ~~~

We grew about 6 varieties of peppers.
Lots of banana peppers. Callie will pickle
these for Chris - He loves them!

Some hot weather crops
we just put in recently which
should grow well in the heat :)

Dixie Speckled Lima Beans
Black Eyed Peas
Sweet Potatoes


Well, that is all for now! Hope you enjoyed :)

God bless you!


Whiddon Family said...

Y'all's garden is so nice! I didn't see any weeds in all those pictures! Did y'all just finish pluckin weeds or is it just all the mulch? Looks like y'all are gettin tons of vegitables. Our garden's four main crops are, weeds, grass, bugs and fire ants. ;) Our garden's got some vegitables too, we're 'bout sick of eating collards, turnips and lettuce! ;)
Well, thank y'all for posting!


The Pollock Family said...

Wonderful Garden!! Love the trellises. That is the neatest garden I've ever seen. You can actually work in your garden and not get dirty. Amazing!!
The pic of Wills with his diggin in the dirt friend is so good. You should send that to countrylife magazine or something. It's sure to win. So, so cute.

Where do you get the "Callie Sue" variety? I can't find it anywhere!!
Love that caption.

Where do you get your heirloom seeds? We saw an heirloom farm in Missouri when we were there, but didn't have time to stop.

Love you much,
Mrs. P for the family

Bonnie said...

Molly, how nice to see such a sweet picture of home while we are out on the road! (Danny is with the children at the Charleston Museum, while Grandmother Harris and I are enjoying popcorn {GMO, I am afraid!} in the RV by some big old train yard!)

AND, how nice that I am the beneficiary of some of that wonderful produce! It is always delicious and welcome!! Hope to be home soon.

Love, Mother and Grandmother Harris

Kelly said...

Move over Martha Stewart! Molly, your garden is beautiful!

The Dischers said...

Beautiful garden, Stricklens! We always love to meander through it with you :)

The Dischers

The Miller Family said...

Lovely pictures! I think I would enjoy meandering through this garden with the Dischers, too!

I can also commiserate with Laney, we've eaten our fill of lettuce and greens from the garden. When are the tomatoes going to be ready!!!!

William and puppy are adorable! BTW: what is puppy's name?



A. Katie,
Puppy's name is "Buck.":):):)


Kitty said...

MMmmmmmmmmmm-mmmmmm! Soo good looking. :) I HAVE to be allowed to taste those pickles, Cal! You know me in pickles... :-P

Wills - as ALWAYS - was and is adorable. :) Him and the little girl. :)


Daniel said...

Wow. yalls Garden is doing great.
yalls tomatoes are alot farther along then ours.looks like yalls potatos did good. every thing looks good [even the squash]

Anonymous said...

Did yall move into the Kennedy's old place on Martha's Vineyard.
I give up you are the better gardener. We just have a good ol country garden. We are trying to build our soil up with leaves. Every year it should get better. The only way i could get a garden with such rich soil and no weeds that grows veggies like you. I would have to spend 10K and hire someone to come in and build raised beds and buy a dump truck load of compost to put in them. Im amazed how much work you have done since we moved to Arkansas. Someday Ill have a garden like you. BTW did I see a little bit of blue tint on some of your plants. You wouldn't be useing miracle grow, would you? I got a question. If I remember right your garden is in an old orange grove full of sugar sand. How were you able to build such rich soil so fast? we just moved from there a year ago. All I remember is lots of sand, lots of sand spurs, and a small spot of good dirt, from were yall dumped some horse manure. Please give me your secret. You can email it to me if you dont want the world to know your top secret formula and gardening tricks. We sure could use the veggies to feed our 8 children.

PS I was kidding. I was laughing the whole time I was writing this comment. I think you should enter your garden into Better Homes and Gardens gardening contest. You would win hands down. Im actualy jealous of your garden. I really was amazed how you got such rich dirt so fast.


Well, Robert,
I thank you for your half hearted compliments! There is a lot more to growing a garden than getting 10K and buying a bunch of "compost" and hiring someone to build raised beds.
We have done none of those things, in fact almost everything in our garden soil was free -- just good old fashioned labor on our family's part!
We go and get free horse manure (which by all means is NOT perfect soil! It has a lot of pine in it), grass clippings and oak leaves from our yard that we rake up after mowing, the litter from Mary's guinea pig cage, and all our kitchen scraps (which is at least a bucket a day) All of that goes into our compost pile which Chris turns regularly with the tractor. That is what is in our soil -- Alot can be done in a year :) It all depends on how determined you are and how much of a priority it is for your family. It happens to be a very high priority for us. Now you have the secret ;)

Also, I don't know why you would need 10K to hire someone - You could build those beds, just like Chris did. And you have lots of strong young men who could do it for you! Also, Chris and the girls built that fence around the garden.

Having a successful garden is not only about the soil, but knowing when and what to plant, when and how much to water, what other soil amendments may be necessary for certain vegetables (like blood meal, bone meal, fish meal, etc) now those do cost, but we use very little of them.
Our garden is just the culmination of years of learning and experimenting with different ideas and ways of gardening. We finally have a fairly good combo.

There are certainly weeds! We weed nearly every day - they are just alot easier to manage in raised beds.
Just to let you know, we have lots of fruit trees and other very nice looking trees and plants all through the yard that are not growing in those "magic" raised beds. They have been growing for years in that same soil you described. With the right care and time invested you can easily grow nice trees and plants in this "sugar sand". Yes, you are right, our garden and yard are in "an old orange grove full of sugar sand". It is amazing what God's blessing, a little determination, some knowledge about plants and trees and a LOT of HARD WORK can do!


PS I don't think our garden soil is very rich yet. It is not at all what I would like it to be or like what we had built in Inwood. We had very rich soil there from years of building it. We have found some earthworms in our raised beds and even around our sidewalks at the house under the mulch, which is a good and encouraging sign!

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a wonderful garden! I think we should come down to visit you and get some gardening lessons. We have had so much rain here in Flagler County that it has ruined some of our crops but we are learning. Will your family be going to the Vision Forum Reformation 500 celebration in Boston?
for The Hopes

Amy B. said...

Your garden is amazing!!!! How wonderful. :-)