Lacking any real activity in the garden this time of year, I thought I would share some photos today to show some of my 2018 activities. January saw us undertaking a big kitchen renovation. We had been planning this for years, and the main goals were to replace the flooring and countertops plus increase our storage space. The kitchen was torn up for a couple of months, and we did much of our January cooking out in the garage where we setup our microwave and Instant Pot.
In February I was doing what I usually do that time of year, starting seeds for the garden. I start most of my plant indoors, using light stands I have setup in the basement.
In March we finished the kitchen remodeling, and the results were well worth the disruption. We love the new flooring and quartz counters, and we now have more storage space for the most-used kitchen gadgets and appliances. The floor is easy on the feet, and the counters are a big improvement over the old laminate we replaced.
Every April my wife and I eagerly await the first spears of asparagus to emerge from their beds. This year they showed up on April 14th, and we harvested 24 pounds of them in the following 8 weeks. We love homegrown asparagus, and we generally enjoy our fill of it for two months then don’t eat it again until the following year. We shared the first two spears.
My wife and I both stopped running several years ago, but in 2018 we walked and ran several races together. In May we did a local race which finishes on the Ohio River. We managed to run it in to the finish while smiling and upright, which is always a good thing!
June was a sad month indeed here at Happy Acres. We lost our beloved 6YO kitty Ace suddenly and without warning. He likely died from a heart condition, and left our hearts heavy with sadness. My wife and I have had a lot of animals in our life, and Ace was a special friend. He was quirky, full of life and very full of himself. We buried him just outside the garden, and I planted catnip on the site to mark the spot and to share with our other kitties.
In July the garden was in full swing, and the summer veggies were rolling in. It was a decent year for cucumbers, squash, and tomatoes, and a really good year for peppers of all sizes and kinds.
A couple of months after we lost Ace, I was watching the noon local news which has a Pet of the Day segment. That was when I met Ally, who made an appearance using her stage name Leslie. She was cool as a cucumber in the TV studio, and after a brief discussion my wife and I headed across the river to the Henderson County Humane Society to meet her. She was a real sweetie in person, and we brought her home with us to Happy Acres that very day. She’s had a hard life already, and came with a host of health issues, but she is doing much better now. She is sitting on my lap as I am typing this, and she is a friendly kitty who seems to crave company. She has certainly come to the right place for that!
Another veggie that did well in 2018 was the beans. I planted bush beans in spring and fall, and pole beans came on in early summer and produced right up until the first frost. I harvested 50 pounds of them, and we had plenty to eat fresh and to freeze for later use. We are especially fond of the Appalachian heirloom beans, and they loved our September weather. I learned to take a couple of gallon buckets to the garden with me when it was time to pick them. And I love pole beans because you harvest them while standing up.
October started off hot, with a high temp of 91°F on the 5th of the month. But a couple of weeks later we got our first killing frost with a low of 25°F on the 21st. While it was still warm I dug the sweet potatoes, and it was a good year for them. I brought in 118 pounds of them, which should keep us well supplied for a while and have plenty for sharing with others.
In November I was busy fermenting some of the fall veggies. I made cabbage, radish and kohlrabi kimchi plus kohlrabi pickles and sauerkraut. Fermenting is one of my favorite ways to preserve these veggies, and we will be enjoying them for months to come.
December brought our first snow of the year on the 5th. It didn’t last, and the weather warmed up to give us a green Christmas with no snow in sight. My wife and I continued our tradition of making ornaments. I made little stockings with our names on them, while she made a one with her painted and stitched kitties that echoed her theme for a house quilt project she recently made.
I hope you have enjoyed this look back on 2018. I want to thank all of the folks who come here and read my blog, and I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year!