Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Good, The Bad & The Bunny

Fact: Today is December 10.
Fact: It's very close to 70 degrees as I'm typing.
Fact: I am 100% okay with this.

There's no real normal Arkansas weather, but it's still fall around here. The colors in the south are vibrant as ever and many trees show no signs of letting go. Adding more color to my December backyard are the dots of green still growing, thriving, and doing their best in my garden. A couple months ago I told you about the promise of a fall garden. I'm here to report that {some} of it grew! Let's discuss.

The GOOD: I planted broccoli for the first time this September. One night dropped into the 20s and left frost damage on the beautiful forest green leaves, but they're growing! Last week I was pleased to find perfect little broccoli bouquets sprouting from the middle of my plants. The Bauer girls are notorious for their love of broccoli and we hope to be feasting soon.

Another new crop we're looking forward to harvesting are the carrots. We have tried to germinate carrot seed three or four times in our short lives as gardeners and much to Owen's disappointment, they've never popped up. We must have held the seeds just right this year, though. Owen's already asking for ranch dip.

We're waiting patiently for carrots, but we have already pulled something else from the ground. We are pleased to report perfectly shaped, bright-red radishes! They pack a peppery punch and more flavor than the sad ones left on restaurant salad bars. The Internet told me to dip them in butter, and the Internet was right. Tasty little snacks straight from the dirt.

The BAD: I have photographic evidence of Nathan and Owen planting two rows of lettuce and spinach, both specially chosen for their vigorous growth and cold weather tolerance. That's all I have, though. Blame it on the weather, bad seed, or hungry birds, but I'll be buying my greens at the grocery store. Can't win 'em all.

The UGLY: The ugly comes in the form of floppy ears and a fluffy cotton tail. And I need him dead. Back when the young plants were stretching up and out and every way, a rabbit stepped up to the buffet. Day after day we found damage, but never caught him in the act. I ended up shaking cayenne pepper all over the leaves of my precious veggies. One completely nibbled cabbage plant became a treat for the chickens, but the remainders are recovering. Bunnies dislike cayenne pepper as much as lead poisoning. The more you know?

While I kick back with ranch dressing at the ready and wait for our food to go from farm to table, why don't you tell me about your fall garden? There has to be a better success rate out there. What fresh veggies are you munching? Meet you in the comments!

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