Blast from the past

Since my life is so utterly interesting between work and….work, I figured a bit of catching up is in order.

The summer brought us harvests of all sorts of things.


The weather played havoc with everything, as it was an incredibly strange season. No corn, some tomatoes, lots of cucumbers, beans, peas, and so forth. The most stunning success?

Garlic. Lots of it.

I harvested 40 pounds of garlic from a relatively small planting the previous fall. I figured this would last us for quite some time, so I didn’t plant any this past fall.


Big mistake. Homegrown garlic is, to us, so much tastier than the common storebought variety. We had put in four different varieties, each with their own unique taste, and at this point, we’re now facing a garlic shortage at the ranch here. So, this year, for spring planting, I’ve put in three different varieties so far (Sonoran, Silver Rose, and Inchelium), covering four 4×4 framesets.

Yaar, there be treasures there!

I’ve also placed an order for garlic that will ship in the fall, so by the time I’m pulling what I’ve just planted, another round will be ready to go. In theory, I should be saving the biggest and best bulbs for replanting. To do that, I would need to plant even more garlic. Unless I devoted an entire acre to nothing but garlic, I’m not sure it would be possible for us to set any aside, considering how much we use.

Yes, we used all of that in the same cooking session.

And yes, it was delicious.

RIP, Princess

Gandalf – aka The Princess – died quite suddenly this afternoon. This was not entirely unexpected. We have been on death watch for months now, given her advancing years, the tumor we had removed from her belly some months ago, and her increasing skinniness. Today, though, mom found her on the garage floor, on her side, having tremendous difficulty breathing. It sounded like typical congestion for her, as she was prone to snotty noses and sneezing, but this time she was panting, mouth open, and one nostril was sealed with dried snot. This was all rather surprising, since yesterday she appeared, by all accounts, to be fine: ate, drank, yowled at the dogs when they got too close. Alas, as we were headed to the emergency vet clinic, she died in my lap – the only good thing about this, since if mom hadn’t gone into the garage at that time, she’d likely have died there, alone, and no one wants that.

She was ever vigilant, although not much of a hunter in her later years.

Gandalf, Dec 2009

She was also a great help when I was working.

Gandalf, Aug 2009

For some reason, she loved to be vacuumed.

Gandalf, Sep 2009

She knew the value of a nap in the sunlight.

Gandalf, Nov 2009

And mostly, she was my solid and constant companion for 18 years. Sleep well, Princess.

Gandalf, Jun 2009

What are you up to?

The usual. Hanging around.

OK, maybe not all the time. Mostly, it’s been work, work, work. But it seems to be about that time to pick up the blogging reins once more, especially as we start our real push at Lazy Dogs Ranch now that the growing season is once again upon us. This season is all about experimentation and planning, to see what grows well, what people actually like to eat, and how to manage crops, rotation, and so forth. It will be an adventure, and of course there will be food.