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Did you travel out of town for the 4th of July?  We normally don’t.  But before you start to feel sorry for us, I would love to share with you what we did this 4th.

We spent it with my sister and her family on their farm, which is located just 5 minutes from our house.  Their farm is a fun place to visit with dogs, chickens, a pet toad who lives with the chickens, fruit trees, nut trees and a vegetable garden.  I love sharing their farm with you all.


So we started out our evening with an all-American meal of hot dogs, chips and watermelon.  I brought Rice Krispy treats with both milk chocolate and white frosting on top.  After we ate, we went outdoors and watched the kids play.

American meal

we started out our evening with an all-American meal of hot dogs, chips and watermelon

In the distance, we could see a thunderstorm brewing, but it didn’t look like it was going to hit us.

American meal

As I usually do each week when we visit, I decided to check out the fruit trees and vegetable garden see what was growing.

American meal

The green fruit that you see above are grapefruit that will be ripe this winter.  Other then watering deeply (3 ft. deep), there is nothing to be done for citrus trees this month.

American meal

There was a single kumquat hanging in this tree.  Later the tree will be covered with them.

American meal

I love growing gourds and have 4 big ones in my own vegetable garden.  But, there are 3 large ones growing in this vegetable garden.

watermelon

Both the watermelon and gourd plants are growing like crazy.  It is probably not a good idea to plant these plants close to each other.

Effie, Lucy and Flo

The chickens, Effie, Lucy and Flo were out enjoying the early evening along with us.

frost-damaged tree

Do you remember the frost-damaged tree that I wrote about a few weeks ago?  Well, look at how quickly it has grown!

nephew Oliver, my son Kai, my daughter Ruthie, my nephew Finley and my daughter Gracie

My nephew Oliver, my son Kai, my daughter Ruthie, my nephew Finley and my daughter Gracie.

The kids were getting very excited about seeing fireworks.

proud American citizen

Gracie may have been born in China, but she is a proud American citizen 🙂

Notice her shirt?  Gracie just loves Sonic the Hedgehog and couldn’t believe it when we saw this t-shirt at the store the other day.  It didn’t matter to her that it was in the boy’s department.  She used her allowance to buy it.  She wears it everyday until I tell her that I have to wash it 😉

Finally, it was dark enough to set off the fireworks in the front yard.

proud American citizen

I don’t know who was most excited, the kids or my brother and brother-in-law who were going to set them off.

proud American citizen

We started off small, with sparklers.

proud American citizen

My daughter, Rachele, and I were happy to just watch.

proud American citizen

Some of the fireworks were a bit loud for Gracie.

proud American citizen

We had such a fabulous time watching our small firework show that we didn’t even venture into the backyard where our town’s firework display could be seen.

How about you?

What did you do this 4th of July?

Earlier this week, we were enjoying our weekly dinner at Double S Farms, where my mother, sister and her family live.  I must admit that I always look forward to these nights.  I get to enjoy being with my family, plus I don’t have to cook dinner 😉

Usually after dinner, we take a stroll out in the back garden and check out what is going on in the vegetable garden – cucumbers, corn and tomatoes this week.  The fruit trees are heavily laden with fruit – apple and plum trees will soon be ready pick.  

What drew my attention this week was the young Sissoo (Dalbergia sissoo) tree that had suffered frost-damage from our severe cold snap last winter.  The entire top of the tree had died.

Frost damage tree

Frost damage tree

For a few months, my brother-in-law and mother had waited to see if the tree was still alive and if any new growth would occur.

Well, the entire tree above the ground, was killed by the frost.

However, at the soil surface, by the tree trunk, there was new growth.  There was vibrant new growth occurring.

So, I recommended that they keep the tree and remove the dead part of the tree.  This was easily done using a pruning saw.

There were numerous new branches growing from the base and we selected the strongest one to keep and pruned off the others. 

Frost damage tree

We kept the stakes and simply readjusted downward to help hold up the new growth, which will help to train it upright.

young Sissoo

Of course, the other option was to remove the entire tree and start over with a new one.  However, there is a well-established root system already in place.  So why not take advantage of that?  When you first plant any type of plant, there is transplant shock and then it takes time for the roots to establish themselves.

By simply selecting the new growth, we have a huge head start.  Yes, it is short, but with an established root system, it will grow very quickly.

Plus, just think of the $ saved – I just love a good bargain 🙂

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