Hummie and Lil Eden Gardens

Another week with the nursery herds hanging around the Homestead kept us entertained along with the Hummie Clan.

Nice weather had us out in Hummie and Eden gardens .

Hangin’ in Hummie


Hummie Garden was the first garden we put in once the New house was up. It all started with the solitary feeder I had run for the hummingbirds that stumbled onto Zen over the decades.

The feeder is still there at its original spot though there are a few more plants than when I first start putting it up.


hummiegardennorth1ahummiegarden5aHe still complains that there just isn’t enough to eat.

Hummie and Liam are still each sitting at one of  the feeders on the Porch side , one to either side of the porch/deck area knocking out two of the feeders during most of the day.

We had to do a lot of pruning back as the plants were crawling all over each other…and still are to a certain extent.

The nice thing about working in Hummie Garden is there isn’t a lot of walking to do to get something done, a major help right now with my dang hip/knee/ foot deal going on .

We have our feverfew in there as well as the parsley and chives. There are a few other herbs growing in here as well but not anywhere ready for harvesting.

Lil Eden




While Ma was doing more weed pulling , I made my way into Eden from Hummie to work on trees and what watering we do.

Eden has come a very long way. It was open pits and rock when we started over.

Over 200 yards of dirt later , all by wheel barrow and shovel , then all the rock picked out, I layered it into tiers . It had originally been a very steep slope , then tore apart for the new house and septic , tearing up the old one…

The tiers in and original plans set… Ma decided we should go a different way…. So I un-tiered the area….and put in grass to hold the soil together until we could put in the gardens.

Over the years we have made the area bigger , pulling out fences and putting in new to keep out deer and elk .

In the last few years we started adding veggie gardens .

edennorthgarden1aeden2aedencant1aThe summer so far has been chilly and windy putting us way behind pretty much everyone else. We got our first harvest of Zuke this weekend. We ended up with one jar of Rig pickles and 96 Zuke muffins ..Obviously frozen now….

We also , of course, have our herbs that we use throughout the year.


Plus having a few types of oregano around Eden here and there as well as marjoram and savory.

The Lavender Garden has several varieties to work with as well.


There are also many kinds of fruits from apricots  to Plums growing around the edges.

The apple orchard is to the north on its own as well as having the “test” garden that has the asparagus and Tomatoes.

We manage to make all of our pasta sauces , hot sauces , apple products ,our dried herbs , tinctures and more. One of the next gardens in Lil Eden will be a Tea garden , but first we have to do some more looking to see what we want that may grow up here .. then trial and error time.

Most things are Zero-scape though a few things are yet too young and have to have some TLC for a few more years , then THEY will be Zero-scape as well.

Veggies , of course , need a lot more work and a lot more than in the flatlands as we fight drought , winds , shorter season , clay and rock soil , gophers , moles, voles, greydiggers , silver grey squirrels , deer , elk , bunnies , what bugs make it up here ,and so on , as well as both of us being at work or en route far more than down time to work on the gardens then toss in slowing down with age as getting busted up at work over and again .

We are overall pretty happy with what we get in.


So , I have to go to Portland tomorrow to see SAIF’s doctor about my hip/knee/foot . I have absolutely no idea in what direction that will go… Hopefully not completely screwed like my eye. I had many witnesses . SAIF brought in their own guy to check out the machine and he was freaked by it as well. The Super that had me use it tried it for the first time and freaked as well… Only took a few months for him to pay attention. My immediate supervisor tossed both of them on the machine. He had recently started to use it…Ok twice he used it and gave up on it as well . The rep took a video even of the machine.. No idea about that. I was working while they did all of this.

Anyway… we shall see if I get help or get screwed again . I don’t even really know HOW I can get help for all of that.

ANYWAY… and my eyes completely freaked out , including the useful one..making writing this full of thrills and chills…fine.. I am swearing every word or so as I see the dreaded red line through words I can not see.. then try to figure out what I screwed up.

Even just walking through the house , my hip pops with every step , my upper leg keeps giving out , my foot seizes up .. My damn knee feels like it is folding in on its self and hurting…and I literally can’t see crap..well.. fine..admittedly I haven’t looked for crap so I am just guessing there…

Sooo… ( that was all a lead up BTW )…. I had to grab something out of ” Innie ” , which I had been in just yesterday, I grabbed the door to open it and a hornet , or yellowjacket , or wasp..because, I can’t see them either.. landed on my bad eye and started stinging it!

It took a moment for me to figure out what was going on and by then I had been stung both on my upper and lower lid. I finally got it off my face , heading back into the house to get some seasoning salt on the stings before they could start pushing the venom I am allergic to them to begin with…

Seems I got to them in time , rubbing salt into my eye no less…So that was fun too… I am somewhat swollen but nothing like it could have been. Maybe it just wasn’t pissed enough that time.. to dose me too bad..

Me being me…. I put on a pair of safety glasses , grabbed a can of hornet spray and went Primeval on them….. I started with the door and saw a few come out of a hatch that , well, covers a latch …and sprayed ( snort) the batch .. Then I preceded to spray every damn thing that moved ….  Then I got my barley and walked back inside … AN eye for an eye as it were..

Herd Mentality


So.. every morning , some early evenings and every night , the nursery herds come through. The largest has more than 60 calves .. I have seen it far away but Ma has been on the porch when they have come through.

I have seen the smaller groups with anywhere from one to a dozen calves .Generally while I DON”T have a camera with me or too early or late or simply when I am leaving for work.

Ma has walked out on them without noticing during the late evenings to have them run off and come back.

Most of the time they have been very quiet which is weird but often enough we hear them just inside our woods to the north. We had a young bull with them this morning testing out his bugle.

So far they are behaving which is great. SO long as they don’t start messing with our fences , everyone is happy.

Final Thoughts

Well , at least whatever happens will happen tomorrow and I’ll find out what comes next for my leg . No idea how I am going to work through this so that it will heal . As it is , I am working 4-10s which gives me three days to recoup . Friday I am completely worthless.. granted I am barely more than that on Thurs as well . Usually by Weds I am dragging bad enough that I don’t sleep well from the daily damage .I just hope that they at least try to help me .

Having the elk herd around is far… We have had years when even just the deer have been a major PIA so the potential is there . I imagine they will shift gears soon with the rut coming up this next month . Hopefully the bulls don’t tear things up or I’ll have to buy another freezer.

The gardens are starting to grow finally , hopefully we don’t go straight into too hot too dry and too windy though that is the norm. Maybe we will luck out and it will stay fairly mellow and toss in an Indian Summer so we can have a chance at filling the larder.

We have lots of potato plants but I’ll not hold my breath to see if we get lots of potatoes. although it is a good sign anyway , best so far.

Just behave Zen shut up

Ma and I get to bed around 10 pm and up at 3:30am so the night goes by fast for us as it is.. It turns out that not only does Dennis enjoy stopping by under my window at 2am but a pair of cow elk decided to come hang out with Ma and I and got bored at 2am…

We lay sleeping as we only had a little over an hour before we had to be up to start the day.

I woke out of a dream.. a dream where an elk was chirping….

“CRAP!” It wasn’t a dream. I lay in bed listening to a cow elk chattering away just outside my window. I assumed that the herd was just getting some water and then they’d be off….Nooooooooo….

A “thwanging” started on top of the chirping.

“WTH!” I rolled out of bed and looked out my window. Two cow elk were just outside. One cow was rubbing against the support cable for our power pole in the field. The other was cheering her on !

” Do it again Ethel ! That time you almost sounded like Da playing his guitar. “

” Crap…” I watched the two for a moment then yelled out the window, ” HEY! You two shut the hell up !”

They both looked up at the house for a moment then started to walk off. I lay back down to sleep.


“Crap!” …”What THE HELL are you two doing now?”

The cheerleader starting back up again tossed her pompoms while Ethel used my archery bale as a soccer ball ! Frame and all . They both ignored me.

I went to Ma’s window and opened it more to yell again when they both took off….Giggling…

I watched as they went off some 15 yards , only to turn around and wait for me to lay back down…

Then , the alarm went off….. They both lay down to sleep .. Completely exhausted.

I stared at them as I silenced the alarm grumbling through gritted teeth

” and so starts Just another day on Zen Mountain ..”




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