We have a black snake in one of the hugelkultures that appears to be quite large. I have not seen him but he has shed his skin twice this summer and the skin itself is large. DSCF1529

They are not poisonous but can bite, so I try to be respectful of him when I go near his home to pick cucumbers. Mentally, I call him by a nickname–“Big-un.” This makes me less freaked out.



Kansas State Fair

This week the state fair opened in Kansas. I haven’t been to a state fair since I was a kid. It was more carnival-like and less agricultural than I thought it would be but we still had fun. We managed to not ingest anything but a strawberry lemonade.


The little pigs race for Oreos but we witnessed that sometimes it’s not the winner that makes it to the Oreo first.


I had heard about butter sculpture at the Iowa state fair, but the Kansas fair also has this. It was very elaborate.

100MEDIA$IMAG08051 100MEDIA$IMAG08061

This was the largest pumpkin that they’ve ever had. It was over a thousand pounds.



We have planted some decorative gourds. They are very viney like the cucumbers but I am just now learning to recognize them because I have not seen them before.

These are bushel gourds. My mom says that in Central America, where she is from, people use them as bowls.

bushel gourd

These are Corsican gourds. They are very pretty trellised over a cattle panel on the hugelkultures.

corsican gourd

These are loofahs. They have a beautiful flower and look almost like cucumbers.

loofah vine loofahs

Okra, pumpkins, and turkeys

Most of the summer crops are finishing up, but some other crops are now coming into there own.

The okra plants are looking very healthy. These ones were planted in late May so they are not quite  up to speed in terms of production but seem like they will be soon.


These are the cowpeas.


Kakai pumpkins have hulless seeds for roasting or pressing into oil.

kakai pumpkins

Then, while we were discussing plans for planting this fall and next year we realized that we were being spied upon.

turkey peeking turkeys 2