Tuesday, May 28, 2024


My Grandma Stevens had hollyhocks on her farm growing out around her burn barrel over toward the chicken house.  There was a big piece of wood there too (a log maybe?), for taking chickens’ heads off.  My mother (her daughter) simply held the chicken by the legs, placed it on the ground, stepped on its head, and pulled until the head came off.  Grandma took a hatchet, held the chicken head down, and cut off the head; Grandma’s way may have been less cruel than my mom’s, although Mother wasted no time pulling that head off.  Her method only worked on younger frying chickens; older chickens get tough and the hatchet has to be used.  When a hen quits laying eggs every year, she is butchered for chicken and noodles!  But I digress.

I never thought of hollyhocks as a beautiful plant, even as a child.  The actual plant is really tall and ungainly in my opinion, but I did love to play with the flowers.

You can pick the flower, leaving the stem on it, then pick one of those little green things… maybe that’s holding the seeds?… push it onto the stem of the flower, and you can almost see a southern bell doll.  And that is a cherished memory to me.  I recall when my parents and I still lived in Iowa some little girl from school having a birthday party.  All us girls spend some time making southern belle dolls that day.  

I’ve always thought I’d like having a few hollyhocks, ungainly as they are.  My husband, though, doesn’t like to mow around flowers, and I doubt he would like something in the yard growing ten feet tall anyhow.  I’m not sure I would!  But I might just put a few seeds in the corner of my fenced garden where I’d be the one taking care of it.  I have found Ebay is the place to go for common garden seeds.  I have 50 seeds coming in the mail soon, with free shipping.  Altogether it cost $3.89.

When I die, all the grandson who bought our place will have to remind him of me will be weeds and ugly, tall flowering plants.

Much of my garden this year is a failure, but there are still things that surprise me there.  There are several blueberries on the Sunshine Blueberry plant, which I put out there less than a year ago.  Stark Brothers keeps everything you buy on file so you can see when you bought it if you’ve forgotten.

 This year is my first time dealing with asparagus, and for the most part it’s doing great.  Next year I’ll be able to eat some.  They are too skinny to eat this year anyhow.  See those strawberries shining red?  I have been picking strawberries for over two weeks, and if I wanted to, I could still go out and get a couple quarts.  They are really getting smaller, though, and I may call it quits.

nine out of ten roots isn’t bad

My friend Paula grew some tall sunflowers last year, so I planted six plants by my garden fence just for fun.  I find it interesting that they are growing by different sizes getting smaller from left to right.

The first pepper plant I bought and set out on April 7th has suffered cold, wind, and hail:  But look at this pepper!


  1. We used to raise chickens and I have distinct memories of helping to pluck the feathers off of them, but I have no memories of how their heads came off. I'm assuming they were chopped off by my dad with an axe but I have no memory of that. I don't know if mom shielded us from seeing that or if my brain shielded myself by not retaining the memory.

  2. I never even thought to feel sorry for the chicken. I loved seeing them jumping all over the yard with no head

  3. That's a nice looking pepper--wish I liked them! My late husband grew up on a farm with chickens and had to butcher them. He didn't mind it as much as being a chicken chaser for a local chicken business. I would rather not think too closely about how I get my meat! :)


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