Rocky Mount Gourds & Treasures of Louisiana

  (Plain Dealing, Louisiana)
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Deer In My Garden

I have read about many deer repellent and tried a few, the most cost effective, until now, is the garlic and egg mixture.

 I say, until now, I had not heard of what a family in my church has come up with.  The father and son sleep in their garden to keep guard over it and keep the deer out.

Just imagine what a fun activity one could turn this into, actually camping out under the stars in your garden. 

This I know will work, and is the most cost effective, depending on the mosquito population, and how heavy one sleeps.

I can only imagine the conversations that a father and son could come up with, especially, if they're Faith is as strong as I know these two people are.  Looking at the stars and actually thinking and seeing what our creator has done for us!!  What a time for a father and son, could not be get any better.

For now, The Gourd Lady of Rocky Mount, Louisiana, that is...


Tomatoes in our garden

We suddenly realized the May-haws are ready!!  Time to "get with it" for that wonderful fresh May-haw jelly......

It seems there are so many things going on this time of year, one tends to forget what was pending from a day or two the egg and garlic deer repellent that I mixed up two days ago and left in the greenhouse!!  I know it was supposed to set a couple of days, but with the heat, it should be good and ready.  Think I will "stand back" when I open the lid on the container.  It does not appear to be fermenting and bubbling, yet?? 

This should definitely repel something/someone, maybe me.

We have the Scare Eye motion activated sprinkler out, so, hopefully the deer have not been snacking on the gourd foliage or the squash, but to make sure, I am spraying, if I can stand it, the mixture!!  Time to get out the cheese cloth and strainer so I can spray!!

 Will keep you updated on how it works.

For now, The Gourd Lady of Rocky Mount, Louisiana, that is!


Tomatoes in our garden

While spreading more compost today on our various crops, I noticed the deer have been in the field again!! Time for drastic measures........I check the electric fence, and discovered it is not working. It took a little while for me to get up the courage to touch it, not knowing what to expect? I am not only getting out the Scare Eye Motion Activated Sprinkler, but mixing up that horrible combination of eggs and garlic to spray. That should do it,  with the addition of the terrible cologne and deodorant that someone gave my husband. Spraying it on strips of clothes and pinning them around our crop.

I have also learned these past few weeks to NOT be angry when we do not get any rain. We were spared the violent storms and tornadoes just north of us in Arkansas, Okla., Kansas, Texas and Tenn. I decided, after seeing the devastation,  that our Lord gave us a water hose for a reason. I just need to put out the drip system earlier this year!! "Thank you Lord for the water hose"!!

For now, The Gourd Lady of Rocky Mount, Louisiana, that is!!


Tomatoes in our garden

Good morning, everyone!!  I pray that the others in our great nation will have the glorious weather that we are having here this week!!

Everyone know there is so much difference between north Louisiana and South Louisiana, even the climate is drastically different.  I have always been envious when I go to Lafayette, LA and see, what I consider, house plants growing huge in the flower beds there.  I really realize the difference, when, my husband's cousin tells us he is having his first new potatoes from his garden.  Tomatoes plants there have been planted for months, south of New Orleans where they live (The "East Bank" they call it).

Here, in N.W. Louisiana, our plants have been the ground less than two months, but are doing great.  After the five pick up truck loads of mulch and compost, I certainly would be devastated if they were not!!  I can't wait for the first Seedless Tomatoes, so I can report how they taste and how resistant they are to all of the various problems we all have with the plants.

Please keep our workers and the people that live down here in your prayers because of the oil spill.

For now, The Gourd Lady of Rocky Mount, Louisiana, that is!!


Tomatoes in our garden

Just an update on how the composting and mulching is going!! After three days for pitch forking and shoveling compost...I was telling myself I was doing "weight bearing exercises" and this was good for me. That worked for quite a while, then came the "I don't want to do this anymore" thoughts.  I found I just needed some rest.  After a day in town, I was ready to get back with it.

Now we are through, almost, and five loads later, I still could use at least one more load and can actually think about the possibility.  It is wonderful to pile compost and mulching around those potato plants as they grow up and I plan to do the same when the tomatoes get larger, just can't wait. 

The weather has to get more stable and warm, but I know that will come with time, and all too soon.  Just can't be pleased.

For now, The Gourd Lady of Rocky Mount, Louisiana, that is!


Tomatoes in our garden

I wanted to share with anyone interested what I have found to stop the invasion of spider mites on my tomato plants.

 For years I have been plagued with spider mites on my tomato crop, until one year I did some heavy composting.  That was the only year, out of  25 or more that my tomato plants have not been wiped out by spider mites.

 It was a "school of thought" that spider mites only invaded where the humidity was low....well, living in Louisiana, is it possible to have low humidity?  No, of course.  It was not the lack of humidity, it was the lack of ground moisture that was effecting the plants.  I put the barrier cloth down and then the heavy compost everywhere.  It blocked the weed growth, as well as kept the moisture in the soil!!!  NO spider mites that year.

I have talked myself into it again this year.  It has taken over a week, but it will be worth the work.

If you can get a tree service company to dump piles of the chopped up leaves and limbs, this will eventually turn to compost.  Just leave the pile for a couple of years.  Even if you use it before it composts, it is great mulch in the garden area.  Maybe not around the house, but in the garden, it is great!!

Again, for now, The Gourd Lady of Rocky Mount, Louisiana, that is


Purple Martins and more Scouts

This is such an exciting time of year!!!! I have been outside watching another Purple Martin Scout!!  I saw two last week, and today one is so patiently sailing above in the sky.  Fortunately I can see for miles from up here on top of Rocky Mount.

The "Old Timers" used to say Rocky Mount is the second highest place in Louisiana, used to be the highest until someone scrapped two feet off!! 

Have you hear the Whippoorwills yet?  Man, this "spell check" is absolutely fabulous!!  It knows the right way to spell Whippoorwills!!!  I thought I was going to have to do an internet search to find out the correct spelling.....

Anyway, back to Whippoorwills.  They love these piney hills and this cool weather.

A friend of my husbands was just here telling me about someone he knew that never had weeds in his garden area.  He had his chicken coup in one spot, and when it was time to plant, he would move the chickens over and plant his garden where they had been.  He said he never had weeds because of the chickens.  Then he would move the coup back when the garden was through, the chickens kept the ground clean.....I just thought it was a great idea!!

Have to get back outside and watch what is going on, not accomplishing much, am I, but love the Martins!!

For now,

The Gourd Lady of Rocky Mount, Louisiana, that is......


Purple Martins ARRIVE!!!!!

THE PURPLE MARTINS ARRIVED THIS MORNING!!!! I saw two checking out our Gourd Martin Houses.  Could not stay to watch too long though before they were gone.....will be back though. 

 This is an exciting time for me watching and waiting for the Martins each year.  I always hear them, then start watching and have to run and get my husband for him to see too!!  Somewhat like a child, when it comes to this.

 We are on our way to Waco, TX, just passed through Corsicana and the world renown Collins Street Bakery, I love that place!! to visit that is!!  Who would expect to see such a place in a small town like Corsicana??

  Anyway, we are on our way to my husband's cousin's 75th surprise birthday party, and I have a signal right now with my plug-in.

Hope you are all having as beautiful a day as it is here!!

For now,

the Gourd Lady of Rocky Mount, Louisiana, that is....


Gourd Crafting for Children


Wild and Wacky Gourd Birds

I am testing putting images into this blog, so if this doesn't work, please forgive me.

It is such a wonderful project to have with children, you will love it!!

Hope you have a wonderful day.  It is raining here and I am hoping I will get to Gourd Art today!!


The Gourd Lady of Rocky Mount, Louisiana, that is.....Wild and Wacky Gourd Birds


Purple Martins Arrival

I noticed today, the Purple Martin Society has joined with the Louisiana Bayou Bluebird Society.  In case you would like to check out the Louisiana Bayou Bluebird Soc., the link is: 

There is so much information on their site, that I think you will really enjoy going to it.

The Purple Martin Conservatory tracking map shows the Martin Scouts have arrived in Dallas, and all over the southern areas.  I may have just missed them.  The Martins should be arriving any day now!!

We were outside a lot trimming trees and getting things taken care of this weekend.  Having fun in the bucket of the tractor with the generator and electric chain saw.....that was the fun part, the clean up was more laborious, but the tractor helps out so very, very much!!

Hope you have a great start to your week!!

The Gourd Lady of Rocky Mount, Louisiana, that is......


Purple Martins Arrival

We have still not seen any Purple Martins here at our home at Rocky Mount. I can remember many days over the years walking the lane wondering when they would arrive. It is always a waiting game for me!!

I can remember one year, I didn’t think they were going to nest here again because it was so late in the season. In mid May, there was a horrible storm and right after that storm ALL of our houses were full. I wondered if their home had been destroyed by the storm and they had to move. I will never know. So, as you see, you should not give up.

I have heard for new homes, it may take up to five years to attract the Martins.

I have been outside a lot lately, especially, watching, and listing for the Martins. I usually hear them, as opposed to seeing them. You never forget their sounds, all it takes is one of their sounds and you start watching the sky.

I have to remember to check with my neighbordown the road, he doesn’t have his gourd Martin Houses up yet. He has the boxes, but not the gourds up yet. He was so excited about the gourd bird houses the last few years. I guess we notice even small changes with our neighbors!!

Tomorrow, I will get back to the gourd crafting some to keep it a bit more interesting!!

For now,

The Gourd Lady of Rocky Mount, Louisiana, that is....


Ten Reasons Why People Fail to Attract Purple Martins

I would like to share some tips from the Purple Martin Conservatory concerning the Purple Martins.  "Ten reasons why people fail to attract Purple Martins."

  1. Housing placed too close to tall trees or in yards that are too enclosed.  Last year we had let a tree grow up too close to the back side of the Martin House line and I think that is why we didn't have as many Martins.  The tree is gone now, so, perhaps, they will forgive us.

2. Landlord allows other bird species to claim the housing first. Starlings are always a problem in your yard, we try to keep them run off.

3. Housing placed too far from human housing.  They like to be around people, although ours like to dive bomb us when we stand too near.

4. Housing not painted white.  our first couple of years we put up gourd Martin houses, not painted just natural.  Finally we painted them white and the Martins did come!!

 5. Housing opened up too early.  This leaves time for blue birds and other birds to nest.

6. Failure to open the martin housing.

7. Vines and shrubs are allowed to grow up under the housing.

8. Housing not really ‘built to specifications"  The holes need to be 2-1/4" and the house needs to be at least 6" wide.

9. Housing attached to wires, or placed too close to wires.  Our houses are strung across the yard on a heavy cord, but we do not have the squirrel problem here.

 10. Landlords buy or build housing that can’t be easily managed.You need to be able to get up there and check to be sure no other birds are nesting or trying to take over the Martin's nests.  The Martins don't mind.

 I checked the Purple Martin Conservatory site today and it shows reports of Martin Scouts as close to us as Pineville, Louisiana.  Pineville is probably within 200 miles of us, south, so they are not far!!

Still hoping you are safe from the devastation of the bad weather, and able to watch for the Martins!!

It is not too late to order your Gourd Martin Houses, see our site here on Local Harvest!!

For now,

The Gourd Lady of Rocky Mount


Purple Martins and Freeze

I hope we are all following and waiting for the arrival of the Purple Martin Scouts.  I am thankful they are not here yet, a couple of hundred miles south at Baton Rouge at last report.

There have been years the Martins have arrived and there has been a hard freeze here at Rocky Mount.  I don't know how, but they made it through the freeze.  I have heard of years in the northern areas that thousands of Martins did not make it because the freeze was too hard and too long.

Don't forget to keep watch on the Purple Martin Conservatory for updates on where they are seen.  If you see any Scouts, it is a good thing to report them on the website so they can keep track of them.

Purple Martin first home at Rocky MountThis is the wagon wheel where we first had our Martin Houses, next to it you can see where we have started the new line going to another pole.  I know one gentleman up north that has some 800 Martins each year, we only have about 50.

Hope you all are safe and stay warm.

The Gourd Lady of Rocky Mount

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