Suppers in the Garden Teepee

Suppers in the Garden Teepee

Suppers in the Garden Teepee

Chocolate Box Cottage Diary, Volume 2
Week 34: August 27, 2022

To my surprise, while the garden lags behind in producing preservable produce, the garden teepee is flourishing. We take suppers (homemade pizza in this case) inside the leafy bower most evenings, surrounded by vining plants, herbs, flowers, with a view of the sunset reflected on the neighbor’s barn, delicious food, and the pervasive odor of…chickens. More on that later.

Hello from the garden! The Mayo Bule gourds are growing vigorously up the willow teepee poles. The change from tiny gourd with blossom to a maturing gourd is exciting to watch. These are very rare (commercially unavailable) gourds that grow up to about 12 inches (30 cm) tall, developing peanut-like warts.

Mayo Bule gourd gaining size
Mayo Bule gourd gaining size

I’m sharing snapshots of our garden, beauty spots. Keep in mind our garden has its warts: tomato cages that are falling over, grassy weeds have invaded several beds, and I’m sure there are at least 3 overgrown zucchini in the tangle of summer squash.

Cameo Joy Four o’Clocks are something of a miracle. I found seeds dated 1997, the year my daughter Cameo was born. I planted a bunch and to my delight several germinated!

Salmon Janina asters are something special. I have a never seen such fancy blooms and I am sorry to say the photo does not do the blush pink color justice.

Two very different berries. Wintergreen grows as a quiet, unobtrusive ground cover, while Himalayan blackberries one desire is to rule the world.

Pixie Pumpkin is a tomato variety I bred around 2007 and have been stabilizing since. The fruit really do resemble tiny pumpkins with a meaty tomato flavor touched by sweetness.

New video

🧽🪣 You don’t have to spend a lot of money to keep a clean house! You can make your own cleaning products from grocery store ingredients. They are simple to make – and they are effective. Let’s start building your DIY cleaning tote today. Follow along and make 2 products in about 5 minutes that will save you time and money, not to mention all the extra packaging that won’t be going in the trash.

Watch the video by clicking the red YouTube play button above or click over to the blog post and printable formulas for both cleaning products.

Birthday tea

Happy birthday Michele

My sweet niece Alyssa planned a birthday tea for me at Mom’s house. She made scrumptious pizza rolls on homemade sourdough buns and Tomato Mozzarella Salad with fresh-from-her-garden cherry tomatoes and basil. Mom’s best friend Joy brought a glorious fresh strawberry pie for dessert!

Lena's mobile shop

My friend Lena Moore is a whiz with sewing and decor. She operates a craft booth at a local antique mall. Since I rarely get out there, she occasionally meets me somewhere, in this case a parking lot, and lets me shop out of the back of her car. I bought several darling aprons and she gave me the one she is holding as a birthday gift for my garden basket. Thank you, Lena!

In a time when nearly all communication is digital, it is a thrill to receive a 📦package with a 📝handwritten letter! My friend Linda Chandler is one of the thriftiest and most resourceful people I know. She is also generous, lucky me! She sent me a jar of precious watermelon preserves the I cannot wait to taste on homemade sourdough bread. She also sent dried herb, Spilanthes, from her garden. Thank you, Linda!


We were so ready to move the young hens we raised from day-old chicks from their quarters in the garden to the henyard, and finally, so were they. Integrating young hens with a mature flock is delicate business, best done after dark in our experience, to avoid tragedy. What has worked well for you; do tell.


The chickens palatial vintage henhouse started out as…something else. Perhaps a dovecote for pigeons. Most of the structures on our small homestead were built or at least designed by someone with a great sense of aesthetic and an eye for angles. It amazes me when I stop and think about how much effort would have been required to cut all the wood at precise angles to fit in place – like pieces of a puzzle. The chickens and ducks have no idea how spoiled they are.

Have you ever looked a chicken in the eye? They can be…intimidating! We discovered one small hen who couldn’t stand. Inspection showed she has a broken leg. Poor girl. She is staying behind in the cage while the others move to the big henhouse. Conventional wisdom advises the chicken keeper not to name their birds. Meet Miss Lavender, who is recovering, hopefully, from injuries.

Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes! I feel loved! 💖🧁💖

Have a good week!



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