Otter Messer Anchor Folding Knife

I’m not much of a folding knife guy. I didn’t use them at all for years, rather preferring the straightforward nature and design of a simple fixed blade. And while I still greatly prefer fixed blades, a couple of folders have worked there way back into my pocket – most notably the No8 and No9 Opinels. They’re tremendous knives with a deep history, attractive design, and a thickness that has won me over to thin blades. Despite my appreciation for Opinel, they stick to a fairly narrow line, and I recently found myself wishing they made a sheepsfoot or Wharncliffe style blade. Never having owned a knife of that style, it seemed a useful design – simple to sharpen and practical for garden uses. Had Opinel offered it, it would have been a no brainer and I’d have snatched up an Opinel No.8 Sheepsfoot in 2 seconds! But since they do not, I turned to the internet and was rather surprised just how difficult it was to find a simple sheepsfoot style folder made in a traditional style – wood and carbon steel. Eventually, the German company, Otter-Messer Knives, popped up, and their Anchor Knife fit the bill.

It arrived yesterday, so I’ve only had a short while to inspect it, take some “new” shots, and carry it around for a bit.

June Observations

Here it is, officially into summer, and I’m pleased to find that my enthusiasm for this new hobby has only increased. Like most folks probably, I often launch into projects with great energy and then find it waning after that initial excitement. But I’m enjoying the heck out of all of it – moving dirt, pulling weeds, picking of caterpillars – and in my usual over-reaction, it’s got me thinking about the glimmer of  a possibility of growing on a large scale. It know, one step at a time, right??

In the ground, I’ve really just got cucumber and squash going right now. Earlier, there was broccoli and cilantro there, but it’s come and gone already. I’m not real sure about my soil quality, but what I have planted in it seems to be doing well enough. And I know cucumber is pretty easy to grow, but it’s climbed up the fence and is headed horizontally along a rope now, so it sure seems healthy!

In buckets, I’m working with tomatoes, okra, peppers, squash, and I just planted some horseradish and ginger root yesterday. Not too much attention is being paid to optimal planting times, because I am writing off the concern for productivity this year in favor of simple education. This is my a completely experimental year for me, and if some food comes out it, BONUS!

In bags of soil, there are watermelon, bush beans, more squash, and a couple of tomato varieties. I’m not liking this method much. Nothing planted straight in the bag is really thriving except for the beans.

In the three raised beds, everything is a bit ADD. There are okra, tomato, squash, gourds, onions, garlic, leeks, three types of peppers, pole beans, cucumber, and mustard.

As far as eating goes, there hasn’t been a whole lot of that just yet. A couple peppers, a few cherry tomatoes and a couple of cucumbers. But hopes are high!

Bean Trellis

The bean trellis that I constructed the other day is now the latest eyesore the grace my yard. But it only cost a few dollars, and I think it will work. Maybe.

A Second Round of Peppers

About a month ago, my first jalapeno and poblano plants both put out a very small batch of peppers, 2 or 3 each, and then stopped making peppers for a bit. I noticed increased growth in both height and foliage, but I wondered if something had caused them to skip making peppers after that first small run. I was pleased to find dozens of small pepper buds tonight when I went out to check on them, so it seems the delay was just a temporary one. I’ve read some people actually pull off the first run of peppers, as it focuses the plant on producing in greater numbers to replace those lost?