Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Latest canning effort - beautiful beets

The square foot gardening has been prolific this year. Last year's first try at the new concept was not so great. I was hoping last year's semi-failure was due to the weather and I didn't really have a handle on how to grow using the square foot box system. Plus, in the midst of it all..... we had to move out of the place where we were living. Our landlady was coming home 4 months earlier than planned. So this year's bounty has been a real treat for us.
A couple of days ago I cleared out the beet squares. I had an assortment in sizes from really big to medium sized beets. We had been eating the greens and the smaller ones I had pulled to thin the planting beds out for quite awhile. Now it was time to pickle and can them. The above picture shows the result.... beautiful. I know we will be enjoying these throughout the winter.
The tomatoes are not yet ripe.... will post pictures of that canning when it happens.

More rain barrels

Can't say how crazy this weather is without just about everyone agreeing. So in keeping with the weirdness or, in trying to fight it we have installed lots of rain barrels around the house. Then of course there are the 5 Square Foot gardening boxes which measure 14 x 3, the two in-ground veggie gardens and the 41 (yes that is the correct number) of new trees planted since we moved here that need watering. Oh and did I mention the old pump that is working on it's last legs to bring water up from the well? It needs a rest.

The pictures I have posted are along the east side of the music room which at one time was the garage for this house. It's a cement pad to place three more 60 gallon water barrels on. Now of course the day we wanted to do this work the temperature was hovering at 90 with a humidity level of about 100%! But, the work needed doing. We waited till the sun was on the west side and we were in the shade. Helped a bit.... but, it was still a sweaty job.

We are now almost finished setting up all the barrels. When I say all I am talking here of eleven 60 gallon barrels. They are in four different areas to catch the rain. They are quite amazing and I for one am very proud of all the work that has gone into them. Big kudos to Mark for all his hard work and perseverance. He has done an outstanding job on them.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cute dog picture

Gracie who I adopted out of the pound is so sweet. It's too bad she and I didn't meet sooner. She has some issues to be sure. Some solvable... some not as I found out just a while ago. One is she was never socialized with other dogs when she was a pup. Therefore she doesn't know how to play well with other dogs or, with humans. But, she tries. Oh, how she tries. The dog trainer whom we took lessons from... and I mean both of us took lessons from her (thanks Judy).... said she will never learn how to play as she is too old now. Now isn't that one of the saddest things you have ever heard? But, the good thing is Gracie passed her beginner's class with flying colours. Her other main problem which is disappearing is she is underweight. She is finally getting to the point where I don't notice her ribs sticking out so much. She eats three meals a day. Which she enjoys wholeheartedly. I think we will be cutting back to two soon as she is starting to fill out. The vet said to be careful and not to make her too heavy to compensate. I won't, I promise. I don't want a fat dog.
The picture of her sitting backwards on the chair and looking out the window.... she's watching the children in the yard next door. It's a day care and the little children there just love her. They pet her through the fencing when we are all out together. They had noticed her watching them (which is when I snapped this picture) and they were all calling to her.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


And, more rain. Will it ever stop? The weather people said July was the wettest month on record. Wonder what August is set to bring us?

My garden loves water but, enough is enough. My onions were starting to turn to mush.... then it stopped raining and I removed all the dead and dying tails from them. They had started regenerating.... now I am not sure what's going to happen.

The tomatoes ended up with the blight from the rain.... asked a tomato expert what to do with that. He advised me to trim and mulch up to my eyebrows around the plants, which I did. They are doing well now. They all have flowers or, little itty bitty baby tomatoes starting to grow. Yippee and a big thank you to Roger!

The zucchini seem to be flourishing in the water soaked environment. So far I have picked 2 beauties. And there are loads and loads of pretty flowers on the plants. Picture courtesy of Mark.

Hope everyone is having a nice weekend, without rain if you live near me.

Little old me...

My photo
An american yankee up past the 49th parellel.