Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Canada Day Tomorrow

Thought I would say to all my Canadian and non-Canadian friends....
I hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday.

The hubby and I are going to try and get out on the water in our canoe. With the dog of course. And, I will let you know who ended up in the water first. LOL


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Gardening Anyone?

Okay if all these pictures load correctly you will be seeing...
Tomato. See that little green ball?
Pole Beans.

Look what the rain has brought forth. Oh what goodness we shall be eating this summer. I am so thrilled after last year's failings that this year's garden is doing so well.
I added a couple more pictures.

Squash patch with zucchini and yellow crookneck.
Potato pit covered with hay.
And, last but, not least...

Enjoy the pictures of my garden.
Wish you were here to enjoy the bounty with us.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Canning Weekend

My canning shelves were starting to look a bit empty so I had to take things in hand and get busy.

Here in pictures is some of the things I got finished up this weekend.

That glorious orange colored jar of goodness is pickled watermelon rind. Those small brown colored disks are the 20 plus dehydrated bananas I did that were on sale. Last but, not least are the lovely strawberries I picked. I did them whole in a simple syrup for snacking on this winter.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

For Those of You

This is for those of you who have asked for more pictures of me.

This is me on my faithful stead, my lawn tractor. Followed by my constant companion, Gracie-girl. (See her there? Right at the edge of the photo?) I was out doing mulch work as evidenced by the bale of hay in the cart. Or, was I throwing hay on top of the potato pit? I think I was covering the potatoes and mulching the orchard trees.

Poor DH... he takes numerous pictures of me and when it comes time to look at them downloaded on the computer, well, let's just say they don't all make it here. It's not that he is a bad photographer.... far from it. In fact his Dad was someone famous when it came to photographs. Even had a book published of his work. And, the apple doesn't fall too far from that tree of knowledge. I just dislike having my picture taken.

Have a great Saturday wherever you are. It's going to continue to rain here and I am thinking of returning to bed.

And, if you have been reading this blog for long, you know I was complaining way back when about a lack of rain. Statistics are showing we have had 17 days of precipitation in June with a total of 81.4 mm of rain. I guess I should have never opened my mouth.

Friday, June 25, 2010

What's Been Happening Here

I went to the u-pik place down the road and brought home 8 liters of strawberries.

I have spent the day making; plain strawberry jam, strawberry/pineapple jam, strawberries to can in a simple syrup (for winter eating - oh yum) and the rest are in the frig for fresh eating. Smoothies tomorrow?

Then there are the bananas which had brown spots and were marked down to a really ridiculous price at the store this morning. There are 20 of them sliced and in the dehydrator as I write this.

I also got on the stick and made some crockpot yogurt today too. Ah.... for the smoothies tomorrow, correct? Had to buy a 1/2 gallon of 2% milk at the store instead of using my raw milk. I need to talk to my supplier about increasing my milk by a 1/2 gallon about once every 3 weeks.

No pictures as of yet but, there is watermelon rind sitting in a brine overnight for making pickles with tomorrow. I used the last jar up that I made 2 summers ago.

It's been a busy day for me here. And, my hands are like prunes and the dirt from the garden is finally out from under my nails!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

You know You're Addicted to Gardening When...

Your neighbors recognize you in your pajamas,
rubber clogs and a cup of coffee.
You grab other people's banana peels, coffee grinds,
apple cores, etc. for your compost pile.
You have to wash your hair to get your fingernails clean.
All your neighbors come and ask you questions.
You know the temperature of your compost every day.
You buy a bigger truck so that you can haul more mulch.
You enjoy crushing Japanese beetles because you like the
sound that it makes.
Your boss makes "taking care of the office plants" an
official part of your job description.
Everything you touch turns to "fertilizer".
Your non-gardening spouse becomes conversant in
botanical names
You find yourself feeling leaves, flowers and trunks
of trees wherever you go, even at funerals
You dumpster-dive for discarded bulbs after commercial
landscapers remove them to plant annuals.
You plan vacation trips around the locations of botanical
gardens, arboreta, historic gardens, etc.
You sneak home a 7 foot Japanese Maple and wonder if your
spouse will notice.
When considering your budget, plants are more important
than groceries
You always carry a shovel, bottled water and a plastic bag
in your trunk as emergency tools.
You appreciate your Master Gardener badge more than your jewelry
You talk "dirt" at baseball practice.
You spend more time chopping your kitchen greens for the
compost pile than for cooking.
You like the smell of horse manure better than Estee Lauder.
You rejoice in rain...even after 10 straight days of it.
You have pride in how bad your hands look.
You have a decorative compost container on your kitchen counter.
You can give away plants easily, but compost is another thing.
Soil test results actually mean something.
You understand what IPM means and are happy about it
You'd rather go to a nursery to shop than a clothes store.
You know that Sevin is not a number
You take every single person who enters your house on a
"garden tour"
You look at your child's sandbox and see a raised bed.
You ask for tools for Christmas, Mother/Father's day, your
Birthday and any other occasion you can think of.
You can't bear to thin seedlings and throw them away.
You scold total strangers who don't take care of their
potted plants.
You know how many bags of fertilizer/potting soil,/mulch
your car will hold.
You drive around the neighborhood hoping to score extra bags
of leaves for your compost pile
Your preferred reading matter is seed catalogs
And last but not least:
You know that the four seasons are:
Planning the Garden
Preparing the Garden
Preparing and Planning for the next Garden

And, the Rains Came

It rained all day yesterday. Well, almost all day. It held off till the guys had gotten the pellet stove installed. (Big hole in wall for stove pipe's exit from the house, not a good idea with rain.) Thank you guys for a job well done.

We had to scramble to hook up hoses to the overflow outlets on the rain barrels. We sure didn't want all the excess rain water running down into the foundation of the house. Then the water stays in the crawl space and once there become a secure haven for egg laying mosquitoes.

Since living in the tropics and fighting hand to hand combat with those wily little buggers while there.... have I told you how much I hate mosquitoes? I do you know. A whole lot! In the tropics, they are fast and small but, here in Canada.... these nasty things are extra large and pretty slow. But, that doesn't make them any easier to kill. Far from it. They hide out in the strangest of places and lay in wait for the next warm blooded animal to walk by whether it's man or, beast.

For the past couple of nights I have been attacked in my sleep by mosquitoes. Waking with welts and itching till my skin is raw. This has necessitated my sleeping with a few fans. One which blows directly on me from less than 2 feet away, it sits on the bedside stand. The second one being the ceiling fan revving up going full tilt boogie or, the third one an oscillating fan pointing directly on me at the foot of the bed running on the highest of highs.

Poor DH.... who loves the heat as much as I love the coolness, is just about ready to sleep elsewhere due to the winds generated by all the fans. He complains all night long of being cold. I feel for him... but, I hate mosquitoes and what they do to me more than I am bothered by his being cold. Poor guy. But, more is... poor me. He can just grab a blanket and cover up.

Frigging mosquitoes!

Monday, June 21, 2010

I Took the Weekend Off

Hi all. I have been lackadaisical about posting these past couple of days. I thought I would take a break and just relax without having to worry about blogging.

I rec'd from a generous person some free Brandywine red tomato seedlings. Only problem was I didn't have any large plant pots. (I have run out of room in the square foot boxes.) So I got to thinking what in heck could I use.

As I was cleaning out my drawers for our semi-yearly donation to the Sally Ann, I realized I had 3 pairs of jeans shorts. Denim is pretty rugged fabric and these had hardly any wear in them. Hmm... what to do?

I tied off the legs with some garden twine and filled them with earth and added some compost. Then I transplanted the baby tomato seedlings into the mix and added some mulch. Nice planters, eh? Oh and that is my soaker squirt gun on the table.

I'll keep you up to date on how these planters are working out.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Oh Look.... More Garden Pictures!

Beans, cucumber plants, baby crookneck squash and a volunteer sunflower poking its way up through the mulch in the blueberry patch. Oh and yes, that is me. It was pouring rain. But, that does not deter me from making my rounds and checking the garden each and every morning. You can generally find me out doing this between 6 and 7 AM. And, I do keep a close eye on it. Want to know what is happening and if there is something going on, ie bugs or, whatever, I can jump right on it. Hopefully correct it too. We've just had a good day of rain and today we are going to have a very warm and sunny day. The plants will be loving this. They should all have big growth spurts today.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Garden

A garden is to be a world unto itself, it had better make room for the darker shades of feeling as well as the sunny ones.
William Kent

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pests in the Garden?

Noticing any pests in your garden—rabbits, moles, slugs? Here are five tips to help:

• To deter deer and raccoons, tie old sneakers and clothes that smell of human perspiration to garden posts.
• Scatter garlic to deter many a pest—such as deer, woodchucks, and raccoons.
• To see a mole “run out, astonished” (according to 16th-century herbalist John Gerard), put a bulb of garlic in its hole.
• Sprinkle ground red pepper in entrances to mole tunnels.
• If your neighbors don’t mind, play a radio at low volume!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Can Anyone Name This Plant?

Anyone have any idea what this plant is?
It's stems and leaves have a very strong and almost... almost recognizable smell.
It now has a fluffy yellow colored seed head. It's stalks are mostly hollow.
It's well over 7 feet tall and just continues to grow like a.... well like a weed.

Garden Update in Pictures


I mislabeled these thinking it was the 7th... it's not obviously. It's the 14th of June and once again we are expecting rain. Which is good for me (no lugging the hoses and watering cans around) and the rain barrels, which will finally finish filling up to their tops.

With these pictures you will see where we have topped off the plants with lots and lots of mulch. We have started to tie up the plants which will be needing supports. Primarily the tomatoes and the pole beans. The tie ups for the tomatoes is something I am trying from a food network show I saw about heirloom tomatoes grown in Homestead Florida. It looked easy enough and really keeps the bottom leaves up off the ground which will allow me to mulch in and under those maters soon.

You can see in a couple of the pictures the start of some baby zucchini squash and some of the baby yellow crookneck squashes. One of our favorites to eat all summer long.

There are some huge sunflowers running along the back wall of the drum room. They are in with the sugar pumpkins and acorn squash. All of which were started from seed saving I did last year.

Carrot tops are those lacy looking things.... leaf lettuce in two colors..... and finally a sweet pepper sent to me from a friend in the States. It's an heirloom called Jimmy Nardello.... suppose to be sweet without heat and very tasty. Almost forgot that single strand of pole bean reaching up and over the string supports.

All for your viewing pleasure. Let me know your thoughts and any words of wisdom you might have about gardening or, anything really.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

No Time to Post

I have no time this morning for a long post.
I am going to the local farmers market for the first time this year.
And, if I don't get on the stick quickly here I won't be like the early bird...... you know the one who catches the worm?
Don't want to arrive to find everything gone and picked over.

So here's to eating local and helping to keep our farmers in business!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Rains and Sun of June

I am so pleased with how well my garden is growing. We are finally over the hot and dry last days of May when we had no water in the rain barrels and were watering with the well water. The rain barrels are overflowing and have been for a couple of days now and I am directing the water away from the house foundations. We have been having one or, two days of sun followed by a day or two, of good soaking rains. Just plain wonderful gardening weather.

The pictures today are of the potatoes I planted in the old horseshoe pit and buried in straw. Peas getting ready to flower as they try and grow up the fence. This was in the area where we had the bird's nest we couldn't disturb. As you can see the weeds got ahead of me around the peas. And, the last and final picture is of the corn I planted late. It's doing marvelously well already.

My neighbor asked how I was going to harvest the corn. You see it's in one of the "raised" SFG boxes which is raised up off the ground about 3 feet. I told her I would bring the step ladder out to pick the corn. Ha ha ha, which if the packet the seed came in is correct with it's information, the corn should grow to 5 - 6 feet. But, then again that one box is on a downward sloping hill. I'll make sure to post pictures of us harvesting it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Grandma's Apron

Grandma's Apron …

I don't think our kids know what an apron is.

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath because
she only had a few. It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than
dresses and aprons used less material. But along with that, it served as a
potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for
cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and
sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been
shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture
that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and
the men folks knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that
'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.

By The Way …

Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her
granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Funny Weather Sayings

June Weather Lore

When pigs carry sticks, the clouds will play tricks.

When the glowworm lights her lamp, the air is always very damp.

Bats flying late in the evening indicate fair weather.
If the birds be silent, expect thunder.

When spiders’ webs in air do fly,
The spell will soon be very dry.

When sheep collect and huddle, tomorrow will become a puddle.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Update in Pictures of the Garden

I was out and about early this morning in the garden. It's pretty cool out there at a brisk 6 C (or, 42.8 F). Brr. I needed to pick some of the greens to bring to a friend I am visiting today. She'll be gifting me with some things and I thought it would be nice to bring fresh produce from my garden to her in return. So in a bag waiting to be taken to her house is; spinach, lettuce and swiss chard.

I wanted to get some pictures of some of the plants and document how they are doing. Primarily the tomatoes. I was given via Freecycle some tomato seedlings someone had which were extras for him. They were two types I am not growing so I thought.... what the hay? Boy are they small. I will post pictures of my own tomatoes and some of the newbies. The size difference is amazing as you will see. I planted some in the SFG boxes and some right in the bags of earth from the store. There was no more room at the inn, so to speak. I was going to do the "African bag" garden but, didn't have enough stones to do it, opted to cheat on them and see if they will vine over the sides of the table and grow that way?

I also wanted to post some pictures of the arctic willow. It was a gift for me from my DH for my birthday. We had been (notice the past tense in this sentence?) really worried about her. She came to us with a decimated root ball. We did all we could when she was planted out to give her a good start but, she went through some terrible transplant shock and we thought we were going to loose her. In the picture the burnt looking bedraggled leaves are the ones that died with the shock. Though a couple of days ago I went out on my early morning rounds in the garden and lo and behold she was growing new leaves. That's what the picture is of......the newly budding leaves.... the arctic willow is fighting and coming back. Woo hoo!

The picture with the stake in the middle is the horseshoe pit I took over. I decided since no one in this family pitches shoes there had to be a good way to use the pit. There was and is. Those green things poking up through the straw are potato leaves. I planted some potatoes from PEI (Prince Edward Island - renowned for their potatoes) in there. And, they are looking mighty fine already. It time to top them with more hay.

How does your garden grow? I hope it is doing as well as can be expected.

Little old me...

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


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