Sunday, June 27, 2010

Argh! My poor potatoes!

It's definitely a blight of some kind that has struck down almost half my potato plants. I suppose it could be a herbicide drifting with the wind but not likely since it has spread from plant to plant. It's frustrating because they were growing so well and what I'll be using as a very few earlies would have made a lovely harvest this fall.

It makes it tempting to put up a large polytunnel to protect everything!

Speaking of polytunnels, the tomatoes inside mine are doing very well and one has started fruiting already. I use the old-fashioned method of pollinating (putting my hands in and giving it a brisk shake) every other day. Fortunately, I like the smell of the plants.

Everything else has weathered yesterday's fierce thunderstorm well (including the weeds!).

CPR and First Aid


This is my stash of first aid supplies that I keep on hand. I wanted to have the basics in case medical help is ever unavailable and I was able to supply our go-bags from this also.
I kept having this nagging question in the back of my mind about how useful this really is without the knowledge of what to do with it. That's what prompted me to volunteer for work's emergency response team. Thursday I did the training course and now am certified.
It feels good because this was something high on my to-do list, yet I hope I never need to use what I've learned.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Flower power





and a zucchini.





Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mmmmm Milk!

This is definitely the real deal. I gave this one to my parents to try out. Mom is going to make yogurt. This should be an interesting experiment since I've never liked plain yogurt, but if the butter could be so much better than store-bought, why not the yogurt?


I was going to try making ice cream but have been too busy. I still haven't planted my bushes! I did finish digging in the garden and planting out the leeks. And the last hour I've been in the basement putting tomato plants into containers. If the fall frost sneaks in too quickly I'll be able to bring in about half of my tomato and pepper plants to finish off the season inside.

It's been crazy humid today so the basement hasn't felt very cool. Yet I am determined to go back down and ride my stationary bike. I haven't done official exercise in months.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

How the mighty fall

Last night as I was reaching to turn off the lamp, my computer chair decided collapse. My arm was on the desk and the chair was pushing me down sideways. Fortunately, all I ended up with are some quite painful bruises and the bother of buying a new chair.

Beautiful day today! I planted a pear tree and will try to get golden current and chokecherry bushes planted tomorrow. Because a rainy week is forecast I went ahead and mowed. Probably the most satisfying part of the day was hoeing in the garden. Although when the neighbor's dog came and squashed some seedlings and chased my cat I was wishing for a fence again!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Farm-sitting

I quite like it when my parents go on trips, especially when the weather is nice, because I have an excuse to go to the farm and have a nice chat with the girls. The best time is first thing in the morning when I get to open up the barn and they are all so pretty.





And the one bloke of course. He talks the most anyway.



I can't imagine choosing to live in a city. I look at these views and wish for a lottery win so I could escape to my own place in the country.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The good things in life

I've been looking for a local dairy farmer who would sell milk for quite awhile. There just aren't any close by. What I did find is a dairy farm that sells raw milk and is willing to deliver to my work place. This is the first batch of butter I made from the cream off the milk. Isn't the color amazing? Organic, grass-fed cows on a family farm. Beautiful.


This was an interesting thing; a couple months back I received an email at work about a healthy eating challenge the state was sponsoring to get people eating more fruits and veg. I signed up and they sent me seeds to grow cucumbers and lettuce (I can always use more seeds). I asked some of my gardening coworkers but they hadn't bothered reading the email. Then last week I was notified that my name had been drawn at random for 'assorted gardening tools' and this is what they sent. Hooray! Finally some good luck.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

It's a wet, wet world

I'm not sure how much rain we've got but I do know it's over 3 inches in the last few days. And, again, it's raining. Today will have to be a day of cleaning and cooking; although there is laundry and lawn mowing needing to be done, I can only hope for a dry day tomorrow.

Yesterday was new student orientation at college. Yes, I took a day off work to spend it in meetings! My son spent the night in the dorm and will come home today after he finishes registering for classes. I hope he gets a nice roommate. It's going to be a challenge going from being an only child to sharing a space no larger than his current bedroom.

It's a good school (I get to say that because I went there!) with around 12,000 students. Because it's a public university it isn't as expensive as it could be. We're doing a three-prong budget, one third from interest-free student loans, one third I'm paying, and one third he pays with money he has earned.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Water globes


I saw these on Woot recently and couldn't pass them up for the price. Even if they don't work well, they're very pretty. I filled a couple up in the rain barrel and popped them into my hanging baskets. Those are the hardest to keep watered in summer. Not a problem today though, it rained last night and this morning. I think my peas grew about 3 inches this afternoon. :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Envy

Normally I don't mind how I look. I'd like to lose weight, but more for ease of doing things than for appearance. I don't read fashion magazines, buy the latest trends, fuss over my hair or makeup...none of that is important in my life.

Today, though, I felt a twinge of envy. I saw a woman with style and glamour (the timeless Jackie O type). This wasn't a case of common young beauty that fades in a few years; she was already past that stage. Nor was it the carefully constructed and maintained beauty that can be bought in the best salons and doctors' offices. This was that rare gift of genetics that will mature and refine her features as she ages gracefully.

Ok, I've got that out of my system! :)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Garden update

I've been busy in the garden all day. The section I had set aside for squash had grown over in weeds and needed thorough forking and hoeing. Here is one of the newly transplanted zucchinis (courgettes). Last year the harvest was sparse and I like having plenty to freeze for bread in the winter so I deliberately over-planted these and the cucumbers. Bring on the glut!


I'm trying succession planting for the peas. The fence on the left has the newly sprouting peas which hopefully will kick in when the first row is finished. Beyond that are carrots, onions, turnips and beets.

Also showing the potatoes at the end of the garden. The plants tend to get smaller and fewer have sprouted on the right side. That's the section under the black walnut tree. It's difficult because my yard is FULL of the trees and finding a clear spot to grow in is a challenge.

North of the polytunnel is my patch of 16 (!!!) cucumber plants and the beans. This section is technically in my neighbor's yard, left over from the previous neighbor who shared the space with me. I'd hate to lose it because it's so well amended after all these years and is very fertile.

A peek into the polytunnel where the tomatoes should (fingers crossed) be safe from blight. I give the plants a good shake when blooming to pollinate.


A long, but satisfying day.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Ow

I spent most of the day working on my dad's shed. Just a little on the roof and some trim left.

I will be so happy to finish this! My feet are killing me.

I really wanted to polish off the garden planting today but a steady rain last night and a hard downpour this morning put an end to that idea. With luck I can get out there tomorrow.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Aahhh Factor

The 'Aahhh' Factor kicks in when you come home from work, change into shorts and a t-shirt, and sit down with your feet up.

Bliss.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Worms galore

I was transplanting my cucumbers out into the garden this evening when I noticed fat earthworms in all the holes I dug. I thought the idea against tilling was that it killed all the worms. Not mine obviously.