in the gardens ~ early august

Two weeks ago in the garden…

July 21, 2016 - big garden 1

Today in the garden…

August 2, 2106 - big garden 2

August 2, 2106 - big garden 7

August 2, 2106 - big garden 4

August 2, 2106 - big garden 14...

Ah, such a wonderful growing season we’ve had this summer.  In early August, we still have green grass and while we have spent far less time at the beach, there is none of the typical wildfire smoke that chokes us back indoors at this time of year.  I could get used to summers like this, that is certain.

We are in the second phase of gardening…a time when I have often given up and let the wildness overtake the gardens for the remainder of the year.  But with barely any pesky mosquitoes and none of the aforementioned smoky air, I am out there everyday, successively planting more crops and weeding here and there.  The often late afternoon rain also helps cut down on my watering chores which is so welcome!

I like to plant legumes after our garlic harvest, as they enrich the soil so much after the heavy feeding of root vegetables.  I sure hope I’m not too late, because I delayed planting the beans by a few weeks…but they are peeking up now, all green and sturdy.

Roots ~ Our garlic harvest was great, with huge fat heads.  I put 100 heads in the sauna to cure for planting in October, and then made a dozen braids for our use in the kitchen.  I still had some leftover so I pickled 8 half liters…there is nothing so sweet and yummy as pickled garlic!  I hope to dry some more to make powdered garlic salt which we did a few years ago and it was a delicious addition to many meals.  I recently planted some parsnips, but nothing is showing yet, so I may have missed out on that.  I still need to get some beets and carrots in the ground, and I hope my laziness doesn’t prevent us from enjoying them this fall.  We don’t eat potatoes anymore on account of our diet restrictions, but we don’t miss them much anyhow.

Leaves ~ I am delighted that our Rainbow chard is still pumping out lots of food…and the kale, too.  I hope to make some kale chips this week, after canning the first 60 lbs of peaches.  We have been eating some cabbage while another type of cabbage is just beginning to get big…which make the best sauerkraut.  The basil is still going strong, and I’m making as much pesto as we can handle.  Next year, I must only plant 15 basil plants…there is far too much for our households use in the greenhouse.  Our asparagus is at rest, and the rhubarb, too, and it is fun watching them both grow so big, letting their energy feed their roots.

Flowers ~ So many flowers in the garden right now, which is how I like it.  The add such bright cheer to the otherwise predominantly green garden.  I am drying strawflowers almost daily, and soon the statice will bloom, too.  We are still eating some cauliflower and just finished our broccoli.  The dye flowers are being generous…and I made a black hollyhock dyebath for the freezer until my wool comes back from the mill in a few months.  I hope to get more chamomile and tansy and Queen Anne’s lace into the freezer, too.

Fruit ~ And now fruit season is here…the berries have been incredible!  Non-stop feasting on raspberries, blueberries and now blackberries…yum!  I am canning some storebought peaches now, having just finished apricots and cherries.  In the greenhouse, we are eating a few tomatoes…the earliest we’ve ever had ripened ones off the vine.  Cucumbers are coming in slowly, with the anticipated avalanche about to start.  Our two zucchini plants are giving us an abundance of fruit, and I’m making lots of muffins with them.  I might try drying some for chips, too.  Our peas ended a few weeks ago, and now the bean plants are growing…hopefully it isn’t too late to get a lot of beans to eat fresh and pickle.  Peppers, both hot and sweet, are delicious…we love our greenhouse salads which is really a Greek salad.  I think we eat this almost every day in August.

August 2, 2106 - big garden 6

August 2, 2016 - greenhouse

It’s a little crazy in the greenhouse…like an explosion of food!

August 2, 2106 - big garden 17...

I never knew squash flowers had such a good smell!

August 2, 2106 - big garden 16

The squash mound is quite a jungle.

August 2, 2106 - big garden 10

August 2, 2106 - big garden 15...

August 2, 2106 - big garden 13...

July 2016 - garlic harvest...

We keep our garlic and onion braids hanging in our front entryway where it is cool, but not damp.  It is such a welcome sight to walk indoors and be greeted by the earthy aroma of root vegetables, as our hard work from the gardens dangles over our heads.

I admit to really neglecting our Kitchen Garden.  It is a tangle of weeds and flowers.  I hope to revive it this week, if I have a moment or two.  I am hoping to put some energy into it this fall and plant more perennials…I really love walking through the yard amidst  the colourful cottage garden.  Hidden amongst the choking weeds are some good herbs and flowers, you just have to look a little harder than usual.  But they are there, thriving and delighting anyone who spends a moment finding them.

August 2, 2106 - kitchen garden 1

August 2, 2106 - kitchen garden 4...

August 2, 2106 - kitchen garden 3

August 2, 2106 - big garden 12...

medieval days

July 2016 - Medieval Days 1...

July 2016 - Medieval Days 2...

July 2016 - Medieval Days 4...

July 2016 - Medieval Days 5...

July 2016 - Medieval Days 11...

July 2016 - Medieval Days 13...

July 2016 - Medieval Days 14...

July 2016 - Medieval Days 10...

I’ve always felt that I was born in the wrong era.  And after going to our local Medieval Days festival this past weekend, I was reminded of that once again.  Oh!  the music, the smells of fires roasting dinner, the colourful banners flapping in the breeze, the detailed handwork, and the incredible clothing!  I could spend the afternoon alone watching the participants dressed up in their period costumes.  I love that we can be transported into another time and place, even if it is just for a day.

There was something for everyone and we all came away filled up…The boys are re-enacting the battles we cheered on and Sunshine wants to get dyeing yarn…for her doll’s Medieval clothing she is designing.  My husband spent a long time talking with a bow-maker…while he is very crafty and has made his own, a few pointers were welcomed.  And I came home with a Viking knitting needle made of bone after a lesson with a lovely dame.  I didn’t even know there was such a thing as Viking knitting.  Maybe next year I’ll take my spindle and join the women in the handwork tent…though, I may have to get started stitching a medieval frock right now!

July 2016 - Medieval Days 6...

eight times round the sun

July 2016 - Summer is 8 - 1...

July 2016 - Summer is 8 - 7...

July 2016 - Summer is 8 - 21...

July 2016 - Summer is 8 - 15.1...

July 2016 - Summer is 8 - 12.2...

My sweet girl has sprouted up…and up and up!  She turned eight recently and to finish off her birthday week, she requested a sleepover mermaid party with her favourite friends.  Celebrating two birthdays within three days of each other can easily overwhelm this Virgo mama, so I am grateful that these birthdays happen to fall upon a brother and a sister.  That way, the parties and making of gifts can be a little varied.  While Huckley wanted to go fishing and biking, Sunshine opted for mermaids and dance parties.  The basics are similar…a few favourite games and then a treasure hunt for puzzle pieces to find the pinata…these two parties were anything but similar.  For one…disco balls and late night dancing were entirely the girl’s activities.  Blaring tween music into the night from the screened in porch, followed by a movie, then more dancing!…I had to shut down the party close to midnight only to have it rev up again when the rooster crowed at 5:05am.  Luckily, the girls were (easily) persuaded to go back to sleep for a few more hours so they could enjoy the day.  And in the morning, farm chores delighted the girls as all but one friend has her own farm.  Needless to say, Sunshine enjoyed her party so much and her lovely friends had a great time!

July 2016 - rock climbing in the woodshed...

mountain climbing in the woodshed

July 2016 - storms coming...

July 2016 - sky gazing...

I found these two sky gazing and giggling away…the essence of summer.

July 2016 - berry harvesting 1...

July 2016 - creekside

And the countdown has begun to a special surprise for my birthday girl….can you guess what it may be?

July 2016 - the countdown to bunnies...