Evening glow in the greenhouse

Evening glow in the greenhouse
WELCOME TO MY BLOG! I am glad you found me because I hope I can be helpful or at least interesting for you to follow, be you a gardener yourself or just watching vicariously.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Diary 11/30

It is so gloomy outside it might as well rain, which it will this afternoon.  Sounds like a rainy week ahead.  Have been putting two game cameras out to see who's about when we are not.  Mostly we have deer, now that the range cows have moved on.  There is a couple does and one fairly young deer, a spike buck with only one short horn on each side, and a buck with three points on his antlers on one side, and four points on the other.  He is not the BIG buck that has been spotted on our driveway.  These deer may or may not stay here for the winter.  That is part of what we are learning.  If the weather continues to be cold and snowy, they may keep dropping to a lower elevation for the winter. There have been a few photos of foxes, too.  I would have expected more of them than the camera is catching.  We get an occassional blue jay on film, and have filmed elk, dogs, raccoons, and even a ringtail cat. One morning last spring, I thought I saw a marmot on our deck...no pictures, yet.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Diary 11/29

Busy day as usual, though only went to the garden for cilantro.  Cutting elk up from muzzle loading friends.  They hunt with blackpowder rifles, the ones you ooad the powder and the ball in...They were successful with help from my husband and son, so they shared some meat with us.  Boning out the muscles and making hamburger, jerky, and "potted" meat, steamed meat ready to use for tacos, etc. Scale inspector from state of Oregon, Department of Agriculture came by also.  No problem with 15 year old scale.  Chopped salsa and Quesadillas for dinner, only a few tomatoes left :(.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Diary 11/28

Regrouping after the holiday.  The house was a little crowded at times, but it is all very quiet, now.  Not sure I can say I really prefer the latter. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Diary 11/27

It cleared off for awhile, but still cold yesterday morning.  Warmed up through the day. This morning there were huge snowflakes.  Actually they were collections of snowflakes that had bumped into one another and joined to make snowplates.  The temperature is slowly warming, so it may be raining soon.  That is a good thing for folks traveling tomorrow.  Out to take some pictures for Christmas cards, have to hurry before it falls off the trees!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Diary 11/26

Open range cows got into one of the greenhouses.  Seems a bit late to worrying about range cows, but they spent that coldest night in the lower of the two greenhouses devouring everything that was in there which included some pretty nice heads of romaine.  I feel like getting political. Meanwhile, the other greenhouses have some winter vegetables for us.  Insects and caterpillars are finished for this year and won't be back for awhile.  A pair of towhees are living in the upper greenhouse.  The male has a beutiful black head and rusty stripes along his wings.  The female is non-desriptly buff colored.  I think they are eating all the seeds of whatever that is left, maybe cherry tomatoes ( the dead hump in the background).

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Diary 11/25

So many things to be thankful for.  Yes, at times this year has mystified me, but I am happy to come out the other end resolved to do a better job at destressing next year. We will have a wonderful feast which the dog is patiently waiting for.  Garden Dog is already napping due to all the excitement of visitors.  Love to all. Best wishes to you and yours for a happy day and up coming holidays.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Diary 11/24

One of many brave snapdragons.  Not sure how they look this morning after 20 degrees last night.  Our neighbor, Jim, stopped by to return the leaf blower we lent him a few days ago.  He heard of our well dilemma and offered to take a look with some gauges he had with him.  He discovered, as we had suspected, that we had kicked one of the wires loose from the electrical box.  So, we have water.  I can take a shower.  I don't have to wash dishes pioneer style.  I love country living and the exchanges that go on among my neighbors!  Hamburger from elk from muzzle loader season is being ground in the kitchen.  There is still a bit of mopping to do before grandson comes, and then...enjoy the holiday.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Diary 11/23

Worked hard to get the rest of the faucets and the main well's tank, lines, power set-up insulated for upcoming record cold.  Should have taken care of some of this over the summer...Got back to the house and the well stopped working.  Hmmmm? Coincidence, related, or not? Haven't figured it out yet.  Not excactly the "pull the pump" kind of weather. Country living.  Would cost a fortune to have someone come out.  At least the snow makes for a "clean" work area. (We have the other well we can cross-over.) Hrrumpf said the camel.  Pretty powedery snow for so early in the season, about 4 inches. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Diary 11/22

Snowing hard with 4 to 8 inches due overnight and a few more tomorrow.  Winterizing faucets and pipes here and there.  Most of the insulating caps are sitting there waiting to be replaced.  Have a tank to insulate and make sure the house water coming in is protected.  Good time for a new coat, hat, and...first mittens!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Diary 11/20

Our first snow made the deck and lawn white and coated the trees just a bit.  It is all gone now as it was sunny mid-day and now clouded up to do it again I guess.  Got to the greenhouse for some herb and vegetable picking.  The cold ahead will finish off the figs which continue to produce, though they have lost their sweetness.  Picked savory and sage for the turkey dressing and some cilantro, cherry toms, and misc. for salad and cowboy salsa in the next day or two.  My neighbor was there to help the rescue of things left to harvest.  We found happy spinach which I hope to make into a wilted salad for dinner.  We cook bacon and make dressing using the grease for oil, adding vinegar and salt and pepper.  Then it is poured while still fairly warm to hot over the greens.  You have to eat it right wawy while the greens still have some crunch.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Diary 11/19

9 I brought my dwarf lime tree in as it is suppose to get down to 25 degrees here soon.  The poor thing will be confused, bloom, set some fruit and then barely survive to produce a couple tart little limes.  The ants will come in February to grow scale on its branches.  The scale will zap the energy from the plant making it sweat its essence through the leaves.  In the nick of time, it will be warm enough I can put the tree back outside, maybe have to drag it in a night or two, but it will recover and regrow new leaves through next summer in order to prepare for the whole thing over again. Ah, the trials of a tropical tree in a non-temperate zone. Meanwhile, the weather folks are still talking about snow and not much sticking.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Diart 11/18

Cold and wet outside.  Cozy by the fire, watching Cinderella with baby who has a cold :(.  Looking through The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms trying to identify some of the mushrooms I took pictures of the other day.  Not so easy even with shaggy stems and purple colors.  There are things you can narrow down with like season and what wood they like to feed off of or not. The little ones in the lower photo like to grow on Fir tree cones. I think there might be one rotting under the needles in the photo.  First step is to look at the gills and how they hook to the stem.  The last step is to take a spore pattern which you can do by leaving on a sheet of paper overnight. Fun to try to figure them out.  Snow level coming down.  We will see here soon, but not supposed to stick.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Diary 11/17

Not much garden action today.  Foggy, grey and dismal, just not raining.  This elderberry tree has two different fungi growing on it.  They may each be edible.  I know the comb tooth white one is.  Still identifying the polypor shelf mushrooms.  This tree has had these fungi each year for the last three.  We have harvested and eaten the comb tooth before, but it still comes back.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I was rewarded for my clean-up today.  When I removed a sheet of plastic from the one end of the melons I had protected with it(remember?), there were three ripe honeydew melons.  The one pictured was less ripe than the other two, but delicious!  Who would have thunk??? November what? and a ripe melon outdoors!  I already told you we have cantaloupes in the greenhouse...at 2000 feet ...in November! Amazing.  Rolled hoses, cleaned up drip lines, folded the shade cloth, all with help of neighbor, Alan.  Thank you Alan :). The rest of the crew are pretty much "laid-off" for now.  (There is Red Sails lettuce you guys, come and get it.) One more day of dry weather tomorrow and then rain, rain, and snow?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Diary 11/15

Working on Fall Clean-up.  Things sort of pile up around the edges here by the end of the season.  Made some good strides at putting stuff away and getting ready for snow to come off the roof here and there if need be.  Finally made that chow-chow with 10 cups of green tomatoes, a cabbage, a couple green peppers, a red pepper, 5 onions- all chpped to small 1/2 inch to 1 inch bits- mix in 1/2 cup salt until juice forms.  Cover and let set over night.  Then drain and add 10 cups vinegar, 3 1/2 cups sugar, a Tbs. of mixed pickling spices, a little fennel seed, a lot of ground ginger, ground cumin, a few srinklers of mustard seeds, and quite a bit of curry powder.  It came out pretty and I like the flavor of the bit that didn't fit in a jar.  I think it will be good with rice and any meat that is bland by itself.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Diary 11/14

                                             Good-bye Auntumn colors, hello bare winter trees.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Diary 11/13

Busy baby day, but managed to make spaghetti sauce from ripening tomaotes and dried a batch of figs.   

Friday, November 12, 2010

Diary 11/12

The last of the leaves are falling and piling up everywhere waiting for rakes and blowers.  I kinda hate for this season to be at an end and the long dark days of winter to lie ahead, but on the other hand it is a sort of hibernation for farmers who may have worked sixteen hour days in the mid-summer months.  Still gathering tomatoes that are pink to ripen to red in a warm house.  Making chow-chow tomorrow, give or take a baby...assembled the parts anyway.  A small blurb about snow at the end of this next week, we'll see.  Otherwise, need to put some irrigation away and roll hoses up where they are not buried under snow for the winter.  Most of the outdoor crops have slowed to a crawl.  The deer have figured out how to paw away the berry netting, so time to roll it up and store it in a dry place for spring.  Cover crop almost a continuous green mat now.  The soil rests, as do we.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Diary 11/11

The last of the green beans.  Plants are out before they get any buggier or moldy.  They are very sweet, a real treat. I don't know why I bothered taking their tips off.  Green beans are a fun finger food even if you are teething on them.  Took out much of the lower greenhouses' tomatoes today.  I have one friend who specifically wanted a lug of green tomatoes, the rest?  Maybe I will make green tomato chow-chow.  I think I have most of the satuff.  It is a very end-of-the-garden relish.  I will look up my recipe in awhile, stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Diary 11/10

A quick trip to the Eugene area to look at some OLD bluelerry plants Blueberry Bob is selling on Craigslist.  They have been rescued from a farm outside of the Portland area.  They are huge and hopefully we can get them transplanted happily.  Blueberries have not been happy here.  I think the red clay soil is a difficult starting point.  On the way to see the plants I saw this field of winter squash hardening up and in row for harvesting.  Trust me on this as the pictures are not great.  Also we saw three double rainbows.  Again, the photography is not top notch!  Harvesting some of the last tomatoes in the lower greenhouse so I can pull plants.  There are the perennial flowers to clean up in there also.  Figs are ripening, but the foxes have figured that out!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Diary 11/9

More Elk Creek pictures.  Rain with snow on the mountains. The horizontal Maple tree picture is for my daughter who fell out of that tree a long time ago!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Diary 11/8

It was beautiful at the old garden site by Elk Creek the other day.  The leaves were at their peak and starting to fall.  There are big maples down there.  Maple leaves on the whole are not as acidic as one might think.  Oak leaves are much more acid.  Hope to collect some leaf piles for potato area next year.  Did some leaf piles this year and had some very clean Yukon Golds come out of an area where oak leaves were crudely stirred into the soil. Worth trying again.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Diary 11/7

                                                           HOLLYHOCK CLOSE-UP

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Diary 11/6

Nice day now that the fog has burned off.  Rain due tonight and either rain or cloudy due the next week, so enjoying this last glimpse of sun for awhile and getting my Vitamin D.  Just as my customer base fades off into the sunset, this row of cantaloupes is ready!  They are delicious and I am trying to savor each one as summer is over and it will be a long time until I taste anything as good.  The eggplants are still trying also.  I harvest two small ones off of these blooming plants.  So brave.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Diary 11/5

I planted annual rye grass just ahead of the rain storm of a week ago, and the subsequent sunny days have urged it to sprout.  Luckily, I think it is up enough to grow into the thick grassy mat I need it to before the snow and freezes are here for the duration.  The cover will help prevent soil erosion, compaction, weeds, and so much damage from paw and hoof prints from winter visitors.  It is a tenuous green fur now, but give it a couple more days...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Diary 11/4

Lovely day though not as clear and warm as predicted.  Cleaned up and weeded some more in the greenhoouses.  I am having trouble tearing things out that are not quite done for.  Just "one more picking" I keep telling myself and so far, it has paid off.  The only prettier version of this fern and these reddened raspberry tips is the same things with frost on them.  Another good fig picking and ten more pounds of tomatoes.  Greens, broccoli, and root crops coming along for eating soon.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Diary 11/3

Meeting and town visit this morning.  One more beautiful day tomorrow and then rainy weekend ahead.  Some of the lasts; a bucket of raspberries and a raspberry colored Hollyhock.  Pretty leaves just beginning to drop from the trees.  The roads were covered with large yellow Maple leaves on my way home.  The smaller, bright red Viney Maples foliage compete for "best of show".  The oaks by the house just beginning to change. I guess the warmth of the building keeps autumn at bay for them.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Diary 11/2

Voting Day.  If you don't vote, you shouldn't complain.  Brought in tomatoes to ripen.  Still fairly dry in the greenhouses, so rot is at a minimum.  If the greenhouses were sealed up, it would be even dryer, but might also cause more condensation with temperature inside so much warmer than outside.  Tricky to make vegies happy for a couple more weeks of production.  A good amount of figs were ready yesterday.  Made a barely red tomato and fig with basil leaves salad from the fig heaven cookbook( 70 recipes for the world's most luscious fruit) by Marie Simmons (thanks, Ada) with dinner last night.  Good contrast of flavors, sweet fig, acid, and a different sweetness of basil.  Put the rest of the figs in the dehydrator as I see the weather will be in the 70's the next few days, so more will ripen. Yum!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Diary 11/1

Wow, November!  Woke up to fog and a skunk in the yard.  Luckily Garden Dog was unaware as he is apt to get too close to the striped "kitty".  Halloween party was fun with hosts Elmer Phudd and his wifely wabbit.  I was indeed a logger, note owl feathers coming from the lunchbox, "save a logger, eat an owl" written below. Actually, the Spotted Owl saved our local national forests.  The first succession, "old Growth" was being logged in the 70's and early 80's to pay the inbterest on the national debt.  The Endangered Species listing of the owl slowed logging down before those forests were obliterated. It caused a re-examination of the issue of saving forest habitat.  Tough decisions were made for Oregon'ts economy, but nice to have old trees to see once in awhile. The neighbor ladies got into the dress-up fun with me.  There was a 1950's housewife, Little Eddie from Grey Gardens, and Mr.Darcy's sister-in-law.