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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Diary 8/31/11

September tomorrow, how can it be?  Still no corn.  I know what is going to happen, it is all going to come at once like crazy.  Hot weekend weather ahead may do the trick.  Yellow jackets are picking on the raspberries, but not as badly as usual.  Peppers, onions, pickling cucs, and tomatoes are going for it, but I do have some nice greens and spinach.  Ready to plant some more things in the greenhouses where I am pulling things out.  After this next wedding, some flowers will be worn out and I will make some new areas for lettuce, spinach, choi, napas, and carrots.  September, huh?  I can hardly believe it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dairy 8/30/11

There has been a major setback in my wildcrafting efforts.  This is NOT a Choke Cherry tree.  I know that now because I see it does not have fine toothed edges on the leaves and the fruits have seeds, not a pit.  I didn't identify this plant correctly until after I had consumed some of the jelly that didn't quite fit in the jars of "choke cherry " jelly I made and labeled proudly.  No, this is a Buckthorn and it is described as a cathartic, it has properties which empty the bowels.  So basically, I made a jelly that gives you diarrhea. Special.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Diary 8/29/11

Visit from great niece and nephew, and great, great nephew. He was a guy after my own heart preferring a green bean over a strawberry. The three helped harvest the rest of the Red Norland potatoes, about 280 pounds. Nothing like a free meal and box of vegetables around here! Canned pickles and started on a batch of Italian sauce. Four days of deliveries ahead.  Busy times AND try to catch a break for a day or two soon?! Hmmmm...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Diary 8/28/11

Hot afternoons bring Cumulus build-ups over the Cascades.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Diary 8/27/11

Garlands made out of morning glory vines

Work in progress

41/2 of 6 bridesmaids(Jessie Ann on the right)
I think the flowers turned out nicely.  I was happy with them, and picky me, that isn't always the case.  The bride was happy and even the groom made a comment, but then he is a landscaper and so notices flowers more than some guys.(No offense, guys.) Should be good for haircuts for awhile.  Nice to trade. Now onto the next one, which will be casual and fun.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Diary 8/26/11

Late to bed and early to rise makes a woman tired.  That's all, not healthy, wealthy or wise, just tired!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Diary 8/25/11

Busy day started early.  Worked on deer horn centerpieces for wedding.  Went up on the mountain and collected an amazing array of wildflowers for a dear friend's memorial service.  She was instrumental in the local wildflower group. Worked on more decorations this afternoon and some parts for tomorrow skinny bag group.  They will receive Red Norland potatoes, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, onion, garlic, salad mix, and maybe a basket of strawberries. Looking forward to this wedding and the floral fun, but it is supposed to be HOT, like 96 degrees, so will be hard to keep flowers very happy at 1:30 in the afternoon...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Diary 8/24/11

The native Madrone trees have a semi-deciduous culture, losing some of their leaves in summer.  They create piles of dry debris this time of year; somewhat dangerous in a wildfire area. The bark is usually a beautiful brick red and smooth.  It is nicknamed the "spaghetti tree" because its branches twist as they extend upward.  It makes some of the best  firewood available and splits easily when green. After it sheds its leaves, it sheds its bark as if it were a reptile, too big for its skin.  As the old red bark peels away, the new tender green is revealed underneath.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Diary 8/23/11

Busy day harvesting for 18 bags tomorrow.  Also seems like every bed wanted water at the same time, so I ran around trying to get everyone at least a small drink with a promise of more soon. Wild blackberries are ripening.  There is a nice patch in the cherry orchard(that really should not be there) that has been pruned and received some inadvertent watering. Picking blackberries is not as thrilling when there are raspberries and strawberries to pick also, but I will certainly give it a try for a few gallons.  They are some of the best anti-oxidants and yummy.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Diary 8/22/11

Patting the dog,

Giving greens to the chickens,

Collecting the eggs,

and harvesting some potatoes.
The morning chores include:

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Diary 8/21/11

Two weddings coming up over the next two weekends.  Both are using fall colors.  Here are a few of the flowers I planted for decorating and making bouquets, etc. Chickens are doing well, at least 3 eggs from the four each day. We are calling the rooster Mr. Darcy and the girls Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, and Lydia, although it is hard to keep the Barred Rock girls separate.  Jane is a Sexlink and a red color. She is also older than the rest. At least Mr. Darcy has recovered from whatever was making him fall over all the time.  If he reached back to preen, he would fall over like a domino.  He seems to be doing better and has taken his job of protecting very seriously which will be important for their survival.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Diary 8/20/11

Tonight's sky was gorgeous with pinks and blues and tall white clouds.  The cloud cover gave an airplane the hollow sound of a tympani drum.  It felt like a warm blanket was just overhead.  No lightning, thank goodness, but it had that sort of edgy electricity to the air.  There is something happening with the low rays of the sun, pressure,and  the acceleration of the atoms in the ionosphere or something.  Tomorrow the low passing over us is supposed to do this again.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Diary 8/19/11

The cow guy came and rounded up the bull and the other few cows that were threatening the garden and off they went to the higher range.  I am so glad. Now, no range cow problems for awhile until they come back down much later and when most of the garden is finished. Now I only have to contend with deer, bugs, and gophers!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Diary 8/18/11

One of the last desserts: cantaloupe sorbet
The latest helpers left this morning.  It was a bit sad.  They start out as strangers and leave as part of your life.  Saw these two pals hanging out together in the cool moist corner of the greenhouse this late morning. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Diary 8/17/11

Just got back from an evening of range cow rearranging.  By law, you are not allowed to chase them, so we merely rearrange them to new areas.  This time in particular did not go well as all we managed to do was push the black bull into our neighbor's yard.  I will go out first thing in the morning and check where he is at that point.  Cows sleep only 9.8 hours per day and this one doesn't seem to sleep at night, so his wanderings are dangerous for our not fenced garden.  Might be fencing soon if we can't get him off our hill.  He seems very content to stay.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Diary 8/16/11

The garden is in full swing now with the advent of corn soon.  The red raspberries are going to take a short break this next week or two and then the fall crop will set and it looks like it will be a heavy production.  We checked the watermelons.  To pick a ripe watermelon, you check the tendril where the melon is attached and the tendrils to each side of that one on the vine.  If they are dry, then you know they are no longer feeding the melon and it is ready to pick.  With the cantaloupes, the stem separates and it is obviously finished. We even harvested some of the first small pumpkins that were orange. It is a bounty right now with everything from spinach through carrots to tomatoes, melons, and winter squash!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Diary 8/15/11

Strawberry Pie
Spring Rolls

Berry Tarts
I have to say we have been eating well around here, thanks in part to the efforts of our current wwoofers.  They have used what is coming out of the garden with efficiency and imagination, making substitutions when necessary as we are 16 miles from a market. If we are not fat and happy, it is not their fault!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

Diary 8/12/11

The chickens are settling in ,but they are only giving one egg per day so far.  They almost seem afraid to go into their yard, or as if they forgot it is out there.  I think they just need more time to adjust. Good harvest today with extra goodies planned to can this weekend; pickles, beans, and tomato sauce.  There are enough berries to make another round of jam. also. Meanwhile, the onions are sizing up and the corn looks closer everyday.  We ate our first cantaloupe which was hiding under leaves on the vines.  It was one of the best ever! Garlic is sorted, separating the seed garlic from what I will sell and use.  Not a very big harvest, but some nonetheless.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Diary 8/10/11

16 1/2 bags today.  Lots of tomatoes coming on and plenty of berries, making it easier.  Red peppers and sweet onions are next.  The corn is beginning to tassel, so I think we may have corn in August! What a year. Good thing those guys tied up all those hooks a couple days ago, because the next day they had to go out and catch all those salmon.  They were all bucks, so no eggs were lost. Cleaning up some more beds tomorrow.  5 new chickens are spending their first night here.  The door is latched TIGHT!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Diary 8/9/11

Trip to Ashland to visit my old stomping grounds, the Growers Market.  Lots of tomatoes, but just the start of onions and other things that should have been going strong by now.  No peppers or melons, of course.  Picked up grain alcohol to make tinctures and then on the way from there realized that the car was failing.  It continued to do so until it died just shy of the freeway.  So, with some phone calls, a dear friend gave us a ride to local auto shop and the car was towed there partially with roadside assistance and partially out of pocket. Dead head gasket is going to cost a chunk.  Two steps forward, one step back, but at least not one step forward and two steps back...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Diary 8/8/11

Worked on the old chicken pen today.  It is basically ready for occupants. So made a deal with my neighbor to purchase 5 chickens either tomorrow night or the next.  It will be nice to have eggs close by, though the neighbor is going to lose a good egg customer.  It is also a good source of manure for our compost pile.  I haven't had chickens for a couple years.  The seven I had previously were killed in a fox massacre when the door was not latched all the way. We were away, so did not even hear the racket as we might have had we been home.  So, it has taken me until now to want to have chickens again.  I was very attached. The heat of the day has been spent painting 25 more CSA bags. There are many beauties among them. Even the ranch hand, Butch, got involved.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Diary 8/7/11

Day of rest, well at least no weeding, ha-ha.  Bridal shower for a friend.  I will be making the floral decorations for her wedding, more on this soon. Red curry dinner with lots of vegies-gotta use green beans in everything, and of course that goes for zucchini.  Now the wwoofers are working on their first solo jam making, but I am here to the side, in case. Took this picture of my dwarf lime tree today.  I am very proud.  I know you So. Cal. people are saying "So?", but for my keep in a window all winter come out in the hot dry sun for summer arborism, it is quite an accomplishment! The spell checker is trying to tell me that "arborism" is NOT a word, but you catch my drift.

Diary 8/6/11

Blogging a day late again, a sign of the busy times.  Worked on more tearing out of old stuff and planting new things for fall.  Have moved uphill in this effort so the sun will be there shining even in late September.  Planted several rows of spinach.  Planted mustard greens, Napa cabbage, choi, and lettuce.  These I plant in short rows in the greenhouse where I can monitor their growth until they have two sets of leaves.  Then, they go out to their assigned beds.  Otherwise, they are often the victims of insects or dryness while they are babies. Tomato crop is coming on as are a second crop of strawberries.  Still have deer eating the leaves, but I hope add another layer of fencing to slow them down... Meanwhile, Garden Dog is bored waiting for a good game of Keep Away with his latest stick.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Diary 8/4/11

BERRIES 101:  First you find a berry, any color will do.  Then you grab it with your fist.  Then you separate out the berry from whatever else you picked, and you eat it!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Diary 8/2/11

Tearing out old stuff like cabbages and broccoli that are either finished or have been bothered by bugs.  Planting salad mix ingredients and more carrots as we do.  The carrots I plant now won't be ready until the end of September so have to think of the shorter days and cooler weather, although it still isn't very hot yet!  Here is the crew hard at work Yeah!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Diary 8/1/11

Shore Acres roses
August 1st! Hard to believe as we continue to have unusually cool weather.  It was hot today and over the past weekend, but now it is supposed to drop 8 degrees and we may have thunderstorms. I could use some rain on the cover crop, but otherwise I will pass on thunderstorms when it is dry that cause forest fires. Dug Yukon Gold potatoes today, our first of the potato harvest.  It was just a small section today.  There is another variety to harvest tomorrow.  There are squash and cucumbers to harvest also as they grow so quickly this time of year.  The boysenberries are slowly ripening, so I am putting them away in the freezer for jam making later. More orange tomatoes coming on.