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.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Diary 8/31/12

Finished peeling a whole box of Cuore Di Brue roma tomatoes.  Now out to wink at that BLUE MOON!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Diary 8/30/12

Harvesting onions
I am usually an upbeat person.  I think most of my friends would describe me that way, but you know how when you are bothered by something or sadden by events, it takes your energy away.  I hope I feel better about the world tomorrow and can see past the place I am stuck in today.  I have so many blessings in my life, I have no good reason to dwell on the things that are not quite right for me.  Utopia this is not.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Diary 8/29/12

There are so many wild plums in the yard just getting ready to be ripe.  Each one has a unique flavor that goes with the special color it displays.  I imagine that the squirrels and birds planted some of them.  Some may have come from me throwing pits out around the edges here when I was canning over the past thirty- something years. The pictures are a sample of some of the trees.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Diary 8/28/12

More huckleberries at the same location, but found some niches with incredible berries both in size and abundance. Wanted to pick them all but the bent back said that's enough after 2 gallons plus. A jam session of Blackberry, Strawberry/Rhubarb, Huckleberry/Plum jams yesterday. Oh yeah! Corn and shishkebobs(sorry, sp?) with marinated zucchini, onion, apple, pineapple, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, potatoes, peppers, and elk meat for dinner as a farewell dinner with wwoofers who head off tomorrow.

Diary 8/27/12

I am happy to be able to pass out pumpkins to children and grandchildren this year.  I have 12 big ones and numerous small ones.  They are sizing up as I have been pretty good about standing them up on end so they will be nice and round. Now waiting for frost to harden their shells.  "The frost is on the pumpkins" thing. Though it has been cool the last couple nights, I would hope a frost is still weeks away.  I have lots of melons out there that need to finish up.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Diary 8/26/12

We had a nice family picnic this afternoon with cooler weather, some incoming clouds, and that feel of the end of summer. Though I have two more months to go with bags and other deliveries, I feel close to the end as some parts of the fields end their production for this year and the harvest is stacking up at the front door rather than out in the ground.  We will continue to gather as the days grow shorter and the nights continue to cool down an all around slowdown in production and the work I have to do in the garden. Sounds good from here with two great helpers leaving this week and my full season right-hand-maid, Megan( I'm right handed, she's left handed, but she helps me alot) heads out next week leaving me to fend for myself.  Allen will still come on Thursdays.  Cheryl will help with bags one day or the other, and I can always call Deb to help pick berries, if I am swamped.  

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Diary 8/25/12

Friday bags were very full!
Busy weekend with family and visitors. So much to harvest, put up for winter by canning, freezing or drying,  all at once! Made some pickles today.  Froze corn yesterday. Hope to can some tomatoes and maybe a batch of sauce tomorrow.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Diary 8/24/12

Look who came to visit!  Two mother turkeys, one at the front and one as caboose, brought their brood of turkey teenagers through the yard yesterday morning.  Not exactly who I want to go check out the farm.  So many beaks could really do some damage.  I went out to take their picture and also to urge them back down from whence they had come and in the opposite way from the garden.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Diary 8/22/12

My husband went to Hart Mountain a couple weeks ago and took these amazing pictures.  It is on the edge of the Great Basin, high desert country. I am supposed to go at some point, but maybe not before he gets to go again to hunt for mule deer...hrrmph!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Diary 8/21/12

Special yoga class this evening on a deck with a koi pond gurgling behind me and the Rogue River flowing before me.  Better get to bed though as there is alot to harvest in the morning and it will be a big delivery day.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Diary 8/20/12


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Diary 8/19/12

Huckleberry country
Canned 7 jars of pickles and 5 jars of pickled beets this morning with the woofing gang.  Then this afternoons we went to pick huckleberries.  There were tons! 5 of us picked close to 4 gallons. YUM! Will mount several more expeditions up there soon. 

Then, I almost lost my camera...

After the wedding reception, we started for home.  I went into the cabin to retrieve my cooler from the bride's room.while my husband was making his way to the truck.  As the truck was locked, I left my camera on the hood until I got back and the truck was open.  When I did get back, I put the cooler in the back seat and jumped in, and we left.  About 12 miles down the road, I saw the red sky of a smokey sunset(from the wildfires) and thought I would take a picture. MY CAMERA!!! We went back to the wedding, as darkness was descending, to look where we had parked and started off from to no avail.  I left word with some friends that if a camera in a black case were found, it was mine.  A little sad, but facing the reality that I might have just lost my camera, we headed for home once more.  This time we drove slowly, and eyes peeled on my side of the road where the camera could have landed as it slid off.  After a long five miles, I was thinking of giving up when both my husband and I spotted a black something in the gravel at the side of the road.  I jumped out to find my camera case, and our wwoofer, Megan, who had come to the wedding with us, found my camera a little ways away. I love my old camera.

Diary 8/18/12

I made bouquets for a very country style wedding in the woods.  Remember the bride wanted twigs in the bouquets and a woodsy feel?  I enjoyed making their bouquets even though it made for a very busy Saturday morning between that and everything else going on.  Our new wwoofers were settling in and working in the garden.  There was the usual Saturday phone calls, and we had a bit of a run in with a neighbor that I hope I will be able to laugh about someday.  Anyway, the wedding was as special as it was homemade and one of a kind, very sweet. The bride and groom were appreciative of the flowers as they had not had a volunteer on that score.  They had lots of help from friends and family with everything from bringing chairs and tables, generators, and a music system to a great potluck spread with plenty of yummy food and a delicious cream frosting topped cake made by a friend.  All this in the middle of a primitive campground in the National Forest.  The couple rented the old cabin there for a really reasonable rate. Near the cabin is the Imnaha Spring.  So beautiful, water rushing out of the ground everywhere.  Moss and ferns looked like a fairy garden under massive Douglas Firs and Hemlocks. A very special place.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Diary 8/17/12

New wwoofer help has arrived.  They will be here for two weeks only, but in that time I think we will cover several bases of farming from planting to harvesting to canning, drying and freezing.  The harvest season is upon us.  A storm is expected tomorrow with lightning, but also some rain maybe.  At least there will be cooler weather ahead which will help to accomplish a few projects that it has been just too hot to take on. I was cleaning up around the front door and moved some bricks.  Under two of them were 5 baby garter snakes.  This is the only one who stuck around while I went and fetched my camera. Garter snakes have live births and the fact that 5 were still together makes me think this guy is not that old.  It is hard to get a sense of how small he is, but the rocks are actually road gravel, so he a is pretty small and brightly colored like a baby calf.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Diary 8/16/12

Shiro Plums

Such variety coming out of the garden now.
Another hot day and one more to go and then a low pressure system is moving through.  Unfortunately with the reduction in temperatures comes the threat of wildfires, our local natural disaster. There are several fires going around in the area already and a thunderstorm will no doubt start a few more.  If we are lucky maybe some wetting rain will come with it and give firefighters half a chance.  Lots more corn to harvest tomorrow along with the first of the giant Ciore Di Buie paste tomatoes and some more Shiro plums.  We could build a horn of plenty if we had a horn.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Diary 8/15/12

Harvested our first corn, 87 ears today, and 50 by Friday.  May be freezing some by the end of the weekend.  New helpers coming, so I have big plans! Working on wedding flowers for Saturday, woodsy and simple garden flowers is what the bride-to-be asked for, so I can do. I am with woodsy, including some twigs. When I close up the chickens at night (have to or any number of predators would come get them), I love to check out my yard in the twilight.  The rosy glow of the last of this day's light infiltrates the forest giving it more dimension.  The Madrone trees are shedding their bark and leaves as they do during summer rather than fall.  Tonight they looked like something from the Serengeti.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Diary 8/14/12

Too tired to blog.  Hot day, yoga, and have to get up early to beat the honey bees to the raspberries. Goodnight!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Diary 8/13/12

I am back from a lovely weekend in Silverton, Oregon, home of the Oregon Garden.  We did not do much walking, but rode the tram and admired all the work in the established gardens within the 125 acre area.  Hot and dry, so not its prettiest time of year, but still worth the visit.  We stayed up the hill at the Moonstone Resort, a well run escape with nice facilities and an "on the ball" staff.  The wedding was a beautiful affair full of family, fun, and love.  The bouquets etc. and table arrangements went well, but it is always last minute and intense.  There were plenty of nice flowers so it made the job easier. One more wedding and a few bouquets and that is it for this summer of 5 weddings. Now back to gardening on hot days. Watering like crazy, trying to get everyone a turn.  May run some sprinklers tomorrow just to spread some moisture around. We will have corn within days...

Friday, August 10, 2012

On the road

Off to another wedding.  Helping with the flowers this weekend and the wedding next weekend.  Makes a nice present.  I am lucky I have several folks who trade work for help in the garden.  Here is a work share box in the making.  Bartering is a huge part of the local economy here and I love it!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Diary 8/9/12

Megan and Allen helped with cleaning, turning, and planting beds for fall and winter crops.  Odd to be planting now with hot weather in the future, but it is the right time as day length and then temperatures will be going down.  Planted carrots and beets, and have kale, lettuce, greens, and choi to go in.   Most of it will be ready late fall, but any carrots left keep well through the winter.  The gopher will no doubt help himself to some beets, but I have plans for him including castor oil and golf balls...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Diary 8/8/12

Mr. Darcy with all his "handsome features and noble mein."J.A.

Mr. Darcy keeps watch while his ladies debug the flower garden.
Mr. Darcy knows how handsome he is as he escorts his ladies around the yard.  I have been letting them out for a bit most evenings.  That way, they do a quick bug sweep without scratching too much in one place.  It is fun to look out and see them wandering through the flower beds around the house as a group.  Bag delivery went very smooth today.  It helps that there were plenty of options today, and I did not feel like such hard work to put some nice bags of veggies and berries together for folks.  The first crop of raspberries are about done and the honey bees are working the fall crop flowers feverishly.  The weekend is supposed to be 100 again, but it was a nice hot today, not so brutal. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Diary 8/7/12

I think I will follow the mantra of "do less and a better job next year".  The potatoes we are digging did not proceed down into the great soil I made for them.  In stead they nested on top waiting for more mulch than they received.  So we have small potatoes and not as many of them.  Meanwhile pig weed is trying to go to seed around the edges.  Lots of tops to clip as the soil is too dry to pull them.  Did get mulch on the strawberries yesterday and I think they will be happy about that.  Plenty of cherry tomatoes, though!  It is the time of year when I start to think maybe I won't do this next season.  Ut oh...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Diary 8/5/12

Back from the north and the land of plenty.  Plenty of berries, wheat, corn, grapes, and water.  The Willamette Valley is definitely more moist than here and has wonderful soils. A little jealous...Back to a threatening sky.  We are to have very hot and dry weather for the next week.  Lots of melons and corn say bring it on!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Diary 8/1/12

As I worked in the garden yesterday, there were birds and squirrels all around me making a variety of noises.  The main bird cry I could hear was that of the Woody Woodpecker character model, the Pileated Woodpecker.  He is a large guy, maybe 24 inches tall, with the distinctive red head and obnoxious cry that echos a long way through the forest.  They will come to the ground to feed this time of year when the Oregon Grape plant's berries ripen.  I will see them again when the Dogwood trees have their red berries ready in late September.  The other noisy forest friend, was a grey squirrel.  He was working over the pine cones in a Ponderosa Pine at the bottom of the garden.  He will not quit that tree until every cone has been eaten, separating the cone from the tiny seed that waits at the tip of each section.  His debris at the bottom of the tree is evidence of his hard work. There are many pine trees, but there are many squirrels, so they keep the pine population at bay.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Diary 8/1/12

Wow! August, and I feel like we are just getting going.  The delay from spring rains still affects the outcome this much later.  Onions are not finished and the second succession of cucumbers are still not ready.  On the whole, the weather has been cooler than usual, and I like it.  Still warmer at night, but not sooo hot during the day.  I am a finalist in a photo contest at the Green Life Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/TheGreenLifeOnline and you are welcome to vote, of course.  The winner gets clout and the background on their Facebook page and surely something else.  In all fairness you should vote for the one you like the best, but mine is a typical harvest from last summer.