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.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Diary 9/30/13

These are pictures from Saturday night before the big rain storm hit. I picked raspberries until dark, knowing the rain was gonna blast the ripest ones off of the plants. It was a warm wind and had that great pre-storm ionosphere excited feeling.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Diary 9/29/13

You might wait all summer for them, but heirloom tomatoes are still fun to grow. This one is a Pineapple and it does have a melony taste, mild, no acid, and not too sweet. Impressive to slice up and offer on a platter with pink Mortgage Lifters and the usual red tomatoes. Lots of green tomatoes still ripening. Good weather at the end of the week, but a nasty storm due in this afternoon and I already dumped out almost an inch of rain overnight.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Diary 9/28/13

Feeling good that I accomplished a goal I set for the summer. Only a week late, not too bad! Anyway, the bathroom has flooring, a new toilet, and faucets. It is a nice upgrade from our 23 year old look. Everything was on sale or a good deal. My lucky remodel! A few boards, paint ("Frosted Jade"- just love paint names!), and moldings. Then we can have Sunset magazine up, ha-ha.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Diary 9/26/13

It is a stare down.  He wants the last dollop of milk from my Cheerios. I am eating faster than I normally would...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Diary 9/24/13

WET! That is what one could say about the great outdoors today. I saw that there was a bit of ice in the raindrops, so look out mountains, here come the bottom of your snow pack. Sounds like we are in for a cooler fall if not wetter, so the snows we get early may actually stay on the mountains through winter. That is a god thing come spring and early summer when the evaporation of the snow pack begets other moisture we will need. Though Allen worked on cleaning upper greenhouse and I helped a bit, I am directing my energy inside. I am
One out, one to go...
going to work on finishing the bathroom project. New flooring, new toilet, and eventually paint. Yeehaw!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Garden Helper

Garden Girl has left and although I accomplished so much today in her absence, I found myself thinking about her and smiling at her latest creation she left behind in her kitchen.

Diary 9/23/13

Boy, I sure would like to purchase some more perennial asters such as the ones in the above photo. They are such a treat this time of year. The fall crocus are a great surprise also. I have Madonna Lilies that pop up about now in two different places in the yard. One place was planted as a thank you from a wwoofer from three years ago. Good ole Ryan. Wonder what he and many of the others who have spent time here are up to? Once in awhile I hear from one from a distance. Many I see on Facebook, and a few still keep in touch through the mail. With 55 kids, it is easy to forget a few. One or two did not stay even 24 hours, though I am Facebook friends with one of them. A handful have married after wwoofing together. We have had a couple babies and another on the way, so the energy continues. Hope in 18 years they want to come help. I gonna need it!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Diary 9/21/13

Took a drive up to look at the area where the Whiskey Fire was burning until the recent rain. After the rain we received today, I think we are done with fire danger for this year. The fire crews brushed out several roads a around the fire and opened up one to Fawn Camp which was hard to get through because the brush had grown so thick. I think Fawn Camp was some sort of CCC outpost during the 1930's Conservation Corps heyday of road building in our area. Nice, big Douglas Fir trees.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Diary 9/18/13

Went for a nice drive yesterday afternoon to help someone take a N-A-P! Shhhhh.... We were looking for bears, and we saw flipped over bushes and other evidence of bears(piles in the road), but in the heat of the day, most smart bears were napping already as there was plenty of moon to feed at night. The only animals we saw were a few range cows at the top of the mountain hanging out by a small spring of water.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Diary 9/17/13

It felt so good to watch the low front with rain approach this morning. Cold night tonight as it will clear, but no frost this time.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Diary 9/16/13

Harvesting ahead of a clean out of the top greenhouse tomorrow. I brought in some of the butternut squash. I will have to do some trading with neighbors for some other kinds of squash, as my Delicatas did not do well. Actually, not that much is leaving the greenhouse tomorrow, but by flipping the vines into the beds and cleaning the trails, it should be much tidier by tomorrow afternoon. Every time something does leave a bed, that is it for this year. Melons for instance are mostly done. Although they may have small melons and flowers galore, there is no time left for developing fruit, so their sprawling vines can be removed and the bed readied for winter
. I  also have weeding to do as some plants are happy again with the cooler weather and sprouts are appearing in all the paths. I hope to have a clean look in there by winter, at least that is the plan...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Making fig bars...

 There are so many figs ready, Garden Girl and I

decided to make a pan of fig bars. Mashed a layer of figs in the bottom of the baking pan and topped with a flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, pecans and butter crust.
 Too much to eat now, I will cut and wrap for a treat in winter. Low sugar topping because the figs are so ripe. I need to make fig vinegar and maybe fig jam. I like them fresh the best. They are a real treat with some strong goaty cheese on crustinis. My daughter gave me a fig recipe book, Fig Heaven, by Marie Simmons. Time to turn its pages again.

Diary 9/15/13

Successfully pulled off a surprise birthday party for my next door neighbor and friend. She thought she was picking me up to go out for lunch. I lured her inside pretending to get my shoes on. As she came through the door, 14 of our friends jumped out to say "surprise". PERFECT!
Garden Girl has returned for a few days. We will harvest corn, tomatoes, and berries from the garden and begin to tear out melon vines and cucumbers that are finished producing for this year. Rain due by end of week with possible showers before. A welcome chnage to the almost record high temperatures and super dry winds.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Diary 9/13/13

Happy to be home and cleaning house, of all things! Froze some white corn, made pesto, and I will make basil ice cubes soon. Looks like a big change in the weather coming after tomorrow with some chance of rain and almost 20 degrees cooler. I am definitely ready as it has been so hot and dry the last week here and everything is parched.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Diary 9/12/13

Back from a visit to my daughter. She has been making basil ice cubes for a few years, and got me to do so last year. Harvest the bulk of your basil stems when you know cold weather is coming or arrived, or you are just plain ready to do it! Take the leaves off the stems and puree with a little water to make a paste. Spoon into ice cube trays which you can be emptied within hours into a bag for use all winter. It is a nice amount for flavoring. We were also processing tomatoes and had a start to an Italian paste going. Not enough to can, but when added in a probably 4 parts tomato paste to 1 part basil puree, made another great cube of flavoring, or use several for a pizza.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Diary 9/8/13

Back from a camping/hunting trip to the Umpqua Divide where the North and South Umpqua Rivers vie for water rights. Incredible vistas, disastrous forest fire remnants, and water everywhere on that side of the mountain. Great huckleberries, too!  Set up camp at 6000', near Black Rock on the edge of the Rogue/Umqua Divide Wilderness. Weather was perfect, not too cold at night and not too hot during the day, but that all will change soon. Coyotes sounded off several times, and woodpeckers were working on the burned out trees. Rock formations indicate a  serious uplift zone with volcanic layers covered by sedimentary sea basin layers now sitting on top of the mountain. Wildflower meadows and marsh lands full of ferns just down hill.

I had a good view of a young black bear, and many ruffed grouse. A new favorite place!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Dairy 9/6/13

Hoping to get up to the top of the mts again this weekend for more huckleberries. Meanwhile, cool weather is giving me a break from harvest. More hot weather by the end of the week. More apples, tomatoes and peppers on the way...

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Diary 9/4/13

So much fruit coming through the kitchen this time of year. I made this peach pie from peaches our friend gave us from her tree. I made an apple tart which I froze for later. Drying the last of the pears, making plum sauce and freezing it for jam later. Same with the raspberries which are building momentum and soon to be a six gallo picking adventure every few days. The strawberries are doing really well. I think they liked all the cool, smoky weather, and maybe even some of the ashfall that came. At any rate, they too, are heading for a peak at some point in a couple weeks. For now, a six pint picking. All this product used to go out the door in bags. Now it goes into jars, bags, or the freezer. Pretty cool!
Every morning, this family of black-tailed deer or another trio just like them, or all six at once(and Dufus, the spike-horned buck) pass through the yard. I think they feel safe here. There is plenty of grass and brush to eat, just leave the apples alone!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Diary 9/3/13

Put the six foot plastic deer fence up on two side of the fence the wwoofers started. Mulched the apple trees with a generous layer of sawdust from the sawmill that was here a couple months ago. Nice side product of the lumber being cut. Picked another round of tomatoes and finished the Italian sauce from the batch before. Allen helped with apple orchard and worked on eliminating new berry canes coming up around our meter head. Hot day though only in the eighties.
The sun felt extra strong today!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Diary 9/2/13

The house at the bottom of our road has not had permanent residents for the last few years. There is a Bartlett pear tree right by our driveway that has been left to its own devices during this time, with no water or care of any kind except my appreciation of the pears it drops each year about now. As no one else was around, I felt comfortable picking up the undamaged fruits from the ground and canning and drying them. This year, there is a new neighbor. I have tried to connect, and I am sure we will eventually. For now, I have a trade going for those pears.
I leave goodies on their window sill and pick up a basket of fallen fruit. Seems to be working even if somewhat mystic.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Diary 9/1/13

A nice day of visiting with friends and family. Made zucchini relish this morning and put more fruit in the dehydrator. Made jerky for camping. Lots to do tomorrow as there are baskets and boxes of produce staged all over the kitchen and by the front door with more ready to be harvested. Tis the season! We have worked and waited for this time since spring.