My Life is really in the Garden

Enjoying and sharing the daily discoveries of the beautiful nature that surrounds me in my lovely garden and everywhere else!


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How Friday went .. in my garden

 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

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So Friday started out overcast .. but I could see the sun way up high, working hard to fight through the overcast layers and before long it had succeeded and the day turned out to be sunny.

And I enjoyed the look of one of my newly painted found objects.   A little plastic table, found on D’s and my little adventure day on Wednesday.  Transformed with some flat black spray paint .. now ready to be used somewhere in the garden.

A large plant pot, painted green with gold overtones .. I think I’ll add more green paint and will post a pic … then there is a metal filigree plant holder, painted black .. looks kind of cool and I’ll post a pic tomorrow of that.  One of those funky things that looks good in a garden.

Played around with my garlic crop .. separating them into baskets.  I saved the largest cloves for planting this year, in another month .. my gardening neighbour plants garlic mid-October and I’ll follow her lead.

Besides, right now there are some squash plants sprawling all over the area where I plan to grow the garlic and i want to give these plants some time to produce some squash!

Patience!

Then I sorted garlic to be given away .. and some to be sent to my sister .. oh, and some for me to use also!

A basket of garlic that hadn’t a covering on their cloves .. guess I dug them up too early .. more patience needed for next year, it seems.

Finally, a little basket of garlic seeds and one of those little yellow bulbets .. I’ll put some in pots and see if I can grow garlic greens for eating now!

I tried an experiment that I saw posted all over Pinterest, that of re-growing green onion greens.  It’s magic!  Day one, there were little new shoots and now, day three, they are growing  larger.

Now, today, I will separate them into two groups and in one jar I will add some EM .. just to see what the difference will be.

And I bought these green onions from a local greenhouse, so, no chemicals!!  Yeah.

So that was pretty much my gardening time yesterday .. and I plan to continue today.

Time to plant the Dragon kale that my gardening neighbour gave me …. this type turns blue in the sun and stays green in the shade.  Lovely, I say.  I’m really loving this kale and have fun just clipping away the lower leaves when I need some for a meal.  Fun in the garden.

Well .. time to go outside and plant those kale plants …  🙂

 


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Today is a planting day .. no more procrastination!

Monday, July 23, 2012

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Sunday was quite the day .. with the skies changing from overcast, cloudy …to bright and sparkling blue .. decorated with quite a beautiful changing series of amazing clouds.  So I spent some time just admiring the scenery and clicking away.

It was also a lazy day .. we are usually away on the weekends, but the weather wasn’t the best for flying .. so it was stay at home for us.  I don’t mind these types of weekends.  Lots of time to just not rush around .. time to slow down and enjoy.  So we did.

Outside, looking around the yard, amazed at the changes brought about by the addition of the EM to the garden.  Never have the fruit trees bore so much fruit.  I am so very very happy that I took the Organic Master Garden course (Gaia college) .. it totally changed my way of gardening forever.

And the “shifting of paradigms” as noted at the beginning of the course is so true .. my view of gardening has gone in a whole new direction.  I am aware now of the worlds beneath my feet .. the living beings that inhabit the soil and transform it into a healthy growing medium for plants.  Healthy soil = healthy plants.  And as I gaze around my yard I see the proof.

More about that on a later date.  Today I just want to share the joy that I feel as I walk around my garden.

I’ve made enquiries about where to have the bountiful crop of apples transformed into lovely apple cider .. no rush, they won’t be ready for a few months yet .. but I want to be ready!  Last year I’d made jams, baked pies .. but want to try my hand at the cider.   Having not done this before and how fun to sip on cider from the trees.

I’d found sites on making cherry wine from frozen … so might try that … however, I’ve gotten into the habit of using the frozen cherries (from our tree) as ice cubes in summer drinks.   And they taste delicious at the bottom of the glass, plus, vitamin C!

The squash, cucumber and zucchini plants are starting to grow tendrils so I’m trying to find things to use for guides .. tree branches, that sort of thing.

My lovely garlic crop is drying beneath the sundeck.  I spent some time hanging groups of them from nails along the boards …. planning which ones I will save for the fall crop.

Looked at the veggie bed .. planning more garlic rows .. for more garlic.  This time I’ll give the cloves a bit more space for them to grow.  I’d tried growing some in containers, resulted in smaller cloves .. so won’t do that again.

Heavy crop of raspberries and blueberries.  Really enjoy just going outside everyday and picking a basket of them for us.   Memories of days spent on a relative’s farm … hot sunny days, fun times.

The plum trees are fully laden.  We have three types:  Italian (large plump fruits); tiny purple (don’t know the type) and another type of medium purple (again, don’t know type) .. they are all good .. and so I might have these made into something like wine or whatever .. depends on how much fruit makes it to the end of the season.  Plus, this year I’ll spread out tarps to collect the dropping fruit .. easier to clean up.  To avoid the end of the season hornet attacks .. I’ve been picking up all fallen fruit daily and over to the compost they go.

Admiring the green lush growth of the grass .. where the seaweed has dripped … not that I’m into lawn, but, I like to maintain what we have.   Notice that there are fewer dandelions growing throughout ..a sign that the lawn has been receiving nutrients required, the extra vitamin C is no longer required, there is sufficient now, it seems.

There are still perennials to be planted .. I’ve arranged them in the approximate areas where I’d like them to grow … and so today I think .. is the day to do this!

Beautiful sunny day and now I’m on my way.

A – planting – I – will – go!  Goodby – procrastination!  Hello – happy plants in their new places!

🙂


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Flying over eagles, gathering raspberries, blueberries …. cherries .. lovely summer

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

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Where on earth does the time go??????

We are finally enjoying some hot weather here .. so that means the veggies in the garden are growing .. I can see some pumpkins and squash, flowering and fruiting .. that is a good sign.

The garlic .. well, I dug it all up today.  Except for some in pots.  There are a variety of sizes and I’m at a loss as to figure out why.

The first bundle that I dug up were mostly large.  And today, there was a mix .. some healthy sized bulbs, some medium-sized, some rounds (which I’ll plant in the fall, for large bulbs next summer) and a lot of smaller bulbs.

The cloves that were planted were pretty well the same size.  And I think that spacing the cloves out a bit more gives the roots the opportunity to spread out and grow more.  I was just antsy to plant as much garlic as I could last fall.  So this year .. I’ll try to be more mature.  But, not by much!

I do know that the EM & the seaweed made a big difference as all the bulbs were much larger than last year’s crop.

I’ve been picking raspberries, blueberries and cherries.   For the past few days I’ve been drying cherries in the oven .. they dry like raisins.  And I’ll use these in my granola .. that I’m going to make.

The winds had been so strong in the past few weeks … I was despairing of having enough fruit from the cherry tree for us to eat .. as the winds were causing quite a few fruits to drop to the ground.  I’d gathered up lots from the ground, so as to dissuade the wasps from visiting.

Anyway, 2 days ago, I noticed that the lower branches were dripping with ripe cherries!  That was a great surprise as I hadn’t noticed them before!  So I gathered quite a bit and pitted them, dried them in the oven and now have a good supply in containers, for my next batch of granola.

Today I gathered more and am waiting for a few more days for more to ripen .. and then I’ll make up some cherry pie filling!

Lots of cherries at the top of the tree for the birds and enough for us at the lower edges.

Last weekend we went to Port Alberni for DH to go sailplaning …. beautiful weather .. except we saw lots of cloudy weather which turned out to be the outflow from fires in Siberia!!

Anyway … DH arranged for me to go for a flight with the lead instructor … we were up in the air for over an hour .. sheer bliss!

At one point, we were flying over a pair of eagles who were soaring a thermal .. how utterly exciting was that!  I took pics, but they are only dots in the screen.  Suffice it to say that this was a wonderful moment.

And as if that wasn’t enough .. soon, we were flying close to DH .. that was utterly fantastic!    He was flying along at the same height .. and it was so lovely to be in the air at the same time!

A few dips and turns and such a lovely time.  I just didn’t want to land .. rather, I wanted to stay up in the air for a few more hours.

Look forward to a self-launching two-seater sailplane .. a gal can dream, right?

Well, outside to hang up the garlic .. or rather, to find a place where I can hang this lovely crop .. to dry!

🙂


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Wednesday was quite the garlic-y day for me .. and guess what, I’ve finally dug some up

Thursday, July 5, 2012

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We are finally enjoying hot summer weather and it’s wonderful for the garden and the humans also!

Yesterday I heeded the information that the garlic is ready to harvest when the bottom leaves turn yellow.  Although I’ve also read that one should wait till the crowns have wilted.  Anyway, I was so excited about digging up some of the garlic that I just started digging away.

The garlic was well rooted, what with the composted soil, the addition of lots of seaweed plus liberal doses of EM …. plus the recent rains had made it a bit more challenging to lift the garlic.

Nonetheless, I did harvest quite a number.  As I was cleaning off the bulb and then trimming the roots neatly, I had a thought.  What if the roots are meant to be left on?

So, into the house and I started searching for information on garlic.  Found several sites.  But .. the best site, bar none, was this one, and located in British Columbia!  Boundary Garlic Farm.  http://www.garlicfarm.ca/about-us.htm

And here I learned to keep the leafy section and the roots attached to the bulb, so that they would add more energy and growth to the bulb.   And not to worry about the dirt around the roots, these can be gently removed later when they are dry.

Besides recipes and many, many growing tips and information on how to choose which garlic would be suitable for various climates .. I learned that I can slice the cloves of garlic in a food processor and then dehydrate them.   I’ll try that .. drying them in the oven.  Then, the dried slices can be kept either in an airtight container or in a ziplock bag in the freezer.  Later, they can be ground to a powder.

Lots of helpful information on this site.

I did find a site that mentioned that the garlic roots are a delicacy .. but can’t try that out, as the root cuttings from yesterday are scattered, drying, in the garlic bed.  Murphy!

Well, I decided to let the rest of the garlic just stay nice and cozy in their bed until the leaves are more yellow.   This will give the soil time to dry out a bit, making it easier for me to harvest them.

I’m sure going to need a lot of space to dry these giants … and luckily, my friend D gave me a wonderful netting that will be perfect for drying.  I’ll take a picture tomorrow!

I am very impressed with the size of the garlic, it’s mostly hardneck (I’d bought 4 types from Richter’s a few years ago) and they are the size of elephant garlic.   I had bought several cloves of elephant, but wasn’t very successful with those.

Other things I learned while searching for information in the world of garlic .. were that the seeds of garlic can be sown .. they will grow into various shapes over the following 3 years, resulting in large bulbs.

And that the “rounds” can be harvested …. dried .. and then planted again and the result will be larger bulbs.

And that those tiny little round chickpea-like growths that are on the hardnecks can be planted again.  So I’ve soaked quite a number of them in concentrated EM and put them in a container for rooting.  At which time I’ll plant.

Also, some “rounds” might result from bulbs not receiving a month of 10 degrees of coldness in the fall.

And that you can speed up the rooting of garlic cloves, if time is tight in the fall, by putting them in containers, filled with compost, in the kitchen, until the roots form … which they will do, quickly . .and then plant them out.

Yesterday was quite a garlic-y one for me.

Yum.  Yum.  Yum.