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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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.


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Walking in the rain. Created the most delicious lasagna. Friday was a super day.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

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Friday morning .. wasn’t sure if it was going to be a sunny day or if the rains were actually going to happen.  Air was quite muggy.

Spent a few hours outside, continuing to sort plant pots.  Check on seedlings.   Mix the seaweed in amongst the garlic and into some veggie beds.  Having quite a lovely time of it, really, just working away, here and there. Feeling great that the yard is taking shape.  It will take a few more weeks and then I’ll really have done a thorough job of tidying up.

Finishing planting some fancy geraniums,   Found the best area for my new grape plant .. at the south side of the house.   Just have to dig up the hard soil about a foot and then place the vine in firmly.    When the sun does shine, this part of the yard is the absolute hottest.  I’ll take some pics when I’ve planted it.

Filled with joy when I discovered that a Salmon berry plant was thriving at the side of the yard.  Last year it looked like a dry stick and so I was just so sad.   Here it’s been growing strongly, beneath some bushes .. so time to relocate this little guy, so it can grow in more open space.

There are about 20 Red Hot Poker plants all thriving well in pots.  These I had potted up last year and just left them to grow .. or not . .and they have all decided to grow.   So, time to share these with others, as a yard can only handle so many, I think.  The birds love the brick-red tubular flowers .. as do the butterflies and hummingbirds. Just as I’m clipping away roses from the side yard, the faintest of little rain drops start to fall.   Then nothing .. so I wasn’t sure if the rains were going to be the type that start and stop.

Kept clipping away. Next, time to check on my latest seeds to see if they’ve sprouted .. . nothing yet.   And then to the very back, to place some stakes around the Silverberry bush, which should be growing tall and instead is tending to loom over the yard … soon had the main branches aiming upwards, adding more space to walk around the back area. Now the rains were pouring down in earnest.

I lingered outside awhile.  Enjoying the feeling of being outside in the rain.  Lovely damp earthy smell as the water hits the ground.  Feeling like a kid again .. listening to the birds.   After awhile … time to head indoors. And time to work on the recycling inside.    Found a bucket of music cassettes .. some going back 20 years.   Troupe music from  several forms of folk dancing, middle eastern dancing, clogging.

Let’s see .. when is the last time that I’ve played these tapes .. too long .. time to recycle. So for a few hours I stand at a counter, tiny screwdriver in hand, slowly undoing the 5 screws that hold the cassette together.  Salvage the plastic bits in one container, the metal bits in another.   And, unfortunately, not able to recycle the actual tape .. well, I’ve seen sites where clever people have actually knitted things from this tape, but I know that’s not going to happen here.

So, out it goes. I’ve dissected about 20 or so cassettes …. and time for a break.

So I go for a little walk out in the rainy .. see a neighbour with her daughter and most beautiful little baby .. all are so happy .. and I smile as I continue my walk. Love walking in the rain! And later, back home, time to cook up another gigantic lasagna dish.

This time I’m using the Lambs Quarters that my pal D has collected when we went to the beach.  Thanks to her I have a huge bowl of these most lovely greens to use, instead of spinach. Using those amazing no-cook lasagna strips makes the process so easy.  I cooked up a mixture of chopped onions, ground chicken, ground veggie meal, the last of the frozen tomatillo’s from last year’s harvest and a few frozen green tomatoes.

Add salsa and canned tomatoes (blended up).    First I browned the onions and meat .. then added the rest. Spread a layer of this mixture into the lasagna pan, then a layer of lasagna sections.   A thick layer of the Lambs Quarters.  These are considered a weed .. but, as I’m finding out .. a lot of “weeds” are highly nutritious and delicious.

Then added 2% cottage cheese, some sauce, some shredded mozzarella and repeated layers  till there was absolutely no more room in the pan, except for the last layer of just blended tomatoes on the top .. to soften the lasagna.  A thick layer of shredded mozzarella .. and into the oven.

Cooked for an hour.   MMMMMMMMMM

Sort of thought of taking a photo, but by then, I’d cut into the lasagna .. oh, it was delicious.  So just imagine the most golden brown cheese encrusted lasagna dish that you have ever seen in your life .. times two .. and that would be the finished dish! Absolutely the best lasagna!

Some will be frozen for future meals .. that is .. if we can stop ourselves from cutting a slice and heating it up for a meal!

Twas quite a day.


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A fresh batch of garlic scape pesto all mixed up! Enjoying time spent in the garden.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

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And so the winds continued yesterday.  Sun came out .. .went for a break, then decided to shine for a while.   Glad to have you back, transforming the yard!

I’ve started taking a teaspoon of the EM concentrate every day .. as it seemed to have been very effective in warding off a recent ailment that was bothering me.   Yea again to the magic of EM.   I’d listened to someone who shared that she has taken a spoon daily for a few years and has managed to avoid catching strong colds that were affecting her friends.  Those kinds of colds that really knock you off your feet.  So I’ve heeded her story and have begun with the daily EM.  It tastes quite sharp and not bad at all.

Decided it was time to mix up a batch of garlic scape pesto… so quickly chopped, put in the blender, added olive oil, finely shredded parmesan and almond slices (slightly browned in a small cast iron pan).  Loosely guided by a recipe found on the ‘net .. I soon had a delicious mix prepared.  Garlicy .. delicious.

Next, I placed a small amount in wax paper and into the freezer, to firm up a bit.  Later, I placed sections in a small square of w/paper, formed into a small circular shape, and piled them in glass containers for the freezer.  Now, I’m all set to use a bit in the next recipe.

And speaking of which, I found a great blog with a variety of pesto recipes and one in particular for pesto broccoli quinoa .. I’ll reblog that one!

Yesterday I was getting back in my stride … feeling so much better.  Spent hours outside … finally potting up those herb seeds from a gift years ago.  Funny, the seed packets note to “use the seeds before 2006” … ha ha, I scoff, as I soak the contents of each packet in a diluted EM solution.  We’ll see, my pretties!

Don’t know what I’ll do if all the seeds sprout, though!  There are: coriander, thyme, parsley,  basil and some spinach.   Bumper crop.  Then I found some lovely squash seeds and my wonderful luffa.  I’ll just try a few of the luffa seeds .. to see if I can actually grow some.  Fingers crossed.

Then I spent some time unpotting some Scotch moss, separated some of the plants into two sections, soaked them in diluted EM and placed them at the side garden, in front of the boxwood.  This area is starting to look great.  And I scattered hundreds of Calendula seeds in this area.  These flowers grow like weeds.  Lovely yellow and orange coloured petals.  Then I can collect the petals for future use.   Ah, at times it seems as if I’m regressing .. I used to do this years ago.

I plan to get back into soap making .. on a small-scale, just for the fun of it.  I’ll not use tallow this time .. will focus on the cocoanut base and other plant-based materials.  And I do not plan to go into business this time … so will just enjoy the pleasure of creating a small variety of soaps for friends and myself.

Watched the baby sparrows learning from their parents, how to feed at the bird feeders.   I can hear their tiny chirps high above in the trees.  They sound cute.  Still looking forward to seeing the little woodpeckers, chickadees and other birds.

Funny how time just disappears in the garden.  Such an enjoyable place to be.  And I’m very slowly decluttering ..   planting the cuttings started last year.   Collecting all unused plant pots.   I’m really making headway .. and  … enjoying the journey!

🙂