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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Oh joy .. green beans can be juiced!!

We  have had a fair bit of sun and rain this year.  Long hot spells finally cooled down lately and for that I am grateful!   The days are getting shorter  .. no longer does the sun shine till 9 pm but starts setting around 7:45 … what we’ve taken for granted as long hot summer days are slowly preparing us for fall weather.  But.  It is still officially summer until Autumn comes knocking at the door.  So I will continue to revel at the sight of the most cheerful of all flowers … the sunny Sunflower!

tuesday-1

For a change of pace .. here is a b/w of yet another sunchoke!  I’ve read that you cannot gert rid of this plant and I believe it.  Over the past few years I’ve dug up the knobby root and listed it for free with lots of happy people who love this.   This plant resembles a sunflower but is much taller, with smaller flowers.   Argh.  Not that I dislike this plant but I would rather have more sunflowers.  (and in some part of Victoria, someone is thinking the exact opposite!)tuesday-2

This is the largest of my squash that is actually fruiting.   It is a close up photo and the squash is actually only about 3″ in diameter.    Frosts are in the distant future and there is still about 7 weeks of growing.    Exciting to wait and see what will happen.tuesday-3And alongside this plant .. there are a few other hopefuls growing away.  I added some lovely llama manure to all the plants yesterday so hopefully this will give them a boost.tuesday-4And the beans grow steadily onwards.  These are some Scarlett Red Runner beans … growing from the apple tree branches.  The flowers are so pretty and the bees and Annas love them.tuesday-5A quick glance at these two plants and it appeared as if the squash flower was devouring the bean leaf.tuesday-6I’ve been trying to train this squash plant around the garden screen ..sort of a success .. it will be interesting when the squash start growing .. to see if they will hang properly from the frame.  Yet more beans in the background .. growing along the stakes in the ground.  More Scarlet Red Runners to the left. They are everywhere.   If you want instant privacy in the yard, grow pole beans!!tuesday-8I had placed a variety of (saved) squash seeds throughout the yard and they all grew .. along with any seeds that were in the compost.  Even if I don’t get any squash from these plants, the flowers add so much beauty and nectar for the bees.tuesday-7And yet more beans (Cherokee Trail of Tears, Spanish Musica, Blue Lake Bush beans, Annie Jackson Pole Beans) this morning I picked a basket of beans .. went inside and thought .. omg .. the freezer and fridge freezer are both full.  I cannot cram another  batch of apples or beans…. what can I do!

Then .. I wondered .. can green beans be juiced?   Yes .. the internet resounded loudly.  Not only can they be juiced .. they are full of vitamins and minerals.  So good for you.

I almost broke down and cried I was so happy!!   A bountiful year for beans and now I can juice them!!!   So I did just that!   And the nice thing was that there was very little pulp left in the juicer!

Not being someone who follows a recipe, I threw in some carrots, celery, lots of beans, a few apples .. and soon DH & I were sipping on the delicious juice!  Forgot the ginger, but will add that tomorrow.

So happy!  JaneE Kat wanted to go back outside a few hours later.  She, being a cat, envisioned more treats and so that was her motivation to meow at me to get on outside.  So I did.  After giving her about 3 to 4 sets of treats, I set about picking more beans so I could juice them tomorrow.

Despite having meticulously picked through all the plants for beans this morning, I still found even more this afternoon.  Oh I am so very happy that I won’t have to freeze them any more .. but will just enjoy them in a juice format!   DH is very happy also as I won’t be overstocking the freezer.

Despite the perfect storm for growing food this year (hot weather, lots of rain) … I know that it is the combination of the lovely Llama manure (no medicines used!) and the EM (effective microorganism mixture that I mix up) that create such happy healthy soil for everything to grow in.    Also, seaweed that I have gathered.  If I run out of seaweed, I just use liquid seaweed.  Same stuff without the bother.  🙂  Over 60 minerals adding richness to the soil.

There is nothing like the magic of a garden to focus in on the beauty of life.

🙂


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Loving the magic of EM and the effects on all the plants in the yard.

Friday, June 15, 2012

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Thursday started out as an overcast, windy and chilly day.  Which later changed to a sunny and occasionally windy day.  Perfect for drying off the small batch of rock weed gathered at the beach a few days ago.  Air smells lovely with the scent of the sea, mineral laden air, how lovely..

I spread  the small amount of the rock weed into a number of deep sided, woven baskets so that the brisk winds could freely enter  these containers, without swirling the contents into the air.  Seems to have been effective, they are drying .. although they’ll need to sit in the sun for a few more hours.  Today is perfect.

Making sure that the bird feeders are kept filled so that our winged friends can dine in style!  I see the colourful House Finches queueing up at one feeder.   The slightly nasal chirp of the Chestnut-Backed Chickadees sound throughout the yard … they visit the feeders and the suet blocks.   They must be getting used to me, as I was standing by the feeder and one by one, they flew to the feeder, quickly chose a tiny black oiled sunflower, tightly held between their talons and pecked away the hard shell, and munched on the tender meat of the seed.

Is it just my imagination or are these birds a little tired from taking care of the youngsters?   The amazing magical instinctual nurturing is taking place in the current raising of feathery offspring.   I certainly hope that I can see some of the young Chickadees and Bush-Tits flying around.

Yesterday I had a goal .. which was to continue clearing away my propagating area and to create  another small growing space for those amazing Kentucky Wonder Beans.  Found myself spending hours digging out rooted cuttings of lavender, bay laurel, Buddleia, Artemisia.   Potted them up … plan to either install them in a garden area, or leave in pots for another year, so that they can grow a little more before being planted.

Time disappeared .. and all that existed was the exciting discovery of strong root growth in these little cuttings that I’d started last fall.  The natural processes of the life force in the cuttings worked away quietly during the fall, winter and spring seasons.

I think how far my garden knowledge has come since this time last year.  Hard to believe that I really thought that I had so much garden expertise at that time.  My gardening life totally changed once I began the Organic Master Gardening program through Gaia College, held at Royal Roads University.

Now I am aware of the millions of life forms that exist in the soil beneath my feet.  The beneficial and cyclical world that I was so unaware of.  And the amazing power of EM (effective microorganisms).  That alone was worth the cost and time of the course.

I’m constantly preparing batches of EM for the garden.  The plants have grown so well, healthy, strong, and I just can’t single out one plant that is doing so magnificently.  As a matter of fact, every single plant, from the garlic to the blueberries .. the apple and plum trees also.  The tomatoes .. the strawberries .. .all are amazing.

Power to the EM!!

🙂

And I’m still finding little “treasures” in the yard … that somehow keep popping up!  yesterday I found a small section of plastic train track beneath an apple tree.  From whence it came, I do not know . .yet, there it was!  Curious .. I picked it up.    Perhaps a bird flew by and dropped it there?

Anyway .. back out to the yard .. and more EM to be established on plantings.   Today will be a sunshiny day .. and rain is expected for the weekend!  Good for the plants.


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The wonderful magical world of gardening .. another day!

Tuesday, June 13, 2012

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The past few weeks in the garden have been lovely.   How I want to spend every moment there .. but, life intervenes.   There is shopping to be done.  Cats to be taken care of.  Necessary housework.

And .. then .. time to go outside.  Mug of Yorkshire Tea.  Sudoku.  Silence .. listening to the happy chirps of the birds.   Buzzing of bees.  Whirring of the Anna’s as they fly around the yard.

Special moments in the garden.  Such as .. I was happily looking at the bees that were very busy gathering nectar at the giant Buddleia, the one with the yellow globe flowers .. they love those flowers.  so I was watching them, taking some pictures, kneeling on the ground.   Suddenly I heard a whirring sound above me, looked up and there was a young Anna, hovering, then flying down towards me … curious as to what I was doing.

After a few moments, he/she flew over to the Buddleia, and just settled down on a branch.  Content to just observe me.  This is a magical moment in the garden.  One of the many rewards that come to us who love working with the natural processes in the yard.  Priceless, special, magical.

My wonderful gardening neighbour has given me some tomato plants, flowers and .. oh, treasure beyond measure .. lots of kale plants.  I envision tamari kale chips .. yum, yum, yum.  I’ve created another temporary garden bed, beneath the wild and crazy tree.  This was the sapling that I nursed to health, when the plum stock that was grafted onto it, many years ago, succumbed to weather or something.  Anyway, this tree now provides tremendous privacy to our yard, shade to the ground, perching places for all the birds that visit, or call our yard “home”.

Here is where I’ve been composting 10 bales of hay, so I mixed in some compost, leaf mulch, alpaca manure, seaweeds and where I’ve planted the 26 kale plants.  Plus two bush pumpkins and a large plant that will produce white “ghostly” pumpkins.

Plus an assortment of other plants.

Last fall I’d moved the garden soil around and created some oval and crescent-shaped garden areas, bordered by brick.  I love temporary garden shapes.  Years ago I had proper raised beds, and wood chip paths.  Neatly hemmed in with a tidy fence.

All that has been changed over the years and I now have that area filled with free-flowing garden beds and lots of plantings.

More about that tomorrow .. especially regarding this bed, how I’ve edged it and it really looks quite nice.

Anyway, just writing a few thoughts on my garden .. time is running away .. so am posting a few photos from my  back yard.

Tomorrow, more about my latest update to the kale bed.   I’ll go on and on about the magic of EM (effective microorganisms) .. power to the EM, really!

🙂

A.M.