Sunday, September 2, 2018

The Summer Garden

There is something that will always amaze me: a tiny seed germinates! Beautiful, healthy, and with love and care, it grows into a phenomenal fruit-bearing plant. It is a miracle, and as I have said on more than one occasion to my husband "who am I to decide which live or not", so I always end up with more than we can possibly plant in our raised beds, and just prior to planting them into the outdoors, give two-thirds of them away.

The process begins in late January/early February with our favorite heirloom seeds. We nurse them along fertilizing, watering, transplanting into larger pots... and when the time is right to take them from the house to the outdoor hoop house, all is overflowing.

This year we cut way back on the vegetable garden, and in so doing, still had more than we required, and even with the reduction, family and friends were tickled with exactly what they wanted.

Every gardening season is a little different, and this year summer and warmer temperature brought an earlier harvest.
Sugar Snap peas and the 1st 'Cocozelle' zucchini
First tomato July 4

July 7
July 12

'Lazy Housewife'
Silver Fox morning stroll
Spaghetti squash coming along
yes, a lime
'Rosa Bianca'
Full Blood Moon, July 27
Full Blood Moon over the valley

Northern Flicker
oh, the fragrance of Oriental lilies
August 6, haze from the summer fires
The makings of tomato sauce
Red Romaine lettuce gone to seed
Heirloom Pole Beans: 'Purple Podded' and 'Lazy Housewife'
50 lbs of 'Brunswick' cabbage
Brunswick: an old German heirloom introduced around 1924.
These beautiful drumheads store well, are cold hearty and make great sauerkraut.
Cabbage = sauerkraut = natural and good probiotics 
Cabbage rolls, Kimchi, cabbage soup, cole slaw.... What's not to love? 
Sauerkraut: shred; add 1 TB canning salt to each head of cabbage; stomp until liquid appears; weight it down so it remains covered with the juice; cover with a cloth; after 3-5 days taste test the fermentation until it achieves your palate pleasure. It can take up to several weeks depending upon the room temperature. 
In the making


Full Sturgeon Moon, August 26
My oh my, from one dwarf pear, nearly 100 lbs

We have only 2 pear trees, and from those we have more than enough to use, process and share. In years past we have dehydrated some, but this year the majority have been cut and frozen and to be used mainly in our morning protein drink.

At times I have added pears to the applesauce for a nice dimension, but since the apples are lagging a bit this year, I decided to make some pear sauce as the pears were ripening quickly. Add the juice of a lemon, a touch of salt, some freshly grated ginger to fit your personal preference, and never do we add any sugar to this naturally sweet fruit.Yummy! Freeze or can.
Pear sauce
into the freezer

Goin' fishin'

Monday, June 11, 2018

Mountain Quail

Failure to get around to one of my tasks sometimes yields a wonderful reward. One of our raised beds in the garden is filled with herbs_ cilantro, parsley, thyme, tarragon.... and of course several offerings that either the wind or the birds have planted.

I had every intention of cutting the thyme back in the early spring as it draped itself over the edge of the bed. Today was the day to at least do a partial trim.

I don't know who was more frightened? She flew from beneath the cover and I stumbled backwards, gaining my balance and composure, then laughed.

Carefully the thyme was lifted and beautiful was the clutch of 21. She and her guy must have been strutting about for some time with this accomplishment.

We went back several days later in hopes of capturing the little ones, but to our dismay they were gone_ all of them.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017