The area behind our house is wooded and has been left to take over itself. I was absolutely delighted to find these all right in our own back yard, and so were the kids. I must say that they are teeny tiny, a feast for a fairy, but the children have had fun picking those that are ripe and I love the fact that we now live in a place where things grow on their own. There aren’t enough ripe at one time to do anything with other than snack, but that’ll work just fine.
Archive for the ‘gardening’ Category
We should be moving closer to spring, but so far in February we have had the coldest weather this year. The other day it got down to -34 degrees (with the wind chill) and it was freezing, well actually 68 degrees below freezing to be exact. It’s too cold to snow, so it’s just cold and dead and brown outside. I needed some springtime hope, so it took the form of store bought hyacinths. I had recently seen a great idea in Lotta Jansdotter’s Handmade Living. She made little fabric sleeves to cover the little plastic pots her plants came in. Since I was in no way going to bother going to the shed to dig out pots in this weather, I really liked the idea of using some fabric scraps to make some cute covers to brighten my windowsill up. They were very easy to make, I just measured the height and circumference of the pot added a little bit extra for seam allowances and grabbed some thin elastic. I didn’t even bother to make casings, I just took a length of elastic about 2/3 of the length of the fabric and stretched it out to the full length while I sewed it on. I did this on both long sides and then sewed the short ends together. Voila, two cute little pot covers in less than 10 minutes. So I hope wherever you are, whether you are covered in snow or just freezing temperatures or even baking in the hot summer sun, I hope you get a little relief with the weather and are able to enjoy some springiness of your own.
Sorry this will be so short, off to take half of the family to the doctor as coughs have progressed to really nasty coughs, but first I wanted to share some great news. First off, my daughter turned six last week, six, can you believe it? They grow up so fast. We had a wonderful couple of days of celebration and she is enjoying being another year older. Next, my brother flew his first solo helicopter flight which sounds terrifying to me, but I am so very proud of him. Last, but definitely not least, last Thursday we paid off the last of our debt. I don’t think it has still quite hit me, but all of those hospital bills (and some others) are finally done with. It took quite a while to do, but it feels so good to not owe anything to anyone. Almost every day the babe will pluck a little wildflower out of the garden and have me pin it in her hair. Last week she came in with a tiny baby lettuce sprout and asked “what flower?” I told her it was lettuce and she said “lettis perfick for mine hair” with a big beautiful grin, how could I resist?
Now that it’s October, we are starting to get quite a bit of produce, ah such weird weather here. Anyway, we were able to grow a nice pot of spring onions, which I love. They were quick and easy to grow and we will definitely grow them again. Our three kind of pathetic looking tomato plants are really starting to produce. We are collecting large handfuls almost every day, and the orange ones are my favourite. There are two cantaloupes on our plant. This is the first to ripen, it looks great, it smells divine, though I wouldn’t exactly call it a success…. just look how big it is, and I have small hands. We haven’t cut into it yet, probably for snack today, though I’m not sure it could qualify as a snack for six of us, ha ha. This week has been crazy and busy. All four of the kids have come down with combinations of cold/flu/and pinkeye. No two children have the same symptoms and we got the babe’s pinkeye cleared up before anybody else picked it up, a minor miracle as it’s so catchy. I think it’s safe to say that everyone is on the mend, so we are off to the mountains for the weekend, to take a quick relaxing, restorative break. What are you all up to this weekend?
I love pesto, but have never made my own. I had a bunch of basil that needed using up, so I gave it a try. Boy was I glad I did, it tasted so much better than any other pesto I have ever had. There are tons of recipes out there, but this is the first one I came across, so this is what I tried. I’ve never made it before as basil from the store is expensive, and boy howdy those pine nuts are ridiculous. I found them in one store in town and they were $35 a pound. That is way out of my food budget, so in future I will be substituting walnuts or almonds (as I have read that lots of people do). The pesto made a delicious pasta supper, so let’s just hope we get a bunch more basil growing here in the next few weeks so I can make and freeze some for winter.
A simple summer salad made from the bounty of our garden. Well, it may not be a huge bounty, but it sure does taste good. There is something so incredibly satisfying about being able to walk out into the garden and pluck peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers right off the plants. In less than five minutes you can be sitting down to a wonderfully simple salad that is still warm from the sun. This was the first year we grew peppers and cucumbers and they will definitely be back next year. I’m also looking forward to growing some different veg as well. Slowly but surely our garden is expanding and it is so much fun. The kids love being able to pick veg, but they are really excited about the cantaloupe. Right now it’s about the size of a softball and growing a bit every day. What bounty are you enjoying from the garden (or the shops)?
This is our first harvest of the year, a handful of green beans and a cherry tomato. The beans got as far as being rinsed off before they were eaten. This tomato will be eaten today, just as soon as I can divide it into six. Wouldn’t want anyone feeling left out of eating our first tomato of the season.
Everything seems to take so much longer to grow here, but we are finally making some progress. We’ve got peppers and beans, aren’t those teeny beans so cute? This is the first year I’ve grown either of these veg. We’ve also got cucumbers, yellow squash, and cantaloupes beginning to flower. There are even some small green tomatoes popping up. The raspberry and current bushes are bulking up as well. Last year was the first year we had them and they weren’t much more than a couple of twigs, though they are filling out very nicely this year. For a while I thought my entire garden was doomed as nothing seemed to be growing in the slightest, but now we are picking up speed. Here’s to a late blooming garden.