Well, summer has sort of officially hit us, and with it comes camping, fishing, biking, hiking, kayaking, etc. Which, is why I haven’t posted in a while, just having way too much fun to be on a computer longer than I have to.
So here are some updates.
K has dug in the next path, which means that I am ready to start building another wall that we can fill. Only problem is, that the 38* heat has also finally arrived, making it near impossible to move, never mind consider building another wall. So, we wait. This weekend is supposed to be a little cooler, and although we are camping, I have some time on Saturday before K gets off work to at least dig the post holes. Once that is done, then I will pound down the crushed gravel, lay the landscaping fabric, and start putting up the wire. Chicken wire first, then the heavier-duty wire. Our hopes is that this will help us fill the walls a little faster without having to fiddle the rocks into place to ensure they aren’t falling through the holes of the wire.
I posted earlier how our cherry tree finally is fruiting, only to have half the tree die in the last month. Two of the main branches are completely dead…or close to it, and covered in sap. There is one healthy branch that still looks good, but I have noticed sap beginning to collect on it as well. I will have to do some research and maybe take some photos into one of the landscaping/nurseries to see if they can help me determine why this has happened. If we are going to plant 6-10 trees next spring, I want to make sure I don’t have the same issue.
We had a banner spring with our strawberry plants. Unfortunately, the weather being a little odd this year, resulted in the plant not flowering for a few weeks. Good new is that with the warm weather hitting again, the plant has started flowering again. I can’t wait for more delicious berries so that I can start making some summer desserts as well as jam for the winter. I’ll post any recipes & photos of the treats that I make. I just have to evict the spiders that have taken over many of the plants while we weren’t running our hands through to collect the berries. I’m ok with a few, but it is a packed apartment complex in there right now.
Our zucchini plants have taken off. I have been having to re-adjust their growth as we didn’t expect them to take off nearly as much as they have. I was sure I bought a regular green zucchini plant, but it turns out I bought a round zucchini plant. All of the zucchinis are these beautiful spheres that look similar to a Kabocha squash. They are fantastic to grill though. They suck in the marinade and grill to a soft texture, perfect for summer grilling. Next one I make, I will take photos and share the light marinade that I use to give it a little kick of flavour.
We have a lot of tomatoes growing, but due to the cold front that came through and dropped temperatures to spring weather for a few weeks, they have only just started turning red. I noticed at the Farmers Market the last few weeks that no one was selling tomatoes, so it must be an issue for lots of people this year. Tomatoes only started arriving this last weekend. Our only plant that has produced tomatoes that we have been able to enjoy is our “Orange Zinger Tomato” plant. They are like a very large cherry tomato that ripen to a nice orange, and have a sweet but tart flavour. Most don’t make it to the kitchen, but rather get eaten while we work in the yard.
Our onions are out of control. The green tops are HUGE, and so tasty. I pulled an onion a few weeks ago because the green tops were so large, but the onion was just a dainty little thing, so I stuck it back in the ground. I pulled another today, and was pleasantly surprised to find a nice sized onion attached. It will be going in with the perogies and farmers sausage. The greens will be used for egg sandwiches and maybe a baked herb bread.
Our peppers suffered the cold like the tomatoes. It seems to have stunted some of the growth, but the new peppers sprouting are looking much better. The jalapeños and the “Salsa Mix” seem to be doing the best with the sweet peppers just behind.
K has been diligently working on the potatoes this year. They are looking good and we are hoping for a good harvest. Our last attempt I think we were over-zealous with mounding and adding siding to the towers and we didn’t let it get big enough or properly flower, resulting in a poor harvest of just a few small potatoes.
My blackberry bush needs some serious trimming. I am going to have to do a little research because it is trying to take over everything. I have started forcing it up the trellis to keep it off the ground and it seems to be taking my suggestion, but every day it seems like it is taking more and more space. The good news is I found the first berry. Just need to wait for it to ripen. Bad news, we are going to switch around some of our plans and put our firepit/seating area on that side of the yard as it is quieter and gets the afternoon shade, so I am going to have to try transplanting it next year to the opposite side of the yard. At least I know where to get a good replacement plant if I am not successful.
We took out the ladders for the cucumbers this year because they weren’t really working how we wanted them to. We notice a few more weeds that we have to deal with, but our cucumber production seems to be un-hindered. Lots of nice cucumbers have been coming off in the last few weeks, and we have been sharing the wealth with my mom and sister.
To end, I thought I would tell a bit of a funny story. A few years ago, one of my co-workers, who is quite a bit younger than me, was talking about planting sunflowers in her yard to block the neighbours fence. Somehow, we got on the topic of how she was going to plant them and she figured she would just sprinkle them on the ground like fairy dust. Of course, we all had a good chuckle, including my co-worker who was planting the sunflowers, and we explained that she would need to actually plant the seeds in the ground. I think it deterred her from doing them. Well, a few years down the road, K and I buy our house and start our dream garden. We put up a few bird feeders to attract the sounds of nature, and low and behold, every year that we have been here (5 years), we have had a sunflower grow where the birds have dumped a seed. I recently told my co-worker that it turns out you can actually sprinkle sunflower seeds like fairy dust and they will grow.
That’s it for now. I should start ramping up my posts now that this weather is not such a shock.