Friday, August 31, 2012

Music garlic ordered for fall

Erica from Northwest Edible Life (link in my blog list on right) stated in a recent post that her favorite garlic is a variety called Music. It was accompanied by a picture. The head was the size of her palm. And the cloves were enormous. I found Boundary Garlic online and I waited until the shopping cart opened on the 15th. They said this would be the best way to ensure my selection. By the time I went online in the afternoon, they were completely sold out. Shoot.
I went on a Google hunt and found Botanus had Music and placed my order. I had such great luck with garlic this year, I can't wait to see how this goes.
Link to Erica's post.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Garlic cleaning day

I have been very patient. I have waited three weeks or so to take my cured garlic, clean it up a bit and put it into storage. There are two schools of thought with storing garlic. There are the people who clean it so thoroughly, it looks like supermarket garlic. Then there are the people who just wipe off the worst of the dirt and there she goes. I did a combination. I cut the stock and took off only the skin that would rub off. Brushed the worst of the dirt off the roots, trimmed them and...done.
Here is the before.

Here is the after.

I have saved enough cloves to plant 32 of this variety and took two to neighbor Judy as seed for her new garlic plantings this fall. I have ordered a variety called Music that Erica at Northwest Edible Life says is her favorite.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dill pickle aftermath

Today was dill pickle day. I made ten litre jars using ten pounds of Dan's Farm lovely organic cucumbers and dill. I used my own HUGE garlic cloves. I tested my peppers but they aren't nearly ready. So I have no hot dill pickles. Oh well, next year.

My neighbour Lance is making antipasto today. We are going to trade a jar. How fun.
Final Product...ten jars
Now the aftermath part!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Post 200. Donkeys, chickens, rabbits and goats...another visit to Dan's Farm.

Allan and I braved the heat today to go to Dan's Farm to pick up some organic small cucumbers and a huge bouquet of dill to make pickles. We picked up a few cobs of corn to BBQ tonight. I took a few minutes to snap a couple of pictures of farm animals. They seemed a titch listless because of the heat.

And of course I had to have a picture of a tractor
 We then hopped back in the car and went to Le Coteau Farm to buy my Tulameen Raspberries. They are super dry so I put them in the shade and gave them lots of water. I then spent about two hours in the small ten foot raspberry bed. It had turned into solid clay through the winter. I dug up huge clods of clay and started chopping with the shovel. I chopped in four bags of compost, some fertilizer and a granular lime. Can't remember the correct name right now. By the time I was done, it looked a lot more like normal soil. I was beet red and exhausted when I was done. But with such a feeling of accomplishment. I can take clay lumps and turn them into workable soil. Wow.
And thus ends post number 200.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Plants in the gardens....a photo essay

White Custard Pattypans...thank you Brenda

Viola seeded from my sisters Viola 2011 
Netting to stop digging cats from destroying any more baby
First ever bean flower...Fortex

Finally, a few honeybees
8' tall Yellow Pear Heirloom tomato
Aunt Helen's strawberry...great hanging plant.
About ten feet long now. Wow.

Chilean Guava flowers

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Garlic curing

I dug up my garlic last Sunday. Now that I know I can grow the stuff, I am going to plant a lot of it in September. I ended up with 32. I'd like at least twice that many next year. Erica of Northwest Edible Life posted a picture of her massive garlic. It's called Music. I found some online at Boundary Garlic. I'd like to find some **local, but if I don't....
I've planted a flat of Swiss Chard. A small flat of nine. I haven't tasted chard, so I'll just try a bit. They came up really quickly. Today, I have my first ever bean flower. It was a cold day. Coat weather cold. I closed up the greenhouse for the day. Murphy's law. Suddenly the sun has come out, and the greenhouse vent is open. Need to go open it back up.

**Update: I could not find Music Garlic locally. I got in touch with Boundary Garlic about how to best order from them to make sure I could get it. She said it was going on sale online on the 15th. So just after noon, I went online and they were sold out. I found a company called Botanus in BC. They had some available. I've ordered 6!!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Dug out my two very dead raspberries

One very dead raspberry
I have given up on my two Meeker Raspberries. Sad. Interestingly though, when I dug them out, the soil or roots smelled rotten. Just yucky. Over last winter the new topsoil seemed to compact and get dense. So I'm going to get some sand** and of course amendments, to dig in and loosen up the soil. Then I'll try again. Change is good. I went to the Sidney market to get some of Dan's Farm raspberries. Yup still delicious. I am going back to the farm on the weekend to get more fruit and veg.

 **Erica at Northwest Edible Life told me that when you add sand to clay in the pacific northwest, the rain comes and you end up with something resembling concrete. She advised me to add compost or manure and mix in instead of sand. I would have added a lot of sand and made concrete. Erica is a brilliant blogger. Her information is sound and always brilliant. I highly recommend that you read it. You'll find her at:

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Still sick. Minimal gardening happening. Sigh.

Not too much to report on the gardening front. I have ripped out a couple more plants. Two day lilies have met their maker. I just didn't love them. There is that veggie gardener coming through again. You cannot give something space, when space is limited, to something that you don't love. The delphiniums have a nice new space. I ripped out one squash and one zucchini. They were kind of pale and not producing, so I thought, let's let the others have the nutrients these guys are using. Then I tied up the garlic to hang in the shed. I coughed throughout this exercise. So much so that I gave up and just retired to my ugly chair and there I remain.

Thursday update: I feel a lot better today. I am still sick, but like normal sick, not "Oh my god, kill me now sick". Watched Contagion yesterday. Related to the Gwyneth Paltrow character.