Tuesday, 7 November 2017

How 2017 Went

Well... that garden sucked again. In 2016, I was very pregnant and planted huge plants (pumpkins and squash), none of which did well. And this year I tried carrot seed-tape, NONE of which sprouted!! I'm serious, I only had a half-dozen carrots after spending like $30 on seed tape. VERY disappointed. I did largely focus on beans though, which was he saving grace this year. Even our potatoes didn't do well - each hill produced 1-2 potatoes. DISMAL. Our beets just didn't want to grow, so they were only half-grown by harvest time. We ended up with volunteer peas, which did surprisingly well, but we didn't want them. And our tomatoes did not produce. And mom gave me 4 zucchini plants... you'd think we'd have zucchinis out our years but even zucchinis did not grow this year. We got TWO.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

What's Planted 2017

It's already the second week in June! Planting got started far later than usual - in fact, we haven't even finished putting in all our potatoes. So far we have 30 hills of potatoes planted. I also planted roughly 15 metres of carrots (seed tape), 2 packages of beans (one improved golden wax, the other black valentine), and a few volunteer onions round off garden 1. In garden 2 we have 3 double-rows of peas, a dozen tomatoes, and some more volunteer onions. Around the house we have raspberry bushes which have multiplied, strawberries, oats, wheat, and beets (cylindra). I also planted something else but I honestly can't remember - I did mark it though. I am quite pleased with my garden this year, which is in stark contrast to last year. This year's garden is varied, full, organized, and will produce enough to share.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Spring Update 2017

Last year my garden did so well, I guess it took up all my time so I didn't post! In all honesty though, I was very pregnant, exhausted, and hated what I planted. Way too many pumpkins and squash and I couldn't even bend down to thin my carrots.

This year though, I have no excuses. I am done having children (three girls is enough, thanks!) and I have the summer off from work at the school and University classes. We will be tilling this weekend and planting the early items (peas, onions, and the rhubarb is already on its way). My parents-in-law will be here in a couple weeks, staying until July (omg). My mother and I co-planned our gardens so that we have enough for both households. We'll be doing all the potatoes here, for example, because we have no potato bugs. My oldest girl will be helping her grandma with gardening - this helps her learn, and helps my mom's poor back. Win-win!

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Garden Update June 2016

Although spring seemed to arrive early, my cukes and squashes did not take well to being transplanted outside so early. I lost all of them, so I direct-seeded a new batch. I still kept the same types as before though, just a couple of each. My mother also gave me 1 spaghetti squash and 1 butternut squash plant, which are already flowering. The rest are about a couple inches high but doing well.

A couple hills didn't sprout though, so my husband has offered to put some heirloom pole beans in their spot. I'm fine with that. He also cleared another area of garden and planted roughly 44 feet of 'Green Arrow' peas. I know we're planting rather late (June 25th), but supposedly these peas do fine even in heat. That's why I chose them over the Homesteader peas. We're also going to plant some cilantro in the empty end-row by his potatoes, simply because that's his national herb.

He's become quite the avid gardener, and offered to build me bean/pea trellises. He enjoyed the project and shows off his gorgeous potatoes and onions to anyone who will listen.

The whole family chipped in to weed the garden thoroughly a few days ago, and despite having a very dry winter, we are having a summer filled with thunderstorms. I have only had to water my garden twice this year. Bring it on!

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Garden Planted 2016

Climate change has shifted us a bit. Spring arrived 2 weeks early this year, but we seem to have less rain so far (and we had less snow this winter too). Therefore, I planted my garden early (tomato transplants May 13th with blankets, the rest direct-seeded May 24th). I don't know which tomatoes are which though! I have "42 day Tomato", "Bush beefsteak" and "starfire improved"... I think.
I also planted 4 "Butternut" squash, 3 "Miniature White" cucumber, 6 "Marketmore" cucumber, and 15 "Styrian Hulless" Pumpkins.
I also planted "Bloomingdale"? spinach, kale (can't remember what kind, but it's heirloom), "Purple Dragon" carrots, "Scarlet Nantes" carrots, "Danvers Half-Long" carrots, "Improved Golden Wax" beans, "Royalty Purple Pod" beans, "Black Seeded Simpson" lettuce, and that's it for the main garden.
My husband planted about 75 hills of potatoes and 30 onions. Our rhubarb and 5 strawberry plants are looking great, as are our 4 raspberry canes. There hasn't been a late frost, so hopefully the wild saskatoons do good this year. We haven't had saskatoons 2 years running, and are desperate for them!
Some things we did NOT plant this year are peas, corn, and herbs. Strange, I know, but I'm pregnant again and wanted veggies that were not only easy-to-care-for, but ones that my family would eat, that were easy to preserve, and some that could be turned into baby food.

2015 Total Harvest

Spring is sprung, the grass is riz... and I just realized I never posted my total harvest count for last year! So here are the numbers. My husband took a more active role in gardening, which you can see evidence of in our potatoes. That's all he wanted, so we ended up planting nearly 90 hills of potatoes. We planted half our garden in corn, but it didn't seem to germinate, so we re-planted, and then it ALL came up! However corn never yields very good here, combined with the overcrowding and it was not impressive. So that's the third and last attempt at corn.

We have his sister living with us this year, so we'll have extra garden labour, however I'm working part-time and also pregnant, so that will be a hindrance to weeding and harvesting. Our oldest daughter is 5 now, so she will have her own little plot. She's decided on spinach, lettuce and carrots, plus there are already a couple strawberry plants in her bed so I'm sure she'll have fun tending it.

I planted several bulbs of garlic in the fall, so we'll see if they sprout. I already have one gentleman from the community who has said he'll take as many as i want to get rid of. There is also a couple that said they'd like to try some of the tapped maple syrup, which should be starting in the next couple days.

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Thursday, 20 August 2015

Apple Picking and Processing

It's that time of year again! I love picking apples, but since I don't have my own tree, I rely upon the generosity of others. This year I had a lady from my parents' church let me pick from her tree (cooking apples) and on Friday we will be picking at the same house as last year (crabapples). We've already picked about 150 lbs of apples, which surpassed last year's amount and we're not even done yet!

I count myself blessed for several reasons: First, because we have my teenage sister-in-law living with us and she's going to sell apple pies at the farmer's market to afford new sneakers. Secondly, because I believe the economic situation is heading in a downward spiral (already groceries are getting quite expensive), so anything we can get for free from nature helps us out. We are making only pies from the cooking apples and will make juice from the crabapples. My 4-year old loves juice!

Due to a late frost this year, there were ZERO saskatoons, which I literally cried about. However, it didn't kill the chokecherries, so we had a couple picks and made pancake syrup from them. I didn't make jelly/jam this year because my husband got sick of it. I made so much jam last year that he was up to his eyeballs, so, no jam this year...

Here is a picture of my pie-making - I usually can my apple pie filling, but since my husband was kind enough to make me crusts, I'll use em!