Thursday, September 30, 2010

Got Spinach?

This is just too cool! In the foreground is spinach and in the background (at the top of the raised bed) is a variety of choi. You would NOT have believed how quickly the seeds popped out of the ground ... it was within a few days of planting it! Now that's exciting! We're still waiting for several varieties of leaf lettuce, which was planted on the very same day, in another bed to show itself. May have to replant that.

The corn is trying to ripen. Maybe it will and maybe it won't. If we could just get a few really nice warm days, we MIGHT be in business! In the foreground, the zucchini, and other summer squashes are still producing. Slowly and steadily! (And, uh, yes, that is fog in the background. On the news yesterday the warning for Stanwood was "ZERO visibility due to fog.")
This year's harvest, despite all of the whining, netted approximately 2,000 lbs in a nice variety of vegetables! We've had years where we've had twice that ... but we are thankful for what we did harvest this year ... it has been tough on every farmer we've talked to.
So the season is winding down ... whether it winds down slowly and we are able to harvest corn, and the newly planted spinach and choi ... or it drops off fast ... we'll just have to wait and see what mom nature has in store. Which is half the fun of gardening, isn't it? Anyway, like I always say: "There's always next year!" And, THAT, my friends is another chapter! Make it a great day!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Got Rain? Got Mud!

So, back to reality and the harvest! The zucchini pictured in the bowl toward the top is the biggest one that we've harvested this year. That should say something about what a slow year it has been for us. We just aren't getting the sunshine and warmth to bring on the bounty of years past! While being grateful for every teeny tiny little veggie that we are blessed with, the small harvest does put a BIG, HUGE damper on how much is available for sharing. ("Damper?" .... uh, no pun intended!)

What a picture! Doug's muck boots. He said he was four inches taller and weighed ten more pounds by the time he was finished harvesting!
It's the worst thing to have to walk in the garden when it's so wet. Can you tell how compacted our footprints are? When each one of those foot prints dries, the clay soil will be so compacted that the areas where we stepped will be as hard as a sidewalk. Bad, bad, bad for the little plants and their root systems. Hark, though, there is always hope! Using cover cropping and allowing the soil to dry out before it's tilled will bring it back. (OR, we may just let it may sit fallow for the year to give it a rest. We'll see. )
All in all, though ... we have harvested a LOT of great food this year and at least we're getting something! AND, I would do it all again in a hearbeat! So, you make it a great day!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Gone Fishin!

Fishin' buddies, Sheila and Brad in the cabin of their C-Dory. Captain Brad driving the boat thus ensuring that the ladies had a good time fishing to their hearts content!

What a wonderful way to spend a day! Just love livin' here in the Pacific Northwest. We spent Friday morning trolling around 'The Shipwreck' and Possession. Visiting and laughing the entire time. No sign of any fish other than a few herring, including the ones we were using for bait.
It seemed like there were more seals than fish! We either saw SIX seals or the same one at least SIX times. In spite of the seals, Sheila, proved she had the better rigging. She caught a couple of fish that were released. Not a bite for me though, even though I was using fresh herring and a white flasher similar to a favorite one that was lost due to novice knot tying. Seriously, though, I thought the color coordinated outfit would bring in the fish to at least have a look at my fashion statement!

Gracious hosts made for a fun, inspirational day ... not to mention feeling spoiled. So, it didn't matter that the salmon rejected the bait offered! (Just a matter of time, though ..... and place .... and the right bait! Big smile.)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Getting there!

This is soooooo exciting! We are getting there! This is a picture of PART of our harvest for this week's delivery. Swiss chard in the plastic bags. The veggies don't look perfect, but boy do they taste good! Fresh, local AND organic ... doesn't get much better than that! It's going to be fun to see how far into the fall/winter we can go ... since we got such a late start this spring. This weekend we'll be planting cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli, radishes and chinese cabbage in the raised beds.

Birds, Apples and Anxiety

Actually, this is kind of gross. But, doesn't this apple look yummy ... never mind the scratch marks on it. I do believe that those scratch marks have been caused by hungry starlings. They seem to be foraging pretty hard this year as it's the first time that we have had a bird problem with our apples. Our trees are about six years old.
So, if you turn the apple around, wa la! Yuk! We have almost an entire tree that looks this way. This was an almost ripe apple. When we find an apple like this, there's usually a wasp or two feasting as well. We (Doug) has been making apple crisp from the few from this tree that can be saved. The green apples are being overlooked by the starlings, robins, etc. (SHHHHH) Since we are certified organic food producers (and lovers of wild life) there won't be any shooting going on. But there is a plan underfoot involving a stuffed penquin and a bird of prey ... one of many winter projects.