June 29, 2012

June Update

It's been a long, wet month, but things have actually progressed quite well in the garden, despite the lack of sunshine. The good thing about the cool spring is that the new additions to the orchard have had a chance to get established before the heat of summer sets in (see, I haven't let the rain totally kill my optimism!). 

One of my biggest successes so far this year has been saving my Gala apple tree. Remember how I decided to screw its broken limb back on, rather than cutting it off? Well, I'm very happy to report that it worked! Here it is now, flush with new growth!

This is a photo of the veggie garden from a week or so ago. The asparagus bed is on the left, then potatoes, garlic (with a few of last year's leeks in the foreground), and the tomato tunnel on the right. The tomatoes have since been uncovered as they were getting too tall and were pushing against the plastic.

Under the row cover are my peppers and eggplant, which just couldn't wait to be set out into the garden. I see I've got a few mini-peppers out there, so they seem to be dealing with the lower temperatures just fine. The three sisters bed in the foreground is looking slug chewed and sad. In fact, the little buggers ate both of my cucumber plants right to the ground, so I've had to go buy replacements. The squash has bounced back a bit after a couple of days of sun, though, and some are even getting ready to flower.

The lettuce is doing relatively well... are the peas.

We've got an abundance of gooseberries (though the chickens love to jump and snatch them off the  bushes, so we'll see what we end up with).

The apple tree that was given to us by a friend not only survived transplanting, but is fruiting in earnest.

Strawberries and rhubarb - yum, yum!

Here are a few shots from around the rest of the yard:

Ruby's favourite place to nap - on the deck in one of my refurbished wicker chairs.

Lucky likes to keep me company while I weed (they're one thing that seem to relish this weather!).

Fingers crossed that the sun will make an appearance this long weekend. Happy Canada Day!

June 07, 2012

Biding Time

We seem to be smack in the middle of a stretch of typical "June-uary" weather, and my poor eggplant and pepper plants can do nothing but stare longingly out the window, wishing for the arrival of the warm weather so they can join their friends out in the garden. Some have even started flowering in anticipation.

I accidentally left my poor seedlings outside overnight last month, but thankfully it didn't seem to do them any harm, and they're all growing nice and big, and are eager to produce.

The tomatoes have been outside under the tunnel for a few weeks now, and are looking happy. Despite already having more plants than I really need, I couldn't resist picking up a few more at the organic market when I was in town last week. But really, what chicken farmer could resist a variety called "Egg Yolk"? I also grabbed one each of Moskovich, Black Zebra, Pink Tie-Dye, Estiva, and Northern Lights. It's a sickness, I know this.

Come on, sun, we're ready when you are!

June 06, 2012

The Good Life

I stumbled across this delightful BBC show from the 1970's on Netflix last fall, and thought some of you might also enjoy it. The Good Life (also called Good Neighbours) follows the trials and tribulations of a couple who decide to turn their suburban London lot into a self-sufficient farmstead. The characters are charming, and their antics, hysterical.

(From the BBC website): On his 40th birthday to be precise, Tom Good decides that he's had enough of the rat race and that he and wife Barbara will become self-sufficient. The pair convert their garden into a farm, get in the pigs and chickens, grow their own crops, and on one memorable occasion, try to dye their own wool with nettles. Tom and Barbara would just be lone loons were it not for their neighbours, the henpecked Jerry Leadbetter and wife Margot, a social climber who cannot bear chickens wandering the back garden. The Good Life attacked the middle class and the 'alternative' lifestyle at once, showing Margot's snobbishness as blindness, and Tom's fanatical self-sufficiency as going too far.

It doesn't seem to be on the Canadian Netflix site anymore, but may still be on the American one. I have included a link where you can watch it online for free (at least the first two seasons); otherwise, you can stream it on Amazon.

Watch The Good Life - S01E01 - Plough Your Own Furrow.avi in Comedy  |  View More Free Videos Online at

June 01, 2012

Stella & Ruby

I had grand plans for a post about the foodie tour I did in Vancouver last week (so good!), but in the next 36 hours, I have to clean and cook for a dinner party with exchange students from Quebec, cook and decorate for my son's 13th birthday party (as of tomorrow, both of my babies will be teenagers - ack!!),  and dance the night away at the kids' "school" dance tonight, so that other post will just have to wait. Instead, I'll leave you for the weekend with this photo of my beauties, Stella (left; Jersey Giant) and Ruby (right; Buff Orpington).

These guys are from our first batch of chicks, and as a result, they still haven't gotten used to the idea that they no longer live in the house, and spend most of their time hanging around on the deck hoping I'll accidentally leave the door open a crack so they can dart inside and eat crumbs off the kitchen floor (even the chickens are aware of my adeptness at cleaning - *ahem*).

It's hard to tell from this perspective, but Stella lives up to her breed's giant reputation, and rivals the rooster with her beefiness. She's a mass of the softest beetle-black feathers, and is a total sweetheart, clucking away at my feet until I either pick her up or stop to give her belly rubs.

Ruby's pretty and she knows it, and rules the flock from her position high atop the pecking order.

Okay, got to run. Have a great weekend!


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