Thursday, June 16, 2011

Updating the Stop Sign

I hate mowing around our stop sign, it is always a messy tuft of long grass. Youngest ds took care of it for me, both beautifying it and making it easy to mow around.

First he cut out the sod around the sign in a circle and mixed in some potting soil and compost.

Then we walked to the greenhouse and picked up some full sun flowers that he proceeded to plant. Well done son! We'll have to check back and see what it looks like later in the season when all of the flowers are blooming.

Now if I could convince dd to yarn bomb that rusty old post....

Sunday, June 12, 2011

More Mushrooms!

Once in a while, maybe once a year, I find mushrooms in the discount bin at the grocery store. LOVE.

This year's haul:

Firstly ds and I filled the dehydrator with them, all six large trays of our Berron's.

Then all of the rest were pickled as per this recipe. Delicious, I could live on these!

This was the final result; nearly 2 full 2 quart jars of dried mushrooms and 11 one quart jars of pickled mushrooms. [of course this jar is already opened and sampled from]

I've already used the dried mushrooms in a recipe, minute steaks in an onion mushroom gravy. Quite yummy. I think in any recipe that calls for mushrooms that are going to be simmered in a liquid I can substitute these. Soups, chili, stews, this gravy....

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The 2011 Season Starts - Garden

The biggest change around here has been in the garden. Once upon a time we had a tiny front garden and planted a row of raspberry canes on the west side. Then they expanded down the north side some. And we expanded the garden itself to the north, and then to the west. Which left us with, basically, raspberries in the middle of the garden shading way too much and interfering with other plantings, rototilling, etc. Then there were the original landscape ties encircling the garden which were also in the middle of things, being in the way.

In this picture you can see the problem. [strawberry bed to the left, garlic to the right, fall rye (green manure) in the foreground, undisciplined raspberries behind with more garden area behind them and to the right]

The in-laws came over for Easter and as usual we had to have a project, this year's was to move the raspberries to the far north edge of the garden. That didn't completely get done but my much desired fence posts to build a trellis to rein them with did get installed.

Much begging lead to the addition of a frame built around the raspberry area too. Then the daughter with the gardening gene and I moved those pesky raspberries north. Ya us!

Then dh was called in to rotovate with orders to remove the landscape ties along the west and north edges of the old garden while I headed off to work. He be not so good with orders :-) I came home to find the original garden un-rotovated as the ties were still in place. Luckily I had a biddable 16 yo son who was desirous of mom's good graces. He removed said ties and dh finished the job.

[What!?! Doesn't your dh have a tractor with offset rotovator??? I thought all urban dads had one. huh. Must just be the market garden on the side, farming addicted ones ;-)]

Then the planting got done, what a long job that is .... I should pop out and take some photos .... Out into the rain I go.... Returned a little damp with these photos:

This first garden photo is taken from the same position as the first one above showing the original problem, much better.:

Looking north, in the ditches are potatoes, the hills will be shoveled over the potatoes as they grow. The stacked up drawers are my sprinkler stand, though it's been too wet to bother with the sprinkler yet this year. You can also see some milk jugs covering some of the baby tomatoes and a couple of the cucumbers. There is also a large cloche covering 4 more cucumbers while 4 more are out in the rain for comparison of growth:

Third photo; baby lettuces, peas on trellises, and little tiny zucchini plants, the dirt rectangles are bush beans, as yet not up:

Fourth photo; the new raspberry patch with trellis built, and another type of pea trellis:

Looking south; the cabbage condos, more pea trellises, and a block of carrots:

Lastly, the dd's weedy sunflower patch, more pea trellising, the cabbage condos, and a great shot of the utility sink I'm currently using as a potting bench soon to be a veggie washing station:

Later on I'll explain the excess of peas and the nitty gritty of the cucumber cloche and the cabbage condos.