Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Around the Garden

















These days in the August garden are not exactly as they should be. The weather the past week has been cold, and wet. Daytime temperatures topping out at 18 degrees and nights cooling down to single digits. Definitely not the best weather for all the ripening that needs to happen in the garden these days. But we are rolling with it as best we can, you can't fight Mother Nature, and she did bring the sunshine out on Sunday and Monday, so for that I am grateful.

Our big pile of dirt was delivered, and the three of us spent Sunday morning moving a lot of it. The cold frame, the new raised bed for cut flowers and the raised bed in Reece's play space all got filled up. The two raised beds will now be put to sleep for the winter, waiting patiently for spring to arrive. The cold frame was planted with seeds....lettuce, radish, pok choy, spinach, beets, kale and Swiss chard. We cleaned out another raised bed we will be tunneling this winter, topped it up with dirt, and planted more seeds there. The most exciting thing, because it never gets old, the seeds planted last week are sprouting.

Meal time harvests happen three times a day, even in the rain, and every few days I head out there for a bigger harvest, bringing in food to put by for the winter. The pantry shelves are filling up, and I smile every time I walk by them. This week beets and cucumbers were pickled, blueberries, peaches, and zucchini were added to the freezer stash and the first harvest of tomatoes were roasted and frozen.

My little man is still happily harvesting carrots, he is excited about the eggplants growing in his garden, he is watching the pole beans carefully, patiently waiting to start picking, and he can't wait to dig into some of the food we have put by, especially the dilly green beans.

The days are good in this August garden, despite the cooler temperatures, but I am hoping Mother Nature has some hot, summery days left to share with us.

How are things around your garden?

36 comments:

  1. It has been rather cold around here this past little while. I hope it warms up a bit before the end of the summer too! PS - That cucumber has character! I love it!

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    1. I have the same hope Alexa, although if yesterday is any indication, we won't need that hope :) Fingers crossed for more days like that.

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  2. It's been chilly mornings and warm afternoons here. That has been working for me! Although we still would like a few swim and beach days so the temperatures could go up just a bit for those to be comfortable! Our garden is doing okay, not as well as I'd hoped but I can't expect much considering we got it in pretty late. I am enjoying lettuce and spinach from it though!

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    1. Hey, whatever comes from the garden, no matter how small, is a good thing. Enjoy!

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  3. Reece looks so happy with his harvest. Love what you did there with the windows for the cold frame- clever.
    Do you like having your garden in raised beds Kim?
    I have so much weeds- it blows in from the fields around us- that it it's chore- I was thinking the raised beds might help a little .... any advise?

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    1. He just loves harvesting those carrots. It is such a joy to watch. Thank you, not totally my idea, we saw it online :)

      Love the raised beds, wish I had garden this way from the beginning. We don't have a big weed problem so I would say they definitely help. Yes there are weeds, but nothing crazy. Just make sure you cover the grass/weeds with some cardboard before you add in the soil. This will kill the grass/weeds, and stop them from growing up in your raised bed :)

      Good luck, and let me know if you have any other questions. xo

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  4. Replies
    1. The cold frame is that box with the windows, that I have dug into the ground, in the photos above. The windows actually close down and are on an angle to take advantage of the sun and it's heat. The food will grow in there, be kept warm thanks to passive solar energy, and be protected from the snow and ice.

      It can be used to overwinter some vegetables and also to get an early start to the growing season in the spring. We have used it in the spring before, but never tried using it through the winter. Always fun to try something new.

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  5. yes... i can feel the change in the air here too. your garden is looking so beautiful !!! in the picture with Reese and his carrots, is that the sunflower circle you planted ?

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    1. The shift is always welcome, I am just not sure I am ready for it yet :) No, those are black eyed susans. The sunflower house was eaten by our resident chipmunks. We do however have some pop up sunflowers, it seems they forgot where they hid some of the seeds and they are popping up in strange places :)

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  6. you are having chilly weather! The weather has been cool here as well, but humid. Our tomatoes and peppers are doing well. The cucumbers are producing a few vegetables, not lots but since I thought the plants were lost I'm happy with what he is picking!

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    1. We were! Finally warming up again. We actually had the fire going a few times over the last week. Hey every little bit counts, enjoy!

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  7. Still so much going on in your garden - looking forward to seeing the progress in the cold frame.
    Things are getting a bit chilly around here too, but I'm hoping for a few more 'hot' ones yet. We've dug up most of our potatoes now and are slowly sorting them by size and stocking them for the winter.
    Got a lovely cucumber this morning!

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    1. I will be sure to share the cold frame progress, it will be interesting. Yay for cucumbers!

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  8. Oh what good stuff! I want those beans right now. :)

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    1. Come on over and get some KC :)

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  9. Beautiful pictures. I wish I could send you some of our weather. Our small freezer is also filling up (those cucumbers look delicious). The best part is when we find one late strawberry. There has been at least one every week. You would laugh to see how Panda covets them. Take care. Thank you for dropping in even though I have not been that active lately. It's nice to know you were thinking of me :)

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    1. Thank you. That would be lovely, a little heat would help with the ripening. I am hoping that by this weekend we get a string of rain free days. Aren't the late strawberries the best. We have everbearing strawberries, and they produce til the snow flies. Although this year, not as much late season production. This is their third and final year, new plants going in next year.

      I always love stopping in at your space :)

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  10. Okay, I am going to live vicariously through your garden! We have a lot of shade, which is great for playing, but no so good for gardening. I've got bean, peas and carrots. But, that being said, it's the best crop of the past three years now that I've admitting what few veggies will grow with about four hours of sun a day. Trial and error!

    Love your garden and that playhouse - oh my!

    It's so exciting to eat homegrown food! My boys run out and pluck snap peas and eat while playing. Love it!

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    1. Live away :) I always say even just a little bit of food from the backyard is better than nothing, right? You have to work with what you have, and it seems you are doing that successfully.

      Thanks, the play house has been a fun addition this year, and the hit of all Reece's little friends.

      I think that is the best part, watching Reece out there eating fresh food, that we grew from seed. Nothing beats it.

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  11. Hope you get some more warmth and sun this month!! Things look great over there.

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  12. Cold? That did it, I'm moving!
    Love the photo of Reece with his carrots and I hope he enjoys every one of them.

    PS- Your postcard arrived yesterday, thank you, I love it!

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    1. Come on up Tracey, we would gladly welcome you into Canada :)

      Thank you, harvesting those carrots has been such a pleasure for him this summer. I love watching him.

      So happy to hear it arrived. And funnily enough, yours arrived today. Reece was intrigued by the photo. I told him we cold possibly visit this place when we are down south next year. He was pretty excited about that. Thank you my friend. xo

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  13. Kim, it looks and sounds wonderful! And what a good garden helper you have!

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    1. Thank you! He is the best garden helper, and I love how much he enjoys being out there with me.

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  14. Wonderful... thing shave picked back up here too. Funny, your tomatoes are doing the same as the 2 canning varieties we have : Red at the bottom, green on top. Do you remember which variety they are? Ours are Bonny Best and Rideau. We've started saving seeds here, which is always very exciting. We have beans, lentils, peas, tomato and watermelon seeds drying right now. Everytime I look at the seeds, I dream of next year's gardens. :-)

    We have quite a few fall crops growing as well. How wonderful.

    So happy your week is shaping up and that August has decided to stay August for a little while longer!

    Good night xo

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    1. Those are silvery fir tomatoes, first time trying them, and we love them. My friend Amanda, a farmer, starts our tomatoes for us since we don't have room to do them here. She gave this one a try this spring, and I thought why not give them a shot. We got two plants and love them! The tomatoes are so good.

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  15. Your garden is just beautiful, and that soil looks so nice. Glad you little man loves the garden and being outdoor as much as you do. When you say 18 degrees is that C?

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    1. Thanks Beth. I am too, I can't imagine it if he didn't enjoy it :) I guess if comes from being out there from the very start.

      Yes, Celsius :) We usually sit around 25 degrees or higher, so it has been pretty chilly. We did have a few days of sun this week, but are sadly back to the wet weather. I saw the long range forecast, and it looks like we might see a whole week of sunshine and a return to summer starting on Saturday...fingers crossed.

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  16. First time here and I have to say your garden looks amazing. Very nice pics.
    Looks like you have lots to harvest too. I'll let you get back to it.

    My latest garden update http://theplaceunderthepine.blogspot.ca/2014/08/garden-2014-update-4.html

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, and thank you for your kind words. It has been a pretty good year considering hail damage and cooler temperatures. No complaining at all here.

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  17. Love seeing the preparations you are making for the colder months. I know what you mean about seeds sprouting never getting old... doesn't here either :) I love the look of your cold frame... looking forward to seeing what you grow under there- I need a similar shade frame for summer I think!

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    1. Thank you, I have to admit we are kinda excited about it all. I was peeking under the row covers this morning, and those little sprouts made me smile, yet again.

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  18. oh it's all sooooo beautiful! I am incredibly intrigued by the photos I see of your yard and garden~ I wish we weren't so far apart so that I could come by for a visit and walk around your garden with you and see all that beauty up close! our garden is here: http://www.sweetpotatoclaire.blogspot.com/2014/08/garden-kitchen.html

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    1. Thank you Amanda! I wish you were closer too, you could teach me all about bees while we walk around the garden, and then enjoy a cup of tea, while our kiddos play. Maybe one day....

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