Fall Harvest…

…and the Fall Fair

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The harvest continues as the warm autumn sun continues to shine in between a few rainy days. I’ve taken advantage of the dry days to plant one or two overwintering crops; the little Egyptian “walking” onions and over a hundred cloves of garlic for next summer’s harvest, both  gifts of gardening friends. The pair of old bedroom windows that C. replaced this summer will find a second life in the garden as little cold frames for some lettuce seedlings that were started a few weeks ago.

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Continue reading “Fall Harvest…”

Bountiful Berries…

…and tight connections

I have been up to my eyeballs in berries all summer long. The berry season began early in June with the first red currants of the season.

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By mid-June the raspberries were also in full swing. I picked raspberries every day for nearly two months. This summer I decided to weigh the raspberries at the end of each day’s picking. By the middle of August I had picked over 60 pounds of the ripe red berries from the two rows that grow in our garden.

At the same time the boysenberries, related to wild bramble berries, were ripening on their vines.

016 Continue reading “Bountiful Berries…”

Waterfalls and a Whale….

…in my backyard

It is a rare occasion when C. and I have time off together during the summer season, but right at the end of June, already a month ago,  we did have a whole week to call our own. Our summer jobs, at home and away, had been keeping us busy. The vegetable garden was more or less planted, and beginning to grow well. The grass in the yard around the house and in the orchard had been cut, raked and collected to be used as mulch in the garden.

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I had finally got round to planting the summer flower pots with a few purchased bedding plants. The weather was warm, the sun was shining , summer was really here!

We were ready for a break and there was a long weekend coming up; Canada Day, this year marking the 150th anniversary of confederation. Some would argue that is nothing to celebrate, though if not for confederation, I and a lot of others might not have been born here, if at all.

At this time of year, one of the few things that can get me out of the garden  is the promise of a lovely sea cruise. When C. suggested a little trip aboard our trusty ex-fishing boat, the Ashley Em, I jumped at the chance to get away for a few days. The Ashley Em had been tied to the dock since last October when C. had her up on the marine ways in town for the annual bottom scrubbing and anti-fouling paint job. She was  ready to go and so were we!

I gathered up a few provisions; porridge oats, brown rice, coffee, tea, milk, and whatever I could find in the way of vegetables and fruit. I cooked a big pot of beans and baked a couple of loaves of bread to take with us. We brought along a bedroll so we could sleep out on deck. The weather was expected to remain fine. Continue reading “Waterfalls and a Whale….”

Sweet Scent of Spring…

Spring is the busiest time of year on the island. All winter long nothing much seems to happen. When spring arrives, suddenly, an overwhelming number of activities vie for our attention. The garden needs planting. The grass needs cutting. People come to visit. C. gets busy preparing his boat  for the salmon fishing season. Continue reading “Sweet Scent of Spring…”

Oh, Rubarb….

…cool crop for cool weather.

Although spring is officially here, the weather continues to be cold and wet. The vegetables are getting planted, both seeds and starts, in dribs and drabs, slowly but surely. The heat-loving tomatoes, peppers, squash and basil are still indoors, under the fluorescent lights, getting bigger and bigger, just waiting for warmer temperatures outdoors, so they can get into their permanent locations under the cloches in the vegetable garden.

The fruit trees in our orchard have been slow to bloom but about a week ago I noticed that the pears were finally flowering. While I worked in the garden nearby during the sunny afternoon, the plum tree’s blossom also began to open, inviting the hungry bees to come and feast. This morning the apple blossom has begun to burst from sweet pink buds.

Continue reading “Oh, Rubarb….”

To Bee or Not to Bee….

In case you were wondering, I have been away for a while which is why you haven’t heard from me during the last month or so. Having survived the long, drawn out winter here on the island, I decided I needed a break; no cooking or housekeeping, no near or distant relatives, no pets, no rain or snow; just a pleasant climate with sunshine, pretty views, a nice sandy beach with swimmable sea water lapping at the edge of that beach, and a good book. Time away to recharge my personal battery.

I packed a small bag and travelled to a little village in Mexico, on the west coast, where I have spent quite a lot of time in the past. There, in familiar surroundings, I had the companionship of several like-minded friends who spend the winter months in that quiet and pleasant seaside community. I thoroughly enjoyed my holiday and was a little sorry to have to return to the reality of a late, chilly spring in the Pacific Northwest. Continue reading “To Bee or Not to Bee….”

Saving Seed….

…for a hopeful future.

Last Friday morning it was snowing again as I set off for town. I was on my way to the annual Words on the Water writer’s festival. Every March for the past sixteen years I have attended this local cultural event. When I returned late Monday afternoon I felt rejuvenated. Some seeds of inspiration had been sown at the W.O.W. festival!

While I was away the robins returned to our garden, pecking and peering about on the ground for excited worms. It seems they  have brought spring  with them. Although it is still chilly, the sun is shining and buds on the flowering shrubs are  plump. The grass has begun to grow again and the first daffodil  is about to burst open. Continue reading “Saving Seed….”