Saturday, June 27, 2015

party-finger-food-platter friday and happy canada day!

another beautiful day yesterday!

jam weed-whacked the whole back yard - pic coming soon! but i just loved the look of those clouds! sometimes they are right above our heads and sometimes they seem to hang over our friend C's old house - they are so beautiful! i started more seeds in the greenhouse - woohoo!

we had a finger-food platter for supper last night and had a bit of a party:

that's homemade sweet and HOT chicken legs with extra dipping sauce, yogurt, homemade salsa, homemade guacamole, chips, fresh pineapple and grapes - many, many napkins were hurt in the process of consuming this platter!

i am sick as a dog again with bug-bites! we thought we could transplant another 12 tomatoes into tires without deet or bugnets but it was a no-go! we had half of the job finished before we realized we were getting too many bites and had to stop and put our bug suits on - arghghggh - i get claustrophobic in those bug suits!

this weekend everyone in canada is celebrating canada day even though canada day isn't until july 1st. we hope that everyone has a safe and fun-filled weekend! jam went into the city early this morning to pick up our working-like-brand-new outboard motor (1972 6-horse-power johnson) and to pick up a truck load of compost and manure (we need it to continue filling/hilling our potatoe tires - we've run out of dirt!!!). he should be home any time now and then we are flomping on the couch together reading books, eating lots of food, having a nap and enjoying a down day! life is super good (except for the bug bites!!!!)

i hope everyone is having a great weekend too!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

it's been a few beautiful summer days!

it's been another few beautiful summer days - woohoo! i love these summer days in june! they are so good for the garden and everything is coming up gangbusters!

jambaloney was at work for the full day yesterday - he is really enjoying this job even more than he thought he would. this job is keeping him on his toes to say the least!

we've been working in the gardens - as everyone knows it's a daily job! today jam has been weeding the garden beds and weed-whacking the majority of our yard. i have planted more brassicas (radicchio, cabbage and turnip) and some more spinach.

here's our daily salad from the salad bar and our own fresh herbs. this time i threw in an unripe hungarian hot wax pepper - these babies are hot no matter what their colour!

if you don't have much land or live in an apartment, growing a few pots of various lettuces and herbs can really go a long way in regards to your health.

here's a mixed bean salad with our own radish, tons of fresh dill, tons of garlic - you know the drill! some fresh radish leaves and some pickled onions.

jam planted more garlic and cleaned out vandura. it's amazing how much crap vandura can hold. we moved the next round of tomatoe plants (12) to harden them off and will plant them in their tires (yes PP - i said tires) with stakes and then wrapping them in plastic. we also re-arranged the greenhouse and with all of the volunteer tomatoes (over 20!) - i have no idea where we are going to put them!!!

jam brought our 6-horsepower 1972 johnson outboard motor in to be serviced and the guys cleaned it up really good and it doesn't need any new parts - woohoo! we like the service we get here on the island - no one ever seems to be trying to rip you off - rather - they go out of their way to fix your stuff and try to save you money - it's awesome! anyway - he'll be picking that up on saturday along with another truckload of composted manure and then we'll be heading out on our guerrilla gardening trip on sunday - it's going to be so much fun!

here's a great supper of surf and turf - steak, lobster tail (we also nibbled on some legs - not pictured), fresh pineapple, grapes, more radish leaves and some sauteed in butter mushrooms - yummeh!

jam is getting ready to do his contract work, it's a beautiful evening and there will be many walks and hottub dips. then a netflix movie and early to bed!

tomorrow we'll plant out the next 12 tomatoes, planting a new round of beets and radish and some more brassicas. i love this time of year (except for the blackflies. dang rotten little ugly buggers!)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

the first day of summer!

today felt like the true first day of summer for us!

it was beautiful!

look at the beautiful, clear water in our creek:

it constantly runs. and we could dam it and make a larger creek - something we plan on doing. we could run this water through our berkey system and have fresh, delicious water all of the time. but right now, the rainbarrells and our well work just fine - but a thought for the future!

here's a beautiful salad and herbs harvested from our garden:

and here is what we did with it:

jam is bringing home lobster and crab weekly - those are freshly-caught crab legs!

we took a walk to the river and all of our pitcher plants are in bloom:

here is the actual flower:

our pitcher plants are called purple pitcher plants, and if you are interested you can learn more here.

jam is truly a nut-bar. because it was such a late spring the water hasn't had a chance to warm up yet. but it was such a beautiful day that he took a dip!

he said the water was absolutely freezing.

i believed him. i stood in it up to my shins and absolutely freezing is a very apt description!

here is some chirashi sushi salad using more of the fresh crab:

and the lupins are finally blooming - woohoo!

the man loves his weekly hamburgers:

his is on the left with cheese, all of the fixings and avocado. mine is on the right - i went way out decadent with avocado, shaved parmesan and lobster - truly wicked!

even more wicked? tonight's supper:

grilled trout (the big trout), cedar-planked trout (the small trout), grilled pineapple, fresh salad greens and herbs from our garden, baby radishes from the garden and home-made sauerkraut. it doesn't get any better than this!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

guerrilla gardening - island style!

i mentioned "guerrilla gardening" in yesterday's post and thought i would talk more about it in this post. if you do a search on guerrilla gardening, you will find that it is mostly done in urban locales as well as on unclaimed, overgrown land.

recently, there have been many posts on a variety of our linked blogs about what to do when "the golden hordes" (people from the cities) start invading rural areas and rampage, pillage and what have you on rural people's farms. the posts have been quite interesting as have the discussions in comment sections.

we are really not too concerned about that - we really do live in the middle of nowhere, on an island with only a single point of access (1 road to get to it). however, many types of boats could make it here but as we are fishing community, our fishermen could very quickly become the coast guard, if you know what i mean.

one point that was raised several times is the fact that most city people wouldn't be able to identify most root vegetables so root vegetables would be good crops to grow. what does any of this have to do with guerrilla gardening? well, let's say that everyone on our island learned that we grew food, keeping in mind that the whole west side of our island is full of farms and ranches. so let's pretend the whole east side came to our little homestead and ate all of our food - or some such nonsense.

her is a pic of our leftover seed potatoes from last year:

i said LEFT-OVER seed potatoes!!! we planted 200 seed potatoes in 40 tires already. we gave several bags of seed potatoes to friends and even sent some to jambaloney's mom and stepdad. we feel it is a shame for these 4th generation seed potatoes to go to waste. what to do?

and keep in mind that we are still talking about people over-running our homestead looking for food.

this year we are going to try something that we have discussed since we moved here. we're going to guerrilla garden. where are we going to guerrilla garden and hide food for ourselves and our closest communities if need be?

islands people. islands.

our river is full of islands. have a look:

if you click on the pic above you will see our house in the upper left-hand side of the pic. you will also see where we keep our canoe and our boatdura (12ft aluminum fishing boat with 1972 Johnson 6-horse power). jambaloney marked off the islands in our river with red dots. now i'll take you on a tour. (we planned on going out today in boatdura so that i could get really good pics of the topography of the islands but it is way too buggy out there. these pics are from last year when we were just out tooling around. we plan to go out soon and do some actual guerrilla gardening. i will take really good pics then so stay tuned for that post!).

this pic shows that these islands would make great hugelkulture beds as they already have upturned trees and moss.

it wouldn't take much to quickly clear the highest point of the island (the centre) with a chainsaw, or an axe, and drop some potatoes. probably already growing there is blueberries and cranberries.

if we really needed to - we could clear and plant up all of those islands and get our community involved to be able to feed our 2 communities (population of 60 people), and no one would be the wiser. and the fact that these people are born and bred fishermen - we would have access to all of the fresh fish and seafood we could handle if gas was still available. if it wasn't - time to break out the canoes!

so i hope i have explained in this post the reason why we are not afraid of "the golden hordes". check back later as we will go out and plant some potatoes and other seeds and i'll take detailed pics.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

beautiful day after the rain...

friends - it rained all night. it was beautiful and i love hearing the rain bouncing off of the plastic-roofed porch. but my man had to be up early today as he was going into LobstersRUs for a full day of work. i made sure last night that his lunch was made, and his clothes were ready...and then i slept fitfully as i always do when i know he has to go in to work. you must understand that i brought him here to retire him and the fact that he now has a part-time job is wonderful...but i i was up 45 mins before he had set the alarm to be sure that he was up on time. it rained all night and this is what it looked like at 5:45 am....soooo beautiful.

for his morning breakfast i fed him some scrambled eggs with his homemade hot sauce, some coffee and water. when he isn't going to work and we wake up whenever we wake up - we eat decadent things like poached eggs, a lobster tail and claw and some grapes - bahahahahha!

we planted 200 potatoes in our 40 tires - it's something both of us never get tired of talking about. i'm sorry if it's boring for you all.

but every year we have tons of seed potatoes left over. below is easily another 200 seed potatoes.

we discuss urban guerrilla gardening often except that we live in the middle of nowhere. but we do have a ton of islands in our river, and being that we have our quiet canoe, and jambaloney is a true courier des bois - we have access to many places to guerrilla garden even if we live in the middle of nowhere. a post about that coming soon.

comfrey salve. the salve to make itching bug bites go away.

it's homemade and made with beeswax and coconut oil. which we have many years worth of both in our preps.

comfrey slips. to send to our friend W. though he be many thousands of miles away, his friendship has meant the world to us. he has taught us so much because his knowledge is limitless.

fresh trouts off the grill. nothing else needs to be said.

and it is now 8:45. my manz be at workz. i watered the greenhouse and opened the windows.

the rain has watered all of the beds and i am feeling tired from a fitful sleep. i always have a fitful sleep when i know that he has to be up for work. the day is going to be gorgeous and i await my sweet man to return - with fresh lobster and crab. yes, i know that we live a very difficult life - bahahahah! but just know in your hearts that we are grateful and happy for every single day - and we never pass up the opportunity to express our gratitude. i need to go out and look at my beautiful strawberries and make sure that my lettuces were properly watered. then wash 10 million cat plates. and pet fat, healthy cats in between all of that. cats who have been fed about 2,000 times since we woke up. oh...and we are getting a puppy in about 8 weeks. they were just born. we asked for the runt.

life is amazingly wonderful. i miss my man. i can't wait till he gets home. i am so proud of the work he is doing. uh-oh - a cat just woke up and is screaming for food. jeesh eh?

(EDITED TO ADD: i can't stress how much of a courier des bois he is! he really is!)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

mid-june garden update

this post is mostly for my garden records, but i do so enjoy tours of other blogger's gardens so i hope that you will enjoy this tour (pay no mind to the weeds - jam has just started weeding today but we will get it all weeded in the next few days!)!

a big, beautiful hugelkulture bed filled with strawberry plants - some of which already have blossoms - woohoo!

garlic bed number one:

one of the many salad bars:

the pea bed weeded and comfrey leaves laid down - comfrey and seaweed are both excellent mulches and add a variety of extra nutrients to the soil.

we put seaweed in all of the beds/pots/tires every fall and spring. seaweed will be going down on all of the beds this week.

our 12 biggest tomatoes have been put out in their tires:

a crazy thing happened this year - we have volunteer tomatoes everywhere!!! i planted 46 and 46 came up but in all of the pots in the greenhouse - volunteer tomatoes have appeared. we have an additional 20+ tomatoes. i like having those kinds of problems!

this is the radish, daikon radish and swiss chard bed, weeded and comfrey leaves spread on:

garlic bed number 2 (it is full of garlic but some of it is from last year):

these are 2 melon/squash/pumpkin beds. i start one or 2 of each and then when i plant them out i plant seeds directly in the beds. the cans are to protect the older plants from slugs.

here is the brassica bed - again, i start some brassicas indoors and then when i plant them out i continue the rows with seeds. that way we don't have a glut of stuff all coming in at once.

this is for our good buddy PP who looooooves tires! look at all of those potatoe plants - woohoo! please ignore the weeds. potatoes are pretty forgiving when it comes to weeds but we'll get to these tires eventually!

a beautiful comfrey plant that i am letting go to seed:

we have volunteer comfrey plants all over our land. comfrey can be cut back 3 times a season here. we use it for mulch and compost.

here's our little apple tree that got decimated last year by aphids - he's coming back strong now, thank goodness:

and then there's these apple trees. ugh.

we love having a variety of birds in our yard all throughout the day but for some crazy reason, this year, the goldfinches and purple finches have started eating all the buds!!! we have no idea what to do.

here's the greenhouse - a mish mash of peppers, tomatoes, herbs and such:

more seeds being started:

a blurry pic of more peppers:

more tomatoes and peppers:

tomatoes, peppers, herbs and more salads:

herbs, peppers, tomatoes, salad:

volunteer chives that are all over the yard:

i don't bother planting chives anymore as the several bunches all around the yard provide us with all we need and they re-seed themselves every year:

our friend W is going to kill us when he sees our grapevine - we just haven't gotten to it yet! but we already have grape clusters forming - woohoo!

and some pretty apple blossoms:

i couldn't finish the post without a pic of today's catch of trout:

you are only allowed to catch 5 a day during trout season. these things are so good for you and salmonoids are loaded with omega 3-6-9.

these trout were caught for BullDog Man and Sweet Sandy. Pioneer Preppy gets the next batch.