Tag Archives: garden

June into July – Life is Flying By

The past 2 months have been filled with taking care of lots of little things, like after 2 years of not detailing my 4 Runner, getting it done. Looks almost like it did when I bought it, and ‘Partners in Grime’ saved the paint job!

Russel got a canopy and a rack installed on his Tundra and now can haul his Aikido mats without wrapping in a tarp, keep things secure in the back and haul lumber or his canoe.. maybe we will actually get to Ruth Lake this year for some fishing for him and swimming for me.

I have been going into town way more often than is normal, mainly to sit with and help out my friend Helen, who is in constant pain and confused much of the time. At this point she is getting almost 24/7 paid support and volunteers to help with taking care of her, but the time to move her into assisted living is drawing close. It pains me to see this happen to her. She is / was such an independent person and really wanted to be able to spend her last years in her sweet home.

The garden is doing great, although the last few days we had rain, yes you heard me, RAIN at the end of June! The area is close to drought so this is good, but the lettuce is having a hard time standing up!

We are still having a good crop of sugar snap peas, lettuce and beets (so so sweet), summer squash is coming on strong.
I have been making Pesto from my basil and freezing it up as I always do.

We bought organic raspberries that ended up in a new tart recipe with a cream fraiche filling.


And I did 8oz jars of organic blueberry jam, 22 jars in fact.

I am contemplating buying a pressure canner, Russel has wanted one for awhile, but I am a bit ‘afraid’ of them. And we don’t grow enough of the crops to pressure can, and buying them at our Farmers Market is cost prohibited … so?? We will see.

I would love to put up fresh beets (no pickling) and garnet yams (in the fall when you can get them for good price).
I am sure once the pressure canner is here, I will find all kinds of things to can up.. like maybe batches of my great chili and pototo leek soup. Our freezer is tiny, so can’t stock up that way.

We just had a heatwave week, very hot here and hotter in town. Fried up a lot of the flowers in the garden, time to start pulling them and find something for color that needs little to no water. Water may be an issue here and is an issue for the community at large.

I am feeling great! So glad that the gall bladder removal was the ticket to being able to eat without fear! Potlucks — no problem.

I am also anxiously awaiting a Bruce Cockburn show in July in Santa Cruz.. it has been 25 years since I been to Santa Cruz, and way too long since I had a Bruce fix.


Garden in April – Poppies in May

Here’s the lettuce bed in April, it is now covered with a shade cloth tent over all of it.. we should have salads till October is all goes well..or even longer.


Blue Columbine in April, thank you Hand to Land for this columbine! I have several now, this is the biggest.


My red poppies usually don’t start opening (popping !) until June! And here they start on May 2!!!


I feel the ‘hurry up and get the rest of the garden in’ energy happening right now.


SoHumAwareness and spring

Within a few days after this post, with the rains continuing, Humboldt County started slipping and sliding away.

Being a disaster junkie and wanting the latest up to the minute news on whether the road to town was open or not, I spent one Sunday morning, March 27, reading KymKemp.com blog and others, listening to KMUD.org and KHUM.com and checking their websites and twitter feeds, and reading Facebook pages trying to get the most current info.

Frustrated I contacted Kym Kemp, who seemed to have the steadiest flow of current info and asked if she thought a Facebook page where all this info could be compiled in one place was a good idea. She said Yes! And a few hours later I had the SoHum Awareness facebook page created, added both Kym Kemp and Estelle Fennell as admins to keep the content flowing and we were off and running. We had 300 people ‘liking’ the page within 24 hours, and over a 1000 a week later.

No sooner did Briceland Road get a temp repair to one lane, with full photo commentary on that, than the huge slide on Highway 101 happened. The inability to move around our rural area stresses people to the max. Kids at the high school were on one side of the slide and parents on the other..no way for buses to be able to travel the only other road, snowy muddy mountainous ‘local’ roads that unless you live on them, most people have never driven.

This launched the SoHum Awareness facebook page into full throttle, it was 10 days of constant updates and comments on how to get anywhere from here, the conditions of the roads that were available.

And then there was and still is the massive landslide at Dobbyn Creek threatening homes and roads, the landslide in Benbow taking away a persons land, and other slides throughout the county.

We were busy.

And then there were missing persons, accidents, other road closures.

Over the last several weeks I have been pulling the data from SoHum Awareness facebook page and Kym’s blog and other sources into a website that will act as the archive for SoHum Awareness facebook page, as well as a place for those to go who don’t want to go to Facebook for any reason (SoHum Awareness facebook page is a public page anyone can read the content.. you don’t need a facebook account) or don’t want to go to Kym’s blog either, as she has marijuana related articles on there as well as local info.

I have always been ‘into’ disaster preparedness, I look at SoHum Awareness facebook page as the beginning of gathering locals to pay more attention to how fragile our connection with the rest of the world is. We can be cut off in a hurry and for lengths of time. We need more organization around these issues, and I believe this page and website will help further that goal. We are already connected to county roads, CalTrans, Southern Humboldt Technical Response, CalFire, Briceland Volunteer Fire Department, and the list will keep growing. And as always it is the work of the few to benefit the good of the many. I hope to get more locals involved with the different tech systems available to map incidents, to help when things go terribly wrong.

The page is being used daily by local news broadcasters to gather info, (too bad they don’t acknowledge where they pull that info from in their reports).

I hope to have the website for SoHum Awareness facebook page up and live by the end of the month, it all depends on things slowing down so I can catch up to the current news.

So that is why I haven’t worked on this blog lately or my other websites that I am moving on the WordPress platform.


salad greens shade house

Shade House for the salad greens!

And then spring was finally here, which meant for me, getting the lettuce / herbs / salad greens beds happening.. and buying starts for everything. Planning the garden and getting it in. We also got a small greenhouse up (one of those steel pole poly types) to get some starts going and to house the early stuff till the weather in the garden is warm enough.



And tonight maybe Rapture !


Time Keeps on Slippin’

I missed spring, summer and most of the fall. It is now winter, with rain and gray days, running the generator way too much as there isn’t enough solar to keep our small system going.

I haven’t been off the land to town in over 44 days now! Thank the goddess for internet as it seems to be my main social contact. I try to phone someone every few days, but talking on the phone is just not my thing. And my throat / voice has been stressed and strained and talking just makes me cough more.

I am now on day 3 of antibiotics (AGAIN) for the tickle – wake – me – up all night cough – all day cough, that developed as I was finally getting rid of the ‘end of summer colds’. I obviously have something going on that is causing this, (bacterial infection?) but no diagnosis.

I want to wax eloquently about how great a garden we had this year, we actually made tomato sauce to can last week end. I picked off 4 large flats of green and pink tomatoes to ripen off the vine. We dug some red potatoes a couple days ago that were just sooo goood. (carrots too) and peppers. I have 10 good sized butternut squash to store for the winter, and several acorns to eat up. I love being able to go into the garden to determine what’s for dinner, but those days are over for this season.

November is just around the corner. Russel’s Aikido school, Mateel Aikido will be celebrating 25 years this month. There is a big retreat planned for the weekend of Nov 19 – 21, with Sensei Frank Doran headlining. There is a Mateel Aikido facebook page that one of the students put up, that you can check out.

I have been dreaming of a warm sunny relaxing massage filled sauna taking swimming several times a day eating only good food retreat with mountain views. Just a few days (maybe more!) to detox, relax, and rejuvenate. Maybe southern California, as I need to get my passport redone before I can go to Mexico. But this is just a dream at this point.

Election in few days.. will be interesting to see where the ‘collective we’ end up with regards to Prop 19, CA governor, and some local issues.


Canning Tomatos

The garden is in full harvest mode, so what energy I have is going there.
Haven’t had time to work this site theme or any other Word Press projects right now.

We did harvest many of our tomatoes:

early girl tomatos

big beef tomatos

And we canned up 7 pints. We used the cold pack – 60 min water bath method.

7 pints canned tomatos

Russel also made some fresh tomato sauce, which was so good, I am tempted to harvest and or buy more tomatos and can up some pints of that.

We have also eaten corn (so sweet and fresh), we have eggplant almost ready, and the peppers are really turning red. Cukes and squash are still producing, as is the salad bed. I love eating fresh organic food.. makes all the work worth it!


Caterpillars on the dill

Today I went out to pick some dill head and leaf.. and found a least seven black swallowtail caterpillars on my dill plant! Guess they love dill, and I am mostly done with it so they can eat it. I hope they form their chrysalis close by so I can watch that transformation.
Next year I will plant more dill and some fennel to bring them into the garden.

Black Swallowtail Caterpillar

Here’s another site with some good butterfly info: butterflies

I was picking the dill for another round of squash pickles, because we have just too much squash! I canned up 7 pints this time.

I have been making Pesto every couple of days, and freezing about 2 cups with each run. I figure I have at least 7 runs (6 cups packed leaf) left to do. And we figure we can eat pesto every week all winter and until harvest next year starts! What a treat that is.

Our tomato plants are 6 feet tall! Lots of just now starting to ripen toms. We will also be canning tomatoes, quartered & cold pack way I think. Russel will be helping me with that!

Blueberries started coming into the Farmers Market in the middle of July, I have been buying lots to eat as this is the only time of year we get them and I like to buy local. I also found a great new recipe for blueberry -zucchini bread that I like way better than the one I used to use with raisins. It’s been quite a hit with everyone.

Our garden is doing really great. We have watermelons (not harvested yet), and tons of winter squash on the vine. The lettuce is still producing and I just put in more starts. We have enough summer squash and cucumbers to eat all we want, the peppers are big and still green, I am waiting for them to turn red to pick. Lots of work, but worth it to eat good organic food that you grew.


June and July in the Garden

The garden is doing much better now that some heat has finally come on.



We started harvesting butterstick summer squash and black beauty zucchini last week. With tons more to come on. We also have planted light green Lebanese squash, some globe zucchini and a few others, I am sure Russel will be tired of it long before the harvest is over!

July 2010 in the Garden

Tomatos in July

We have been harvesting salad greens, cilantro, mustard, mizuna, parsley, dill and arugula for about a month now. So wonderful.. so thankful we can do this.


I am starting more seed now, and hope that it takes.. the birds, mice, quail.. who knows? have been eating the tiny little starts so I have covered the latest batch with remay.


The basil is about ready to start harvesting for pesto. Did you know there is a shortage of pinenuts this year! I am so bummed.
The next town trip I am buying all I can find (if I can find any).
Besides using in pesto, they are one of my favorite foods..being allergic to most nuts, makes them all that more desirable for me.

The tomatos are doing great.. we have about 15 plants of 3 or 4 different varieties.. hopefully there will be enough to can at some point.

The rats have eaten the corn crop down to the ground 2x.. and Russel replants.. it’s not even ‘knee high by the 4th of July’ but perhaps because our gardening year seems to be about a month behind, we may actually get some corn.

We spend at least 2 hours a day in the garden, many days if both of us are out there, it’s really 4 hours. We don’t have anything hooked up to drip or timers, so watering daily is needed for several things. The rodents of all kinds have played havoc on lots of the beds.. trapping doesn’t seem to make a dent in them at all. But as my friend Sue would say, ‘ya gotta share’!


Bumper Crop of SugarSnap Peas!

As I talked about ( in this post ) I have, for lack of a better way to describe it, been sick for going on 7 weeks now.

We also had a cold and wet spring, which made the sugar snap peas very happy.. and me too.

This doesn’t look like it, but every other day for the last 3 weeks or so we have been harvesting 2 to 3 pounds of sugar snaps!
Best snack food there is:

SugarSnap Peas