June 27, 2008

Light posting

for a while; family medical problems are occupying my time and brain cells.

June 22, 2008

Summer's Work

has started in earnest. Mowing, weeding, chasing voles. . .shade cloth is on the greenhouse and seen at the farmers market on half the stalls--we're all more used to cloudy weather than the sudden heat. The roses are coming on strongly now: Rose de Rescht, then Harrison's Double Yellow (known as Deb's Rose here), and now La Ville de Bruxelles is starting. The Rugosa seedlings are sporting different shades of pink and they remind me I need to take cuttings of Hansa as I really love the doubles more and more.

Herbs put down to infuse lately include sweet grass, fir needles & lemongrass, plus chives in vinegar and pansies steeped for jelly.

Soaps curing: fireweed, gardener's scrub, evergreen and rosemary-lemongrass.

June 16, 2008

Got your garden in by now? (How to speak Gardener)

This is a standard conversational opener round the world, in any language, for gardeners.
I mean the vegetable garden, of course; even here in ultima Thule we have beans coming up now, and it looks to be an increasingly important activity nowdays.

If you know what you have put on your garden, and when, you can know there isn't E. coli on your tomatoes, along with knowing they are fresh and tasty and your favorite variety.
This year the garden here has Kootenai, Totem, Oregon Spring, Currant tomato and whatever else we might wander home with from other vendors' booths at the market.

Being a devotee of filet beans, we favor LaFrance and also Emerite, plus Scarlet Runners for the hummingbirds and Triunfo Violetto. None of these are beans ever available in the grocery store, they freeze well, and the TASTE!! The best carrot, by far, of the dozens of varieties we have tried, is Mokum--sweet and carroty and does not get woody.

It's looking like a fair amount of cropland that has gone to vegetable seed crops in the past is scheduled to go to biofuel crops in the future, so a certain amount of putting by of veggie seed for the future might not be a bad thing. Kept cool and very dry (glass jars in the fridge, sealed containers in the root cellar), vegetable seeds will keep well for a long time, except for onions and parsnips.

June 8, 2008

Cool wet weather has its advantages

--one of which is that flowers last longer. The Rosa primula has been in full glory for over two weeks, even Friday's hailstorm didn't faze it. This is the most floriferous it's been in its dozen years, much to the delight of the bees. Unless it really does snow this week, as is forecast, it should even be able to ripen seed, as there hasn't been a killing frost since the flowers opened. That's unusual, but the weather is being very much like that of the early 60's, and so we could have frost every month. The cool weather has muted this rose's fabulous scent (the foliage smells of incense and balsam) but when the sun comes out just after a shower--heavenly!