Saturday, 27 March 2021

Garden, deck and greenhouse update

We needed some tidbits for the garden so we went to Nanaimo late afternoon the other day, its much quicker later in the day because all the traffic is gone so the wait for the ferries doesn't take as long.
Because we were going big box shopping we decided to stop for supper beforehand and who doesn't love Montana's?... Well, we do so that's where we went. First big box restaurant meal in years I believe and we enjoyed it, sinful as it was.

I ran more blackberry leaves through Betty (freeze drier for any new readers)

FoodSaver jar sealer attachment

My FoodSaver accessory broke off in the jar sealer so I contacted FoodSaver and they are sending me a new machine as the accessory is hardwired to the machine (they didn't think that through).

The walnut tree is in full bloom now.

Absolutely gorgeous
Okay, so on to the garden:

This uncovered area is the garlic bed. Along the left there will be peas eventually.

The main garden has been finished. We churned the back corner and widened the entire plot then covered it all with the ground cover ( no gaps). Then having gone to the big box shops we put down a watering system.

Widened section

Drip irrigation system


Inside the hose are what I will call slower-downers hahahahahahaha, I don't know what to call them but they turn the gushing water to only a slow drip.

Jay - finally caught a pic of him.

Brad and Robbie having a male bonding snooze

Woodshed cleared out

We ordered 3 cords of wood this year (only 2 last year and 2.5 would have been better), because we are out of it now the guy is bringing 1/2 cord today (Saturday) so I cleaned everything out, swept it well and put the air vents (wood bits) back in then ran a bead of cinnamon around the inside edges to keep spiders and mice out which I also did last year. Not a drop of mouse poop in there when I swept it out which is fantastic given where we live. The rest of the wood will be brought in next week 1 cord a day.

Deck sorted

With the extra wood (the shed only holds 2 cords) we needed the deck sorted so that was finally organized for the season. I wanted to move the planting stuff moved down to the garden side and the wood will go in the back quarter with those chairs and the generator. The log bench which was under the closest window is now on the outside wall of the deck so we can put our feet up, I'll make a cushion for it if I get time.

Super exciiitiiinnnggg!!!
Greenhouse is almost finished, just the door and window left to do today.


Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Garden fixed. Medicinals

Back in the garden to fix the ground cover we went.....

A pigeon stopped by to check it out

He was thoroughly unimpressed that he couldn't eat through it.

Robbie in all his regal beauty waited patiently on the side for us.

After burning the holes where we needed them to be, I put rabbit manure down there then the onion bulbs, covered with dirt and a dose of more rabbit manure on top.

Yellow, Red and Green onions are in. Finally.

Mrs. Farmer Chick. Sexy right?! LOL

We had a bunch of garlic that was starting to sprout so I peeled them and Freeze Dried the lot, its super handy because you can just lay a knife flat on FD'd garlic and mince it instantly just by pushing down. Works super fantastic and the flavour is concentrated so you need less.

I've been waiting months to harvest Blackberry leaves and they are finally sprouting so off I went. This is a blend of blackberry and black raspberry leaves. They will be in the FD within the hour. 

These leaves have many medicinal properties and uses such as Cancer, Dysentery, Whooping cough, Mouth ulcer, Minor bleeding, Diarrhea, Toothache, Sore throat, Colitis, Anemia, Mouth wash, Psoriasis, Hemorrhoids. More information about this can be found here. Or for a simpler explanation just Google ' Medicinal benefits of Blackberry leaves'.

Brad's massage therapist has a small homestead and they just had some lambs born very recently. 
So cute.

The expected layout of our garden this year. Does not include the 11'x13' bed of garlic Brad planted in the fall.

We picked up some parts yesterday for a garden update which will be in an upcoming post.

Saturday, 20 March 2021

The Ground Cover is in - sort of.

Finally got the Enterprise cleaned up. 
(Waffle Iron just looks like Star Trek Enterprise with those handles, so....)

My last trip to GIRO... yabba dabba do!!!

The greenhouse is framed in. When we were at Home Depot we grabbed 6 mil vapour barrier.... fortunately our landlord commented and after a bit of research we found the right stuff but it won't get here until sometime Monday to Thursday, so there she sits.... waiting.

She's a decent size 9' x 12' and I'm planning to put some 55 gallon jugs of water in there to keep her warm in spring and fall -- potentially also winter, but we'll see. There is still a bit of trees left around it so not sure winter is an option, but..... 

The ground cover arrived Wednesday. 

So here's the thing about the ground cover... I watch what I call 'the homies' on YouTube. Sarah and Kevin at Living Traditions Homestead (hence, the homies). As always, when I find a channel I like I start at the beginning... which is often a good idea... LOL 

So a few years ago the homies bought this ground cover which allows the ground to breathe, water through but kills all of the weeds. The first year, when putting in tightly planted items they burned (that's how to create a hole as the fabric is very thick and woven) large and long holes then decided afterwards that that wasn't really the best option so the next year they left a 4" gap between sheets and that worked great - or so I thought... 

As our ground cover arrived the day before a weeks worth of solid rain was due, we hurriedly put it down and I got the onion bulbs planted as they were 5 days behind schedule at that point... that was Wednesday, last night (Thursday) as I'm still progressing through the homies videos, they remarked that the 4" gap is not the best option but to make smaller elongated holes spaced roughly 3" apart.... aaargh. So now we'll have to take up the onion bulbs (fortunately that is all I got planted) and reset our ground cover to eliminate the gaps. 

I had been so proud of myself. 

More will be going down but we just needed to get the gap for the onions in at the time... leave it to me. I told Brad it was his fault because he always teases me for watching so many videos each day and if he hadn't I'd have seen that video and not made the mistake.... sensible, right?! LOL We are also going to churn the back left corner there in the pic to make room for a 4th sheet which the rototiller missed. 

This same ground cover will also be put down in the greenhouse before anything else goes in there. We are 'Super Excited'!!! :D

Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Cast iron, screens and garden preparations

Another day at GIRO (re-store) and another cast iron find...

Waffle Iron

I haven't cleaned it yet... just waiting to be done but its been crazy busy around here prepping the garden and the like...

While taking Robbie for a walk along the trails on this property, I found a screen door frame. Our bedroom patio door does not have a screen door and the screen door on the upstairs living area is too small.... so I wondered..... sure enough the one we have is the bedroom one and the one I found goes to the living area... screens needed replacing on both as they had ripped and were duct taped to the frame... had to get all that tape goop off the frames.

I have been saving egg shells in the freezer over winter and I ran them through the freeze dryer too then crushed them in the blender for the garden.

Peas have grown and graduated to the ground and a new pea pot was put on the windowsill. 

Bedroom screen replaced

Living area screen replaced and both fit now

I sprinkled the fire ashes I had saved, the egg shells I had saved and FD'd and also sprinkled some steer manure all over the garden (not too worried about the all over manure amount and you'll soon see why).

Brad made a post for the bird feeder to get them away from our garlic bed which is trying to peek through. Just have to keep the blackberries trimmed away from it.

Cleared a large area which was buried with the remnant garbage bits of roof etc. from the build of this house some 15 years ago... that was a lot of work but done now and the base is in place. Went to Home depot yesterday and picked up the rest of the build supplies for a greenhouse... as our main living area is being overrun with starter plants.

The almond tree in the front yard is blossoming. Which means the orchard won't be far behind. The grapes on the front of the house are budding too.... what a fabulous spot we have been blessed with.


Saturday, 6 March 2021

The last 10 days, or so.

GIRO (the local re-store) is open every Wednesday and Saturday here on our little island. Anything that someone no longer needs but is still potentially useful to someone goes to GIRO. They then open this little (not that little, I suppose) store where others can peruse, buy someone else's junk and take home a new treasure.

I like to go to both openings each week. So far Stacey has been joining me but she has a hard time not buying cool stuff she finds so I'm not sure how much longer that will hold but so far, she comes with me. Today is another Giro day.... but in the meantime, I thought I'd catch you up on the last 10 days or so...
Cast Iron Griddle I found for around $5. I think that's 3 so far.

It was in really bad shape, especially the bottom edge - just coated in rust. So I cleaned it all up and re-seasoned it and voila, another for my collection... I have decided to collect ALL things cast iron. Kitchen stuff, garden stuff, house stuff.... anything cast iron - especially unusual stuff, because I love unique things. 
The back side was really bad but cleaned up great.

Not my picture but it was hanging at the blood clinic when I went for my last vampire session and I found it captivating. It is a local protected tree, very old.

My peas are coming along.... This was about a week ago...

Barely reaching the trellis

I have since propped these up with cut up TP rolls to help support them off the dirt. Working good.

Another round of Broccoli Sprouts started

I also sprouted some chickpeas

Again, at GIRO Stacey called my attention to this cupboard.

It will work great for storing planting stuff and using as a potting bench.

Brad put his hat on my head and snapped this pic... like I don't look bad enough!

Another pic of our view

We went for a walk to the Malaspina Galleries and this is the view from there

It's a beautiful area

My two best guys
We were having trouble charging the iPhone 6S so I ordered an upgrade from Bell.

The garden taken with the iPhone 6S

The garden taken with the iPhone 12 Mini

If you remember several months ago we purchased a generator because Stacey said the power goes out a lot on this island.... well, it finally did. Actually, I think its the 2nd time since we moved here (at least for any significant amount of time, usually just off and then on if anything)

WoodStove Cooking 101

One thing we know how to do is cook on a woodstove. Having lived in Hell for 8 long grueling years.... anyway... I digress.

So yesterday, the power went out at 2pm ish.... and didn't return until 8pm ish... so we occupied ourselves talking and playing a cribbage tournament (I won, of course)... Haha, Brad usually wins but seems he was off his game yesterday. That cast iron came in handy. We only ran the Generator to boil the kettle though.

Peas this morning

Brussels and Green Onions


Beets and Kale

Peas and Leaks

Lettuce and a couple of grapefruit seeds I don't expect anything from but.... 

Broccoli Sprouts this am