Friday, 30 April 2021

Transplanting slug damaged plants

Sorry for the dark pictures but we spent all day planting more stuff in the garden and by the time I thought to take a picture.... it was dusk.

We put in all the beans: green, black and kidney. Transplanted some parsley the slugs had dined on. Our lone peanut plant survivor was transplanted to the garden. Transplanted some of the Kale (most actually) some transplants were older and some were still quite small but... I'm hoping under the row cover they will thrive so planted them anyway - if they don't make it I shall have to buy some as I'm out of Kale transplants now. Transplanted a bunch of leek too.

We are hoping that the row cover will continue to help everything thrive underneath. We had them open all day yesterday while we were working out there but for the most part I think we'll keep them covered until they are strong enough to withstand a nip and tuck here and there from the slugs.

The garden as seen from our top deck
Left side cover is the bean section

The orchard, mostly in bloom - bad lighting, I'll try again but its cloudy and raining today.

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Well the row cover works

If you read yesterdays post you'll know that we added row covers to our garden on Tuesday to keep the birds and slugs from continuing to eat it. Well, we went down to check the garden yesterday morning and low and behold -- it worked! The garden leafy stuff is still intact and I've no doubt will now thrive under these covers until they are large enough that the slugs won't kill them off.

We found something crawling across this left side path though

So we watched him until he got to the edge 

He couldn't get underneath but could clearly smell breakfast, so he began to climb


Until he was standing straight up

and he was off.... had a bit of trouble under the trellis...

...but he continued anyway

Going over the top of the metal at one point

He made it to the top 

We were getting bored of watching so he was put in the blackberry bushes where there is plenty for him to eat. We really just wanted to know that it worked, that he couldn't find a way in. 


Wednesday, 28 April 2021

FoodSaver, 1st Harvest, Row Covers and Thyroid

 I'm sure I mentioned ages ago that my FoodSaver broke. I contacted the company because the little pokey bit on the accessory broke off in my jar sealer so I haven't been able to run Betty (FD) much the last 2 months waiting for a replacement. I cannot reseal the Oxygen Absorbers without the vacuum of the machine or seal jars without the attachment. So I have only been running foraging items like Daisies, Sisal, Blackberry leaves, etc. 

Although I had provided my address, somehow it was shipped to the correct address and postal code but in a different community... I dunno man, I just work here! Anyway, I advised them right away but they didn't bother to notify the shipper I guess and I then received a notice that it was delivered - but I didn't get it. I notified FoodSaver again that I hadn't received it - this was Thursday I think. FoodSaver then sent me an email that they had arranged to send me another.

Yesterday, I checked the mail just because I was passing by and there was a parcel notice. Sure enough... So I emailed my guy at FoodSaver to advise that the original was received and he could cancel the 2nd replacement.

New FoodSaver FM5200

This morning I received an email that the 2nd replacement has shipped.... eyeroll. 

1st harvest from the Greenhouse. Radish. 
It's not much, I get it but its exciting because I grew this baby from seed.

Slugs ate my radishes in the garden. This means WAR! Time for some row covers (crop covers). I realize this makes our already Martian garden look all the more sci-fi but if it works..... (our landlord said our garden looked like it was on Mars weeks ago). Yes, sun and rain go through the cover and it essentially acts like a greenhouse effect.

The row covers 'should' keep the birds AND slugs off

We just remove the logs and roll the cover to one side

Half moon version. Up the side and the trellis' and over the plants on that side.

So I went for bloodwork yesterday.

I recently wrote a post about my thyroid and sandy water, if you haven't read that I recommend it for info purposes should it potentially relate to you...

As you know my thyroid conked out a year ago (literally last April) and they have been trying to sort out my synthroid medication since.... He cut my dose significantly (60%) last time as my TSH has been constantly below 0.01 and he needed to bring it up. Well I have access to my lab results (I speak to Dr on May 3 (Monday), he brought it up alright - My TSH should be between 0.32-5.04, yesterdays bloodwork came in at 0.01 (so up from below 0.01). Seems like maybe, just maybe my thyroid HAS fixed itself. I can't even believe these results I thought this number would have been much higher honestly.

Now normally I wouldn't have this information but I do, so now I must decide do I cut these pills in half for the next week or continue as is until I talk to said Dr... being too low is not healthy or I wouldn't even consider it, however I've been this low this long so another week shouldn't be a deal breaker.... I will have to discuss this with Brad.

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

A day on the water

 While waiting for the ferry to Nanaimo for Brad's massage, Stacey asked us if we'd like to go with them while they traversed their sailboat from the marina on the south end of the island to their mooring ball on the north end. 

Yup..... obviously.... Yup. 

They kindly waited for us to return from the massage.

Note the rogue log we had to dodge while leaving the marina

Me being cute, as always.... :D

Entrance Island

Entrance Island

Tug hauling from Nanaimo to Vancouver

Bad sun angle but that green roof in the hill is the cottage on our property

... and our house, though hard to see is through the trees

After dropping us on shore, Stacey goes back for Jon

Jon and Stacey return to shore and we drove them back to the marina for their vehicles.

Monday, 26 April 2021

Growth, Shampoo and Leave-in Conditioner

I had a good look around the greenhouse and deck on Sunday to see how my starts are doing. I'm still waiting for decent overnight temperatures and we're going through a cold spell currently so they are getting nice and big in the greenhouse which is fine because it will give them a fighting chance against the enemies of the garden...



I put this tomatoe in a hanging basket but naturally its the wrong type of tomatoe for that, blonde moment. I will pick up 2 cherry tomatoe plants somewhere for these... I have another planter somewhere...

Brad created his own hanging baskets for the first time this year (we kept the baskets from last year)

A couple of radishes are almost ready to harvest, I'm told when the crown is 1 inch...

Greenhouse planter box. I recently added 2 Brussel Sprouts

Potatoes are coming

Strawberry plants have recovered from the winter, I pruned them and they are looking good for another round of giving us goodness.


Not sure if I mentioned it but someone was selling horseradish on FB and so I ordered a couple... and planted them. They are one of those 'can't get rid of'' plants so I put them into 2 large pots on the deck.

Shampoo and Leave-In Conditioner

Again, super simple: In blender... 
Shampoo =     1/2C Coconut Milk, 1/2C Castile Soap, 1 tsp Oil (I used Olive), 1 tsp Honey, 1 tsp Vegetable Glycerine, 10 drops Vitamin E Oil, 15 drops of any Essential Oil

Leave-In Conditioner= 1/4C Filtered Water (any type, I used our Berkey water), 1 tbsp Coconut Milk (yep from a can), 1/4 tsp Fractionated Coconut Oil (health food store)

I doubled the recipe and the picture shows what I made in jars, I have since put them into previously emptied pump bottles that I saved, as shown above.

Protective bird netting appears to be working, no further damage after a few days. Seems to be working for the slugs as well.

Remember that 67mm of rain we were getting by Wednesday?
We got 2.6mm and no more rain today or tomorrow... so they were close LOLOL
More about this later, but 25mm equals 1 inch of rain.

Sunday, 25 April 2021

Meant to be a rainy day.... not so much.

As it was meant to be a rainy day yesterday I decided to do some stuff around the house. I've had 12 lbs of butter taking up valuable real estate in our fridge so it was a good day to deal with it... Time to clarify some butter ( also called Ghee)

Literally just put the butter in a pot on medium.

Once completely melted turn heat to medium-low and leave for ~ 10 minutes...

... until you can see clear through to the bottom when you draw back the fuzz on top (do not scrape bottom at any point in this recipe - the stuff on bottom will wipe out easily at the end)

Run through cheesecloth

Pour into 1/2 pint jars (or whatever you have). This is from 1 lb of butter. I managed to get 6 lbs done throughout the day yesterday.

I also decided to try making laundry soap. That was even easier than the butter! 

Chop 1 bar of soap into 'bite size' pieces and put in blender with 2C washing soda (health food store), then blend until completely mixed.

Put in package. Use: 2 tsp / Load
I haven't tried this yet but will wash the bedding today and let you know what we think of it tomorrow.

Next up, body wash. 

Also super easy. 1/3C Castille Soap, 1/3C Honey, 1/3C Oil (Olive, Almond or fractionated Coconut) and ~ 30 drops of any essential oil you like. Brad likes peppermint, so I went with that this time. I did lavender last time - too much lavender, so its a tad too girly, I think...

At that point (Noon) it still wasn't raining, so.... I grabbed my handy basket carrier guy and off we went foraging in the woods of our property.

Sisal, Dandelion heads, Plantain and Gypsy flower

Also grabbed a separate basket of Bracken fiddleheads.

I know what I said the other day... but its there and it IS edible so we got some more. I'm just trying to get these plants set into my brain so I can learn them and gathering them will help me remember what is edible and what is not. (Remember I had a stroke at 32 (gheeze 20 years ago already!) and my memory leaves a lot to be desired.

I also found - though not in season yet: 
Cascade Barberry
Cherry Plum
Red Huckleberry
Bigleaf Maple (for honey)
Red Elderberry
Pink Honeysuckle
Pacific Blacksnakeroot

Brad made lasagna for supper.... many suppers...

We gave some to neighbours and still have 15 left... 

While I absolutely hate the mess he makes doing this, I do like having them handy since we can cook them from frozen... considering how often I forget to take something out.... Oh snap... better do that now for tonight's supper!

For the record, we had a heavy mist about 10pm last night and it clearly rained a tad overnight but I can't see inside my catchment bucket outside until I'm beautified and out there. According to 'those who have no clue' we got 0.4mm (0.015 in) yesterday and 1.6mm (0.06 in) today so far....