Monday, 31 May 2021

Canopy Kerfuffle in the rain

My market canopy arrived on Friday, the weights are expected today. I was able to use the canopy for the markets this weekend with no wind but on Sunday one of the clips that hold the roof up broke off inside the leg. The canopy still worked fine and collapsed fine but in a wind.... I don't know how this lack of support on 1 corner will affect it so I put in for a replacement which should arrive in about 10 days. I will then send the old one back. Thank you Amazon.

New market canopy

Sunday morning sunrise

After seeing the red sky in the morning I checked the weather.... nothing, cloudy but warm and dry. This was 5:30am. By 8:30 it was raining and stayed that way until 12:30pm. On the weather channel they have a little advert that says "We don't do surprise showers".... I guess not when you change the forecast every 15 minutes that gives you a lot of flexibility. 

Personally, I don't check the weather every 15 minutes. I'm of the old school opinion that if you say its a lovely day at 5:30am that shouldn't change by 5:45am. Thankfully, I wasn't getting married that day -- but someone was! This weather BS is just that: BS and it is my pet peeve. Is that stupid? Yes. But these people are supposed to be educated, and they are paid to know this stuff and let us know so we can make informed decisions about what to wear, whether to have our wedding indoors.... 

My advise: Watch the deciduous (leafy) trees. If you can see the shimmer of the underside of the leaf -- it's going to rain!  Trees turn their leaves so that the rain runs off making the trees much better at forecasting, they are right 100% of the time. And they give you more than 15 minutes notice.


Friday, 28 May 2021

Fine hair info update

 You'll recall on April 26th I wrote a post about making shampoo and conditioner..... you can find it here.


I had added it to our already in use store bought bottle for pumping purposes so it took a few days to come through, like 3.... I noticed the difference right away, my hair felt thicker while washing it the 2nd day. I know that sounds unreasonable but I had actually forgotten about the stuff I'd made and when I realized something felt different I remembered my stuff was in the bottle. 

Same with the leave-in conditioner. My hair looks and feels amazing and actually stays that way most of the day if I don't put it in a ponytail or bun. For 50 years it would look like this for 30-60 min and then turn mousy brown and lay flat on my head, I hated my hair. 

So, if you have fine hair -- or even if you don't, I highly recommend making your own shampoo and conditioners. The recipes are in this post . For example: leave in conditioner is just water with small amounts of coconut milk and fractionated coconut oil - in a blender. Could not be simpler, or cheaper.

Thursday, 27 May 2021

A few more things from the garden

Trying to stay on top of the garden harvesting while maintaining product for the weekend market...

Love these baskets!! So Red Riding Hood

Radish from the greenhouse

Beet greens

Green Onions from the side of the house

You may recall that I had a few extra of each bulb after the first onion planting so I put them just off the deck on the side of the house close to a part of the side garden which won't grow anything... voila! 

 I ran out of Pickled Beets (among others) at the market and when refilling my market container I realized I'm almost out completely... so I contacted the woman who made them last year... she won't be doing them again this year.....

So rather than sod about - I am switching them out. I have Rhubarb in Betty as I type and expect that to finish in the next hour or so as well as a batch of sliced Oranges waiting to go in this am because I also want to replace the Tomatoes w/ Italian Seasoning as they don't sell very well. 

Monday, 24 May 2021

South End Market


Well, Sunday was the south end farmer's market and yep, I should have paid the summer down there. Fortunately, I still have that option so will be doing that this week to secure my spot. What a spot!!

Great backdrop for my stand
Although the wind could be an issue because of their light weight, all my items are clipped to the display so it's a fabulous spot.

View of part of the harbour

Captive Audience

With very few food venders there is no competition for my items. There is a mega food truck, a Pad Thai guy who's lineup runs right in front of mine and my baker neighbours stands giving us a captive audience. We took full advantage of it by offering them samples while they waited.

Having no tent for this market, I was relieved that it was overcast. The temperature was around 20C with only a light breeze, if any, making for a perfect weather day.

I had a phenomenal weekend and earned the amount of both market stalls for the summer in just one weekend. Ran out of several items and spent the early evening last night prepping trays to feed Betty so I can stock back up. Word is that this weekend, being the opening weekend, was quite slow compared to 'normal'. Once people get word that its open, they expect it will pick up significantly. 

My new baker friend and stand neighbour works full-time, from home at least, but full-time and is now worried that he won't be able to keep up. I'm also concerned that it will become a 'job' for me. 

At least in the short term, I will need to get well ahead of the stock so that when the garden is ready for Betty, I do not need to run stock through her. This will be a fine balancing act.

Food venders at this south market include a Food Truck, the Pad Thai, a Baker, my snack foods and a Spice/Jam guy on the other side of me... perfect. 

Sunday, 23 May 2021

Great day at the local market's first day

I had a great day at the market yesterday, the island's north end farmer's market runs from 10-2 on Saturdays with most of the custom done in the first 2 hours. Throughout the 4 hours I sold 20 items and actually had to have Brad bring me more stock. For reference that means I earned over half the price of the stall spot for the entire summer in 1 day, so I am thrilled with that.

Freeze Dried Foodie stand

If you recall during the winter I was doing the pop up market on the corner by the local grocers. The woman who runs the island's south end market approached me to go there today (its only Sundays). Drop ins are $20 but the south market is much more vibrant than the north... The north is very quiet while the south has music playing, a food truck and a much more vibrant vibe. I will see how today goes and I may pay for the summer down there also. 

I do have to be careful though because I don't want this to become overwhelming. As it is I only have 2 liver (dog treats) left so I'll be spending the week doing up more liver, strawberry and banana and I haven't done the south end yet. I don't want to over burden myself and/or make this a fulltime job.

In any event, I'm very pleased with how the north end market went for a first time showing. I had a few 'regular' customers from the local online market pop by which was nice and I suspect more of them will be in the south end too.

Stacey came by and sat with me yesterday for a couple of hours, bless her pointy little head (its not really pointy - for the record) and that helped ease the nerves and helped pass the time for sure. She may come today also but I suspect she'll be worn out since she biked up to the market yesterday.

I have not purchased a canopy yet, I wanted to see if people would buy the stuff first, so one of the guys brought me a spare which was much appreciated. Highly doubt I shall be so lucky at today's market so my cutie patutie hat will have to do. I'll pack an umbrella too - just in case that'll help somehow.

Saturday, 22 May 2021

Ruxton Island

With the sun shining and clear blue skies we headed off with a friend to Ruxton Island. Gorgeous views from a lovely little island with some interesting properties, everything from shacks to large gorgeous off-grid homes. There are approximately 9 full-time residents on the island with the usual Gulf Island influx in the summer.

Boat landing area

A mooring bay

Cute lot entrance on this one

Fire provisions spotted all around the island with well water pumps

It was a gorgeous day and we had a great time hiking around the perimeter of this cute island. Very rocky terrain and steep hills make for a good workout but the entire trail only takes about 30 minutes. Its a small island.

Friday, 21 May 2021

Ready for the market

With the market beginning tomorrow, I had to get a few last minute details sorted. My handwriting is atrocious so Stacey gave me some stickers she had kicking about and I managed to get the display labels on.

Display finished

I didn't have anything to put on the bottom right shelf so I decided to do flowers. Hadn't done any flowers (other than herbs/weeds), so it was a bit of an experiment too. For the most part it worked great but the petals expanded - turns out they are hollow, bet you didn't know that!! The larger petal flowers actually did terrible though. If I had laid them flattened to have the flower facing forward (I didn't put any thought into this) it would have worked great but I just put them down and that's how they came out which doesn't work for my display purpose.



If you've been following us for awhile you know that we tend to do some 'interesting' stuff. We tried to do something yesterday but our friends boat had engine trouble so we had to turn back. He has since repaired it and we will try again today, so stay tuned for yet another adventure possibility.

Gorgeous day for a boat ride

Eye strain

I have strained my right eye 2 days in a row so Brad went to the pharmacy and picked me up an eye patch to help keep it closed so it can rest. I realized this morning as I sat down here to do my morning computer ritual that the early morning sun comes in the window right on that eye and I have to EVENTUALLY pull the curtain across. This morning I pulled the curtain before sitting down so we'll see if that helps.

There was a rock pile here when we moved in. We don't know if its a dog's grave or just a pile of rocks but we prettied it up regardless.

Lemon Grass hasn't grown much but its in good shape

In the greenhouse

Extra plants growing in the greenhouse and my pea hangers are developing nicely, I should be able to hang them out any day now.

Stevia, Leeks and Carrots growing on the ground there

4 Popcorn and 17 Corn cracked so far

Today we hope to have that adventure we attempted yesterday.


Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Water works

Since we were going to Nanaimo anyway, even though we were expecting our water card to come via Canada Post - just in case they sent something by email and we could load up, plus we needed to organize the hose situation and having the buckets would be helpful for sizing appropriately, etc. 

Just as well as it turns out, while Brad was in getting the hose sorted I was looking for the locations of the water filling stations and discovered that, in fact, you are supposed to pick up the cards from the office. Duh. Since we were around the corner, we popped by and sure enough got the card. 

However, the software to install $$$ onto the card only operates on FireFox, and when trying to install FireFox on the iPad I learned that it also only operates on iOS 11.5 or higher.... I hate that! Anyway, I installed it on the iPhone and managed to load the $$$ onto the card - even though the screen was super enlarged (desktop size) and I was on my iPhone, the very left side of the spots to enter the info were visible and so I gave it a go. It worked. 

The hose and attachments are 2 inch and so the filling of both buckets (IBC totes) took about 5 minutes total, maybe 6. Then we were off home.

We started in the garden, filling our 4 - 55 Gal barrels.

Didn't take long to load them and used about 2/3 of the first bucket


We then brought the truck around and through the front door put the remaining 1 1/3 buckets into the cistern.

I measured the cistern beforehand = 30", and again after adding the 1 1/3 buckets = 32". Pretty good I'd say as we use - on average, 2" a week.

Now, remember last fall when we bought 2 matching paddleboards? Well, I don't need 2 and Brad's injuries do not allow him to use one so when Stacey said she knew someone looking for 1 for his wife.... no problem, I sold him the larger of the 2. He was thrilled as he'd been looking at some of the same ones for $1700!!! 

The funds from the paddleboard sale covered the entire water operation. 2 IBC totes, 2 camlock hoses (total 50 ft) and $50 on the prepaid water card.

The charge for water is $16 per 1000 US Gallons. Our 2 totes hold roughly 500 US Gallons total, so about $8 per load. 

Now while I think it's absolutely ridiculous and insulting to make people pay for water which is a requirement of life -- given that they do make people pay for it, this is a good system for us.

We will continue our usual water conservation but as its been a dry spring so far, we wanted to ensure we have what we need - or can get it.

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Farmer's Market Prep

Hard to see with the tree shade that time of day but the garden is growing nicely.

So you don't think we've got this down to a science, we did discover some leaf rot on the basil. A bit of bleach and pull the affected leaves Google tells me, so I did. Remember, this is only the 2nd garden we've ever had. Last year was a first so we will definitely be learning for many years to come.

Market Stand

In preparation for the Farmer's Market starting this coming Saturday, I'm getting things sorted and making sure stuff works the way I need it to. Just as well as I have to pick up some baskets from the dollar store on Monday to hold some of the items in the center racks and a couple of other things. This is not finished but you get the idea.

We will have a strip of  plywood painted black to put on the ground under this so if it rains it doesn't splash dirt up on the items. I had planned to build a coffee sized table but we'll see how we make out with this first. Although, I believe I will buy a table from a guy in Nanaimo for $20 to keep the admin and payment stuff on, and also to tie my banner to.

Green Onions

Went to the garden yesterday and found that the green onions were about to flower! So fast, I wasn't expecting that at all. A quick Google tells me they are 'cooked' so I pulled them and prepped them for Betty. Picked a bit more spinach too.

Saturday, 15 May 2021

A slightly bigger harvest


Romaine (eaten with dinner already)


Beet Greens

I also picked some lemon balm and mint all of which will be going to Betty this am.

Visiting with Stacey down at the waterfront and this guy drove right between us and the island, very close to shore. Tells of a very steep drop down there.


Friday, 14 May 2021

Bayfield Bunch Triangles

Al at The Bayfield Bunch discovered an anomaly in the Pacific ocean... here is a screen shot of what he found.

Just SE of Port Hueneme, California on Google Maps
34°001'10.47N 119°02'04.07W


Thursday, 13 May 2021

Still puttering

The 2 large Tomatoe planters I made had to be moved from the greenhouse to the deck so I got that done and set beside the chaise lounge between the HorseRadish pots.

HorseRadish and Tomatoes

If you recall I had a plant growing in here that didn't look like the other horseradish planter sprouts, turns out its the same thing... horseradish. Whew.


Our Strawberries from last year were just left on the deck as is all winter and they are thriving again this year. I didn't know that would happen, I must admit.

Potatoes had to be unrolled and reloaded with more soil for more potatoes to grow.

My Daisy plant that Brad gave me on Mother's Day was put into a bigger pot and set on the deck too. Hopefully it will last longer this way, as its so bright and cheery.

Previous Romaine planting in these pots did not germinate so I tried it again, we'll see. 
I did put the previous seed packet seeds into water and they all floated (sure sign they're dead), so I used a different package this time....

These 3 trays are for Broccoli microgreens which we did indoors in early spring and we really loved them, nice mild nut flavour so I have 3 trays and I planted one, will plant them every week in rotation.

Also moved 2 Lemon Balm plants outside beside the microgreens.

Eurasian Collard-Dove?

 I did a bunch of stuff in the greenhouse too but didn't get pics so you have that to look forward to LOL

I haven't checked the weather yet but the sun is out and its a blue sky so the day looks promising.

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Water and Corn

I mentioned in a previous post that its been a very dry spring here. With our cistern getting uncomfortably low even with all of our water conservation efforts, we decided to be proactive and take measures to ensure we can meet our needs. 

There is a place in Nanaimo where you can purchase water for something like $16 for 1000 gallons, there is an application process for that and we have applied and should hear sometime this week. Regardless, we hope to be able to find purchasable water somewhere but either way, you need something to put it in.

On Facebook Marketplace we found some water totes. They were previously used for simple syrup (sugar water used in things like Tim Horton's Ice Caps and other cold drinks, so they are food grade and many many people use them for water, especially gardens but even to store for their own home use. 

We arranged to buy one and then decided enroute that 2 would be simpler as we could reload quicker and then just pump one from the truck to one in the garden. They have an intake on the top and a spigot on the bottom so they are perfect for this application.

2 water totes for water storage (naturally, as I type this it is raining...)

Our corn has been put in finally. These are sweet corn, the POPcorn is still sprouting in the greenhouse.

Our landlord put his corn in just a few feet from ours. 

It will be interesting to see the difference as the summer progresses between ground cover with soaker hose and 'free range' corn.