Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Lovely Vintage Postcard

I am currently ill with a severe cold. I will be back to posting at some point.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Big Garden Project for 2014

2013 brought the garden project of keeping honey bees, and it is successful for us. We are hoping for more honey this year! 2014 is the year of 2 new raised garden beds. The area that is getting the new beds has had 3 narrow soil beds. I have wanted to change to wood raised beds for quite awhile. We found good lumber, waiting for us, perfect for the project. 12" by 2" by 10' long. The beds will be 15' long by 3.5' wide, and 12" high.

We cut boards outside, near the garden gate. The lumber is less moving of the wood project is better.

This photo show that the lumber had to be spliced together to get the 15 foot length. One 10' board and one 5' board. The ends are 3.5 ft.

This is the first raised bed, built over a soil bed. The garden has had compost added every year, and the result is great soil. The soil mound on the left side is one of the soil beds remaining from last summer. That wonderful soil is going into the wood framework. 

Here are the 2 wood raised garden beds put together. There is about 4 feet between them for getting the wheelbarrow in there, and mowing with a lawnmower at times. On the lower right of the photo is a pile of weeds taken out of the area. There is soil between the beds that will be shoveled into the beds.

Yikes, after hours of labor, and shoveling about 20 wheelbarrow loads of soil and very well compost cow manure....the finished raised beds! Looking Good!! I am showing you my small tiller, perfect for this work. It is a Stihl brand, (because that is how I got hubby to get one...he loves Stihl products). It is easy for me to handle, and so much better than the manual way that we had used!!!!!

This is going to be such a big improvement. I like this style of gardening, the soil stays so nice...I add compost each year for the soil improvement and organic fertilizer.  My neighbors complain about the heavy clay soil here, and I just say come over and see my raised beds.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Dog Tired Today, From Garden Work

We spent the last 2 days working in the garden. The weather is pleasant 64 F, with a light breeze. Perfect day to be outdoors, and using this time to ready the garden area. There is much left to do, however, it is great to have completed a large project.

This photo shows my small garlic patch. I think that the freeze over the winter killed most of the bulbs. I inter planted with some left over garlic cloves about 2 weeks ago. I don't know what will happen when planted in the spring...I will let you know. I am guessing that the harvest will be a couple of weeks later than normal.

This shows the broccoli and cauliflower that I planted 3 weeks ago. I like these versatile cold frames. I move them around the garden to cover plantings as the season progresses.

These potatoes are the remainder from last years harvest. I dislike the wasted produce....but we usually have some.

The tractor bucket shows the extra produce that we are putting on a compost pile. That is a problem when gardening, growing the right amount of food. It is better to have extra for the winter...purchasing the food at the grocery store is pretty expensive. My produce is organic to boot.

The artichoke's plants were killed by the freezing nights, that is something that often happens up here. I haven't decided about getting new plants...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

My Trailer's Oven - The Tragedy!

Coleman Camp Oven

Well, I took Prairie Flower (my vintage trailer) to a repair shop last week. I had several small things to be done on it, and 2 major things. The oven of the vintage trailer stove would not light for, I asked them to check it out and see if it could work. The bad, sad, news is no. What to do? I could just forget about it, and go on my merry way....and I might do that! Or, look into one of these collapsible Coleman Camp Oven's. Or, just use my dutch ovens in the fire coals...and I have done that before. Or, try to locate an old stove with a working oven to replace the current one. I do like this idea best. Hum...I am just going to think about it for awhile.

The good news about the trailer is that everything else is completed. Yes!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Gift for Brother Glenn

My brother had a recent birthday, so what to do?  I just thought of a fun idea for him. He is still bedridden from the fall from the roof.  I gave him a real harmonica...not a toy!  I found 2 books for learning to play. He was pretty excited when I gave him the gift. I can imagine that he has learned some simple tunes by now. I hope that he is enjoying himself, and likes doing something new,

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Upgrading My Ukulele

I have been thinking about upgrading to a better ukulele for several months. The small independent store where I purchased a ukulele last spring has a great offer. They will give me the full purchase price of the current ukulele for an upgrade to a better ukulele. This small store provides personal service for the purchaser, they have really good ukuleles....but not a large selection. I went to another store that specializes in ukes....I was not impressed. There was a very large selection of beginner ukes, but I already had a hundred dollar uke...and wanted a better instrument. One that sounds wonderful!

The store with the trade-in policy had just the instrument that I wanted! A lovely, soprano, top of the line (but still affordable) Mahalo. It is very pretty, with abalone shell hand pieced around the edges, sound hole, and on the fret board. A nice cedar top, and beautiful mango wood sides and matched back. The sound and playability is wonderful. I love it! I think that this one will be a keeper!!! Yes.....

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring in Western Oregon

This is what early spring is doing in western Oregon. The grass is green and growing quickly, The daffodil's are finishing, and the tulips are starting. This is a Stellar Jay, native to the area. We are going to spray the fruit trees as soon as possible, early in the morning...before our bees come out in the warmth of the sun. The wild Turkeys are gobbling and are fun to see. The Hummingbirds are busy at my feeder. The Oregon Sugar Pod peas are ready to plant.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Captivator Gooseberry for the Home Garden

I am introducing Gooseberry plants to my garden. The Blueberry plants have not done well here, for 16 years I have tried so hard, and there are a few empty spots in the row. So....I recently decided to try growing Gooseberry Plants. The new March 2014 issue of Hobby Farms Home shows Currants and Gooseberry plants, and that enticed me to research this idea to see what I think about growing them here.

My research found that there are really good varieties available in the USA. They are very cold hardy. There are nearly thornless varieties, and dessert quality fruit. There are plants that are nice for the home gardener, they don't do well for commercial growers. The fruit is great fresh, but not good for stores. 

Ribes uva-crispa 'Captivator' 

Here is what the research found...The fruits of this species have a delicious flavor, so they are perfect for eating fresh, they are not available at the grocers. Great for home cultivation! Especially when you know that this particular variety has nearly thornless branches. The fruits are purple-red and comes highly recommended. Mildew resistant.

I purchased three 1 gallon plants today, for $8 each. I think that is a reasonable price. I will have to wait for fruit...they will not produce until 2015. Why? The fruit is on 1 year I will be raising these for size and health this summer. Oh well, blueberry plants are about the same.