Thursday, August 7, 2014


-- chatter -- 

Can you believe we are already into August and are heading to mid-august next week? ugh. Time is flying by - and so are the lists of to-do's. We've done a lot of little things around the property the last few weeks including washing the Jeep and little camping trailer, installing proper underground drainage diversion in preparation for the eves troughs and rain barrel run-off, and put in a walkway leading to the area under the deck. Dave took the time to sharpen some tools and the lawn mower blade as well. Coming up over the next weekend or two we are going to touch up some paint on the Jeep where rocks have chipped small bits away, and touch up the basement walls in a couple spots where the yellow paint got marred. I'm hoping Dave will have the time to do the annual maintenance on our laundry machines as well. And then we get to prep for the storage area we are building under the deck, hopefully starting the construction of that project by mid-august. Whew!

The garden is doing wonderfully well - with a second harvest expected from the new rash of raspberry flowers, new potatoes to be harvested and garlic curing. We continue to harvest beans, chard, summer squash, tomatillos and herbs every 2nd or 3rd day... and a few cucumbers are contributing to sandwiches as well.  The tomatoes are heavy with fruit but aren't quite ripening yet. I've been blanching and freezing batches of beans and chard for the winter every week, and of course sharing our extra's with friends, family and neighbors.

One of our neighbors has a hazelnut tree and because they harvest so much they gladly share with us. I'm so grateful! Last fall/winter I used them ground in breads and muffins, chopped in cookies, bars and brownies - and just recently tried roasting some whole as a snack. Ground hazelnuts, filberts or walnuts (we have other friends with a walnut tree, lucky us!) also go very nicely in toppings on fruit crisps. 

We planted watermelon in the 2nd compost bin; acorn squash in the 3rd... but left the 1st compost bin open for contributions as I'm constantly building soil with every scrap of organic materials layered with dirt and sod from various projects we keep doing around the house. As soon as the season is over though I've plans to use the 3rd compost bin contents (the most broken down of the 3 bins) for extending one of the landscape beds, and to help top off any open garden beds.

Tomorrow I have to get out to the garden and plant some fall crops like beets, carrots, etc. in the sections where the garlic was removed, and after harvesting the new potatoes - that area will have to be amended and prepped for planting the garlic in.

The trees, flowers and shrubs we planted this spring in the new landscape beds are doing well - I am amazed at how much they've grown in just one season. Some have doubled in size, while others have grown a few inches. I'm looking forward to seeing what next year will bring from those beds.

I'm so glad we took a break from the business, writing, the radio show... as I've been working really hard every day doing these other projects. Still, I am anxious to get back to the manuscript I set aside this spring when we had the computer problems. We lost a lot of data because of that and I couldn't face it, but I am feeling ready now.

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