Posts tagged ‘Alaska’

Blueberries!

First berry picking trip yesterday evening! Yay!

A good hike too! Got about 16 oz. for an hours worth of picking. If you haven’t wildcrafted berries before, it not quite as easy as one would think. *Hunting* out a good patch is most of the challenge then were the weather conditions, etc. just right, has someone else been there before you… 😉 Wild harvesting is work! But worth it. Will go further up the mtn. next time to try to get into them thicker.

All in all a good first trip though! 🙂

Garden Update

Ok, three days later I brave the spiders for the first official picking of raspberries! A full 1 cup measure…8 oz. Not much…but there are a bunch more still ripening! 🙂

Dug up the second of our four potato plants…the leaves on this one had all wilted and turned yellow too. Approx. the same amount of potatoes and sizes as the last one.

The pea plant leaves have begun to turn also. I found only two more pea pods…so I guess they are done. Disappointing. A handful more plants than last year but not much more “fruit” to speak of. Hmm.

Berry season is upon us. Planning to go up the mountain tomorrow afternoon/evening – hopefully.

Happy Gardening…while it lasts! 😉

Garden Update +

I found the first ripe raspberry last night! Mmmm, was it good! 🙂 Gave baby his first taste ever! He thought it quite sour…oh, the puckered lips!…but he asked for more. 😉

I didn’t venture too far into the patch as two rather large webs caught my eye… I’m arachniphobic. Seriously dislike spiders. With our recent warm summers (anyone catch the PBS show on the warming trend in AK?) and looong daylight hours, we are starting to grow mongo bugs around here. (You should have seen the catapillar dd2 came home with the other day! It was at least 3 inches long and as big around as my middle finger! It escaped before we could take it’s pic or I’d show you. 😉 ) Last year, I found a *huge* spider in the patch and that’s part of the reason I didn’t pick as much (along with it being terribly over grown and not producing well, etc). Well, I’ve let it get over grown again but this time I had done some heavy pruning in the Spring so from where I was standing it looks like the patch has done well this year despite the jungle it became. I caught sight of the spider that made them…it’s big too and the same kind that freaked me out a few days ago above our deck.

I went out late one evening to put the chickies in their carrier for the night and happened to catch a glimpse of a blob above my head off to the right. I had been knocking down webs every morning attached to the railing or the clothesline but hadn’t seen the culprit yet. Ugh!!! Was it gross! I changed my mind about the chickens and came in exclaiming to the family and everyone had to rush and see except dh…he :rolleye: his eyes (figuratively)…until the children told him how big it was. Then, after he saw it it was deemed worthy enough to have it’s pic taken! LOL

Anyway, that was the first. A couple days later, the same kind and almost as big was found in one of the playhouses. Oldest dd tried knocking it down to step on it but lost it in the grass. Last night, a third was found above the front porch and then I found a fourth in the patch. This morning I found a fifth in the other playhouse. I think they are surrounding us for an attack!!! (Actually, dh teased me that the one above the deck was trying to catch me since I inevidibly caught part of the web in my hair every morning… :-P)

So this morning, I put the chickies in the playhouse the children refused to play in as I wanted to move the other to a new place. Discovered both spiders and decided to give the chickies a snack. (evil grin) So, I took the hose and knocked down the spider in the empty playhouse and then grabbed the largest pullet and set her in there close to it…she spied it and gobbled it lickety split.

Chickens 1 Spiders 0

Yay!

Took her back to the other playhouse, knocked that spider down with the rake but that one laid still and didn’t catch the attention of the chickies. So, I pushed back the grass and wiggled the stick I was using a tad and the chickies came to investigate. The Silver Laced caught it but was slow to gobble so the pullet I used previously snatched it out of her mouth and dropped it in the feed dish to be sure it was ediable and then yum-yum! (another evil grin) So, the score should now be:

Miriam (name of that chickie ;-)) 2 Spiders 0

We are now devising ways to catch the other spiders and get them into the feed dish. >:-) So far there are no volunteers to do the actual deed but there sure is a lot of nominating going on! 😉

Back to actual gardening news…

I picked the first two zucs yesterday. Yum-Yum! Sauted one with some of the fresh bushbeans and some garlic cloves in butter with a dash of salt and pepper. The children were standing around begging for some out of the pan like it was candy! 🙂

Gardening will be wrapping up here soon. The weather has been rainy and the temps have turned cooler. We’ve been seeing yellow leaves drop occasionally and there is a tree out back of our property that has several now. I think they mostly started turning because of the heat and lack of rain we were having…but now… The Fireweed is just about done blooming and the grasses have their seed heads.

Blueberries should be ready soon considering the above…

Happy Gardening…and Harvesting…until next time!

Garden Update

Sunday and yesterday we picked our first and second turnips respectively. Mmmm, they were good! Ate both raw (sliced) and the greens for lunch and dinner on both days.

A tiny cauliflower was noticed on Sun. About the size of the tip of pinky then. About the size of a quarter now.

Tomatoes are blooming like crazy!

*Lots* of pea pods noticed (but not counted) of various sizes.

Still getting squash blossoms and there are a handful of little squash appearing so far.

The few radishes that are left will be ready to pick in a couple of days.

Cute little skinny bush beans are appearing.

Some of the hollyhocks are getting big…about 6 inches now.

Potatoes seem to be hanging in there…some of the other leaves are beginning to look yellowish though…hmmm.

The one older lettuce plant is doing well and we used a few leaves Sun. for our sandwiches. The other two are coming along sloooowly…

Mint is doing great as are the raspberries. New garlic is too.

Geraniums finally blooming! 🙂

“Corn is as high as an elephants eye!” (from the muscial Oklahoma…correct?! momentary loss of memory…but I can hear the song in my head! 😉 ) Ok, not really but it’s big for one who hasn’t grown it before…especially for being in pots I think. Don’t know where this is going but enjoying the journey! 🙂

All I can think of or have time for at the moment…

Happy Gardening ’til next time! 🙂

Garden Update

Three of the tomato plants had a blossom open and a fourth one is today. Yay! We’ll get *something* off of them even if it is green I guess…

All of the squash plants have blossoms now and there are two or three little squash so far.

I started a bulb of garlic that was sprouting in a paper bag in the fridge. It grew roots nicely so I’m putting it in one of the garden boxes this afternoon. I think I’ll have to commit one of them to being for herbs…

One of the turnips is a nice size now. I’m not sure whether to pick it now or wait to see how big it can actually get. Mmmm! It’s so tempting to pick it now…

The peas are all blossoming nicely too. I found one tiny pod started. Lots more soon to follow!

The cauliflower…hmmm. It sure looks healthy although it’s still on the smallish side. I wonder if we’ll have time to get heads on them…

The corn sure is getting big. Never having grown it before, I’m wondering how tall it will actually get and when it’s supposed to have “something” resembling “fruit” on it. It’s still in large pots but it seems to like where it is because it looks great. It’s a fun experiment!

Lots of hard little raspberries forming nicely in the bramble!

Life is good in the garden! 🙂

Garden Update

The garden is doing well as are the other plants around the property. The raspberry bramble is definitely a *bramble*!! I got in there a little ways yesterday and was so very pleased to see large berries forming! Yay! I didn’t want to push my way in too much and break branches… Good excuse for not weeding it huh?! 😉 I do want to develop it into an English garden type area. As I’ve said, dh made paths through there and laid down rock and made a log/twig bench into one of the banks when he was planting the canes for me and transplanted one of the lilacs there… But, time…always a lack of it. Maybe next year…again…. I can’t wait to pick those berries though – Yum-Yum! 🙂

Still waiting for those tomato buds to open. Man, I think we are running out of time on those. I’m already noticing a slight decrease in our daylight (sun is setting around 11:30pm as opposed to 1am now 😉 ) and am getting that desperate “quick! enjoy the rest of summer before it’s too late!!” feeling. Ugh. Winters are tooooo long here.

Picked some more rhubarb today. The leaves on some of the stalks are *huge*! I’ve seen huge rhubarb before but easily and continuly amazed I guess. 😉 I’m estimating another 2 gallons as I haven’t quite cleaned and chopped it up yet.

I planted two more itty bitty lettuce plants in the garden boxes and two more (yes, just two 😉 ) radishes…they were “left overs” that I just couldn’t kill. They finally got big enough to do something with.

The lilac blossoms are all just about passed. They were so nice this year…I hate to see them end.

The Fireweed (abundant wildflower that grows here) is blooming like crazy now. So pretty out in the yard and I don’t have to tend it! The Master Gardener does that for us! 😉 It means that summer is winding down (sigh, another indicator 😛 ) though and when the buds at the top finally open it means we have 6 (?) more weeks ’til winter…so the “old wives tale” goes. Or, would that be the “Old Sourdough’s tale”?! 😉 LOL Which ever, it’s true for the most part anyway. It doesn’t seem long after the Fireweed is done blooming that the cool days/frosty mornings are upon us. Waaa! I need to get outside and enjoy this pleasant warm evening instead of thinking on this… Bye! 🙂

Happy Gardening ’til next time!

Garden Update

Everything is growing really well! We’ve had some cool weather lately so it’s slowed some things down, like the tomatoes and maybe the corn, but everything else is getting really big! I’ve only had to weed once and it took me about two minutes! LOL Love having garden *boxes*! 🙂

Last Sunday, I dug up potatoes in one of the individual boxes. One of the branches on the plant was completely yellow and wilted. I wasn’t sure if the plants had a definite life-span so I just dig them rather than risk losing them. I wish I had waited…there were about a dozen small potatoes growing nicely and a bunch of teeny tiny ones that would have all been sooo much bigger come September…but oh well. The plant still had a branch that was looking ok – just fine so it probably would have continued supplying those growing potatoes well. This was an experiment with these boxes anyway so I don’t feel *too* bad…

The lilac in the back yard bloomed wonderfully a few days after the one in the front yard and even more pleasing – it’s fragrant too! Last year, for some reason there weren’t many blooms and I didn’t really think they smelled. This year tons of blooms and the smell was heavenly! Yay!

Speaking of blossoms, our first zucchini blossom opened up yesterday and the second did this morning. The bush beans also have several blossoms that will probably open today…they looked like they were just beginning to last night. The peas don’t have any yet… The tomatoes have some but it will be another handful of days or so before they will be opening I think. My geraniums haven’t bloomed yet either. One took a hit and lost a major branch which I rooted and planted. Both are doing well but I didn’t expect that they would bloom this year. The other one though…looks great but hasn’t yet either. I think I’ll give it some Miracle Grow…that should help…the soils probably pretty worn out in that pot.

The turnip leaves are huge! The actual turnips are coming along nicely too… But those leaves! Wow, I forgot how big they can get. I’m looking forward to eating those too. 🙂

The Hollyhocks are coming along slowly. They are a perenial and I’ve never grown them before (started some last year that didn’t make it) so I’m not sure how far along they are supposed to progress this year. Perhaps next year is when they really get their height, etc. I guess I’ll have to do a little reading…

I found out what that stuff was I was calling skunk cabbage. It’s a wild celery – Angelica lucida – I believe. They are edible but…bleck…I’d rather starve I think. Especially if I’m allergic! LOL Anyway, that’s the closest I’ve found in an old Wild, Edible and Poisonous Plants of Alaska booklet I have. The illustrations are black and white…sooo it kinda looks right…but I’d rather have a nice clear full color photo to look at and compare to. More research would probably turn up what I want but I haven’t had the time.

That’s about all for gardening right now. “Grow, plants, grow!”, is all that’s left to say. 😉

Happy Gardening ’til next time!

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