Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Late Summer

Tomato time is nigh!  I harvested the first 4 (small) tomatoes over the weekend and they are languishing on the windowsill to finish ripening.  All over the garden, in and out of the greenhouse, green globes of future sauce are ripening in the late summer sun.

This morning I saw my breath, white and frosty when I took the dog out.  My blood ran just as cold... A hard night time frost would obliterate my tomatoes and leave me with nothing.  It happened 3 years ago and I don't want a repeat, so I'll be paying extra attention to the forecast over the coming weeks and will remember to factor in the "rural disadvantage" (-8 degrees C) .  Gulp - it's  race against the thermometer!

The calendula is doing well!  I let all of this self seed from last year and I'm enjoying having so much of it to dry for winter soap and salve, etc.

The apples are positively blushing and I can't wait to sink my teeth into their crisp and juicy sweetness.  Having the chickens regularly range in the orchard has naturally met many needs (insect control, fertilizing, cleaning up dropped fruit, weeding and providing needed shade and healthy forage for the chickens).  Stacking all of those functions together makes perfect sense, reducing our workload and increasing productivity all around.

I've been experimenting with permaculture guild planting and decided to see if it would help my poor struggling pear tree.  Lo and behold, with the right plantings in place, my pear has a flush of new red growth!  

I was buoyed by this success and forged ahead with planting a guild under my Honeycrisp apple tree (which netted the same success).  

The picture below is one that I've been waiting for for 4 years.  It's the view of the half finished stairs down from the new front verandah.  We opted to deck the verandah in Western Red Cedar which smells LOVELY and looks beautiful.   Soon, the stairs will be complete and then we can establish our water harvesting plan, put in a pathway, and plant a new food forest right out our front door. YIPPEE!

Last, but NOT least, I wish to introduce you to Odie!  Isn't he darling?  
No, we didn't adopt a pup :)

Our very best friends from "home" made a quick trip to Alberta to pick up their new puppy from a breeder not too far from us.  Sadly, their cherished dog of 12 years died recently.  This unexpected (but VERY welcome) visit was such fun... a great meal and a good catch up over raucous laughter was such a treat for all.

So wonderful to hug my friend ~ we raised our first children "together" (before our family moved out to Alberta 15 years ago) and we both have fond and cherished memories of those early years in our parenting "career".  We stayed in touch and remained close for all of those 15 years. With a good friend, distance doesn't matter, does it?


  1. Sherri, a lovely photo of you & your friend. I certainly hope you get those tomatoes in time!

  2. Your friend, the apples, Odie ... all great! I'd like copy of the pic of you and your friend for next year's card Sherri, it's a wonderful pic of you.

  3. How fun to see an old friend, even if a short visit.

    My tomatoes are pretty much spent. The summer is cooler than past years, so they might produce again come fall... lets hope. Tomatoes just don't do that great around here, but we eat so many of them.

    Tell ya what, I'll send you about 20' of our daytime heat, and you send me about 20' of your cold night temps. Deal? not sure what shipping will cost, but I bet my neighbors would be happy to chip in. :P

    1. Bwahahahah! So funny, Rachael! That sounds like a GREAT deal :)

  4. Love the photo of you and your friend, Sherri and the photos of your garden are lovely too. It is great to see gardens on the other side of the world. We have had a fairly mild winter considering what it normally is like and have had cherry tomatoes growing right through winter. It is so nice not to have to buy the hard tomatoes in the shops. I hope you get an abundant tomato harvest.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind wishes :) I surely hope that the weather holds out long enough! i can't imagine growing cherry tomatoes all winter. Good grief, we have a hard enough time growing tomatoes IN THE SUMMER!

  5. I understand watching the weather for those unexpected cold nights. Once, many years ago, when I lived in Kansas, I had to bring in over 250 green tomatoes. I spread them on cookie sheets and was able to put them near the windows. They all ripen! Of course, it's not the same as on the vine, but I did manage to save them. Here in Texas, I don't have to worry about that. I love the photo of your apples!!

  6. Your garden is very productive and beautiful. Good luck with your tomatoes.

    Would frost-cloth help them? Or is the temp too low..