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Harvesting Onions

August 9th, 2017

I finally got my internet back up and running, the technician said that pretty much every modem in our town was zapped by the big storm. After furiously catching up on work, I’m back to being able to post to the blog. The good thing about having minimal internet, is that it gave me time to get my onions harvested, which needed done…..last week. Storage onions should be given minimal water in the weeks leading up the harvest, this will help them store longer and better. I always try to harvest them early if a lot of rain is in the forecast. We had rain last weekend, a half an inch. So not tons given the dryness of the soil, but still more than I like for them to get. Ideally I prefer to harvest them after a long, hot dry week (which we had last week).

Even though the conditions weren’t ideal for harvest, they will store fine enough. Most likely they won’t last until next April, but they will last long enough to be used up. I should weigh my storage onions one of these years. It always seems like there are way too many of them to weigh. It would be nice to know how much I end up growing each year.

What are you harvesting in the garden this week?

Lonicera ‘Goldflame’

August 7th, 2017

Two weeks ago I went to Fieldstone Garden and spotted this lonicera ‘Goldflame’ blooming on their trellis.

I’m in need a few climbers in the garden, especially ones like this that provide some winter interest. So I purchased this beautiful ‘Goldflame’ lonicera.

I can’t wait to for it to start blooming like this, the pollinators will love it just as much as I do. Now I just need to figure out where is the perfect spot. On a side note, a big storm took out our internet on Saturday day, so if my posting is spotty this week, it’s because my cell signal is not that great at my house.

What’s your favorite climber for the garden?

A Project on the List

August 3rd, 2017

I have a whole host of old bee hive boxes in the top of the garage. They’re old, they were infested with wax moths, mice, and other insects. We don’t need them for hives, so we have been trying to figure out what to do with them. A few of them are going to be turned into broody houses for ducks and chickens. Last week and idea hit me, turn them into native pollinator houses. I remember seeing this lovely one when we were in Sweden last fall.

I also spotted this one on a garden tour a few weeks ago.

I’m going to divide the bee boxes into four sections then fill each with a different material. This is actually going to be a project that a friend and I are doing with her daughters. We’re collecting pine cones, sticks, and other items to fill the sections with. Hopefully we will be able to create beautiful homes for native pollinating insects.

Do you have any garden projects lined up for the coming weeks?

Hoping for Repeat Blooming

August 2nd, 2017

This past week I spent time cutting back my mass planting of catmint. (it’s ‘Walker’s Low’, so no self seeding or crazy spreading). It had finished blooming and the bees were no longer lingering among the blooms. I’m hoping with a severe cut it will rebloom this fall, hopefully with a little less vigor. Gardening is always a process, always learning and editing. This mass planting of catmint is AMAZING, something I’m going to expand and do a few other places around the garden.

My planting was a little too close, I’m going to be digging up every other plant, probably next spring. That’s not a big deal because it will give me lots of plants for another mass planting. I have plans to increase this one by about two times and then do the same thing across the patio area by the back door.

After this sever cut back, I watered it will with liquid kelp. This should give it the boost it needs to rebloom nicely. I’ll keep you posted on the late summer blooms. In our short season, sometimes deadheading for a second flush of blooms doesn’t quit work. Meanwhile, I’m adding lots of goodness to the compost pile with all this deadheading. Next year it will feed pumpkins and other squashes.

What are you deadheading in the garden this week?

Tucked In

August 1st, 2017

I’ve tried growing cauliflower for years, then a few years ago I read about ‘Bishop’ and finally achieved cauliflower success.  They’re supposed to be self-blanching heads, though I still tuck the leaves around the heads to make sure they’re nice and white.

I would harvest these, but I’m waiting on a few gallons of white wine vinegar. Pickled cauliflowers is one of our favorite winter time treats, all four heads I grew will be pickled and put into jars for winter eating. It’s perfect sautéed in a cast iron skillet as a side to bratwurst or some other kind of pork. I’ve always liked cauliflower, even when I was a kid. I can eat it pretty much eat it cooked in any way, or raw as well.

Are you a lover or a hater of cauliflower?

I use the recipe for pickled cauliflower from Well Preserved by Mary Dragan, but I add caraway and mustard seeds to the jars before canning.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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