We were just SO caught up in the magnitude of pulling together this great, big, huge project of a garden this spring that we nearly forgot to properly include the boys....that is, until I saw this post, and went "Duh!" with a great big thunk of the palm of the hand to the forehead. Suddenly, they no longer saw this as just something C and I were always working on, but something they could be a part of as well.
Although I can't take 100% credit for those first tomatoes as it wasn't one of the plants I started from seed myself. the woman I worked for at the nursery did so I'm going to have to remember to ask her how early she started them. They're "Basket Boy" a smaller determinate variety I planted in a pot that sits in the walkway of the greenhouse floor. Green tomatoes are starting to take shape on the ones I did start from seed myself and are planted in the beds in here. There are also a couple of late planted makeshift topsy turnsy tomatoes (as E fondly calls them) in buckets hanging from the ceiling, like these, as well.
So far so good this year, but next year I'll start more from seed myself to go in here, including trading out all the marigolds in here for more zinnias so that they can't be hit by a late frost out in the garden as happened a couple of weeks ago.
Who ever would have known taking one's morning tea in a greenhouse could just suck so much?
Did I mention that, on a hot day, with all that cedar wood in there it smells like a mix of sauna and basil and green tomato plants with a dash of sunshine, good brown dirt, and chicken house all mixed together?
the clouds lifted to reveal this view Tuesday morning! Ha! And I'd just been thinking how inappropriate our summer bedtime reading is right now but that's just the way it worked out, that R and I were just turning to Winter Holiday in the Swallows and Amazons series and E and I had just gotten to The Long Winter in the "Laura & Mary Books" as they're known around here. I think that's how it was when I was reading the Little House series a few years back to R, too, as I remember getting chills just reading it despite the warm summer evenings.
Well, at least down here in the valley the garden had a good dose of rain.
This spring, even though we're haven't bought a seasonal share, we've been trying to get our greens from the local CSA farm, at least until ours have grown enough to start harvesting. E and I stopped by there this weekend again and it was amazing to see what they have growing there, how far along everything is, and how much! This is only their second year, and we've only gotten to know them recently.
Sure, I know we got a late start this year with preparing the garden space, but our greens' second set of leaves are just forming and they're ripping out plants that are going to seed and replanting already, even though they live just a few roads over in a pretty similar microclimate to ours. Their first round of bok choy, kale, chard, spinach, and lettuces nearly come and gone and cabbages almost headed out.
They have a SERIOUS amount of food growing out there, it's amazing, inspiring.
Funny thing is, E picks the weeds while we're there, munching on lamb's quarters and chickweed.
Anyways, they sent us home with a whole bunch of spinach that was near bolting and I bought a big mixed bag of lettuce and mustard greens packed with so much flavor it doesn't even need dressing. There was even some overgrown plants destined for the compost heap that went to our chickens, and theirs, too.
Last night's dinner was a pureed spinach soup with slices of jarlsberg cheese. Tonight, pesto made from spinach, basil pinchings from our own greenhouse, garlic, cashews, cracked flax seed, all blended up and mixed with somen noodles because that's what we had on hand, this time with white cheddar grated over the top. With plenty leftover to freeze for later.
With still more spinach and other greens, what will tomorrow night's dinner be? Spinach lasagne? Fresh homemade spinach noodles? hmm.....
what a weekend. tried to have a nice father's day weekend camping, canoeing, and fishing along the reservoir. ended up with a broken down truck stuck in a really iffy spot where it was hard enough for cars to get up and out of there at all, let alone get a broken truck towed out (AAA wouldn't go there and pulling it simultaneously with a 4 wheel drive truck and land rover was unsuccessful)
...while the adults were fretting about how we were going to get ourselves out of there, at least the boys were having a blast with their cousins and friend, swimming and exploring the beach, canoeing, fishing, and spending a lot of time in secret hide outs and atop lookout rocks.
...those low-growing plants covering the beach turned out to include a lot of smartweed, a dyeplant that yielded a nice golden shade upon returning home and being thrown in the dyepot.
...the rainclouds held off until just as we were leaving, and a mechanic went out last night and was able to get the truck started well enough to get it back to the repair shop.
...when I arrived there after work to join the others (missing the sign posted on a tree warning me not to drive all the way down onto the beach) someone was walking up the road and told me how gnarly the road was, that I might not want to drive down there.
When we cleared trees and brush for the garden this spring, we opened up our outdoor living space to the closest of a series of 6-7 small ponds on our property that are fed by a combination of a nearby wetland, a spring, and in the summertime, the irrigation ditch.
Until now, we've been apprehensive about making the ponds an everyday part of our lives, saving them for when we'd go "adventuring".
For safety's sake, we just didn't want the boys wandering off there on their own when they were younger, but now that they're a little older we're comfortable letting them play and explore there on their own, especially since the view to the pond is no longer obscured by a living wall of evergreen trees. They're pretty cautious kids by nature, anyways, and don't even venture to the next pond downstream, although they do roam out in the field and a little ways into the woods.
Quite unexpectedly and unplanned, one of the nicest parts about being in the garden is hearing the trickle of the stream as it flows nearby the northwest corner of the garden, a happy accident.
During our first summer here on our place, a friend of a friend who came to visit, at one point in the day, wandered off along the ponds and through the treed areas of our place with a pair of binoculars, reappearing after no small amount of time for dinner. A birder, he arrived back with tales of the large variety he'd seen in the small area he'd covered.
Sure, we've known the obvious ones, the robins, the woodpeckers, the jays, etc., but we're only just now starting to become aware of and identify some of the many, many other birds who migrate to and through our area. It definitely takes time to do so, and spending more time over by the water, either sitting quietly watching, wading, poking, prodding, or even while sitting there building things out of clay or mud, allows for that kind of time, time to just notice, observe, photograph, and talk about the things we're seeing and finding there.
Anyways, I guess what I'm trying to say is that field trips can apparently be just as fun, interesting, and informative when they're right in the backyard.