Wednesday, August 31, 2011


We had a few friends over to help build a ramp today.

Who am I kidding?

We grilled and talked with their wives. The kids played. The 2 engineers and a contractor built it.

Mostly it is salvage. Hubby dismantled an indoor ramp (free craigslist), another friend delivered some 2x4s that were hanging out in his garage. The guys swear the pier blocks and sheet of OSB were leftovers from other jobs.

We will surface it tomorrow. Hubby wants to design and weld/build custom (read artistic) rails. I will line the walkway with a line of bricks or small flagstone so the wheelchair won't tip over onto the grass. Rope lights are in the future.

But we have a ramp.

Over beers and burgers and the sound of a nail gun we celebrated our 15th year of marriage.

There is symbolism in there somewhere.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


This does not look like a One Too Many Pumpkin, which is what I planted in the front landscaping.

It also does not seem to be a Lady Godiva or an Australian Butter Squash (the other winter squash seeds I planted)

I think the mix up was at the seed packing plant. I am guessing Butternut, of which I have no seeds for.

We will see.

Monday, August 29, 2011

more eggs

3 eggs this morning, although 2 had only a filmy outer shell so went in the compost. As you can see the 3rd egg is having some shell color confusion.

As long as it is the right color inside is all I care about.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cream of Saskatchewan

Juju picked this variety of seed last fall. The first one was ripe yesterday, I barely got the knife in when it broke open in a flood of juice. Very sweet with almost a citrus-like taste. Juju thought it had a creamy feel at the finish. The rind, as you can see, is very thin so this is not a melon you would EVER see for sale at the local grocer.

She is very proud. This was her project and did the planting and most of the daily watering herself. She brought enough to school today to share with the Geek Squad at lunch.

There are 7 more on the vines at various stages, we are keeping our fingers crossed.

If anyone wants seeds, this plant is open pollinated, let me know

Sunday, August 21, 2011


So I picked up Homesteading in the 21st Century by George Nash & Jane Waterman from the library. It is a great resource written by a couple of back to landers from the 60s/70s who are still there. The only, in my opinion, superfluous information is about the family in Pasadena. I suspect the 4 brief paragraphs praising their efforts was the price of using the word homesteading in their title.

And this one is edible!

Mesha has called dibs - claiming it is just her size.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Although only one of these are ripe, they were clustered so I could not leave the green ones where they were.

The red (pink?) one is splitting and juicy and weighs in at 1.25 lbs!

Friday, August 19, 2011

First egg?

Obviously the hen was just as surprised as I was. From its placement she was roosting at the time. I suspect it was from Pippa, given the light color.

They are only 16 weeks old so I hadn't yet added crushed egg shells to their food so this one is soft and inedible.

My girls are growing up!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tomatilloes are prolific

We have 4 plants: 2 verde and 2 purple. This was this morning's picking. The plants are sprawling all over, not having the benefit of large wire cages (plan this for next year) so ants have gotten quite a few. But I should have more than enough to make salsa to can.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Today's bounty

This is what the family picked while I was at work today. I am told there was more, but the cherry tomatoes picked at home were promptly eaten out of hand. There are also a dozen onions curing on the back deck, although they will be gone long before summer ends.

Hubby made a dinner with pasta and fresh garden vegetables. It was quite tasty with a bottle of Left Hand's Good Juju Ale (the ginger in the ale complementing the jalapeno in the pasta quite well) and a loaf of roasted garlic cheese bread (I made no-knead oatmeal bread earlier this week and this finished it off)

And no, the summer squash was not picked off plants we grew, of course. We did get our first Brandywine however.

The bush beans I planted last week are now a couple inches high and putting out a second set of leaves. I hope the packet was truthful saying they would be producing before October.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Epic Fail

With the nasturtiums growing like mad at the p-patch we have been searching the web for non salad, non pseudo caper uses. A blog I peruse made pesto using the blossoms and pistachios. The pictures of a lovely course blend of yellows and oranges and reds tossed with linguine were divine.

We purchased a pound of unsalted pistachios and spent a couple weeks collecting blossoms from both ours and others gardens. Last night we made it.

Our pesto was not a lovely color.

It looked like a yellow curry, heavy on the turmeric.

Undaunted I chopped up some yellow squash, zucchini, and a cream colored yellow pepper to saute. I tossed the pasta, pesto, veggies and small balls of fresh mozzarella. It was to be another garden dinner with fresh green beans given to us by a neighbor.

It did not taste any better than it looked. (well except for the beans)

But okay, we told each other scraping our plates into a bucket. We have chickens who will love this. This morning I gave them a pie pan filled with the fruits of our labor.

When they roosted for the night and hour ago, it was still there.

Maybe we need a pig.