Category Archives: Garden

Thriving In My Thrifty Week–January 18, 2022

This week was filled with ordinary, everyday activities. One fun thing Rob did was to put up this bird feeder. He made it from a recycled juice container and some wood. Our grandson loves birds. We are hoping they find this feeder pretty soon, as it is right outside a window he can look out of easily. So far, he’s only seen 2 when he’s been here. But he loved both of them:)

Rob also finished up a dresser he’s been fixing up for the babies to put their clothes in. He got it free, rebuilt the drawers, sanded it, painted it glossy black (per our daughter’s wishes), and added drawer pulls. There weren’t any. He used wooded ones he had on hand and painted them dark, dark blue. He’s been working on this project for a few weeks, so it felt great to him to be able to deliver it the other day.

Like I said…..the week wasn’t super exciting, but I need weeks like that! I mended several items. Since Rob wears this shirt outside to get firewood from the woodpile and other chores, I just sewed up the tear he made, using the sewing machine. He promptly tore it again a couple of days later, so I sewed it up again.

I also mended some items for other family members and even a stuffed toy for Jake, my nephew. His stuffed toys keep developing tears at the seams. He’s convinced it is “bad fabric” and Auntie’s is better. I’m convinced the thread is weak, or the wear and tear is great….maybe a little bit of both:).

I spent some time tidying up in the garage. It’s used as an extra living area and often becomes a dumping ground for extra items, so I try to get out there and clean now and then.

I cooked quite a few things, as usual. I made this berry-apple crisp from some wild blackberries Rob picked last summer. I added pieces of various apples his sister gave us. I’ve never had apples that are pink and purple inside. This fall, she took a seasonal job at a large apple grower’s fruit stand up near Hood River, Oregon, where she lives and got to take 5 lbs of apples home, per day she worked. I guess they have fancy kinds, and I heard she had way more apples than she knew what to do with, so she sent some down for us. Of course, I thickened, and topped the crisp, but wanted to show the gorgeous apples and berries!

I made a tuna/white bean salad. I was in a hurry, but had nothing thawed, at one meal time, so chopped up celery, onions and some canned sweet peppers and mixed them into our home-canned tuna and a can of white beans. I dressed it with sun-dried tomato salad dressing I wanted to use up. It was different from what I usually make, but tasted good.

I made Chex mix from some Chex and a few pretzels that had been around for a while. I added some roasted hazelnuts.

I used lots of broth I had previously frozen, home-canned carrots, frozen bits of chicken, celery, rice and onion to make chicken-rice soup. My sister gave me some manicotti she made–yum–and I also made turkey meatballs and used my home-canned pasta sauce to make a penne pasta/meatball casserole.

As we do this time of year, we emptied many, many canning jars, and freezer cartons and baggies. Since I re-use the baggies if they are still in good shape, my sink has looked quite funny with bags draped over every tall cup or spoon:)

Last summer, we filled these crates with extra jars of various canned goods I made. This week, Rob and I spent some time rotating some empty jars into the bottom crates and putting more full ones on the shelves. If you look closely at my canning, you see a film of wood dust all over it….that’s what you get when you share space with someone who is sanding an old dresser:). Thankfully, it wipes off easily, but we have been throwing around some ideas about how to keep my jars from getting so dusty.

Rob paid Patsy to help him clean out the greenhouse and he planted some peppers and onions. I found I had forgotten to order my Carmen pepper seeds when I ordered. Oops! I ordered some yesterday. At least the Lola (light green),Mixed colors, California Wonder (green), Jalepeno, Ancho, Serrano, and Anaheim and planted. I have been planting Carmen for years, since they turn red earlier than most. They are a longer, Italian pepper and taste the same as other red peppers to me. I like to cut up mixed bags of pepper chunks for use in the winter.

This time, I ordered from Pinetree, as I really like them, as well. Since I was ordering anyway, and had to pay postage anyway, I ordered some flowers for him for his birthday. He seems to really enjoy growing things these past few years.

He went to the Dollar Store and things were still $1, vs. the $1.25 they keep threatening to raise the prices to. The seeds had arrived. He got a handful of different packets, including Danvers 1/2 Long carrots, dill, and some flowers. Danvers carrots work just fine for me in my garden. I do put coffee grounds down the rows, as I read to do a few years ago and it really does seem to help with the wireworm problem.

We used all the Bottle Drop money for groceries and spent the money we would have used for a 25 lb. bag of gluten free flour, about $50. It is what it is, and we were delighted to be able to get that this month!

I’m looking forward to another nice, ordinary week ahead.

Thriving In My Thrifty Week–Nov. 1, 2021

A cowboy….

…and his cow:)

Last night, we helped at a harvest party at the church. It was especially nice that the grandsons could come. I think the girls did a great job dressing them up. We signed up to help with whatever Miss Carol needed at the event, so along with set up and clean up. Rob and I were assigned the “treat walk.” We used piles and piles of cookies and treats many church ladies made and donated. We played the music, stopped it, drew numbers….and what do you know? Every single person won! :). :). There were so many treats, so why not? We had a ball. I was surprised at how many children did not know what a cakewalk was or how to play. So I ended up leading them around and around the circle. Since we had several hundred children come to the event, and the ones who chose to play this game could do it as many times as they wanted, I ended up with over 12,000 steps by the end of the evening when they were added to the walk and the lawn mowing I had done earlier in the day. It was a double bonus to me! Rob figured some of them were young enough that with things being cancelled for Covid, they likely had never played the kinds of games that were there (cakewalk, ring toss, etc.). There was also a super cool blown-up slide no one had to tell them how to play, and a parking lot full of trunk-or-treat cars, each with a game inside.

Although much of the week was filled with babysitting, I slipped out to the garden one day and was delighted to find some good lettuce and snow peas. I also kept pulling up old tomato plants and other spent bushes. There’s a lot of outside work left to do, but I’m cleaning out the old plants whenever I get a chance, between rain showers. While cleaning out one raised bed, I found some small onions. I thought I had planted some green onions there, but…small, round onions there were. So I pulled them and we are eating them fresh.

Although we do have a bin full of baby toys that were given to us, Malcolm has decided a partially emptied water jug is a really good toy. He carries it up and down the hall, in and out of the rooms……for quite a while.

He also has his own style when it comes to hats….although I’m sure the rain won’t stay out of that hat! (It’s a colander)

I continue cooking from the freezers and pantries. This crisp was made from lots of odds and ends of frozen fruit. It’s mostly blackberries, with a few raspberries, blueberries and peaches thrown in. Ice cream was 77c/carton this week, so we got some. We also got cheese for $5/brick, 67c/lb whole chickens, 97c frozen pizzas, cream cheese for $1/pkg and some other basic cooking things.

Of course, we used our pantry, home-canned and frozen food, and made lots of tasty meals. We cooked the last older chicken left in the freezers, boiled the bones and made chicken-noodle soup, chicken salads, and just plain roasted chicken. I got 2 new packages of ground turkey, so used an older one to make meatballs. I saved the last bit of spinach in a bag by using them in the meatballs, even though they had been placed in a bad spot in the fridge and were starting to freeze a bit. All this rotation, and constantly using things that are coming to the end of their days is a bit of work, but it’s what keeps us eating food that is not freezer burned or old, purchased at the lowest possible prices.

Peanut butter was $1 a jar, so I bought 10 and used 1 to make peanut-butter/chocolate chip cookies. Most were frozen. I only have to make these every 2-3 months, as we don’t eat many cookies, but I like to have some frozen for times when we want them for one reason or another.

I’ve had the pleasure of watching babies, mostly Malcolm, for the past 9 days, for at least a little while each day and one overnight, as his mama and auntie are packing. I mostly did that during the evenings, as Jake and Michaela were here for their usual times, plus Jake stayed over one night. Rob, Patsy, and a couple of friends’ kids are over there today, helping them actually move it over to the new place. They’ve been dropping in for meals at unexpected moments, so I’ve been cooking extra. I’m glad they are finally actually moving now, although I think it will take a few days for them to get settled and the old place cleaned all the way. With the housing market the way it is around here, we are more than thrilled that they finally found a place to move into. It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t cheap. But, they have another roommate so they can split the cost, and that helps, so they were able to get a 3-bedroom house. I’m happy for them. I’m itching to get my fingers into their boxes and help them unpack, but they were convinced that it would be more help for me to watch the baby today, so….I’m having a pretty relaxing day after all.

Thriving In My thrifty Week–October 12, 2021

My plants are getting a little sad and sorry looking, but I’m still enjoying every last blossom I see. We had a pretty heavy frost this morning, the first of the fall, but many plants are still alive.

Since frost was predicted, yesterday I picked what I could find in the garden.

It’s looking pretty bad out there:)

I may still get a little more, but the nights are getting so cool that the growth rate of the veggies is very, very slow and the plants are looking about finished in most cases.

I’m glad I put the cover on the raised bed. I’m not sure what I’ll get from these tiny plants this fall, but they should be able to put on some growth in the spring if the slugs don’t consume them and I’ll have early veggies. I’m hoping the walnut shells will be discouraging to the slugs. It seemed to help last winter/spring.

I soaked pinto beans and made both refried beans and chili. At the beginning of Covid, we had a choice between 50 pounds of beans for about $23 or no beans at all. I’ve shared a few and we’ve eaten a lot, but trust me, I’ve still got lots of pinto beans to work my way through. I added peppers and onions from my garden to the refried beans to give them flavor. Later in the week, I made some enchiladas with some of them, we ate some and froze the rest. Our meals were very simple this week, as I was extra busy with many things.

I made salad a couple of times from this leaf lettuce mixed with a head of iceberg from the store.

Thriving In My Thrifty Week–September 21, 2021

My garden looks like a complete mess! Still, on Sunday after church when I went out to pick a few things, I got all this and another huge bowl of beans. They were the surprise, since I found the bulk of them on the 3 short rows of bushes I just haven’t gotten time to pull out. They obviously bloomed again and reset more beans. So, among the dried-up, too-old beans was another batch of beautiful, just-right beans.

I cooked a pan full for eating. I gave a bag to my sister and one to my aunt. Then, I froze 4 bags. We don’t eat that many frozen beans, but always use a few each winter. I had only frozen about 4-6 previously this way, so these will be used with no problem. The pole beans should continue to give us enough for fresh eating for a few more weeks.

With my freezers groaning with all of this summer’s bounty, I need room! I pulled a turkey I purchased last fall when they were very inexpensive and Rob cooked it on the bbq. Then, I de-boned it, made broth and canned most of it. The rest was eaten fresh and some is for turkey enchiladas.

I used the boxes and bowls of tomatoes and finished up the salsa. I believe I have enough for these salsa-crazy people around here. With the few that were left over and what I made, I now have 72 jars of assorted sizes–everything from 1/2 pint to quart. Salsa is one of the more time-consuming things I can, so I’m glad to have that project finished.

I also got one canner load of tomato juice and one of crushed tomatoes. I need to do a few more whole tomatoes, but those are easy.

There are still tomatoes on the bushes, but they are winding down. There will be plenty for us and the extended family to eat for several more weeks, until frost.

I froze jalapeño peppers and Hungarian Wax peppers together, as they have about the same level of heat. It was very easy to pick and food-process them while I was making salsa. We don’t use very many of those in a winter, but it’s nice to have some. I package them very thin and flat in a quart-sized ziplock bag so I can break off little chunks when I want to throw just a few into a recipe.

Even though I’m still canning, and school is going full-force, meals need to be cooked. I made this breakfast “egg pie” with a frozen hash brown crust and eggs, a little ham, some leftover garlic cream cheese, spinach, ham and cheddar cheese. It came out great.

I’ve used all the chicken, meat and baked goods from the camper freezer, and am concentrating on using things from the house fridge freezer. It seems to cause an avalanche every time we open it, so it’s time:). Past time. Since we crack out our ice from ice cube trays and fill a Ziplock in the door, AND use a lot of ice daily, this can happen multiple of times each day. It’s getting annoying, to say the least. I can see why housewives of years gone by did fall cleaning. After all the food preservation and gardening, there are just too many areas that have been left to themselves around here.

The grocery money that was spent this week was for basics such as turmeric, salt, milk, eggs……you get the idea. As with most spices we buy, Rob was able to get the turmeric in bulk so it was not expensive. I don’t use much, but it was depleted in some of my pickles recently. It was nice to not need much else so I could fill those things up (and more) with my regular grocery budget. I did get a Coke Zero and some riced cauliflower for free from my Safeway card. The Coke Zero is long gone. The riced cauliflower—-hmmmmm. I’m going to try it soon so it doesn’t linger longer and make that freezer problem worse.

Thriving In My Thrifty Week–September 15, 2021

This past week, we went camping down at the coast. Although we have been doing homeschool for the past couple of weeks, this was our outdoor school. We did regular schoolwork with the kids in the mornings and then did fun, outdoor activities in the afternoons.

One day, I read a book about a silly, fantastic sand castle contest and then we went down to a beach and the kids built their own.

We read fall-themed books and decorated fall-shaped sugar cookies.

We read about sea creatures, then went to the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

Rob organized this project. He melted old candles he collected from friends and family and some shells from the Dollar Store to make sand candles. He took the kids to the beach to collect the sand, and got the wicks from Amazon.

I thought they looked great.

There were lots of trips to the playground at the campground, and many, many times where the kids rode their bikes and I trotted along behind as fast as my short legs would trot:). We took a couple of drives down the coastline, and stopped at a candy store and for French fries. I read aloud for hours. The kids are enjoying Trixie Belden books right now. Of course Patsy has encountered them before, but they are all new to Jake and he’s loving them.

It was a very busy week, but a fun one. The weather was perfect and I’m so glad we got one last camping trip in before the fall rains come.

Once we got home, the garden needed attention. I picked tomatoes, we picked and chopped peppers to freeze. Just tonight, I canned 9 pints of crushed tomatoes. Rob’s been doing load after load of laundry and we’ve all been folding like crazy. There was more than usual because since this is our last camping trip for a while, there was extra bedding and such that needed washing.

We’ve been eating the leftover camping food for the past couple of days. I also unloaded the camper freezer, and we’ve been using the items that were in there. I always keep some chicken, hamburger, bread products, etc. in there for the entire summer, replacing as we use them on camping trips. So, I didn’t need to shop except for some milk, 1/2 and 1/2 and bananas.

Last evening, I dug up my old strawberry raised bed, put in some bags of steer manure, compost, coffee grounds and worm castings, and planted a few fall veggies. It may be too late to get much of anything, but it was worth a try and I simply couldn’t get it done before we went, as I was spending every minute canning. Those berries were done. They only last 3 years. I have some different berries in other places for next summer. So it feels good to have that mentally-daunting job done, whether I get any fall veggies or not.

Thriving In My Thrifty Week–August 16, 2021

Every other day, I’m getting this huge Tupperware bowl full or half full of cucumbers. On Saturday, there were 7 full quarts in there. Some days, it works out to several pints and a few quarts. That’s a lot of pickles, folks! I’ve been making jalapeño dills this week, plain dills, and today, Rob plans to try some sweet-hot pickles. I hope they turn out. I’ve got all the Bread and Butter pickles, sweet pickles, and relish I can eat or give away. I’ve also made a fresh pickle salad with cucumbers, onions, salt, pepper, a little sugar and a little rice wine vinegar and water sauce. Rob loves it and eats it by the bowl full. What a year for cucumbers! It’s the most I have ever grown.

We used the bowlful of tomatoes and all the cherry tomatoes we could find and made 9 pints of tomato sauce on Saturday. My tomatoes are coming on slowly, but it was nice to get started when we had too many to eat.

We’ve had all the garden produce we care to eat, except for lettuce. The heat is not it’s friend. Fall is going to be better for that, and I have some baby lettuce up in a row out in the garden.

We haven’t just canned this week. We spent a couple of days with our grandson. He loves the peaches his auntie grows. Patsy cut this up for him and he ate it all!

One day, Jake and I took the baby to the park. We walk there quite frequently. It’s been super hot around here, so we went early in the morning.

We took the kids to the library. I has only recently re-opened–like in the last month, then will close again for 2 weeks to move back to it’s original location. It’s been rough getting any books from there for the past 2 years. The kids were super excited and hauled home tons of books. There’s no better deal on earth for books than the library…if it would just stay open long enough for us to get some of them. Once you get books from our library, you can basically keep them forever…..since even the drop box is usually closed. No fines are charged, so that’s nice. I’m hoping once they get re-opened, back in their renovated building, things will improve greatly. I’ve got books that have been on hold for a year, books I really need for school that I can’t get….you get the idea. Hopefully, it will get better in September.

Thriving In My Thrifty Week–August 8, 2021–Food Preservation Edition

I have canned so much in the past 2 weeks, I haven’t had time to post. I’m feeling really good about how much Rob and I have accomplished.

Last night, I picked the green bowl and the yellow one full of strawberries. (This picture just shows the bowls, this time they were full). I’m getting so many berries. The problem is that they seem very sour this year. That’s kind of frustrating as it’s been one of the hottest summers I can ever remember. They should be sweet. I’ve frozen quite a few and today, I decided to make a batch of jam. I did that this afternoon. When I’ve been freezing them, I’ve started adding a little sugar. They will be great in smoothies this winter, regardless of their sour flavor, as we can add sugar when we blend the smoothie. Oddly enough, Jake likes them sour, so he’s been picking and eating them cut up with sugar sprinkled on top. I’m glad someone likes them this way.

My sister gave us so many peaches from her farm. These are New Havens. This picture only shows part of them. We canned 70 quarts. Some are for me, some my mother graciously agreed to take, even though she wanted to can another kind, when I realized how many I was going to end up with. They are really, really good, so I know she will enjoy them, and we will as well.

They came out beautifully.

We dried several gallons of peaches. I also dried zucchini for soups. I froze broccoli a couple of times. Then, I pulled the bushes. All they were producing anymore were side shoots that were getting smaller and smaller each time. The last picking was about 1/2 cup, so that was the end for me. In the place where the broccoli was, I planted lettuce, kale, snow peas and spinach for a fall crop. They have not come up yet.

While up at the farm, Rob picked a lot of wild blackberries. We made jam from those. I froze several baggies as well, with what was left over from the jam making.

We have canned green/yellow beans every-other-day and I’ve done many, many pickles. These bowls are the first step for sweet pickles. I finished them Thursday. They involve a process where you pour boiling water, then syrup/brine over them each morning and night for 4 days. I canned 18–1/2 pints when I was done following all the steps.

I’ve made many dill pickles which were a mixture of plain (with garlic) and zippy (with jalapeños) and a batch of Bread-and-Butter Pickles.

I pulled all the carrots in the garden and we canned 7 pints, plus put some in the fridge in bags. I could fit the jars of carrots, in the pressure canner with the pints of green beans, so I did. My big one holds a double layer of pints.

I was able to can a few pints of crushed tomatoes on a different day.

I froze quite a few peaches, strawberries, and blueberries as well as the broccoli I mentioned above.

When I wasn’t preserving food, I was working on the garden and yard or working with the kids. I’ve pulled several old bushes up and composted them in the garden.. I’ve weeded there and in a couple of flowerbeds. After picking beans today, I’m all geared up to pull the bean bushes in a couple of places. They seem to be finished. I have a few more bush beans that still have some life left in them and all of the pole beans. They haven’t got any large beans on them, but small ones are starting to form so we will eat those fresh until frost.

My garden is large, and is yielding well this year. I’m very thankful to have so much to work with, along with what we got from my sister’s farm. There are still a few items to can later in the summer/fall, but I made huge strides on the project this past couple of weeks. We are also eating daily from the fruits and veggies we are picking.

We ate so much garden produce and things from the pantry and freezers that I didn’t shop for most of 2 weeks. When I did, I used the $10 off $50 at Safeway. I bought some things to stock up the camper for our next excursion and some items I don’t normally buy, such as first aid items. I also got some things at Grocery Outlet. It felt good to be able to stock up on things with the extra money I had left over from last month’s grocery budget due to eating so much garden produce.

Rob and I inventoried our canning shelves. I like to keep a detailed record of my food preservation, recording what was left over of each item and what new jars have been added this year. Last year, I was out of so many items that I over-canned on purpose. I like to have a little carry-over in case of a poor crop, an item being hard to get for some reason, etc. There’s not as much left over as I thought there would be. So, I’m taking care of that!

Although canning has taken up a huge portion of my time this past 2 weeks, that’s not all. we did.

Jake and I made cinnamon sugar toast cut-outs one day. This is a birdhouse, in case you didn’t know. All we did is toast bread, spread with butter and cinnamon sugar and cut out shapes with cookie cutters, but he had a wonderful time doing it and eating his concoction.

Rob filled the kiddie pools for the kids one day and watched both the pressure canner and the kids at the same time, as we do all of our canning outside in an enclosed porch area.

I started science with Patsy this week and she and Jake did an experiment. We’ve been reading aloud for hours and I’ve received Jake’s science from his Mom so we will start that this week. I like to do some school in August, to ease into the process. We will go full-bore in September.

We had a family gathering potluck for Rob’s side of the family one evening and had a nice time. We had an aunt and uncle from Idaho visiting our aunt who lives here and spent some time over at her house visiting, which was also nice. Of course, the babies have been through the house a few times, and we have seen some other relatives from time to time. We aren’t bored, but will admit to being quite tired once night comes! It’s a busy time of year:)


thriving In My thrifty Week–July 20, 2021

The weather has remained hot, but manageable. Rob has been making jar after jar of sun tea so he always has a cool drink.

The garden keeps pumping out the produce.

This morning, I got 2 small bowls of cucumbers, so I will make pickles later today. I noticed a few dill heads beginning to form, so they will be dill this time.

I picked all this broccoli this morning, as well, and it is soaking in salt water while I do some other things. That gets rid of any critters that might try to hide in the florets. Then, I will put it with what I got the other day and blanch and freeze it. Last time, we ate a bunch fresh, but I’m not sure we can eat all the veggies we are picking right now, so I’m happy to freeze some for later.

We froze several baggies of blueberries and ate raspberries and blueberries fresh. The June-bearing raspberries are winding down, but there are still a few every couple of days.

We are spending as much time as possible with the babies. So cute, and so much fun:). This one gained a pound in the last week. Go, baby!!

We took a drive on Saturday and hit a community garage sale. We found a man who was selling grocery bags of kids books for $2. We filled a bag. Since I’m going to be working with my nephew this fall, doing part of his schooling, I grabbed several educational books for the whopping price of 25c each. Even if I only use one idea from each, it’s worth it. We also scored a few fall flannel shirts and pants for $1 each for our older grandson. The baby has plenty for now and there’s a huge bag of the next couple of sizes up Rob got at a yard sale a while back, plus the outgrown clothes of his brother. So, right now, we look for the bigger sizes.

Yesterday, Rob cooked a small turkey we got last fall for a very low price. He put it on the BBQ, so it didn’t heat up the house, and we will use a lot and share some.

I’m off to Safeway to get a couple of things. 74c ice cream tops my list. I can have 2, so I will get them if there are any left. I don’t need much, actually, as we are eating mainly from the garden and freezers. It’s a good time of year for my grocery budget!

Thriving In My Thrifty Week–July 13, 2021

A few years ago, Rob picked up quart-sized ziplock bags full of home-saved zinnia seeds at a yard sale for 25c/bag. He got several. I planted some in the garden then, and then they started dropping seeds. This is one of many volunteers in my garden that I am enjoying immensely. I found one bag left in my seed stash and I planted in in a front flowerbed. Many of them came up and a bunch of them survived the slugs. They are blooming now, which makes me happy.

My newest planting of lettuce came up. I like to keep it going all summer so we can have salad all the time. I was doubtful that this planting would sprout because it’s been so hot, so I was delighted to see them pop up. A few snow peas sprouted, too, and so far I have one new summer squash sprout. Succession planting is one way to keep the veggies coming until frost.

I was down at the hospital all day yesterday. A family member broke their leg and needs surgery. We are taking turns going over there until they get fixed and released. While I was gone, Rob took leftover fruit and made a mixed cobbler. He used canned cherries, a handful of blueberries from our bush, leftover pie filling from the 4th of July and whatever else he could find that was getting old. The fruit was not wasted and tasted great.

He also made a sweet and sour chicken and rice. I’m still getting snow peas from the garden and he used chicken I got on sale for 97c/lb for boneless/skinless breast. Carrots and celery are almost always in my fridge. We are still working on the 50 lbs of Jasmine rice Rob got at the beginning of Covid for only $10. It was marked down because the store had gotten in the wrong item, so were selling it quickly.

I cooked a lot this week, and made chicken-rice soup, salmon, sandwiches with potato salad, and lots more.

We have had our older grandson quite a bit this past week. Our daughter also brought new baby over for us to hold several times. With both Rob and I on baby-holding duty and Patsy and Jake to amuse Malcolm at times, she can keep getting stronger and we can have fun:). I also went to several doctor appointments with them, driving, carrying kids and/or carseats and carriers from here to there, and so forth. A few food items were cooked and sent over to their house, and I helped facilitate grocery shopping.

I made 2 receiving blankets. I used flannel purchased on sale some time ago. My daughter wanted ones that were slightly larger than the 30″ x 30″ size they come in around here, I just cut the flannel and narrow-hemmed it. It wasn’t hard.

The flowers Rob grew or wintered over continue to amaze me with their beauty. I look at them every day.

Garden Update–July 10, 2021

The garden is growing so quickly, I can hardly keep up with it. I love this time of year! Between the time I recently took this picture and today, we’ve already eaten the lettuce and one of the cabbages.

I’ve removed the excess, side-dressed with compost and planted a few zucchini and little scallop squash seeds in the blank area. I like having a second crop of squashes for early fall. The other older bushes often succumb to powdery mildew or just give out by then. These cabbages, along with some in the raised beds were the first ones that were planted in March or April, so it makes sense they are ready first. I’ve also planted a new row of lettuce behind the carrots.

The path on the left is overgrown with grass and weeds. I have been concentrating on weeding between the plants and rows. I usually go out every evening for an hour or two. These are broccoli and cabbage plants with zucchini behind and green beans and cucumbers on the left-hand side. This is a cabbage mixture so there are reds, ball-heads, cone-heads, small and large ones that will ripen at different times. We bought a Cabbage Mixture from Pintree Garden Seeds and a package of red cabbage from the store (not sure which brand–it was kind of like “take what you can get” at that point.)

I’ve picked broccoli 3 times, which is why the plants look bare. More side shoots will grow. I grow the Hybrid Broccoli Blend from Territorial. It comes on at different times. Today, for instance, I got one big, main head and the rest are side shoots from heads I’ve previously picked. I’ve frozen several baggies for winter. This broccoli is soaking in salt water to chase away any critters.

I shoveled out the finished compost from the bin on the right. As you can see, the left-hand side is overly full. I have not been letting anyone use the right-hand side as I knew it was almost finished. I used the compost to side-dress the previously mentioned area of the garden, some peppers, some artichokes and some lettuce and onions.

Then, I put the slats back and started using the emptied bin to make some more of my “dark gold.” Patsy’s happy because she has to empty our kitchen compost pan each evening and she now has plenty of space to dump it in:). We have 2 double compost bins. The other set has one side that is finished and one side that is absolutely full. So she has a point.

As you can see, grass clippings were dumped between the row I weeded last evening. We are constantly trying to improve our soil. Any little bit helps. Last spring, we spread a load of mint compost. We’ve dumped bags and bags of steer manure/compost on it over the past few years. Last fall, Rob picked up a lot of huge garbage bags full of leaves from the side of the road downtown and they are spread and tilled in on the right-hand side of the garden. We also use organic fertilizer from a bag, that we buy, to supplement. We’ve found we can’t grow this much, this close together without a lot of nutrition.

It’s paying off. We’ve also been harvesting zucchini this week, along with cabbage and lettuce, green onions and cilantro.