July! finally an Update

This is  going to be a longer than usual post as I try to make up for my tardiness. We have been real busy around here with one thing or another so here is a bit of a rundown of what’s been going on.

Finally we got the wood chipper working correctly after getting a revised design of chute, vent panels  and revised feed tensioner hooks. its like a different machine. I had a lot of catching up on the wood chipping front. all the braches that where removed for the installation  of the perimeter fence. The limbs from the long over due pruning of some of the big old cherry trees and the clear up of the two trees that fell over in the winters storm and just general spring clean up.

I began chipping with gusto, sorting the wood in to the cedars and other types of wood to chip to use as mulch on the front gardens . with the fruit tree wood , apple, cherry and also the alder I chipped those up to use for smoking fish and other foods ….alder being my favorite for smoked tuna but  I thought it would be nice to try some of the fruit woods. After they are chipped I put them in paper grocery bags to dry out before use .I also sometimes sell a bag or two to people who what to use it in their BBQ.

Cherry wood chips  Cherry chips bagged to dry

 

The bees have been doing well and for a brief spell I was up to three hives here when the local nuc arrived. That was only short lived because I found that the back hive was queen less . so I combined it with the nuc and now have two very strong hives, both with two honey supers on. the front hive had the honey super on first and I just had to try some of the honey so I removed a frame of honey but without an extractor we had to mash the comb with a spoon to get the honey out and then filter it . The honey tasted great but it was a lot of work for just one frame , so I decided we better purchase an extractor before the rest of the honey is ready .

IMG_5138 honey extractor

 

On to the gardens . The wild flower mix I had planted in a shady planter had really turned in to a surprise. I had no idea what would come of it but it has turned out looking really great , adding some much needed colour to a shady dull part of the property.

Wild flower mix  IMG-20120625-00173

The Vegies are doing great , we have had some nice beets out , the colours on which were just so awesome I had to take a pic of them the third round of radishes are coming up, the rutabagas are doing great as are the peas and potatoes .

raddish seedlings  IMG_5175

Dig ‘em up.

It was time to do some harvesting , until now I had only harvested what I needed when I needed it but the potatoes where ready so it was time to dig them up. I decided to harvest some of the other veggies that were ready too

potatoesturnip

 

the last of the turnips were ready , these are the ones that I had thinned out earlier in the season and replanted , they turned out to be some of the largest turnips this year. Potatoes came along really well with lots of large one and lots of small new type potatoes …yummy.

 

carrots and squashcannedbeans

 

I had given up on the summer squash because the leaves had started to die off and there had been lots of flowers but no fruit . After the recent hot spell the summer squash had just sprung in to life and started to fruit like no tomorrow .

The hot spell had kicked more than just the summer squash in to gear , the beans and peas were ready to pick .With all these beans and peas I figured it would be good to can them in the pressure canner .

All this harvesting made the way the next round of veg to be planted . I have planted more carrots and some spinach, so we will see how they get on with the seasons changing.

Veggies Galore

The raised beds have really worked out well. i had 100% germination of the turnips so we have had a lot of turnips , we only lost a few to pests .They would develop a hole and then turn to mush inside. i think this was slugs .

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the cabbages just shot up after i stopped pulling them out thinking they were weeds. there is a weed that grows here that looks a lot like a cabbage seedling.

i decided with my first two cabbages that i would make sauerkraut . i followed a recipe i found on line and it turned out a little salty  but i am eating it anyways . i put it in a big jar and in to the fridge .

i pulled the majority of the turnips this week because with this hot weather i believe it makes them woody so i peeled the turnips , cut them up , blanched them and froze them . i also did the same 2 min blanche  with some of the greens and also the beet greens . the beets i cooked and peeled and then froze them also .

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the corn is coming along well and has the little tassels showing on top but no signs off cobs yet.

the summer squash and pumpkin plants just look like the triffids , they are taking over every where.

i had so many cucumbers that i did not know what to do with them so i decided to make pickles whichIMG_20110702_135427 is very easy you just cook up the brine fill the jars with sliced cucumber and then top up with brine and process in the canner . its very simple . i added some dill and some garlic in to my jars too , you then have to leave them for at least six weeks for the flavors to set up. it been a little longer than that as we still have a large jar of costco pickles in the fridge so I am looking forward to trying them on a burger soon.

we have had a few green beans and there are more to come , as well as the peas are starting to be ready now . tomatoes are on their way and there are a few hot peppers ready that I intend to make chilli infused olive oil with , I just love that stuff on pizza. the cantaloupe are sprawling out and have lots of flowers but are yet to have any fruit .

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