Friday, November 7, 2014

Aquaponic strawberries

Well, the aquaponic strawberries have not done as well as I had hoped. I think I might need more fish. But this berry I picked today was sooooooo goooood!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Surprise Vegetables

Today I finally got around to weeding around the greenhouse and the road garden. To my surprise some carrots and a potato somehow survived the Weedpacalypse.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Passion fruit

This year, the greenhouse has yielded some very nice Passionfruit. I just wait for them to drop, and leave them on the kitchen counter until they are a bit wrinkly.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Indian Blood Peach Season

Mmmm peaches

Saturday, August 30, 2014

End of August

The end of August means the end of summer for me. Sure it is still hot. But the heat has lost something.... It's hard to explain, but I am sure you know what I mean. It might happen earlier or later in your area, but summer is winding down. It makes me kind of sad in some ways, but the promise of those perfect fall days that are right around the corner lift me up in other ways.

The kids are going back to school on Monday, and the local pool will shut down on Sept. 10 for the year. We ate the last watermelon (besides the one the crows got because the kids forgot to shut the greenhouse door... grrrr) at the beach, and tomorrow is the last summer BBQ. Of course then we will have autumn BBQs. So that is not such a big deal. So here is just a post full of pictures of what was a really awesome summer. Too awesome to spend much time writing blog posts- sorry about that.

My secondhand greenhouse- tomatoes on the left, watermelon, zucchini, and a papaya in the middle, eggplant, peppers, passionfruit on the right

The volunteer fireman's BBQ party

Our new garage (made of recycled wood) and mini-van. 

His head really isn't that big. It is just the camera angle.

The house before re-staining

And the house after 24 liters of Xyladecor exterior wood stain.
The roof peak was a bit scary on just a ladder. Glad I won't have to do that again for a few years.


And the eldest pwning a watermelon at the beach.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bamboo Shoots

The bamboo shoots are coming up. The only reason this one escaped was because it was in my backyard. The boars are pretty thick this year, and they can smell shoots before most people find them.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tire Recycling is Fun

About 12 years ago, I was really, really into composting. I fretted about C:N ratios, I tweaked what I put in it, and worried if it didn't heat up "enough." Then I realized that quite frankly- compost happens. But one good thing did arise from my obsession- someone recommended I build a composter from Paul Farber's plans in his epic "Tire Recycling Is Fun." (it has since been updated and re-branded as "Tirecrafting" but the basic premise is the same).

It is an awesome book. The very well done illustrations made it much easier to follow than pictures would have, and it is written in a very engaging style that makes you want to try it! I rushed out and made a Grecian urn from a rusty bias tire with rim I found on the beach (still has tulips planted in it) and then.... ran out of space and time for a while. A few years back I re-read it and made some garden edging from tires someone had thrown out beside the road. Then I re-read it about a month ago and decided to make a composter, since I had found four enormous truck tires beside the road recently. (And as a funny coincidence, one of my favorite blogs: "The Walden Effect" recently had a post about using tires in the garden, which prompted me to post my experience.)
Excerpt from Tire Recycling Is Fun

I loaded the tires up in my truck, drilled holes in the sidewalls and started in with my jigsaw and a plywood blade. Worked fine. Take it slow and don't overheat your jigsaw. When I was finished I had a stack of tires without sidewalls that was about a meter high, and about a meter in diameter. In the book, he describes the major advantage to ring composting- mixing. Pull the top tire off and it scrapes the material down. Put that tire next to the stack and shovel the unfinished compost into it. Then do the same for the others. When you are done, the compost has been mixed and inverted with very little effort (comparatively).

Tire composter with lid (to keep out the crows)

Tire composter full.

Perfect! I thought- what can I do with the sidewalls? And it struck me- these would be perfect rings around fruit trees! They could hold mulch in them, give a definite boundary to trim to with my string trimmer, and they will last pretty much forever. Fruit trees seldom get so big that the rims would choke them, it just seems like a natural idea.

Tire sidewall mulching ring