Friday, August 10, 2018

So hot...

The last two weeks have been pretty extreme, weather-wise. We had a few days of rain and the slugs materialized so I had to bring in all of the tomatoes that were sitting on the ground before they were ruined. 

As the weather turned towards insanely hot (+37C in Edmonton and days of +30 or more?), I also brought in a bunch more to try and take some of the load off of the plants. The upshot is we have three cookie sheets of tomatoes (most now ripe) that need to be sauced.

A friend also let us pick his apple tree. We turned 15 gallons of apples into 24 litres of sauce. This is pretty easy with a food mill but still took a whole morning of canning to safely jar them.

The next day we had the pressure canner back out as we made another seven litres of zucchini salsa. This was pretty tasty and I look forward to using it over the winter.

We also went for a walk and I finally saw some wild plums (that I have read about but assumed were fictional). I grabbed two near-ripe ones to try and also to seed if the seeds would sprout.

Our own apple trees are loaded. With the heat up over 35C, they are all maturing faster that I'd like! Usually these are a September harvest. We'll see how long they stay on the tree in the heat.

I've spent the past few days watering and digging up more irises to give away. The sunflowers have also started blooming out front.

I hope to get a vacation in next week (for a few days, anyways). The temperatures look set to mellow out a bit so we can go away without too much worry about gardening.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Raspberries, strawberries and tomatoes

So the past ten days have been pretty busy as summer heat causes things to move along. The corn is looking pretty good this year and I expect we'll get edible heads.

The raspberries are going into their last weeks of picking but we have lots frozen and I made a batch of raspberry jam. If the weather would break, I'd make a second batch.

The apple tree is also ripening. Friends have offered us their apples in the next week or so to sauce with (ours are more autumn eating apples).

We're also starting to see the tomatoes ripen. First up are these tiny tomatoes. Very flavourful.

On the weekend, we visited Strawberry Creek Farm by Warburg to pick strawberries.

It was a lovely morning (about 20 with a breeze) and the berries were good.

We came home with four gallons. We froze some, I did two batches of jam and two batches of strawberry-rhubarb pie filling. We also ate a lot with ice cream.

Our own garden is coming along. The yard-long Armenian cucumbers are setting fruit. I'm interested to see how these do.

We also have a huge amount of dill from some seeds inadvertently spilled last year after the harvest.

The front yard is in good shape. We're halfway through splitting the irises and gave buckets away to neighbours and Facebook friends. I need my back to recover a bit before we do the other half.

The potatoes are fully grown and I'm starting to see the early plants start to yellow and die back. This seems a touch early but I'm happy to know new potatoes are imminent.

The tomatoes are also just starting to get a bit red. We should have lots to sauce this year. And a second crop of zucchini are ripening so we can do another batch of zucchini salsa. Jess has been cooking more and did a lovely set of grilled veggies on skewers the other night.

We also have some flowers and I think I have the midge problem on the daylilies under control,

Hopefully we get more of these in the coming days.

The weekend should see us make some more jam and continue watering the yard (it has been so hot--nearly 30 every day for almost two weeks).