Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Flowers, garden and new fence

Flowers. This is the time of year when we are bringing in flowers to decorate our living area. There are finally enough blooming that there are plenty to go around, some to bring in and plenty to stay in the flower beds. I've been picking the most beautiful delphinium, they are a brilliant sky blue with pinkish centers in each little flower. I've been putting them in a tall vase with orange trollius, and yellow and orange poppies. Today the kids each picked violets and pansies out of their own mini gardens and arranged their own vases. Blue bachelor buttons, yellow, orange and pink callendula, lavender and daisies have also been making their way into flower arrangements. Today I picked the first sweet peas and now as I pass in and out of the kitchen, their fragrance follows me. I snipped the first bunch of crimson strawflowers to dry. I am becoming a great fan of dried flowers, which provide much needed color and cheer, long into winter.

I am boycotting vegetables at the store for the next few months, and am lacking in nothing, except avacados and corn. I'm still buying luscious heirloom tomatoes of all shapes, colors and sizes at the Farmer's Market. I am pulling garlic and onions as needed from the garden, which are huge staples for us. I cut an armload of garlic whistles/scapes, today and will use those as a garlic replacement in stocks and soups. I picked the first basket of green, yellow and purple bush beans yesterday. I think the Fava beans are ready to pick. I ate some fresh today, and they are bitter. I've never eaten them before - looks like I need to do some research. I prefer to cook everything simply at first; broccoli lightly steamed with butter and sea salt, carrots tossed in olive oil and salt, roasted till tender, tomatoes chopped and tossed with pasta, olive oil and herbs. Fresh tender vegetables need nothing elaborate to make them tasty. That being said, my carrots are bitter. I need to do some research, some sort of soil defficiency I'm sure.

Dustin has had a few days off from his hectic summer work schedule. He put in twenty-seven three foot post holes surrounding the garden yesterday and today. There is one left to do by hand, the rest he did with a rented auger. We are putting in ten foot wood posts, five foot woven mesh fencing with a few strands of visible electric fencing around the top. We don't plan on plugging it in, but we thought we've got the attachments and extra wire left over from horse and goat fencing projects. Our main priorities are to keep moose and goats out, along with keeping out all the poultry. Moose are the biggest scare for me. I have nightmares that I walk up to the garden and the peas, broccoli and cabbage are all gone. All of which are in their prime right now, and I have high hopes of enjoying them for approximately six to eight more weeks. It may sound silly, but the garden is going to feel like a REAL garden, once it is fenced in. I don't know what it is about a fence that makes a garden seem more real and serious to me. I suppose a fence says that what is inside is worth protecting, worth digging and tamping, well worth the money invested to see the produce safe and free from stomping and munching by four legged critters. Putting a fence around something, defining the borders, enclosing a space, it is going to feel different. I can't just walk in and out wherever, there are three exits and entrances, a wall to go around.

And now the kids are finally asleep, and it is time to put the goats to bed and then relax and not think about any chores, kids, animals or anything else on the to do list. Goodnight.


Lindsey said...

The flowers sound wonderful.

It's hard for me to picture it, as the only times I visited Alaska (anchorage) was in the dead of winter! Cold, cold, cold - when I spit, it froze before it hit the ground and the northern Lights danced above our heads.

I need to remember you have summer, too!

birmingham fencing said...

The flowers sound beautiful do you have any pictures? we are in winter in UK. although unnaturally warm for january so buds out already, i may even start my planting in the veg patch! My garlic was a disaster last year, very disappointed! My parents also have an allotment so we pinched theirs. I may try swede this year, any advice?

I am also thinking about getting a pet pig, i have always wanted one but they are so big, you can now get mini ones but i think it might be just a little bit too much at this stage, my 3 babies are 1,3 and 5 and i have 2 dogs. Have you ever thought of having pigs?