The Cowardly Composter

This is my composting uniform.  Snazzy, eh?

My Mom used to diligently tuck her pants into her socks before she got into Old Yeller.

Old Yeller was a 1954 yellow Ford pick-up with his name brushed in turquoise paint across the hood.  The bench seat was lacking somewhat, but bolstered by skeins of baler twine piled high enough to cover the wire springs that were likely to catch the crotch of your pants as you exited and entered the truck.  Entering and exiting were quick because there was no door on the drivers’ side.

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I Love Tomatoes

If I were to choose one food that shines in its organic, locally grown form, the tomato would be it.  Real tomatoes – even the ones that ripen in the basement months after the first frost – mock the firm, tasteless versions available in big-box grocery stores for most of the year. Continue reading

The Garden Report

In case you’ve been wondering, I am clawing my way out from under a mountain of produce.

I should have known what would happen, being an authentic farm girl and all…

I planted a little garden at my house this year, but I planted a much bigger one at my retired parents’ farm.  I chose to put the lower-maintenance items out there, believing I would need to do some processing and picking later in the season, but not routine “tending” beyond a couple weeding trips.

I can buy into the liberty garden concept: that producing our own food from quality soil is a better choice, and it certainly is more economical if it goes well, right? Continue reading

M.I.A.

So… I’ve been absent for over a month and expect to be for a few more weeks. A quick summary of our summer bedlam:

Six kids. All day. Every day. We are outside as much as humanly possible and visit the playground frequently. Very little in the house gets done.

We escaped on a family holiday for a week to the lovely Okanagan Valley. We swam, played, drank wine and spent time with my 92 year old Grandma, who I have not seen in three years. It was valuable beyond measure.

Den Dad and I snuck away ‘sans enfants’ for three days of backcountry hiking. The weather was chilly and the mosquitoes were thick, but the weekend alone was gloriously quiet. On Day 2, at 2400 m, we hunkered down above a snowbank to make some fresh coffee. There were wildflowers blooming around our feet. If that doesn’t rejuvenate a soul….

The first haul from the garden produced two gallons each of fingerling carrots and beets from thinning, three gallons of green beans for blanching, a gallon of sugar snap peas and a five gallon pail of turnips. The greenhouse is spitting out long English cucumbers by the dozen and the tomatoes are an impending tsunami of goodness.

We are embracing the desperate fervor of an eight-week summer with all we have. I will reflect more in September when I’m down to only four little friends during the day. Much is percolating…