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CANADIAN REGION - What are you doing August 2015

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Kelejan
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Post  Kelejan 8/1/2015, 1:57 pm

Doesn't the year fly by when you are enjoying yourself?

What is your weather like where you are?  Here in British Columbia's Southern Interior the weather is hot and dry; temperatures in the high 30Fs (37C & 38C) today and Sunday, then mid to high 20Cs (25C to 29C) the rest of the week.  More bearable for the likes of me who does not like very hot temperatures and needs to get up very early in the mornings to get anything done at all. Thank heavens for being retired now so that I can sleep in the afternoons. Very Happy

Due to some good rain a week or so ago my lawn has remained green, just getting on the verge of brown before it was saved. I like walking barefoot in the grass and it was getting somewhat  prickly in places.

This week I an having having to water every day to keep my newly seeded radishes, carrots, chard and beets viable.  I do have mulch on top so they have to work a little harder to get through so I am hoping they will be well established then. 

Yesterday for supper I had an egg salad with eggs from the bantams of a friend of my friend, mixed lettuce, chard, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, a few radishes just about large enough (my first), beet I canned from last year, and mayo I made myself. Desert was strawberries and blueberries, with yoghurt. The yoghurt was the only item I had purchased.  How our pioneers managed to feed themselves when they first came here to Canada, I do not kno;  I still have lots to learn and I have great respect for them.  I think I am doing great when I keep myself in salads for the summer months. Now I have garlic saved, and potatoes on the way, with strawberries, raspberries and a few blueberries in the freezer.

I am expecting a pressure cooker/canner to come in a few days so I am reading that interesting canning thread so that I can can save more produce by a different method.  Most of my food-saving is freezing and dehydrating, but I am always leery of the freezer in case there is a power outage that lasts too long and all one's hard work is wasted.
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Post  Marc Iverson 8/1/2015, 5:43 pm

Take it to the food bank before it goes bad!

Agree on the keeping yourself in salads thing. That is great. If that's all I was able to do, I'd still be thrilled. I have to buy my lettuce, regardless ... it's just too hot here.
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Post  Kelejan 8/1/2015, 11:49 pm

Marc Iverson wrote:Take it to the food bank before it goes bad!

Agree on the keeping yourself in salads thing.  That is great.  If that's all I was able to do, I'd still be thrilled.  I have to buy my lettuce, regardless ... it's just too hot here.  

Yes, Marc, I would cook and eat and dehydrate as much as I could and take the rest to the food bank.  A good reason to clear the freezer and start again.
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Post  trolleydriver 8/2/2015, 12:37 pm

"How our pioneers managed to feed themselves when they first came here to Canada, I do not kno;  I still have lots to learn and I have great respect for them."


I agree with you on that statement.  I often think about the difficulties the pioneers overcame especially when I am out hiking in wooded areas. And then there are the extremes of weather ... in my area hot/humid in summer and extremely cold (temps in the -30sC and wind chills of -40C) in winter.  Even the bugs would have made things miserable.  When Colonel By built the Rideau Canal from Ottawa to Kingston, some 400 to 600 workers died from malaria.
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Post  Marc Iverson 8/2/2015, 3:03 pm

I think about that whenever I visit Crater Lake here in Oregon. There are poles by the side of the rode that are marked with previous years' snowfall. Sometimes they are more than a dozen feet high; I recall 18 feet once. Whole buildings can get buried. It's incredibly beautiful but rough land, and when driving through it I sometimes think of the men making their way through the mountains for the first time, and the men on horses doing it too, riding 18 feet above my head like they're flying.
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Post  Kelejan 8/3/2015, 2:31 pm

Cooler here this morning 33C/91F and overcast so was feeling energized and harvested a barrow-full of comfrey from my secret hoard. That will be chopped fine and laid on top of some wood-chips where I intend to plant my tulips in the fall.
Compared to the harvest in the spring, which was soft and succulent, the comfrey has gone to seed and was much drier and harder to cut.  But I did discover that the centre of each plant had new growth so I concentrated on that part of the plant as I believe that new growth has more nutrients.

After that I harvested my first radishes from my fall planting, plus a few cherry toms and lettuce for a salad.

I never would have though that I would say that 33C/91F was cooler.  Very Happy  It is all relative, of course.  During the winter my house is heated at 68F but the other day I turned on the heat at 72F because I felt cold.

I am picking apples from my very old tree and the TLC that I gave it has paid off handsomely.  Several pots of apple sauce made and some given away. I am getting sick of them, but come the winter I will wish I had processed more if I do not make use of them so I will keep at it.

Don't usually talk politics but if I am like my fellow Canadians, it is day two of the electioneering and already I am switching off, but it does make me want to get out into the garden.  That is all I will say on the subject.
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Post  trolleydriver 8/3/2015, 3:28 pm

Kelejan ... We only have 11 weeks of electioneering to go.  Just think of our American friends who have to suffer through a much much longer period of political nonsenes ... in fact things have been underway at the party level in the USA for some time and their election is still well over a year away. In comparison the buildup to our elections are quite swift.
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Post  trolleydriver 8/3/2015, 4:23 pm

An EF2 tornado touched down last night in Teviotdale, Ontario which is about 40 miles from where my daughter and her family live.

http://www.cp24.com/news/tornado-touched-down-in-central-ontario-hamlet-of-teviotdale-environment-canada-1.2500316
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Post  Kelejan 8/3/2015, 11:32 pm

trolleydriver wrote:Kelejan ... We only have 11 weeks of electioneering to go.  Just think of our American friends who have to suffer through a much much longer period of political nonsenes ... in fact things have been underway at the party level in the USA for some time and their election is still well over a year away. In comparison the buildup to our elections are quite swift.

I knew that US elections always took two years so ours is nothing really to complain too much about.

I see a poll taken on the same page as that tornado incident says that Yes it takes too long 2965 79% and No it does not 789 21%.  I should imagine that 95% of people have already made up their minds.
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Post  Kelejan 8/6/2015, 8:58 am

FALL LEAVES

This year I am looking to be able to get lots of leaves for my winter compost pile.

Up until Two years ago I managed about 70 bags of leaves from my own trees.  Then I had to have the trees felled due to disease, old age and the possibility of them falling on my house and my neighbour's house, so I made do with collecting leaves especially from downtown where it was easy to collect as they often drifted into quite neat piles. I also had a car then so it was easy to stuff the bags in the trunk.

Then last fall the city workers went on strike, so as to keep in their good books I refrained from sweeping up the leaves as I did the year before. So I did not manage too many bags during the annual fall clear-up as it  was not near  enough to satisfy my needs.

Now I no longer have a car and being rather independent I do not want to keep asking people to carry stuff for me. (That's why I would like a boyfriend with a truck but at my age they are in short supply. Very Happy  )


So I will be putting up a notice:

BAGGED LEAVES WANTED

     PLEASE LEAVE HERE

          THANK YOU! 

I hope it works.
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Post  sanderson 8/6/2015, 11:35 am

Creative idea.

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Post  Marc Iverson 8/6/2015, 5:14 pm

Good luck!

Around here the constant use of Round-Up and worse is almost a religious sacrament, so I stay away from a lot of things I'd otherwise be happy to compost.
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Post  Kelejan 8/6/2015, 11:43 pm

I am OK with fall tree leaves, Marc.  I would not take things like lawn clippings unless I knew for sure about Roundup etc.
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Post  Kelejan 8/9/2015, 11:09 pm

This morning I cleared a bed that I planted with radishes.  This time they were pretty good compared to the spring planting that produced only leaves, so I re-seeded them.  The radishes I washed, top and tailed them, and  sliced them thinly to make pickles ra then canned them. They are supposed to last up to a year.

This is the first time I have really made use of them as before I could not keep up with eating them then  let them go to seed. I made six small jars so I will be able to enjoy them the rest of the winter.

I bought a canner/pressure cooker a few days ago and I think I am going to enjoy the fruits of my labour even more than I do now. 

It gives me another way of storing food in addition to freezing and dehydrating.
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Post  Marc Iverson 8/11/2015, 4:21 pm

Kelejan, do radishes usually keep their shoulders underground? My daikon last year didn't, but they didn't get big roots anyway. I'm wondering if I should watch for that as a sign that they are ready for harvest or something.
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Post  Kelejan 8/11/2015, 4:24 pm

Marc, I have found that any radishes with shoulders showing will be large enough to pull.  The couple that I  tried pulling without shoulders showing were not fattened up so were just leaves and long roots.  I think the change happens quite quickly so I go out each morning to check.
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Post  Marc Iverson 8/11/2015, 4:32 pm

Ah so it's a regular thing then. Cool ... thanks!
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Post  Kelejan 8/11/2015, 4:39 pm

I now have a big, black bear to contend with.  Luckily I had been out early yesterday morning to pick up the windfalls as my neighbour gets a bit antsy when the apples fall on her nice driveway.

It used to be that there was a nice grassy bank separating our properties so the majority of the apples fell and rolled back and any apples that fell on their property fell amongst the bushes that covered their side.  But they decided to flatten the bank so they could get a double garage instead of a single. Now many of the apples fall and roll way across the concrete and of course, split and are not good for anything.

They want me to cut down the tree, but I think a better solution is a very low fence that can trap the apples before they roll across. When the right time comes this year I will reduce the spread of the tree and take out the top where all the best apples are and that I cannot reach, and hopefully have fewer apples.

Anyway, from my living room window I saw this very large  bear walk up to the tree and put his nose up to an apple, sniff it then walked away back up the hillside.  I told my friend of this incident, and she said that the bear is making sure the apples are ripe because they do not like unripe apples to eat and that they would be back to check.  So I have stripped the tree of any that I could reach with the step ladder I have.  I will not use  my tall ladder unless someone is with me; I do not want to be trapped.

The bear appears to be very healthy with a beautiful gleaming coat that kind of shimmers as he walked.
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Post  sanderson 8/11/2015, 9:29 pm

Yikes. Sounds beautiful, but I would not want to encounter one in my garden.

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Post  Marc Iverson 8/11/2015, 11:54 pm

Me neither. Stay safe kelejan!
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Post  trolleydriver 8/12/2015, 7:24 am

I echo those concerns ... keep out of its way Kelejan.
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Post  Kelejan 8/12/2015, 9:08 am

I went out this morning to collect the windfall apples (collected a grocery bag full) and met my neighbour as she was going off to work and she saw the bear yesterday evening and got the fright of her life as she was not expecting it.  I told her just be "Bear Aware" for a few weeks.  She has three little dogs to warn her, just as I have my own Jazz, my Avatar.

Yesterday evening I visited my neighbours in the road below my road and they had been away and on their return found their old shed that contained nothing that would be food for bears  that the bear and torn at the top of the door and tried to get in.  Cue for pepper spray except her poor husband had got some in his own eye.

I think I will have to do away with the old apple tree and not have fruit trees at all.  I can get all the Transparencies I need for canning from others who are not on the edge of town.  Today I am going out with my friend to visit her friend who grows surplus veggies just to give away. It is something he has always done and so will not stop now and loves inviting people up to pick.  I am taking him one of my first canning attempts, a jar of peaches as I know he does not have a peach  tree. 

Now that I have bought a pressure cooker/canner I am getting snowed under with peaches still to can, apples from my own tree, red plums to come from a friend, and any amount of veggies that people are giving away free so I will be extra busy this fall but I will sure appreciate it this coming winter.  Quite a big outlay still needed on canning jars etc. Must pop into the thrift store later today to see what is there.

As they say here in Canada, "Talk to you later".
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Post  trolleydriver 8/12/2015, 10:32 am

All those different fruit sound delicious. There is no way we can grow peaches here in Ottawa. We used to live in St. Catharines (about 10 miles from Niagara Falls).  In that area there are all kinds of fruit being grown.  We had an apricot tree in our backyard. Some of the neighbours had peach, pear and cherry trees. And of course there vineyards galore in the Niagara Peninsula.
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Post  sanderson 8/12/2015, 4:13 pm

KJ, When you get something canned, please post a photo. I hope you have hours of fun with all that bounty of fruits.

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Post  Kelejan 8/13/2015, 12:32 pm

Interesting snippet from Johnie's Seeds.

"Winter Harvest Crops are planted in late summer or early fall, primarily in high tunnels, for harvest throughout the winter.

"The key to scheduling your plantings is to identify when your winter days reach less than ten hours in length. It is during this darkest time of the year — referred to by Eliot Coleman as the "Persephone period" — that plant growth essentially stops.

The goal is to seed your plants so they are at least 75% mature by the time the Persephone period begins. Though plants may not grow appreciably thereafter, they can be harvested as needed while their quality holds."


Now I will have to find out when my winter days reach less than ten hours in length.
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