Sunday, July 18, 2010

All Good Things Must Come to an End

This has been a wonderful vacation. I feel rested, relaxed and recharged. We've been to Taco Night Tuesday at the Elks, we've gardened, been to garage sales, gardened some more, had excellent meals, good sleep, happy dogs, and good laughs.

We finished the weekend off with a reunion of sorts of good friends. First the Tazioli Sisters came up and stayed with us while they went to their annual seafood festa in Shine, Washington. Yesterday, Jim and Pat came up to stay and "do" the Lavender Festival.

After lunch, we struck out to visit a couple of lavender farms, and we kept coming across the most interesting characters.

First the honey bees specializing in lavendar honey. We gave them plenty of space.
A couple of llamas enjoying their favorite past time, people watching. I would love to know what they are thinking.
Then at another lavendar farm, we came across the Lavendar Gals. They dress up like this every year, and have been doing it for 14 years now (as long as the festival has been happening). They literally sparkled.
Then in one of the lavendar fields, Pat and I came across this guy.
Meanwhile, back at Edgar's Acres, Edgar and Louie were taking their afternoon nap. They truly are the best of buddies.

This morning it was time to say our good byes and make plans for the same time next year.

Which included the dogs saying good bye to Pam.

The garden has been weeded, harvested, planted, thinned, and all set to grow, grow and grow some more.Among all of the other things we did, I got a bunch of stockings knit for Operation Holiday Stockings. These little stockings have been a fun project to work on while I was vacationing, they are also great summer weather knitting because they are small.
All in all, it's been a lovely time, but all good things must come to an end, including vacations. Tomorrow it's back to work, and the usual routine. Thank you vacation, for being so nice to me.



Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Peas and Green Manure

Last March when we put in the new raised beds, we decided to plant peas to occupy the soil, and to fix nitrogen into the beds. At the time, we decided we would harvest what we could when we pulled the pea plants up for the compost pile. In the meantime, the pea plants would keep the soil viable and the plants themselves would fix nitrogen. As with out usual planning, the peas bloomed and fruited out sooner than later, and all of a sudden they had to be harvested. The heat last week just about did them in so I spent three days harvesting, shelling, and freezing peas.

We planted Canoe Peas, Green Arrow Bush Peas, Little Marvel Bush Peas, and Snap Peas (above). I made some observations and took notes. Those who garden may find this of interest, those who don't read this anyway, it might come up some day for Trival Pursuit.

Canoe Peas - We planted two beds, I harvested 5 gallons of peas, which amounted to 1 gallon of frozen peas.

Green Arrow Bush Peas - Out of 2.5 beds planted, I harvested 7.5 gallons of peas, which amounted to 3 gallons of frozen peas.

Little Marvel Bush Peas - We planted a quarter bed of these peas and got 3 gallons of peas, which equaled almost 1 gallon of frozen peas.

Snap Peas - I harvested 2 gallons of peas from a half bed, which amounted to 1 gallon of frozen peas.

The Little Marvel Peas were the easiest to shell. The Canoe were the least productive and hardest to shell. The Green Arrow were the most productive, and easy to shell.

Slugs love peas, but our loss to the appetite of slugs was minimal. I also figured out why slugs don't both the peas as seedlings. They want the peas to grow and produce, so they can eat the peas themselves. Yum, yum.

All of the "bush" peas were out of control, and definitely need to be trellised. These plants were literally hanging over the beds and covering the next rows.

Next year I'll plant Little Marvel and Green Arrow. They both did very well for our region.

The reward for all of this work? Green Manure, 280 gallons of it! If you are an organic gardener, you get excited about things like green manure.
You also get to eat organic garden peas in the winter, that touch of green to make the meal pretty!



Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Greetings from Edgar's Acres

We've been busy here at Edgar's Acres, but we've also had some wonderful down time. You know, time to smell the sweet peas. The weather for the most part has been perfect, except for last Thursday when it got up to 90 degrees (which is horrible on the prairie), when all I could do was sit under the tree and knit.
In the morning I've been drinking my coffee and enjoying the view of the Olympic Mountain Range (and my neighbor's house). Tough duty.

I got the bed for the acorn squash cleaned and built up. This picture was taken last week, and those plants have doubled in size. I think they are happy to have their roots free of crab grass.

It took three mornings, but the asparagus patch is clean and level. Tomorrow I'll be topping the bed with a layer of compost. The little plants are very happy and growing.
Little asparagus sprouts continue to come up. Yum. Next year we will get to have a small harvest, and it will be just reward for the work we've put into this project.
The garlic had been in the drying shed for two weeks curing, and I got those trimmed and cleaned. They are now finishing up the curing process on the dryer. Strangely enough, the house is not reeking of garlic.
I've also been knitting. The nice thing about these OHS stockings, they are an easy project to be working on throughout the day when I need a break from gardening.
I've been harvesting peas for three days now (another blog to be coming), have potatoes and onions to thin, and of course, there continues to be the garden to be weeded and replanted.

It's been a wonderful vacation. Edgar sends his love.



Thursday, July 8, 2010

I Think Not!

Every once in a while I come across a pattern that I think the designers are way off. This sweather is described as a "curve flattering garment." For who? Considering how the eye is immediately drawn to the tummy area, I think not. Anyone who has had children, is up in years, or a bit heavier than this model will tell you the last thing they want the world to focus on is the tummy area. It makes this model look full of tummy. It even makes her look busty. This pattern is sized up to a 52" bust, which is considerate, however, the seams right over the bust scream out as well. Berroco, this time you've misstated the garment. This garment is not flattering in any way. Maybe it's time to find some additional designers.



Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day

Today is Independence Day, the 4th of July. It is a day to celebrate the birth of the United States of America, and all that this country stands for. I am proud to say I'm an American, and feel blessed to live in this country. I hold dear the fact that I have ancestors who fought for the independence of this country, and have a son who still is ready to be called to fight to preserve that independence.
Our country is beautiful and holds a lot of promise for all of us. I am grateful for the democracy and all of the rights I have. I've recently had occasion to see the judicial system up close and personal, and all in all, it is a remarkable system, based on the US Constitution.

Today we are going to have Leslie over for our annual "let's sit in the yard, drink, eat, warm up by the fire, and enjoy everyone else's fireworks." As usual, it's cold. In the maritime Northwest, summer traditionally comes on July 5th, and this year is right in suit. We had a lovely day yesterday, and will tomorrow, but today ... it's wool stocks and fleece weather.

July is the usual kick off month for Operation Holiday Stockings. These little stockings are nice summer projects. I've started on my bunch, and this year I'm doing something a bit different. Since this is the sixth year for knitting these stockings, I decided to make the knitting a little interesting.
I'm using the stockings as a swatch to try out different stitches. I'm having fun doing it, and it's nice to see the how the stitches knit out. I've got the 365 Knitting Stitches A Year Perpetual Calendar, and am trying out the stitches that work. For these stockings, can't have lace, which means no YOs (yarn overs), and cables can be a bit much for a "simple" project (means a cable needle). The pattern repeat needs to be limited to no more than four lines. Anything else and I won't be able to memorize the pattern. I've been making little notes for each pattern I've been doing, like how the fabric feels, what I might use it form, and whether or not it was fun to knit.

Right now I'm knitting the Slipped Rib 1 (February 7), which is a nice stitch. This stitch is a good one for a scarf for either a man or woman; it stays flat, and isn't dense or bulky.

Stitch on my dear knitting friends, and tarry on my other friends. Have a wonderful holiday, and cherish the freedoms you have.