Garden

IMG_6378

The garden has done pretty well this year. I think this Asian pear tree might tip over with all the fruit on it. IMG_6374

The raised beds did great. I planted way too many tomatoes, and the summer squash exploded. I’ve been feeding extras to my chickens. IMG_6369

We’ve had quite a few good melons. I was sad to find out my striped Armenian cucumber died soon after transplanting. Instead, I have pickling cucumbers, with no intention to make pickles. IMG_6370IMG_6372

This is the first year I also felt like I’ve got enough eggplant. I use it exclusively to make ratatouille and have quite a few batches stored in the freezer. IMG_6371IMG_6364

I signed up for Chip Drop years ago…and was pleasantly surprised to drive home and find a huge load. It’s all conifer trees and full of pine needles and smells amazing. The whole yard is getting a new layer of mulch, and we don’t have to spend a dime or use our truck. IMG_6352IMG_6353IMG_6357IMG_6359

Garden

The garden hasn’t been a huge priority this year, but thanks to our greenhouse and raised beds, and a bunch of plants we already had, the harvest has been pretty good.

IMG_6110IMG_6107IMG_6103IMG_6087

Flowers and Gardens

The garden is growing. It’s doing pretty well. My greenhouse tomatoes are pretty close to ripening. The hollyhocks I planted last year are blooming. It’s nice to see the yard kind of coming together after five years of working on it.

IMG_6026IMG_6023IMG_6020IMG_6018

And a bonus poppy picture from up the canyon.

IMG_6016

Spring Events

One of my bucket list items is to raise bees. I’ve learned a bit about bees, and one of my strange desires was to see a bee swarm. This year, we had one come and nest in our tree. It was awesome.

But a bee swarm in my tree is pretty useless, so a few hours later, we had a beekeeper come by, and the next day, the bees were gone.

Here are a few more pictures enjoying all the spring flowers.

Whirlwind

The last few weeks have gone quickly or slowly. I’m not sure which. It’s been a whirlwind of model building, photoshop, research articles, and listening to final presentations. I turned in my last assignment for the semester today. Now I can breathe. And get caught up on the weeds in the garden that have taken over while I was busy.

IMG_5335Capture

My one regret is I don’t have any work I’m proud of. I completed projects and received decent grades, but a lot of what I did was in a rush or in a group project. I didn’t refine it to a point that I knew I did as good as I could. I might take the summer to build more portfolio pieces where I have more time and autonomy do what I know I can do.

For now, I’m transferring much of my efforts into the garden. It’s beautiful in spite of the weeds.

IMG_5351IMG_5350IMG_5348IMG_5341

I would say this is the first harvest of the season, but we’ve actually been cutting lettuce for weeks. I’ve also had asparagus, but it doesn’t make it into the house. IMG_5337

Spring

Every year I take about the same pictures in early spring. It is so fun to have the first flowers appear.

IMG_5257IMG_5259

I took this picture of weeds…they are all weeds, except for the shrub. One thing that has changed in my perception of gardening is weeds. Weeds can be friends, not foe. All of these are winter annuals and they will quickly die back in summer, none are too invasive.

IMG_5260

When we first moved into our house there weren’t any weeds, but there weren’t any worms either. The soil was pretty sterile and awful. One of the best things we’ve done to improve the soil is not tilling or pouring on herbicides to control all the weeds and letting the non-invasive weeds grow as a free cover crop. We mow them down and do get rid of the more invasive ones, but weeds have been a part of developing better soil.

The big project we’ve been working on is these raised beds in the garden. They have been planned for years, and we finally had the time (and no other pressing projects) to put them in.

IMG_5261

We built them with remnants of sheet piles that my brother-in-law picked up from a large construction project. It was super cheap, and not that hard to put together (we rented a trencher which was far worth the small rental fee).

I’m trying to do a better job of utilizing my greenhouse. I just planted tomatoes (two months early…I think I will double cover them if it gets cold again), and I’ve got peas and lettuce going strong.

IMG_5265