Picked and Planted – 14 – 23 June

This week we picked:

Bok Choi, Kale and Swiss Chard

Market Express Turnip (and the greens) and Radishes

Oregano, Sage, Chives and Italian Parsley

Dinosaur and Ragged Jack Kale

1 Strawberry and 12 Haskap berries!

This week many of the cooler greens have begun to bolt – we still eat them, but it is a sign that our diet will be changing from a lot of lettuce and spinach to more early summer root veggies, kale and chard and hopefully peas very soon!! We will leave a few of them to flower and collect some seed for the fall, but most of them will head to the compost once the remaining leaves are removed.  This week also saw the end of the radish harvest.  I am a bit sad, I really like to snack on radishes and hummus (as does my summer waistline!!)  The kids, however, are quite happy to move on, though they are both sad that there will be no more fresh pesto until the garlic scapes are ready in a few weeks. The powerhouse veggie this week was the bok choi, which was priced at $3.99 for a package of 4 baby heads – we picked 16 tonight for stir fry!!

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The only new players in the garden this week were one little strawberry and a handful of haskap berries, also known as honeyberries – these were an experiment 2 years ago and have done amazingly well around our deck.  We purchased them direct from LaHave Natural Farms Haskap Orchard as plugs and all 9 are now 2 feet tall and producing their wonderful early berry!

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Approx savings compared to local market: $56.57 (Running total – $233.72)

Total weight picked this week: 6.86 lbs (Running total – 46.81 lbs)

This week we planted :

The garden is almost all planted!  This week I reseeded a few bare spots where carrots and beans failed to germinate with all of this rain and we planted the rest of my wee girl’s perennials that she had grown from seed or spent her birthday money on at plant sales (did I ever mention how much I love that kid?!)

I can only imagine how much the cost would have been for all of her flowers that she grew, but in fairness and honesty, I would never, ever, ever have bought 136 coleus or 86 rudbeckia from a greenhouse!!  Thankfully she has given away the majority of them as gifts to everyone from her teacher, to Niki Jabbour when we were invited to be on her radio show, The Garden Show on News 95.7 (was that ever fun – we were the 11am segment on June 7th!!) and to everyone who has come to our porch in the past few weeks!!

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“Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon!” – Doug Larsen

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In my “Happy Place” all long weekend long

I was too busy playing outside in my “Happy Place” to post all long weekend long, I came inside only for supper and church. In my Happy Place the birds were singing, the sun shining, the blossoms popping, the girls giggling, even when it was raining. In a word, perfect. image

We decided to finally make a permanent blueberry bed beside the shed. This is the “before” shot.

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Weeded and cleaned up.

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We mixed in extra peat moss to raise the pH and compost for nutrient content. Because I hate weeding (I think I have mentioned that before!), we secured black landscape fabric to 14 foot deck boards, laid it over the garden, cut out planting marks and popped in the blueberries.  We planted 2 “Pink Lemonade”, a “North Blue”, a “Blue Gold” and an “Elliot” to ensure pollination and different harvest times if any berries make it past the wee girl and the birds…

We will mulch after a good watering for looks and moisture retention.

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The patio perennial bed (highlighted by a completely bezerk Goji berry plant) and the Haskap berry hedge around the deck got tidied up and edged. We got a few Haskap berries last year, but are very hopeful as this year the 3 year old plants have gotten significantly bigger and are all blooming.  We have 3 varieties of Haskaps; they need pollinators. I also planted my “Veteran” peach that I picked out for Mother’s Day. I am really hoping and praying that it does well in this spot, the thought fresh peaches is already making me drool!

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A close up of the pretty little yellow flowers.  Haskap berries are the first to ripen in Nova Scotia, hopefully by the end of June.

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Gorgeous Peach blossoms! This variety, Veteran, is supposed to be very hardy and produce in Nova Scotia…time will tell.  For now, the blossoms smell divine and the colour is so pretty.

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In front of the shed we are attempting to grow Magic Hardy kiwi. They are “magic” because male and female vines were planted together to make baby kiwis…explain that one to my wee girl…The vines on the right were planted last year and survived the winter very well so we planted a second one on the other side to match.  We haven’t gotten any of the bite sized fur-less kiwis yet, but there are a few blossoms this year.

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Boyne and Nova Raspberries and Cabot Strawberries – something is nibbling the leaves of the Strawberries and book toy this year, but I not sure what.  It wouldn’t really matter if I did though, I won’t spray my children’s food for the sake of a few holes.  We just call them “hole-y” leaves when we say Grace!

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In the front yard, we have many crabapples and what I think was a cherry.  I forgot to note it my book and the tag blew off.  The pictures are a bit fuzzy because of the wind, but can anyone tell me if this is in fact a cherry?  It could also be a plum…Oooops.

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All the veggie beds are now turned (except for the rogue overwintered Kale. I didn’t have the heart!). I covered and secured all of the rows with weed barrier and laid straw and cardboard between the rows. 3 beds of “Cheiftain” potatoes got planted. I dug holes and covered the seed potato with about 2 inches of dirt.  The extra dirt and mulch straw is all read in bins beside the garden for when the green shoots need to be hilled.  This method worked really well for me last year! Planting will begin in earnest over the next 2 weekends,  We still have to worry about frost until the first full moon in June (according to my Grandma).

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And of course, the hoop tunnels are growing great!  I have yet to see any broccoli poke up though, luckily we have seedings we can transplant if necessary. And then some…Ooops!

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So that was my looking weekend in my Happy Place – how was yours?!

“In my “Happy Place”…will be back never.” – Not sure where I heard this one, but I think it is what my hubby thought about me all weekend!

We have germination, OUTDOORS!!

Take that Mother Nature! It has snowed, gone below zero, rained every day this week and been down right, unseasonably, unthinkably yucky. But under the frost blankets and hoop tunnels, we have germination!! Not much, not all, and not quickly, but we have it. The seedlings we planted under the hoops are also happy and thriving, whew!

Score Tally: Us = 2, Mother Nature = 0… The “Spring that Wasn’t” saga continues…

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Lovely little green veggie babies snuggled under their blankie…kind of cute, hey? These were planted 10 days ago.

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And under the hoops the big brother and sister seedlings are going strong!  Not much germination yet, but they were only planted on Sunday.  Can you spot the lone Bok Choi poking up?

Under the hoops are Taunus, Detriot Dark Red Supreme, Chioggia and First Crop beets, Rainbow mix and Napoli carrots, Cherry Belle and Easter Egg radish, Bok Choi, Peppermint and Bright Lights Swiss Chard, Ragged Jack and Dinosaur Kale, red and white onion sets, Giant Musselborough Leek, overwintered hard neck garlic and Butter Crunch lettuce.

I hope they all stay alive and that more join them soon!

“Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for.” ~ Joseph Addison