Tag Archives: seeding

Weeds and how we grow’em

It’s starting to be crunch time on the farm.  That’s not completely true… it feels like crunch time on the farm for most of the season.  But this is a different crunch time.  If things don’t get seeded or transplanted today (or really, yesterday or last week or who knows when in the past, but really, SERIOUSLY, before tomorrow), they’re not going to have enough daylight hours to ripen all the way to… well… ripe.  So it’s crunch time.  Jer’s been working like mad, while also trying to have a day off here and there, albeit mostly unsuccessfully.

Deadly nightshade – not my picture, because this one has flowered and is going to seed!

I’ve been looking at pictures of where we were at last year, and while we’re still behind, we’re less behind.  What we aren’t less behind on is the weeds.  We’ve tried really hard to stay on top of the weeds this year, especially before they go to seed.  Last year we had a few weeds totally take off, and they became an absolute bane in the greenhouse – there was one nightshade that was especially vigorous.  So this year, we’re on the watch for it, and I don’t think we’ve let any flower yet, much less go to seed.  So that’s good.

Smartweed – also not my picture

Jer’s got a new weed on his radar, and he’s teaching me about it, but I keep thinking smartweed (or knotweed) is the plant he’s talking about, but it’s not, so I need a little more practice.  I had a goal of getting half of my dahlias weeded last week, so that they could maybe, FINALLY, start to flower, and that got done.  I am so ready to start making bouquets that aren’t lily-centric!  I love the lilies, but I’m ready for more choice!

Miss P had her 5-month-iversary this week.  We celebrated by going to the market, but also by visiting with the folks whose house she was born at.  We’re all just so darn grateful for her and her smiles, her gurgles and her snuggles.  She’s a gooder.

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My top 10 Spring Break activities that actually happened

So I’ve been writing this post in my head over the past few days, while weeding the strawberries of nettles (I am, by no means, against the nettle plant.  I am, however, against all sharp and spiny and stingy [not stingy as in miserly, but sting-y, as in nettle-y] plants interspersed with my berries or my flowers.  NOT FAIR.), or while formatting pictures for this poster I had to do for school, or while driving up and down that island beside this island.  So I have ideas about this post, but they’re all pretty meandering.  I would not be surprised if the post is the same, even if it makes a claim to be a list.  Just thought you should know.

Climbing rose

Climbing rose

Kerri’s top 10 Spring break activities that actually happened

10.  Finishing my poster.  I had to do this poster for my Master’s.  It took way longer than I thought it would.  I finished it.  It was pretty.  It felt good.  Now I have this poster that I spent 2 days making and I don’t know what to do with it.  I guess there is always the woodstove.

Baby asparagus.  Only 2 more years!

Baby asparagus. Only 2 more years!

9. I got my haircut.  I’ve been wanting to cut my hair for a long time.  My mom told me not to shave any parts of it.  Then she said that I shouldn’t listen to her.  So I didn’t.

8.  Weeding the strawberries of nettles.  Also the blueberries of wild blackberry.  While I, for the most part, enjoy weeding, I especially enjoy weeding when the roots are really long and tangly, and the ground is pretty soft, and the weeds themselves are pretty big.  I like getting a big pile of weeds without a lot of work, especially when a significant part of that pile is root mass.  I get enjoyment out of it similar to the enjoyment I get when I pop an awesome pimple.  You should try it sometime.  The weeding part I mean.  We have lots of blackberries you can try it on, anytime.

Tractor sign.

Tractor sign.

7.  Beer on a patio.  In the sun.  A whole lot of years (6?  7?  I don’t remember) Jer and I went on our first date on Easter weekend.  We had beers on a patio in the sunshine.  A seagull shat in my beer.  Friends joined us and things got raucous.  It was an amazing day.  This was not that, but it was beers, on a patio, in the sun, with friends.  In April.  Win.

Jeremy made me alder buttons for my sweater.  I win.

Jeremy made me alder buttons for my sweater. I win.

6.  Fancy cocktails with friendfamily in the city.  I like fancy cocktails.  I like beer too, but fancy cocktails are special, and when we were in Calgary we went out with my cousin to a hip place and got to pretend that we weren’t bumpkins for a few hours, and there was a painting of a turtle in a suit, and we drank cocktails with names like “The Dirty Pigeon” (with tamarind and a salty cucumber!) and “The Meat Hook” and “Corn and Oil” and it was a lot of fun.  It made me feel young.

I made me a sweater.  It's orange.  It has handmade, homegrown buttons on it.  Seriously.  I win.

I made me a sweater. It’s orange. It has handmade, homegrown buttons on it. Seriously. I win.

5.  Rock and stick throwing parties.  When we got our land stumped last year, a bunch of rocks came to the surface.  Some sticks too.  Then Jer bought a tractor.  Rocks and tractors don’t get along so well, so I decided to have a rock and stick throwing party.  I thought friends would figure that I wanted them to work for me for free.  They didn’t.  One of them even googled “rock and stick throwing party” before deciding that it was probably a weird Denman Island thing, and hoped that it wasn’t going to be too competitive… I think it’s awesome that my friends trust me enough that I can host a work party with an unclear name and they’ll come and work… before going to the beach and drinking beer in the sun.

See?  Homemade sweater, homegrown buttons.  Orange.  WIN.

See? Homemade sweater, homegrown buttons. Orange. WIN.

4.  Planting all of the flowers.  Well, not ALL of the flowers.  But lots of trays of the flowers, and 2 50-foot rows of the flowers, and there are still all of the flowers coming in the mail.  My lilies are dividing and conquering and growing tall, and my starts are starting and they’re coming.  It’s going to happen!  Be ready for all of the flowers!

"Goats, eating fire-starter".  Almost "Goats, on a fire."

“Goats, eating fire-starter”. Almost “Goats, on a fire.”

3.  No diggity by a campfire.  In harmony.  On an acoustic guitar.  That is all.

2.  Hiking in the mountains.  In the sunshine.  On Vancouver Island with a friend and in Canmore with my mom.  To lakes.  In the sunshine.

The rhubarb is growing!

The rhubarb is growing!

1.  Not working, and especially not commuting.  Do you know how much time I would have in my life if I didn’t spend 5 days a week going to work?  I could ACTUALLY plant all of the flowers.  The blackberries would be exiled to the fences.  The nettles to beyond the fences.  I would knit all of the sweaters and blankets and shawls and hats and socks.  I would hike all of the mountains.  I would drink all of the cocktails and sleep in for all of the mornings.  Until at least 7.  I would miss my job, as I do (a little) right now, especially after drinking all of the cocktails and buying all of the yarn for all of the sweaters.  I would miss my job, but one of the best things about having a job is the days you don’t have to go.

This carrot top was haunted.  Naturally.  As in we didn't carve that face.

This carrot top was haunted. Naturally. As in we didn’t carve that face.

Gallery

Photo post, as promised

This gallery contains 27 photos.

After yesterday’s somewhat lackluster performance, here’s a batch of pictures from most of July.

Gallery

Off my needles, and a bird heavy (but not heavy bird) post

This gallery contains 12 photos.

It’s been a busy time, what with a trip to Calgary over spring break and the arrival of spring while we were gone.  We left when spring was on the horizon and returned to hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and blossoms.  Plus, … Continue reading

Carrot revolution

I’ve been meaning to write all weekend but I kept getting busy doing other things (I do realize that it’s not, technically, the weekend, but I’m FINALLY on spring break so I get 2 full weeks of weekends and I’m going to enjoy every single one like it’s a Sunday).  Jer and I spent a bunch of Sunday digging carrots so that we could get our potatoes in the ground.  We planted the carrots late, kind of as an experiment to see how they’d do in the ground all winter.  They didn’t grow as much as we would have liked, and they certainly got more wormy than we would have liked… but at the end of our digging session, we walked away with 12 pounds of good carrots and we juiced another 10 pounds or so… I was astonished with how many of the things we pulled out of the ground.  We haven’t bought carrots all winter, and we eat them several times a week.  I hadn’t really thought about this until we were digging them.  I mentioned this to Jer, and he told me that he hoped that we’d never buy carrots again.

I did a double take when he said this.  I’m still doing a double take now.  I can’t imagine never buying carrots again.  Never buying carrots again is a big statement.  That’s more than a couple of 10 foot rows in your backyard, which I have a huge amount of respect for, but that’s not what Jer’s talking about.  And as I look at our garden, and see the space we’re planting, and especially as I look back at pictures of what our place used to look like, I can’t help but know we’ve made the right choice.  Sure, commuting to work sucks.  I had a hard couple of weeks at work, and I’ve been so exhausted that I can’t sleep.  I didn’t even have the energy to seed flowers on Saturday.  Jer set up the hammock in the sunshine and I had a mini-nap.  But I regained my soul on Sunday digging revolutionary carrots.

As a total aside, but a thought I wanted to put out there, I was given the opportunity to go to the wave pool on Friday with all of the grade 7 students at my school. I was super hesitant to get in the pool – I just wasn’t sure whether I wanted to get into a bathing suit in front of everyone.  My teaching partner asked if I was going swimming, and when he heard the hesitation in my voice, he told me that it was really important I get in.  After all, he said, how are the girls supposed to learn positive body-image if no one ever teaches it to them?  Lots of teachers have gone swimming with their students this week.  None of the grade 3 teachers, all female, got in the water.  That’s sad.  I went swimming with my class and had a blast.  And maybe a couple of the teenage girls realized that it’s way more fun to go down the waterslide than to stress about whether your mascara is running, and maybe they didn’t, but at least they had the chance to see it in action.

** I know there’s no pictures.  I know that’s boring.  If you want to come and upload my pictures onto my computer, you’re more than welcome.  Otherwise, don’t whine.  I’ll post some soon.

How to make a burpy baby

Future ramsI’ve been sick all week.  Not sick enough to stay home, just sick enough to be miserable, especially on the super sunny days when I should have been outside but wasn’t.  Jer, on the other hand, took full advantage of tMamas watching Kerri feed the lamb airhe sunshine and optimistically planted greens, spinach, peas, and radishes outside (a day after there was snow 10 km north of here).  Today I was feeling much better and we went a’vistin’.  First we went to see some local sheep farmers for research and lambie cuddling.  I’ve never bottle fed anything before (or at least not in my adult life) and may have let the poor little lamb suck air wNow the milk is flowing!hile I posed for the camera.  oops!  We learned lots about a couple different sheep breeds and even something about prolapsed vaginas.  yum! not really…

Next we had tea and cake with our neighbours who always seem to have cake at the ready.  Great neighbours!

Jer’s first seed package arrived this week.  It has our farm name written all over it, including on each individual seed packets!  It makes me feel Soooo official.  Watch out guys, we’re like real farmers now.Serious farmers!

This week at work we did a belated secret cupid gift exchange.  Everyday I gave and received a small treat.  I got to know more about two of my colleagues and felt spoiled even while I felt sick.  It was lovely.Time to go play with my friends

Springnesses and things that make me smile

It’s pretty thrilling to watch spring unfold for the first time here.  I feel way more aware; way more present in this springtime than I have in springs gone by.  Most of the springs of my 20s I spent treeplanting, and often felt like I missed the season altogether.  Spring was usually well underway when I left Victoria, yet wherever I was planting still seemed to be in the throes of a late winter.  Plus I was more interested in other things than I was in the bees coming back, or the nettles or thistles or the birds.  Spring in Bella Coola was more of an event (or many events, for the first couple were always followed by a significant spell of winter), but we were so impermanent there that I don’t know if I really took note in the same way.  We spend so much time watching here – watching and waiting – that it would be hard not to notice the change a single day can make.

This Easter weekend has been pretty glorious.  I don’t think it’s rained, and it’s been warm enough to dry out the soil in our garden and rev up our roto-tiller.  Much of the garden has been tilled in the past two days, and we’ve now got a dozen asparagus plants in, as well as peas, beets, carrots, radishes, and an assortment of other nicenesses.  Our big plum tree out back of the house is BUZZING with bees, and I can only imagine what the next couple of days will sound like if the weather stays nice.  We’ve got hummingbirds at our feeder for the first time since Bella Coola and every time I hear one buzz by I smile.  We’ve seen our first house finches this week too – the first really colourful bird we’ve seen at our feeders this year.  We’ve planted fennel, camas, lilies, day lilies, a hellebore, a rhododendron, walnut trees, cherry trees, a red currant and a marion berry, a bougainvillea, and goodness knows whatever other flowers in our house garden.  I can’t WAIT for things to start coming up and making me smile.  Really.  I. Can’t. Wait.

Jeremy made me smile the other day by hanging up our clothes line.  It makes me SO much more inclined to hang up the laundry than when we had to hang it in our loft, stooped over like a drunken hunchback in the 4 foot nothing ceiling.  It is much more lovely to hang laundry under the plum tree.  Although, I must admit, it holds nothing to hanging laundry in Bella Coola, with this for a view.  Other things that have made me smile are finished new knit socks (although the colour scheme is rather blinding), finished new knit shirts, and the prospect of starting an aran sweater for Jer for his (30th!) birthday.  Daffodils and hyacinths, and lovely visits with friends and family.  Sleeping (and eating and cooking and living!) with the windows open.

Oh!  and our incubator hasn’t hatched any chicks yet.  We keep checking – today is the day the first few were supposed to hatch, and we’re just crossing our fingers.

What’s making you smile?