Posts tagged: farm report

This Week: Harvest Time!

By , October 27, 2011

The last of the harvest, not including celery. I'm holding the biggest potato of the year -- 1.2lbs!

It was harvest time this week! Monday was the day; snow was predicted for Wednesday, and Monday was an incredible 80°! How very perfectly the weather worked out this year; usually I’m out there harvesting in the freezing drizzle, my half-frozen fingers moving in slow motion. Not this year! I was prancing around the garden in bare feet and shorts ‘n’ T-shirt, clippers and shovel in hand, the air warm and golden with leaves. It was a true pleasure to be out working in the garden that day.

Here are some pictures from the day:

All in all, it was a below-average garden year. I’ve definitely had much more plentiful harvests in past years, and we missed our usual avalanche of tomatoes, but I felt OK with less because it matched my energy level. I was actually glad to not be overwhelmed with produce; it would have been too much for me this year.

And then on Wednesday, as predicted, we woke up to several inches of snow! How funny, I was cooking quinoa in my solar oven on Monday, and then making snow ice cream on Wednesday!

And tucked in amongst harvest day and our snowstorm, I had a spinal tap. Yuck! It wasn’t exactly awful, but it was a strange experience and I almost passed out a couple times during and after it!

For anyone who has to have one in the future, here’s what I would tell my patient if I were their nurse.

Getting a spinal tap: you could compare it to a blood draw. It’s kind of unpleasant, and it’ll probably be a bit uncomfortable…and it feels weird…but it’ll be over soon enough. It’s important to hold yourself in the right position. The doctor will put you in a fetal position…hold that pose, but remind yourself to relax and breathe.

The doctor will first feel your spine and mark where the needle should go in. Then your lower back will get cleaned three times with iodine. You’ll get two shots of lidocaine — one just under the surface of your skin, the other one further into your back. They don’t hurt much other than the sting of getting a shot. Then the doctor will insert the spinal needle; to me this is the worst part. Try not to picture what’s going on and take your mind to your favorite place if you can. You won’t feel pain, but it’ll be uncomfortable pressure and then a ‘pop’ sensation and a give. You might feel a dull ache down your back at this point. It takes several minutes for the spinal fluid to drip out of the needle into the collection tubes, but the worst part is over. Try to focus your mind on someplace nice, and breathe.

They’ll remove the needle but you probably won’t feel that at all. They’ll put a band-aid on, and probably draw a couple vials of blood from your arm, and have you slowly get up as you feel ready; take your time. It might help to have a water bottle or some juice or a little snack with you.

Have someone drive you home. Plan to take the rest of the day, and the next, to recover; avoid doing anything strenuous. Drink lots of fluids to replace your spinal fluid; they say caffeine helps prevent a possible post-lumbar-puncture headache, but if you don’t like caffeine (I don’t), don’t do it. Just hydrate and hang low.

I felt very fragile after the procedure, and had a substantial backache for the rest of the day. I never got the big headache some people do because of the lowered spinal fluid pressure. I drank lots of liquids and stayed in bed the rest of the day, and the next day too.

And today, Thursday, I’m totally recovered and the spinal tap is a distant memory. Now I want to dig out our DVD of that hilarious mockumentary, This is Spinal Tap, about the fictional rock band!!

*****

Late August Garden Tour

By , August 30, 2011

These photos are from my visit to the garden last week. It’s definitely not as much of a jungle this year as other years (or more accurately, the jungle isn’t as tall)…it was pretty late in getting going, but that’s all right. At least it’s not the worst year those raised beds have seen! That honor, I believe, went to Summer 2007. 😉

So what’s your garden been up to?

*****

 

Mid-May Vegetable Garden Photos

By , May 14, 2011

I went over to play in my garden yesterday, and was astonished at how much it’s grown since last week! The beautiful vegetables have really taken off — the mere sight of them just feeds my soul. I never tire of watching my garden grow!

Here are some update photos:

As you can see below, the baby peach and plum trees that I started from seed almost 2 1/2 years ago are doing great! They grow very fast…

And now a photo of the salad I made yesterday. This was the best salad I’ve ever eaten in my life. You’d think a salad would be a salad, but this one — with everything picked just minutes prior — was the sweetest, tenderest, most incredible-tasting salad. My theory is that the two straight days of rain we just had made the flavor more incredible than normal. I’ve noticed that rain makes the grass a different shade of green than tap water does…rainwater is special stuff. Collect it and treasure it! My grandma would collect rain water to water her houseplants and rinse her hair with!

The best salad ever. Fresh from the rain-soaked garden: baby arugula, spinach, lettuce, radishes, dill, cilantro, parsley, and onion greens. Dressed with olive oil, balsamic & red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Mega Weekend in the Garden!

By , March 15, 2011

Just finished seed planting! ...What? You can't even see your hand? Me neither.

Well, in what has become a bit too much of a yearly tradition, I finished planting seeds yesterday in the pitch black.

Every year this happens! I get too late of a start, and then I’m outside trying to get it all in the ground…it’s freezing, I’m barefoot, and I’m sowing cabbage seeds by feel because I can hardly see the garden anymore let alone the seeds.

I’m feeling good and satisfied though, because seeding the beds is the culmination of a whole heckuvalotta work: clearing out the raised beds, turning the soil, carting soil around the yard, getting a truckload (1 cubic yard) of compost from a landscape place with my dad, loading it into the wheelbarrow, distributing that into the raised beds and mixing it into the annex pots, digging in the compost, mixing in organic fertilizer, smoothing the beds, and then finally planting the seeds. Shew! I’m bushed, but it was invigorating to be outside moving my body! We were even blessed with *perfect* weather the entire weekend which is no small miracle in the fickle month of March in the Rockies!

I planted lettuce, spinach, radishes, arugula, broccoli raab, beets, onions, garlic, scallions, carrots, cabbage, cilantro, dill, and parsley.

Here are some photos from the weekend:

Getting started: clearing out the beds & turning the soil.

Dug up this very disoriented bumblebee. It's stretching its legs in the picture after taking a good 5 minutes to get its wings flapping again!

Schlepping

Dumping

Mixing

And look at that, I forgot to take an “after” picture in the daylight. Ahh well, you can easily use your imagination because the beds pretty much look like…absolutely nothing. But just wait! In a few months it’ll be a jungle!

Did you have a mega garden weekend? What are you planting?

August Photo Update

By , August 29, 2010

How have you been these past two weeks? Hopefully you’re out enjoying summer while it’s still around! The mornings are already getting cooler around here, and the autumn birds are beginning to sing. The garden is really at its peak, and we’ve been blessed with heaps of organic cucumbers, zucchini, kale, parsley, basil, cabbage, onions, potatoes, mini pumpkins, and tomatoes. I love the bounty! It’s the freshest, most organic, delicious, wholesome, high-vibration, grown-with-love food, and ingesting it just feels good! We are certainly eating like kings right now! I am so grateful for our garden.

August has been busy around here in a good way; my sister was in town for a week (so fun!), and Hubby and I went camping last weekend at my parents’ land which was completely wonderful. In the rush of work-a-day living, I forget how peaceful and healing it is to just hang out in nature. Sitting in the sun, looking out at the view, I kept thinking “This is life.” The weather couldn’t have been more perfect, and we just hung out and read, cooked at the coleman stove, drank tea, ate, laughed, watched chipmunks, ate wild currants, hiked around a little, and enjoyed the fresh mountain mornings, the twilight hour, a few shooting stars at night, and the nearly-full moon shining into our tent.

And since we had a rental car, I took all of our giveaway stuff to the thrift store drop-off after we got back; that stuff had been lingering in our entryway for far too long, and it felt great to clear it out. Doing that inspired me to clean up the rest of our house, too. It has been in shambles because we’re both too busy and too tired to devote energy to it. I find that in terms of the house, my outer realm both reflects and affects my inner realm. So when the house is out of control, it’s an accurate snapshot of my life at that moment in time. But if I take the time to really get it back under control (9 1/2 hours on Friday!), then I feel as if I have my whole life back under control. Whether your house is clean or dirty really affects your psyche more than I’ve ever realized.

Anyway, here are some photos from the past month:

The Garden in August

Cute sign

HAD to take a picture of these lovelies!

Camping

Each wild currant bush has its own taste.

Aspen grove on the Land

Look at that -- our campsite is as messy as our house!

Bumblebee Advice Needed!

By , August 12, 2010

Straw bale beehive (hive entrance is the hole at the bottom right)

Have you had a nice week? I have! My sister has been visiting from out of town, and the past week has been all about having fun — like being on vacation while still being home!

Anyway, I have a question for those of you with beekeeping experience. In my parents’ yard (where my gardens are), there’s a bumblebee hive (not honeybees…but the big, fuzzy bumblebees) inside one of the straw bales that I was going to use for garden mulch. This is such a special thing, and I feel honored that these bumblebees have chosen a home near my gardens; it makes the yard feel like a nature preserve!

I’d like to do everything I can to encourage them to stick around. Unfortunately, the Wikipedia article about bumblebees states that they only use their hive for one summer, and don’t overwinter in it. Is that really true? Do you have any experience with bumblebees? Should I build anything around the straw bale for the winter to persuade them to stay?

Leave a comment if you have any insight!

Update + Garden Pictures

By , July 24, 2010

Scene from my mini vacation

Well, long time no post!

This past week was the death anniversary of my best friend Sonja – my soul sister – and it upset my emotional balance a little more than I would have liked. When that happens, in addition to surrendering to the sadness (rather than stuffing it), I know I need to devote extra time to good medicine, as well as make a point to get out of the house and do fun things. So on one of my days off, I rode my bike over to Hubby’s office and met him for lunch, which is something we both just totally love. On the way back I stopped at Whole Foods and wandered around, picking out some fun things while completely ignoring the exorbitant prices. On my other day off, my mom and I took a mini vacation day and drove to a botanic gardens area. We enjoyed the water gardens and natural woodlands amidst sprinkling rain, snarfed potato chips at the cafe, and relished how we had the place to ourselves. After that we went to Penzeys Spices (we get so inspired at that store!) and I bought some special peppercorns, expensive Ceylon cinnamon, smoked Spanish paprika, and Cajun seasoning (an all-time favorite). To top it off, we had drinks and a cookie at a little sidewalk cafe. Back at their house, I made a batch of homemade cat food, worked in the garden, and visited with mom and dad over wine and cheese. Lovely! Family, gardens, nature, mini vacations…those are all things that help lift the funk and get me re-energized for daily life.

In other news, it’s been pretty hot here. Though the sweltering 95-degree days are punctuated with not-as-hot days in the mid-80s. It’s been really nice actually.

And the garden is progressing well! The bell peppers and a few of the tomatoes are still puny, but the zucchini, cucumbers, cabbage, potatoes, onions, and the tomatoes I started early in the Walls-O-Water are doing very well. I harvested the first ripe tomato today, and I think in a week’s time there should be many more, as well as the first of the cucumbers; I did harvest a nice zucchini today which I cannot wait to sautee in the Penzeys Cajun seasoning — such amazing flavor!! The garden seems a bit delayed compared to some other years; we had a long, wet, cold spring, plus I did plant a little late this year due to surgery interfering with my normal seed-starting schedule. But that’s okay! I just love watching the veggie garden grow and produce. Here are a couple pictures of it:

Farm Report: 30 lbs of food!

By , September 6, 2009

Garden harvest September 6 2009

After a week away, the garden didn’t look a whole lot bigger, but there sure was a lot of food in there! 10 lbs of cucumbers, 15 (!) lbs of zucchini, and probably about 5 lbs of tomatoes.

Harvest time is my favorite part of the year. It’s like Christmas! 🙂

“The Jungle Look”

By , August 5, 2009
The main garden area - raised beds

The main garden area - raised beds

I thought I’d show you 5 garden pictures I took yesterday. [Mostly] everything is going bananas! And if you hadn’t gathered from the picture, I’ll point out that my gardening style is not so much the tidy, perfectly-spaced row look, but more the Chock-a-Block style…the “Pack-it-in-I’ll-make-it-fit-somehow” style, or just simply, “The Jungle Look.” (Click below for more pictures)

Continue reading '“The Jungle Look”'»

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