Thursday, July 30, 2015

Hot late July days...

It has been in the 100s during the days this week in Sacramento. I think yesterday got up to 108 or 109 degrees Fahrenheit! Way too hot for me.

And the heat is affecting the garden. Even though I water as much as I can, the plants do not like these temperature extremes either!

My Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundiflolia) finally flowered! But even this plant isn't liking the heat much!

My squash plants are staring to die back, although there are still zucchini here and there.

My flowers are also dying or setting seed. HERE is a link to the milkweed I planted. The other day I noticed the seed pods are starting to pop and the seed is pouring out. I need to capture the seeds and plant them next Spring!

I did get a few ambrosia melons this year. Only one has been ripe enough to eat so far. I am hoping the other 2 will last long enough to ripen on the vine.

And the scraggly grape plants are holding on and still producing some grapes. This is near the last of the bunches. Very small but very sweet!

I have been ordering seeds for my Fall and winter garden of salad and other greens. Once the heat goes down in a few weeks I plan on pulling up the dead vines and other plants, planting lots of lettuce and some Tuscan kale. I may even sneak in some Swiss Chard plants. Andy doesn't like it so much but I love chard so I can just make it for myself!

Lots of garden tasks in the coming months. With yoga teacher training starting this weekend and the garden and more sewing I want to do, I think the next few months will be pretty busy for me. Busy and fun -- just what retirement should be!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Yoga Teacher Training Blog

I have started another blog HERE.  It will pertain to the Yoga Teacher Training I will be starting on August 1, 2015. There is a link to it in the pages tab under this blog title if you would like to view it.

I wasn't sure if I wanted to keep it totally separate from this blog or connect the two. After some mulling it over I decided to connect them because this will not be a separate thing in my life. I am not sure who said it originally but if "yoga begins off the mat" then yoga will live with all my other interests and the rest of my lovely retired life.

So I decided to make a somewhat separate but still connected blogs. This one will stay gardening and arts/crafts, traveling and anything else that comes up and the other one will focus on the yoga training. Either one you might happen to read, I am happy you are here. Thank you.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Apricot heaven...

They're here... well half the tree is nearly ripe and the other half which is a little more in the shade is waiting its turn for the big ripening...

Now to decide what I want to make with them...

  • dried apricots
  • apricot fruit leather
  • apricot pie filling
  • apricot jam

Of course I am sure a good number of them will just be eaten right off the tree! Off to Google some recipes!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Crafting and gardening...

Last night I made a new quilt block in one of LisAnn's fun classes at Country Sewing Center. This one was from the modern block party group that meets monthly. We have 2 blocks to chose from and I made the Tula Pink City Sampler book one here:

And last week I got together with a couple of other gals from the quilt groups and we channeled our inner 60s with tie dyed tshirts!

And come outside now into the garden...

Here is the harvest from my garden just this morning:

The peppers in the pan with the tomatoes are hot (salsa and jalapenos) and the other dish has the mild ones (Italian sweet, gypsy, and bells). This squash was hiding from yesterday -- I have been getting on average a squash a day from my zucchini and yellow squash plants. And yes that is an eggplant -- the first of my Japanese ones that are supposed to be small and longish although this one is sort of fat. And the tomatoes are mostly cherry (yellow grape, currant red and black krim) and a couple of San Marzanos that I toss into the bag in the freezer until I have enough for a sauce. And a few strawberries to round out the plates. My plants are not producing as much as I had hoped but it has been really really hot and I don't think strawbs like it quite so toasty.

I have been enjoying the fruits of my garden a lot these last weeks, and apparently so has another critter:

What do you think it might be? I suspect a rat! We have started putting out bait and traps... gotta have patience with an animal who likes tomatoes and when you have around 10 tomato plants! What irks me is that those were my heirloom Brandywines! Apparently I have a gourmet rat!

And a couple of weeks ago I took up one of the potato plants because I thought it was ready to check and ended up with this motley small group of taters. It is more potatoes than I have ever grown before but really, it is barely a couple of bites! The other plant is starting to really die off now so I will check it in a few days and hope I got more!  I started them both rather late this time (in April) and I think they needed some of the cooler months before to get started. Oh well, I will try again next year after the beginning of the year and then see what happens!

Oh and I almost forgot -- this was my blueberry harvest this year:   (ok stop laughing)

What they were actually we from a couple of new plants I got this year for a crop next year and they happened to have a few berries on them. My old plants out did not fare well and so this year I got a couple more, replanted everyone into more of a boggy soil environment and will hope for the best for next year!