Saturday, May 22, 2010

First harvest

We have new neighbours! Sure they may be of the small, furry variety, but it's still exciting!

I am sitting here in our playroom feeding Marcus, staring out the patio doors at our backyard, and just noticed a group of black squirrels playing in one of our trees (which caught my attention, as I've never seen 5 squirrels staying together on the same branches at one time - and not be fighting!). Then I see them go in and out of a hole in the trunk. And then I notice that two of them are babies, probably from this year!. I don't know why I found that so exciting, but I love that our property is now providing a home to two families! It just caught me by such surprise that I thought I'd share it!

In garden news, Chris went shopping today and got some new toys! We now have a hose (no more hauling a watering can to and from the kitchen!), and the hanging baskets for the arbours. He also stopped by his Uncle's to grab the last vegetables for our garden; we now have six pepper plants and eight tomato plants hanging from the arbours, and several more in pots on the ground. That will make for some tasty eating!
We also got to harvest our first veggies yesterday, and brought in over a dozen radishes! I'll admit the majority went to our neighbour (it was at his suggestion that we even put them in this year!), but we got to feast on some sliced with dinner tonight, very yummy! After we finish harvesting the two rows that are fully mature tomorrow, we'll replant them (there is a third row that has just started sprouting), and at this rate, we should have at least four harvest over the course of the summer!

Chris also picked up about 6 lbs of fresh rhubarb from his uncle as well, which he has just finished stewing. He made some like an apple sauce (which we just had over ice cream, deliciously sweet with a surprising tart bite at the end), and then strained some juice as well. Apparently it is great if you are constipated. The recipe was very simple, for about 6 lbs of rhubarb he added 3 cups of sugar, and let it simmer until the fruit was tender. Then he strained the fruit, blended it until smooth, and let it cool. Voila! I'll be able to add that as a base to pies, or just do what he does and top vanilla ice cream!

It is wonderful to see the garden come to fruition - pun intended. And it hit us today that we have many types of garden going on: raised beds, level beds, hanging planters (both with veggies planted upside-down and right-side-up), and veggies planted in regular pots. All we're missing is the rice paddies and large fields of grain! Now all that stands between us and a bountiful harvest is many hours of watering, weeding, and maintenance!

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