Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pantry rebuild

Finally got around to building a pantry. 
This is what it has looked like. A shelving unit from ikea with everything just piled on and around it. 
Got it emptied. 
Some shelves installed. 
Waiting for the glue to dry. 
Countertop with new outlet. 
Decided to add a little shelf. 
All done and restocked. 
Here are all the shelves. 

Went pretty smooth. Just over a day start to finish. Not bad for a day off. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Photo drop update

My ipod died a while back so the updates have been lacking.  I will also fully admit to being too damn busy to keep up with this blog but I will try harder... Maybe.   I should have pictures of our garden before the tour in all its glory but nope. Now the garden is in transition to fall. I also should have more pics of what we have canned/preserved but I forget to take pictures while I am in the middle of a project. So this is what you get.  A bunch of random pictures. Enjoy! 
Zucchini getting ready to freeze. 
The beginnings of peach nectarine ice cream. 
Pickles and dill beans. 
One nights harvest/work. 
On days harvest. All from one cherry tomato plant. Zukes that got lost in the garden. 
Peppers for salsa. 
Tomatoes for salsa. 
I also made my first zucchini bread this year. We froze a ton of zucchini. Everything but the cilantro and lime juice  for the salsa came from the garden. Now summer is fading and fall will soon be here. Already have red kale dino kale spinach and broccoli planted. Have some pie pumpkins to harvest and garlic to plant. Lets see if I can keep up with this blog. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Garden out of control

The recent weather has really helped in the garden. Tomatoes are getting huge as well as the squash.  
This was from a few weeks ago.

Now what the tomatoes look like. 

This was the sweet peas and some squash. 
Now. They are even bigger today. Already harvested are first zucchini. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013


The fruits of our labor have started to show up.  Now we have to deal/process them.  
This is our second picking of the raspberries. The first was one full bowl of mixed golden and red berries. 
This time the wife wanted to try and do a straight batch of golden raspberry jam. 
Eight cups of beauty right here.
Here us the finished product. The first harvest produced 4 pints.  The jam is so good. The golden jam taste great although it does look some what strange.  I likened it to canned tuna. Next time we may take out the seeds in order to get a sexier finished product. But like I said, it tastes great. 
Next up for processing...the snap peas. The peas are so good and abundant. Got  this bowl picked.  This bowl is about 18 inches in diameter.  We got the peas all chopped up no we just need to blanch and freeze.  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


This post has been a long time coming.  For those who don't know we keep bees.  See how I didn't call us beekeepers.  We are novices.  We like having bees in our yard but don't really know all the ins and outs of having bees.  This all started about 3 years ago when we acquired a top bar beehive.  I am not going to go into detail about the top bar hive (search it on the web and you will find more than enough info).  Anyway we were not prepared that first year and lost our hive.   The next year we caught a swarm and had that hive for two years.  Unfortunately this past winter we lost that hive as well.  So this year we decided to buy bees for the first time.  Once you have bees in your yard something always seems missing when they are gone.  So anyway this year we got a hold of Corky from the Ballard Bee Company and bought a package of bees.  and here are some pictures of us putting them in our hive.

When you buy bees they come in a 3 pound box with some food and a queen.
Here I am squirting a little bit of sugar water on them to calm them down and keep them occupied while I remove the lid.

Here is our empty top bar hive awaiting its new occupants.

Carefully taking out the feeder/lid and placing a piece of cardboard over the hole.

While most the bees are still in the box they came I prepare to take out the queen.  The queen comes in a little box with a cork at the bottom.  Wherever she goes so does the hive.  I first inspect the queen and make sure she is healthy.  Then I replace the cork with a small marshmallow that the other bees will eat through to let her out.  This way I can put her in our hive without fear of her flying off and losing the whole hive.

Dumping out 3 pounds of bees.

Here I am placing the bars back into the hive.

So far so good.  We got these bees in April and I am happy to say they are thriving.  Just this week I stopped feeding them and they seem to be bringing in lost of pollen from around the neighborhood.  I am so happy to have bees again.  Hopefully they will stay around for quite some time.

Wish us luck.

Perennial beds update

Here is a follow up to the last post.  A little before and after of our perennial beds.  Unfortunately some of the pictures are not from the same time I will have to be more cognizant.  Ah well you will get the point.

Rose trellis after completion.
The smell is oh so good.
Front bed

New bed this year...coming along nicely.
This is one of my favorite beds.  A little shade bed that I hounded for what seemed like ages.  This side strip was just some uneven grass that I hated mowing.  So after lamenting about it enough I convinced the wife to turn it into a bed.  
I think see likes it better than the grass.

Notice the new garden altar.  The wife has always wanted one.  I must say it is a nice addition to the garden.

Pretty grass.  This bed although you can't see most of it, will be the next to get transformed.  There is a tree that is too close to the house so unfortunately it must be removed.  Therefore a nice new bed will be born, hopefully with a water feature.  The sound of trickling water on the patio would be just lovely.
This is a new bed this year.  We scored a bunch of compost from a neighbor who got delivered more than she ordered so we took advantage and made a new bed.  So far so good.

Well that concludes our little garden update.  Time to get back out there.   We are on our neighborhood garden tour this July and still have a bunch to do.

Vegetable Garden update

The garden is ripping these days.  The NW weather has been doing us good so far.  I thought I would do a little update.  So here are some before and after shots. Enjoy!

Golden Hops Before and After...These things are crazy big!
Looks like we need to resurrect the skulls!
Here is the pie patch...raspberries, blueberries and rhubarb.

Some close ups of the raspberries...hopefully today I get out and pick some...they are so abundant you can't even walk between the rows.  I think next year we have to eliminate a row...sad but must be done.

So stoked on these blues....last year was the first year so not much fruit...year two looks promising.

Garlic Scapes.  Having them for dinner tonight.  Once the scape makes it all the way around to form a loop they need to be cut off so the plant redirects its energy down to the bulb.  Probably will be harvested in about a month.
Tomatoes and beans here.
No more cover.
Trellis about a third done.

Love the reuse of the welded wire fencing we have left over from the chicken run.
Snap Peas...will they reach the top?
YEP!  These are amazing...few more days and they will be ready to eat. Lots of peas this year.  Also in this bed is some squash.
Here we have our pickling cucumbers.  Haven't done pickles in a long time...hope this works out.

So there you have is hitting on all is always nice to see the progress.