Saturday, June 28, 2014

wow! has it really been a week since the last post? yep. uh-huh. my bad!

so it's been another one of those weeks where you are so busy that you can't even remember what you were busy with! we had a couple of rainy days, nothing crazy, just some nice rain for all of the plants, grass, trees and garden. but we have also had a few stellar days as well. we are finally at the point of mid20C's all week - it's been an incredible june!

ok - on to the aphid problem - arghghghgh! we tried the soap and water thing on our pepper plants and it worked, but then i found another recipe on the internet. write this one down kids - it REALLY works! you chop up about 2 cups of tomatoe leaves and mix that with 4 cups of water. let it sit overnight. you will see immediately that the water starts turning a funny colour brown and has a strong tomatoe smell. strain out the tomatoe leaves and pour about 1/2 cup in a regular sized spray bottle and fill the rest of the bottle with water. spray your pepper plants with this. this really did the job and the aphids are gone from the pepper plants.

however, our amazing pepper plants now look like this:

because it's still early in the season and because some of the peppers are bouncing right back, we are not panicking. all of the pepper stalks have new buds on them. so fingers crossed kids!

and even though they were planted in sifted soil which contained 5yr old manure, our own 3yr old compost, and peat moss, i'm not taking any chances! i am making comfrey tea and then feeding them watered-down comfrey tea tomorrow and once a week from here on in until harvest time. comfrey is a wonderful fertilizer and we have tons of it growing on our land! here is the tea - it's kind of stinky but i don't care!

and here i am drying comfrey leaves and flowers! my friend Dani has a super-duper solar powered oven and i recommend everyone visit her site - she lives totally off-grid and cooks almost everything and anything in her solar oven! she also has recipe books for solar cooking and i really enjoy mine. but here at the Manor we just have screens and pallets - bahhahahah! but on a hot day like today and for the next few - we can just dry the leaves and flowers on screens and make comfrey tea, salves and ointments!

if you aren't aware of the medicinal value of comfrey - go here or here. or just look it up on the internet! comfrey has been used medicinally for centuries! here's the flowers below:

here's a big bunch that will be turned into mulch to mulch around the tomatoes:

when foraging or harvesting from natural-growing plants, we us the Mi'kmaq rule of thirds: one third for you, one third for insects, birds, bees, etc. and one third for Mother Nature.

oh and speaking of birds and bees - no, not that kind PP! - hummingbirds and all kinds of bees love comfrey flowers! you know what else they love? lupins baby! and we got lupins all over our land! they are so beautiful and come in so many colours!

in this group on the driveway you can see a beautiful pink lupin and a beautiful white lupin:

we also have beautiful scotch broom growing all over our land - the bees and birds love them too!

want to see some more beauty? how about kymberz famous sorta-eggrolls/sorta-potstickers? ok, here ya go:

i can eat 3 of those babies 25 times a day and never get sick of them! recipe coming on our recipe blog soon!

and more beauty - beef raosted in the slow cooker and smashed potatoes - oh, when i sat down to eat this plate, i swear i was in heaven!

i found a new recipe for kimchi and i WILL NEVER make kimchi the old, traditional way again. bless my poor Korean teacher's heart who taught me to make traditional proper kimchi - this is faster and way more delicious. recipe coming on our recipe blog soon!

people - if you have never tried kimchi - try it! it is so good for you! and this recipe is made with regular cabbage - NOT nappa cabbage which is 3 times the price of regular cabbage. you can grow your own cabbage like we do or you can buy it for real cheap at the store. get some cabbages when they are in season and on sale, put them in a box in a cool room, basement or closet, cover them with a towel and you can be making kimchi all year for very little cost!

more beauty:

again - that is the front yard view and the blue brook is called Strachan's Brook. i love that view!

lastly how about a nice light dinner to keep you working until supper? raw broccoli, raw cauliflower, homemade pickles, radish and carrot kimchi, pineapple and apricots - deelish!

anyway - it's been a great week! i'm off to catch up on your blogs soon! much love to all of you!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

happy first day of summer, more gardening, dang-stupid aphids, more fresh trout and lobster! now there's a mixed bag for you!

Happy first day of summer (well, the actual solstice started last evening at midnight but you know what i mean!). our first day of summer was quite cloudy - but even when it's cloudy, it's still paradise. have a look:

now on to a bit of a rant! dang-stupid aphids - arghghghghghghg! we had trouble with them last year attacking our poor apple trees. this year, they are trying to attack our peppers in the greenhouse! but jambaloney noticed them right away and we have been spraying the pepper plants every morning and evening for the past 2 days. a few of them took a hit but they have all bounced back. i hate spraying them with soapy water but that is the best thing we could find on the internet to ....ick....kill them. i just hate doing it but i want healthy pepper plants - i have tons of salsa and hot sauce making in my future plans! here's a pic of some of the newest plants that i started from seed:

and here's a pic of the ones we over-wintered:

like i say, we caught them early and the plants are bouncing back. fingers crossed folks!

anyway - trouts for breakfast, along with some carrot and radish kimchi - deelish!

imagine how fresh these fish are? jam gets them out of an ocean-fed river and has them home and in a pan in about an hour - that's pretty darn fresh! the carrot and radish kimchi is light and refreshing and you all know what i say about getting home-made fermented food in your daily diet! natural, healthy, in-your-own-environment probiotics people!

here's another great breakfast! we got 2 more 1 and a half pound lobsters, cooked to perfection, they had been caught that day - again back to fresh! - and after we had eaten all of the lobsters, we saved one claw, all of the legs and both knuckles. we had the knuckles for breakfast with local apricots and home-made pickles - yummeh!

a nice mid-day snack - chew on all of the legs of the 2 lobsters. they are juicy, filled with meat if you run your teeth across them properly and can really fill you up if all you are looking for is a quick snack. this pic is of the remains - teehee. we eat every last bit!

and for all of my friends from new england - lobster rolls baby! the buns were oiled with garlic and olive oil and toasted in the oven just until warm. there's some more home-made pickles - a perfect accompaniment!

i loooove scalloped potatoes! like loooove 'em! so the other night's supper was local sausages, scalloped potatoes and some sides.

for the past few days i have been working on planting some beds of beans and transplanting all of the cucumbers - have a peak:

this bed has 3 rows of garlic, 12 cucumber plants, a row of fennel, a row of romaine lettuce, a row of boston lettuce and a row of melons. tomorrow i will finish this bed by adding whatever i have laying around.

tomorrow is also the day to move the zucchinis to the huggie-kulture (hugelkultur bed) that already has my strawberries in it. i will put the zucchinis there this year and then let the strawberries take over the whole bed next year.

tomorrow is also the day i plan to put the squashes and pumpkins into our ginormic compost pile. tomorrow is also the day to do our first hilling of the potatoes. woohoo - they are coming up like gangbusters!!!! then i want to start working on building a triangular, permanent herb bed made out of rocks and 4 tiers high. i have been playing with the design quite a bit and i know that jambaloney can build anything. it's just gonna take us a while to gather up all the rocks. but we've got 2 garden carts and that big trailer thingy so i don't think it will take too, too long. that's all i got for today folks. i hope that you have had a brilliant couple of days! and happy first day of summer to all of you!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

holy moly! can you say embarrassed?!?!?!?!? and some tomatoes! (now if this catchy title doesn't grab you - there is something wrong with you! bahahahah!)

what a gorgeous few days! don't believe me? my goodness you people should learn that when i say a gorgeous day - i mean properly GOR-JUSH!

oh i love my bench and pond. and the sky. and clouds. and yes PioneerPreppy - i love those saved tires. tires that will be used to hill my beautiful potatoes!

okay. it's everyone's worst nightmare. you won't even believe these 2 stories that i am about to tell but let me tell you - they really happened! i am so embarrassed that i could cry! well, not really. but i am/was embarrassed!

first one - happened a few days ago. you all know that we garden naked. except in black-fly season. some of you might know them as chiggers or no-see-ums or something. the are awful. i am covered in so many bites that i could cry. even though i cover myself in deet and a whole pile of home-made recipes including smearing crushed garlic and onions all over my body! nothing stops those black flies!!!

so in black-fly season - we wear underwear. panties for me. and bandanas because you don't want those things in your hair. so, we wear underwear because  number one - you do not want to spray deet on your privates right? and number two - you don't want black fly bites on your privates. so a couple of days ago, i am in my panties all deeted up and jam is in his tighty-whities. we are out gardening. then it's noon so i come in the house to start frying hamburger because we are going to enjoy some delicious spaghetti for supper. so i am standing at the stove, in my panties and bandana, stirring hamburger and some guy comes to the door, sees me - screeches "oh god! i'm sorry" and runs back out of the porch and down the stairs. i screech and run to the bathroom, open the window and yell to jam that someone is at the front door. jam only hears me calling so he comes around the side of the house....get ready for it.....wearing knee-high gum boots, filthy tighty-whites and a bandana. you can imagine what that looked like.

buddy turned out to be a purolater courier and he had a package that had to be signed for. he was embarrassed to death. he kept his head down the whole time that jam was talking to him and signing for the package. and then i watched that guy run down our huge driveway faster than either jam and i can run....and we can run - trust me.

oh my goodness. in my panties and a bandana stirring hamburger. i would have felt a lot better if i had have been stirring some fresh greens from the garden, ya know? but no, stirring hamburger. who knows what kind of stories this guy is back at work telling. oh and when i said that jam's tighty-whities were filthy - i really mean it. he was out making dirt in the wheelbarrow which consists of mixing seaweed, compost, manure and dirt. oh dear me. that guys knows our names. ackckckckckckckkck!

anyway, here's a good breakfast to get you going first thing in the morning:

that's some steamed broccoli with olive oil and garlic sauce and some radish and carrot kimchi. i promise to put the recipe up for this kimchi on our recipe blog soon. it's very light and refreshing and so simple to make! and you want to eat fermented food at least once a day, or better yet with every meal!

ok - on to more embarrassment! the other night we are out in the hottub and didn't take our robes with us because we didn't need them. there we are enjoying ourselves when we hear "HELLO. HELLO. HELLO." i screech and jambaloney yells "hang on buddy". the person only came around to the front of our porch, our hottub is out back. jam grabbed a dirty towel off the back of the deck, wrapped himself in it and then went around the porch to see who it was. now remember, it was about 9:30pm. i am shrunk and hiding in the hottub when jam yells "babe, it's just J coming for a visit. he's got his head turned - run in and get dressed". J is a good buddy of ours so i jumped out of the hottub naked, ran into the porch and into the house and got my bathrobe - a bathrobe is fine for visiting in up here.

we spent a good hour and a half out on the deck with our friend J. he said that he knew that you had to toot the horn at the bottom of our driveway, but because he walked over, he didn't have a horn - bahahahah! but he knew to yell out Hello several times in case we were in the hottub. he's a real good buddy - but again, another embarrassing moment!

OK, i know that PioneerPreppy and Matt are all - "what about the freakin tomatoes". keep your pants on, guys, i'm getting to them!

ok - so here are the ugly tires with holes dug in them, 2 handfulls of 5yr old manure put on top of stinky, decaying seaweed. next up, some powdered milk - tomatoes love calcium.

next up is the stakes that jam made from an old trampoline and lawn chair - both of which he found in the garbage. re-purpose and re-use is our motto!

the red bucket was filled with a gallon of water and a cup of epsom salt. tomatoes love epsom salt! as we took each tomatoe out of it's pot, i soaked the roots in the epsom salt water before planting them in their holes. then we planted, each tomatoe, 3 to a tire, filled the tire and hilled the tomatoes with the beautiful dirt that jambaloney made, dropped cages on them and wrapped them in plastic. like this:

and here are the actual planted tomatoes in their mini-greenhouses.

the reason for wrapping them in plastic is because we get such bad winds here. plus the fact that the plastic creates mini- greenhouses for the tomatoes. sorry for the blurry picture.

and here's all 12 tires, filled with tomatoes and wrapped in plastic. people have told us that our yard is junky and that we don't take pride in our land (i am not referring to PioneerPreppy here. he hates our tires and we understand! i am referring to other people.)

but to the people who say that our yard is junky - go jump off a cliff. or better yet, continue on in your stupid ways because you'll be the first to be eaten by the zombies! bahahahahahahah! that's a good one!

here's the jungle cat. i mean tiger. he's out doing tiger things and such. my friend W is always asking for updates on all of our babies. this pic is also for our favourite Marine - i hope that he enjoys seeing a true and proper jungle cat in action!

allrighty - so you are out all morning transplanting tomatoes and building weird cages for them - you need some dinner. how about some gorgeous new brunswick sardines in oil, some home-made pickles (recipe coming soon), some in-season apricots from the mainland and some delicious home-made carrot and radish kimchi - now that's a meal that will keep you working another several hours!

then you have to go out and harvest some chamomile flowers. these will produce flowers all summer long if you clip them when the flowers are fully grown.

here's today's harvest which we will enjoy every morning and evening for the next 3 days.

soon they will be coming in like gangbusters and then we will dry them to have chamomile tea all during the winter. for anyone interested in knowing more about the health benefits of chamomile tea - go here, or here or you can just google "health benefits of chamomile tea". chamomile is very easy to grow, indoors or outdoors, in a pot or anywhere. and it has so many beneficial qualities - please - if you don't grow anything - grow chamomile.

here's our ornamental apple trees in almost full-blossom. we didn't plant them, the previous owner did - but we enjoy their beauty! we still haven't produced a fruit on one so thank goodness that our brother has an orchard! we get tons of fresh, delicious apples from him!

well - my man is snoring in his computer chair - bahahahahah! i took a pic of him so i can show it to him later. he's had a long day today and that's after putting in a full day of work at LobstersRUs yesterday. he's tired, won't admit it, he's sun-stroked, won't admit it, and he's hungry. we took out some steaks that he got a steal price so he bought a bunch of them. they are ready for the grill and i will make his favourite side dish - veggie shish-kebabs. he loves shish-kebabs with his steak.

anyway, this is the last pic i took today.

it's hard to believe that we can look at such a beautiful sky pretty much every day for the rest of our lives. i send my best wishes to all of you and hope that you have had a wonder-filled week.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

hey fat boy! (Updated with hot sauce recipe link!)

(h/t to Max-a-million)

"Hey fat boy, I wanna make you smile
Hey big boy, come play with me for a while"

i used to love that song! you can look it up on youtube if you so desire. but trust me, it'll get you dancing!

below is the reason why we have been singing "fat boy" all week long.

when i first saw him, i thought he was a she. i yelled to jambaloney - "babe! we have a pregnant female!". but then jambaloney noticed his ruby red throat which you can't see in the picture. male humminbirds have ruby red throats, whereas the females have white throats.  anyway, he's the fattest hummingbird we have ever seen and he actually looks slim in the picture!

he guards that feeder like a maniac. he lets some of the girls drink but he won't let a male anywhere near it. it's fun to sit at the table and watch the hummingbirds. but whenever he shows up we start singing "fat boy" and it always makes us laugh.

here's some daikon radish and carrot kimchi i made the other day. it's super yummy! i'll put the recipe up on our recipe blog in the next day or two. i have just up my recipe for homemade hot sauce for Mike - i hope he enjoys it!

i love spaghetti that has tons of mushrooms and meat in the sauce. i make the sauce from scratch.

here it is with some deliciously-aged parmesan - yummeh - and some fresh greens from the greenhouse with the radish/carrot kimchi as the dressing - it went down really good!

allrighty - it's a bit of a rainy day today - nothing like some of you have been experiencing - just a normal rainy day and the garden is loving it! we've been doing regular gardening things the last few days and today we are doing jobs around the house. and enjoying the rain by leaving our bath robes in the plastic-wrapped porch, running outside naked in the rain and then jumping in the hottub - it's awesome!

i hope that you all are enjoying your day too!

Friday, June 13, 2014

a fishing first!

jambaloney here!

so before much ado and all that stuff, i caught my first striped bass!!!

a buddy who has a cottage down the road had come to visit the other night - he has a fishing tournament in honour of his dad every year. he mentioned a couple of his friends caught some bass on rapalas so i took a heavier rig out with me yesterday morning as well. it was a bit cool and breezy and the trout were in a funk so i paddled to the channel and started casting - i didn't expect much so a 5 lb bass was quite the surprise when he hit hard! it was a weird catch - bass, two white perch and a tiny trout (it swallowed the lure)

i have been upgrading my rigs - when you take some old line off to spool new line, wrap it around a toilet paper roll if it is still good, you can use it to make rigs or tie up stuff around the house...

back to fishing - here is may 31, halfway down the road - if you squint, you can see the manor at the top of the hill

water was nice and calm...

and here is a bag limit that sandy and pioneer p need to share!!!

next trip was june 09 - i took harry along for the ride -  this is the sun at 6 AM

9 days later and everything is much greener...

harry has a coffee mug in his hand for the walk ;-)

reflections were awesome that day..

as above...

so below

quite spectacular!!!

it's like two worlds the same...

okay enough dreamy stuff - more nice trout!

back to work - here is a tip for re-using zip ties, try to stretch them around as much as you can before tying them off then you can clip the end, pull the small tip out and re-use (alternatively, you can wrap it around a few times and then zip, the result is the same) the bottom tie is from last year..

from fencing the huggie culture (hugelkultur)!

as you can see, there is plenty of tie left for another use!

half done - this is our new strawberry bed!!!

1st yellow swallowtail - summer is almost upon us!

we are transplanting tomotoes on the next nice day. last year we used alder sticks as stakes - after a year, they are as brittle as eggshells and useless, so this year i am making metal ones with the sawzall and trash - a lawn chair yielded 9 stakes..

and here is a discarded trampoline...

that was good for 23 more!  the last 4 stakes are 3 plastic edges from greenhouse window panes and a broken broom handle - trashy, but at least they will be usable next year!

tomatoe tires ready to go with tubs of manure-laden soil to top them up - you can see the cages in the background...

here is one beforehand, they needed work - big-ass dandelion and crappy rotting twigs - all fixed!

hope you are all having as productive and fun june as we are - cheers!