Posts Tagged ‘Seed’

Monday, February 20, 2012

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  Saturday was a busy one.  Normal running around.   But, today was Seedy Saturday, so I wanted to spend some time there later on.

Over to the Tillicum Mall … saw a funky little food truck, plants growing out of the sides (at least I think they were real).  I was just about to walk on by when I remember that I was carrying my little camera .. and so, I stopped and took a few photos.  Never miss the opportunity.  I’ve not seen this truck before and might not again!

Wander around the mall .. I like the friendly atmosphere of this place.   No big box stores here .. those places seem to dehumanize people.  Ceilings up to the sky.  Endless rows of products.  Easy to feel anonymous in the crowds.

Not so at Tillicum.  There is a nice relaxed feeling there.   Quite a variety of small stores .. where customers can chat with the store clerks.  Enjoy conversations and jokes.  Little cafes, coffee shops.  There always seem to be sales there.

And there is a sort of neighbourhood ambience there also.  Quite often there are presentations, entertainment.

Last year I happened to visit and there was an antiquities show there, large tables set up …with such a variety of things for sale.  The sellers went around during the year collecting things and then sold them.  Prices were quite reasonable.  Although I was tempted .. I resisted the impulse to purchase a set of tiny silver plated teaspoons.  They would have made a dainty wind chime, but I have too many projects not finished.

Later on in the day, decided it was time to head on down to the Seedy Saturday.   There had been speakers throughout the day, but I really just wanted to buy some different seeds.

Arrived at the Empress parkade .. full .. hmmm .. decided to just drive around to see if I could find a free parking space.  If not, I’d just go home. Well, a block or so away, there was an empty spot ..so I carefully parked my little car and walked to the Convention Centre, paid my admission and went inside.

The place was buzzing .. I can only imagine how busy the whole day was, from morning till now.   I was surrounded by excited conversations taking place between vendors and customers.  Tried to visit as many tables as possible.  Enjoyed some great gardening conversations.  Bought a variety of items.

Surprise, surprise, bumped into someone I hadn’t seen for a few years, quite a nice surprise.  She is also enrolled in a wonderful gardening program!   Saw the most amazing pumpkin on their table.  It was so beautiful and didn’t look real, so I just kept taking pictures!  Talked with the lady who grows these and other vegetables … .I’ll be looking for the upcoming Fernwood plant sales .. she’ll be there!  I want to grow one of these pumpkins.  She laughed and said that at home, they kept moving the pumpking around from room to room.  How fun!

I was reminded that the Camosun Plant Sale will be taking place at Royal Roads in the Spring .. omg .. I haven’t been to one of those for so many years.   gulp, watch out, wallet, here we go!

I’m digging out packets of seeds from my purse and my carry bag .. let’s see, what did I buy on Saturday:

Rheinische Zucker Erbse Pea seeds from Salt Spring Seeds, http://www.saltspringseeds.com/  & I subscribe to his newsletter.

Italian large leaf Basil, from Omega blue Farms, Qualicum Beach, OmegaBlueFarms@gmail.com

Red chieftain potato seedlings,  (no farm name)

Red Orach, Sunbird Seeds, Victoria, B.C. – these will be striking, tall red plants ( and I see that they self seed .. so next year I’ll be giving these away.

Spaghetti Squash, Tiger Tom Tomato (golden striping on red/orange skin) excellent for lattice-work trellising & Kentucky Wonder Bean … from Brother Nature, http://www.brothernature.ca

And .. from Twining Vine Garden:  http://www.plantexplorers.com/twiningvine/index.php

They have quite a variety of unusual seeds and I purchased the following:

Spicebush, Chinese,deciduous flowering shrub, unique cup & saucer flowers

Miracle Tree, 7 seeds in the bag, quite large, ready to plant.  These are grown in poorer countries for nutrition. All tender parts of the tree are edible. Drought resistant, ideal for dry poor soils.  Not frost tolerant.   I’ll start half of the seeds and save the rest for later.

Winter Squash,French heirloom, smooth silky nutty sweet orange flesh .. more wards = more sugar.

Saskatoon Berry (noted that many sprout at the base of dogwoods & Rhodos) and American Ginseng (the ginseng has been stratified already)

Spicy Onion Tree – how could I resist!

Mock Orange, Chinese, drout tolerant, “bambi” proof ..

It was a great afternoon!  And a great day!


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Friday, January 13, 2011

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 Another sunny day is promised today!  With the possibility of a tiny little sprinkle of snow on the weekend.  I can handle that.

Yesterday was sunny at times .. chilly for sure.   Went outside to place the newly scrubbed bird feeder outside … and refilled all the containers.  Plus, fresh block of seed filled suet.

Glad to see that the birds are still nibbling away at the fat in the suet holders.  Not sure if I mentioned a little trick for squirrels .. something I learned in a conversation with a Thrifty’s employee, a few months back.

This lady’s grandfather used to feed the birds and the squirrels also.   For the squirrels, he would spread peanut butter between pieces of cardboard.  Then, the  clever squirrels would separate the cardboard, holding the sections in their little paws and it would look as if they were reading a book.  Sounded like a lot of fun.  And he would take photos of the little guys.

There was a fluffy grey squirrel outside, yesterday, gobbling up seeds that had fallen from the feeders.  I went outside to chase him away and he tried to camouflage himself in the tree .. hey, that didn’t work.  So then he spent time leaping from tree to tree .. seeing if I would go away, thinking he was gone.  Uh uh, mister .. so finally he gave up and ran away.

I did buy a large planter saucer that would hang beneath the bird feeder, to catch any wayward seeds.   Time to figure out how to attach that to one of the feeders.  Seems like a good project to tackle today.

Posted some pics of my lovely walks at Royal Roads and the Esquimalt Lagoon … and again I was pleased that I’d taken a wrong turn, thus discovering (for myself) those venerable old trees.  Moss laden branches .. so beautiful.

Tempting to travel out there again today .. but .. time would be better spent working on continuing to catalogue my gardening books.    I still have about three more shelves.

Still enjoying the entering of details, though, and this project allows me the opportunity to just leaf through the books.  Finding out amazing treasures .. lots of good ideas.

And I am so looking forward to starting my gardening course.  A wonderful series of time spent learning and talking about gardening.  Sheer bliss.  Plus, meeting other like-minded persons.

It feels absolutely fabulous to finally have the time to spend on my passion for working with the soil.  For so many years, I’ve taken a large quantity of my vacation credits to spend time in the  garden.  Seemed normal to me.  Now, I’ve progressed to the point where I have started my wee little gardening business.  And am adding to my gardening knowledge with classes.   It just keeps on getting better.

I must admit, when I was visiting Royal Roads, walking along a pathway alongside the Camosun Horticulture centre, seeing students digging away in a walled garden .. I felt a pang of longing to be in that course.   For many years I would have wanted that, however, it is true .. it is never too late to become the person you want to be .. or to do the things that you want.

I’m not interested in travelling the world … I like where I am.   But I am able to delve into the many layered worlds of gardening and the joys that unfold through that portal.  So for that I am eternally grateful.   And the adventures that happen along the way are treasured.

Anytime, time to get up and get going .. on this most beautiful day!  I have keyboards to tap, tickets to buy, places to go!

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Horrific winds last night … trees were being blown about .. no worries about falling leaves today ..  Loud screeching noises heard from the sundeck as our gravity chairs (tidily folded up) were sent scurrying about the surface of the deck.

Yesterday, working outside in the garden, I felt and saw the winds picking up .. slowly at first and ever so imperceptibly gaining.  Till they reached a high pitch in the evening …and I knew that they would blow away the clouds and today would have the sun.

Looking out the kitchen window this morning, I see that my prediction was correct.  Blue skies .. hmmm… was kind of anticipating a full day of rain .. so I could spend the day shortening the new kitchen drapes.

hmmm .. what to do .. what to do.   A batch of jam to be made.  Recycling to be done.  Drapes to be shortened.  And I just want to play in the yard.  Choices.

I enjoyed my toils in the garden yesterday.  Time for changes.  Uprooted the tomato plants, noticed their tenacity despite the cool temperature .. still flowering, some tiny fruits attempting to continue their growth cycle.  The season is over .. time to compost .. build up soil for regrowth next year.  I have a feeling that I’ll be finding a serious number of tomato volunteers growing next summer.

The Brussel sprouts weren’t faring very well .. crooked stems from trying to reach the suns rays.. kept from them by the voracious potato plants.  Dug them up and installed them in garden pots.   Inserted tomato cages in each pot .. not sure if those tiny little sprouts will grow or not.  I open up Thrifty’s Wednesday flyer and see the Brussel sprouts for sale .. my plants, I think, will not ever reach the size of the sprouts in the paper.  This year, but next year ???  We’ll see about that.

Dug up a few more red potatoes.  I’ve had so much fun growing these potatoes … feeling a little more self-sufficient with this little crop .. plus the tomatoes, tiny cobs of corn, cucumber, minute zucchini fruits.

Aha .. next year .. the changes I’ll make in my garden will result in a much bigger crop.  How exciting, just to think about that.

For now, though, it’s time to re-shape the garden .. decide how to lay out the garden patch.  I’ll prepare one large area for the garlic.   Will dig up and move the blueberries so they’ll be more in the sunlight.  A few vigorous plants to be moved along the fence. 

More fancy ivies to be planted, and trained to grow up the fence. 

Thought about digging up the sunflower .. but want to keep them a little longer so that the birds will enjoy them.  I’ve purchased more suet holders for the coming winter .. so there will be lots of food for my feathered friends.

Moved all the rocks that had been used to delineate the edges of the pathway in the veggie garden …. they are now resting in a pile at the side while I play .. shovelling the rich garden soil here and there .. deciding what to do.

Such fun.

Anyway .. time’s a wasting .. time to get on with my lovely life …


Well, it’s the evening of the day now  .. I can sit down comfortably at the kitchen table .. my little (slow) laptop all set up.    Duncan & Youbou cuddled up in their little bed beneath the table.   Jane E comfortably sleeping on her comfy blanket in another room.

Dishes done, everything tidied up and put away . … I can pour a lovely glass of white wine and hit the keys for a few minutes before zzzzzzzzzz’s.

My goodness .. I worked away today and even impressed myself.  Really really really wanted to just run outside and play .. but did a quick evaluation a number of times and decided that, really, time to get some things done today so I could play tomorrow.  Rumour has it that tomorrow will be sunny.

How did today start .. let me think … I was trying to decide where to start.  So I began with checking the laundry and it all unfolded from there (sorry, I didn’t mean to write that, it just happened!!)  🙂

It began when I took the kitchen recycling and compost bucket downstairs.  I meant to just add the recycling materials to their containers, take the compost bucket outside and that was it.

But, something happened.  As I started to separate the recycling materials .. I segued into an efficient being.  And began the major task of seriously sorting.  I began with the hard plastics .. sorted and tidily packed all of the clean materials into compact bundles .. to take to Syntal tomorrow morning.   That done, I next tackled the  sorting of city plastics (all those that Syntal doesn’t take). 

And I pondered again .. why didn’t the city accept Syntal to process plastic?  The company had spent serious money to accommodate sorting plastic, yet, another company was selected.  And so the plastic goes somewhere ..  I do not know .. to be sorted.  Money and energy.

So we save our major plastic for Syntal and then when we have sufficient quantity (several Rubbermaid containers) .. we pack this in our car and make the trip to Syntal (Central Saanich) when we travel to the airport ( our home away from home).

Next I tackled the aluminum foil bundles .. these were bundled into a large clear plastic bag .. DH will take these and assorted metals for recycling.

This left the paper supply.  Well, I’ve been saving cardboard and newspaper to use in the garden .. so there really isn’t much to recycle.

Oh .. and then there are the Reynolds School recycling items .. so I repacked the styrofoam, the soft plastics, the foil lined bags & chip bags (all well washed and dry), the cd’s.

And then, there were the pop bottles, beer cans etc. for the Bottle Depot.

Soon I had large bags full of materials .. ready to be packed into my car, out the door, and on to newer pastures.

Ok .. then I happened to start sorting the reusable grocery bags.  I folded some, neatly packed into a rectangular container .. perfect to place in my car.

Then I found a large supply of reusable bags, a mixture of various types of fabric.  Into the washer, cold cycle and then the drier. 

Finally took the compost bucket outside and emptied the contents into one of the 3 compost containers in the back yard.   Looked longingly at the garden .. wanted nothing more than to grab a shovel and move the luscious soil around.  Spent a few happy  minutes watching the Anna’s fly around .. and removed the bird feeder for a much-needed cleaning up!

With great difficulty, I decided to finish my house tasks and slowly made my way back into the house.  I continued with sorting, recycling, tidying up, laundry . .and the like.

Prepared two batches of plum jam … made with fruit that I’d picked in the brief sunny days of summer, washed, pitted, frozen carefully in the freezer.  Soon the jars were being sterilized in the large canning pot, hot water boiling away.  Two pots of jam cooking away.  Shortly, jars were filled, edges swiped, lids .. and finally I could hear the comforting sounds of the lids popping away.

Funny thing about making and canning jams .. and I certainly searched the web for any information.  Recipes result as either careful studies of elements of interactions of materials .. or just hit and miss attempts, recipes handed down generation by generation.

I can understand the knowledge of acidity of fruits .. but decided that our ancestors, the pioneers … just used what was available and thus, by trial and error .. the recipes resulted.

Having a container of blackberries. 2 Ziploc bags of cherries and plums .. all frozen .. I decided to play around with my own recipes.   And the results look pretty good.  Even the chutney “wannabe” that started out as cherry/plum jam!!

Finally, jam making completed, all dishes clean up .. time to work on shortening the new kitchen curtains.  Spent a few hours measuring, pinning, marking, cutting, pressing, sewing .. and finally have one window covered.   Some changes to be made .. but that will be another day!

Paid attention to supper preparation … one eye on the stove and another on the sewing station.   And yet another ..looking out at then garden .. tomorrow .. i promise!

Went to the dryer, unloaded all the freshly dried shopping bags.  Started folding them.  Began to notice the wrinkles in some of them .. wondered .. would it be an issue to just press the wrinkles out?  No No No No .. don’t even go there .. I decided.   Once I make a step on that road, where will it end?  Colour coordinating bags to match the store.  The days of the week.   Sort the bags into sizes and then colour?  Design? Materials?  Horoscopes?  Step slowly away from the shopping bags .. just walk away.  I finished by neatly folding the bags, colours, sizes, fabric be damned .. and just bundled them into two bags.  Easy to carry to the car.  enough.  finished.

So now .. I can relax, think over my busy day and just enjoy some tranquil moments.  Another busy day ahead of me tomorrow.  Out and about .. followed by hours in the yard .. and then out and about again.

How can life possible be boring?  I really just cannot imagine that.


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