Recently, Chris, Shrek and I went for a hike in the Sangre Mountains to check out some wildflowers and try to get a bit of relief from the hot days and the farm work. It was really a wonderful day and we enjoyed it very much. Unfortunately, that was two weeks ago and we haven’t been able to break away from the farm since. The flower seed crops are coming into harvest now in a very big way and every day is filled with seed-picking for Chris and other farm work for me. I’ve been helping with the seed-picking too, but most of that has been falling to Chris to accomplish.
The food garden is one of the things that has been filling part of my time. I’ve been harvesting tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, and two kinds of squash nearly every day. The bounty has been keeping Chris and I in fresh produce, and also extras to share with our farm crew. Elisa, one of the field crew, has been making squash muffins from some of that squash, and sharing some of those very delicious muffins back with us!
Below is a cucumber tomato salad I prepared quickly for lunch. I added some sliced mozzarella cheese, sprinkled on some fresh thyme and basil, and drizzled the whole salad with just a bit of balsamic vinegar. All served with fresh bread and iced tea…perfect!
On Wednesday last week Lizz and I paid a visit to Perennial Favorites Nursery in Rye, CO (which is 30 minutes south of Pueblo off I-25) to see our friends Merrilee and Diana, the nursery owners. Below is a picture of one of their hummingbird perennial gardens. I wish I had gotten a better photo, but I was hurrying, so this one will have to do. I hope you will visit their website and read Diana’s blog, because it will inspire you and your gardens. Here is the link… Diana’s blog perennial favorites . Perennial Favorites Nursery will be open for a couple of more weeks before they close for the season. They have some really amazing plants for sale there, so I encourage you to visit their website to see what the hours and days are that they are open, as well as directions to the nursery. It’s an easy drive there and worth the trip, so I hope you will visit them. You’ll even get to meet their dog, Zandar, who is quite a whimsical sweet guy…a great nursery dog!
We had such a lot of fun talking shop with the two of them, and then doing some shopping for real to buy some plants to bring back to our farm. One of those plants was a fig that should be hardy to zone 5, so it should thrive here in my garden. I’m going to plant it this afternoon so that it will have several weeks to settle in before the cold weather seasons arrive.
Every late fall after the seed harvest is finished Chris and I get to take our camping vacation to southern Utah. We love hiking the canyons there, enjoying wonderful plants, colorful rock formations and Indian ruins. Since it is late fall, though, one never quite knows what the weather will be like. It could be raining or snowing and the night-time temps are usually at freezing or below. So, I did say we were camping, right! Yes, in the past we have put a shell (not this camper) on the back of our truck and at night we roll out our sleeping bags on the bed of the truck and that is our home away from home. If the weather is dry and the temps not too cold, this has been ok, but if it is too cold for a campfire in the evenings to stay warm by before bed, or if it is wet out, the truck set-up isn’t ideal. Plus, we are getting older and our bones are getting more fussy about hard metal truck beds! Add to that the fact that we now have our dog Shrek to take with us, and the thought of a wet muddy dog sleeping on my sleeping bag just isn’t that appealing. Does it sound like I’m making excuses…teehee. Well, whatever works.
I had some money left from my book sales last year that I had saved aside, so we decided to see if we could find an older pop-up camper to fit our truck and we got lucky. There was a young couple who owned this older pop-up camper, but who also have 4 young boys and they have outgrown the space, so they had a good price on the beast. It was in very good shape and only a few things needing fixed, which Chris has been working on in the evenings after farm work. This is our new home-away-from-home for our upcoming camping vacation. It will keep us dry, and there is a heater if we need it if the temps get too cold at night to be comfortable.
There is room for Shrek to sleep in it too and not be sleeping on top of us in our sleeping bags. And I’m quite sure the bed will be a lot softer than the metal bed of our truck! I’m really smiling now!
About three years back I purchased some kiwi vines. They have been growing in large pots since that time. During the warm seasons I take them out to the garden to live, but I haven’t been brave enough to plant them in the ground, even though they should be hardy enough to grow here. Each late fall I have put them in an unheated cold frame greenhouse and covered them with frost blanket, where they have been very content to grow with no complaints. However, they should be hardy here, so yesterday I planted them in the White Rabbit Garden. One is planted on the north side and one on the south side of our Little Garden House (where we store gardening hand tools and such). They will have a bit of protection in these spots from the wind, and I think they will like the spots they are planted in. I may cover them with frost blanket too for the really cold months of the winter, but I haven’t decided about that yet. We’ll see what happens. Keep your fingers crossed that they will be happy.
This next week will be another week of lots of seed picking, greenhouse chores, and office work. It will be a full week of tasks at hand to get done. There will be garden produce to “put up” for later use too. I’m starting to read a couple of new books at bedtime and contemplating setting up my stitching frame to work on my needlework. It’s about that time when I should be able to sit a spell now and then and stitch. I hope so…it is August already after all! Soon the autumn will be here…my favorite time of the year, but in the meantime there is still a lot of the summer left to enjoy.