Sunday, July 23, 2006

heat wave

Put simply, it is just way too hot. I've got sheets over all the sunny windows, which keeps the house on average 5-7 degrees cooler during the day. An ocean swim is only barely refreshing, and by the time we're back home from the beach we're sweating again. The poor children are covered in mosquito bites and intermittent heat rashes, and the animals hang out in the house with us all day. Our thermometer outside in the shade read 42 degrees celsius a couple of times this past weekend. It's now 11:30pm, 20 degrees outside, and still about 24 in the house, thanks in part to our little fan, pulling the cooling night air in through the children's room.

It's been so hot that I daren't go out to take photos during daylight, so these are taken inside of some of the day's harvest. This evening after 9 I went out and sweated in the evening heat while I harvested some boysenberries, chamomile, and overdue lavender. It's all I can do to find the space of cool to harvest what we have and water the most needy plants; weeding and mowing will have to wait.

But then, I've always been a heat-wimp. I just hope this doesn't last too long!



Monday, July 17, 2006

cherry tomatoes

Ron and Leah gave us this lovely plant. Thank you!!!

zuchinni males standing around waiting...

...for the females to blossom...

red lily

large-leaved avens

heal all

blossoming echinacea

boysenberries are ripe!!

a small basketfull of fresh sun-warmed boysenberries was the perfect addition to a salad of (in order of quantity) rose petals, lettuce, nasturtium blossoms, blue cheese, and fresh rosemary.




tiny, unidentified bug

click to zoom in and see it better!
Those are Tali's fingers. He found this bug on the log he was using as his "boat".

thistle buds


butterfly bush

July 7, 2006 - hollyhocks


When we first moved in together, Markus and I lived in an apartment by Metrotown, in Burnaby. We longed for the earth, and liked to sit under the sweet little vine-maples at Metrotown, dreaming of our one-day-home. We couldn't bare the highrise above Foody Goody's for long, and 1 month later moved into our first dingy basement suite, which thankfully had an acre of sewer-potent swamp around it (yes there was raw sewer pumped into the ditches there, but we were thankful for the use of any piece of land, and this one had free blueberries and wonderful upstairs neighbours)... and... our 3 newly stolen seedlings from the vine maples at Metrotown.
And here they are! 9 years later they have lived in basements, apartments, balconies, and... now this beautiful property with us. And they still aren't very big, or very symmetrical... but we love them for the memory of sitting under them in that first month out on our own in Metrotown.


Markus and the children gave me these for Mother's Day. I like to imagine this is how they see me: bright and fiery and exciting! Well... maybe not. But they are apparently too bright for my poor camera, which can obviously not handle this much red.


I have a very small patch - about 1m square - from which I pick these, the fullest blossoms, as they open. I put these on a little piece of stretched loosely-woven cloth to dry. When they're dry I put them in my chamomile jar. I get enough to last our family all year, and then we find chamomile-rich projects to use up the extra, when it's harvesting time again!

new kiwis

oregon grapes


trailing blackberry

Time to pick the trailing blackberries; in a few minutes I gathered a small container full, and we adorned our pancakes with them.
Buckwheat pancakes: blend raw buckwheat groats with a very small amount hard wheat in blender until it becomes a rough flour. Put this in a bowl full of water and soak overnight. Add a tiny bit of salt, raw sugar, enough eggs to make it really sticky, and a small blop of milk. This should mix up to be a lovely batter. Prepare pancakes as usual, in an iron skillet with a little butter or oil, and top them with fresh blackberries and a TINY bit of real maple syrup. Yum!!

July 1, 2006 - Rose of Sharon