Britesea - Living the good life in rural Oregon

Britesea

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Our cabbages are starting to head, and I found a baby broccoli head! The english peas are podding finally, and the tomatoes, cukes and summer squash are blooming. I have until the end of the month before I need to seriously start worrying about frost. The turnips are mostly done, so I have space to start some winter hardy crops.

All of my raised beds have a 4' tall 4x4 at each end of the bed, with a re-purposed metal pipe connecting them at the top. This allows me to string a trellis for vining crops, and to make an A-Frame with my floating row covers. The stuff is supposed to protect the plants down to 26F which should give me another month of protection. Hopefully that will allow the summer crops to finish ripening. I also have a couple of cold frames that will just fit on top of one of the beds, giving me some space for some winter hardy greens.

The Delicious apple tree is absolutely loaded with fruit. That, combined with the fact that the woodpeckers used it as a nest site this spring, makes me suspect it is not long for this world. So next spring I will be looking for another apple tree. The second tree (we don't know the variety), which is still healthy, blooms later than the Delicious-- so much so that I think that might be limiting the fruit production. I'd like to get one of those 4-in-1's.

I ordered 5 hazelnut shrub/trees today. Tomorrow I will be digging the holes for them, so that I can plant them without delay when they arrive. With this heat, I don't want them to suffer while I'm trying to get my act together. In a couple of years, they will form a 10-15 foot high hedge that will effectively shield our little homestead from prying eyes.

Husband has given his thumbs up to my suggestion that we get a meat wether. He says it would not be cost-effective to try to have a dairy goat on a half-acre though :hit so I'm still looking for someone with goat milk to spare. He also liked the idea of mushroom logs for our use and a cash crop.
 

Britesea

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I found aphids on the cabbages this morning, so I spent some time making up a soap spray, then dusted with Diatomaceous Earth while it was still wet.
We haven't had too many pests, I think because this is the first year we've had a garden here.
After I dusted, I decided the weeds in the pathways were getting too rank, so I hauled out the weedwhacker and cut them down. I plan to eventually have something in the paths to keep the weeds down, but I don't have anything yet.

Then I came inside and started washing all the canning jars I got this weekend. I wanted to store them under the bed, but only the pints will fit :( Anyone have any cheap ideas for lifting the bed just a couple more inches? I don't want to spend a lot of money on those bed lifter things you see in the catalogs.
DH came home and told me that one of the girls at work has a lot of canning jars that belonged to her mother, and she's going to give them all to me! Now I need something to put in them-- haven't seen much in the way of good produce sales here, with the cold spring and early summer everything is delayed.
Right now I'm finishing up drying the last of the walla walla onions, then I have some turnips I thought I would dry. I did get an offer of some rhubarb from a friend-- perhaps some preserves with those? I can do water bath canning, but I discovered that the weight for the pressure canner is missing so I have to order another one.

Since Thursday is payday, I went through our stores to see what we needed, and for the first time in I dunnamany years, we have more than enough meat to see us till the end of the month! So I will be able to use the food budget this time to get some more emergency stores.
 
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sunsaver

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So what is the weather like up there. What sort of landscape? Desert, scrub brush, forests, prairie?
 

abifae

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If it were a table, I'd say paint cans. But beds need a lot more stability lol.

I want to get stocked back up on meat but my kitties keep being expensive. Amira needs her teeth cleaned. It HAS been 7 years LOL. ie: first time.
 

rathbone

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I am thinking of your hazelnut trees and smiling. What a delicious privacy hedge.
Regarding your mother. It is hard isn't it? My mother is...well the nicest thing I can say is that she isn't like what most people imagine mothers to be. But I am glad you were able to help your mom. Keep posting - I am really enjoying reading your daily life.
 

Britesea

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Sunsaver, we are in what is called "High Desert". We are on the the dry side of the Cascade mountains, about 4300' above sea level. The Klamath River is about 100 yards away or less, so even though it doesn't rain much in the summer, we have a fairly high water table. We have pine trees all around us, which limits our gardening space but I love them anyway.

Abiefae, you gave me an idea--- if I were to take paint cans and fill them about halfway with cement, the bed legs would stand INSIDE the paint can and be secured by the side walls, yet still raised up about 4 inches, which would be enough to make room for canning jars under there.

Rathbone, I agree, and as the hazelnuts grow, we will get seedlings from the nuts the squirrels bury and forget about-- since these are blight resistant, I could sell some of the extra seedlings at the market too.

My husband just told me that if we can figure out a way to bring it home, one of the guys at his work has a 12x20 storage shed we can have for free. He didn't know if it was wood or metal, so he's gonna ask more questions. I'm thinking if we can disassemble it without ruining it, we should be able to bring it home. If we can, I would be able to say goodbye to the mini-storage (10x10) for $65 a month, and still have room for other stuff! He asked me "where are we gonna put it?" and I told him we really don't need the lawn over by the well... I haven't been watering it anyway. I didn't want to plant a lot of trees there because of the roots maybe getting into the pipes, but a storage building would be fine.

We have a big sunny spot out in front where nothing grows because apparently there was a big hole in the ground (no one in the neighborhood has any idea what it was for) that was filled in with volcanic cinder. I'm thinking it would be a good place for a hoop style greenhouse, as long as we had raised beds with good soil in them.

Today's agenda (bad luck to use the P word!) is: finish washing the rest of the canning jars, cut up and start drying another batch of onions, darn a half-dozen socks that I found with holes, water the trees with the soaker hose, couple loads of laundry, and go through the grocery ads to see what's on sale.
 

Britesea

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Well, the shed is 8x12, not 20x12... which is a little more believable (don't know where he got the idea it was 20' long), it's made of wood and I'm not sure whether we can disassemble it or not. One of my girlfriends is going to ask other contacts she has to see if anyone has a forklift, or something that could lift it entire onto a flat bed trailer.

The couple with the shed are also taking out their deck, and they said we could have the lumber! And, her mother used to can, and she's giving me all the canning jars, and any other equipment she finds for canning (she mentioned some large pots... maybe a water bath or pressure canner?)

Today I brought home 25lbs of black beans, 50lbs of brown rice, and 50lbs of bread flour for our long term storage.

The aphids appear to have abandoned the cabbage. I have 1 green tomato. I sure hope the frosts are late this year.
 

rathbone

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I guess I am a dork too. Black beans and rice excite me!
And can I just say I am jealous that you are getting free canning jars? I don't think anyone here used to can. There is no such thing as "my mother used to can" around here. Hmmph!
 
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