Friday, October 16, 2009

Garlic and Basil

Pulled all the basil out of the garden today to either make pesto or just to blend with oil and freeze... depends on how motivated I'm feeling.

Also planted two (new to me) different varieties of garlic, Inchelium Red and Spanish Roja. They went into a different spot then last year. Hopefully I won't have the same fungal issues I experienced last spring with these kinds. Still looking for the "perfect" variety.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Foo. I thought I was going to get an apple tree today but I changed my mind on what kind I wanted and they didn't have what I was looking for. I'm so indecisive! I thought I wanted a Honey Crisp which is a beautiful fresh eating apple. They had loads of these trees. However it's not the best for baking. So I was thinking what would I do with a whole tree full of of apples? Why, I'd bake with them of course! I'd be ill trying to eat so many fresh apples at once. So perhaps the honey crisp is out. It's a sweet apple and not firm enough to hold its shape when baking. (Which is what makes it such a wonderful eating apple.)

My neighbor is getting a Spitzenburg apple tree. Our deal was we both wanted apple trees but you need two different varieties to properly pollinate and set fruit. She'd already picked the Spitzenburg variety which is both a tasty fresh eating apple in addition to being one excellent for baking. I thought I might change to a Jonathan apple (which was a cross pollinated variety with Spitzenburg being one of the parents and so has many of the same qualities and is also quite good.) I'm wondering then if I can even get this tree because everything I've been reading has mentioned that the Jonathan's be pollinated with a Red or Yellow Delicious or an Early Harvest variety, not a Spitzenburg. Gah! I don't know.

The other choice is to go with an Elstar apple (a cross between Golden Delicious and Ingrid Marie apples) which is sweet/tart and good for baking and cooking/sauce making but it doesn't keep fresh for very long. It also only sets fruit every other year which would be disappointing as I have only space for one tree.

The Rome Beauty has similar characteristics to the Elstar apple but is sweeter. (And according to wikipedia has democratic leanings Heehee.) Though I've also read other reviews that it's mealy and easily infested by worms and not so good for eating out of hand. ::sigh::

I guess I don't need to make a decision this minute but it sure would be nice to just buy a Spitzenburg and make my neighbor get something else! Ha! If only...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A beautiful fall day

I got the fall clean up started in the garden. I pulled out the pumpkin, winter squash and cucumber vines. I pulled out and cut down the corn stalks. I raked the gravel paths and threw half a yard of dark aged fir bark into the blueberry bed to help protect their roots during the winter months. I also managed to at least mow the lawns though they still need to be edged and aerated. I cleaned off and deflated the swimming pool, rubber ducky, blow up balls and stored them all away for the winter. The last, a bitter sweet task.

It was a glorious fall day full of cool air and warm sunshine. The birds were singing and the work satisfying. I found loads more winter squash then I imagined I had as they were hiding under the large broad leaves and some were growing behind the fence and others were tucked away in the flower bed covered by the daliah's. Needless to say I also filled up my compost bin. I hope it all breaks down a bit before the next round of plant matter needs to be tossed on. All the weeds and powdery mildewed vine remains went into the municipal compost bins. It looks much tidier!

I only wish I had the time to do this every day until the yard looked perfect (and I could then ignore it all winter) - Ha!