Sunday, August 26, 2012

Becoming an Urban Homesteader Series #11 - August Wrap-up

At times it feels like I've haven't accomplished much.  Yes, I do have a full time job and work long hours, plus commute.  I have such good intentions of getting somethings done when I get home, but after 8-10 hours of work, and add in 2 hours of commute time, I'm too tired to do much in the evenings, besides getting a meal on the table and clean up.

After writing down what I've accomplished this month, I realize that I did get more done than I thought :

Garlic, Tomatoes, and seeds from my garden
- Canning - salsa, pickles
- Fish Experiment does work.  Fish are happy in my rain barrels and after 2 weeks there are no mosquito larvae !
- Foraging - garlic mustard seed
- Tried some new recipes - turmeric sauce
- Knitting - finished another layette set
- Led a couple of hikes on the Bruce Trail for the Monday evening hikers this month.  I am a volunteer hike leader and this summer led a total of 7 hikes during the evenings.  Evenings are much cooler than the day without the hot sun.  Due to lack of rain there has been minimal mosquitoes in the woods too.
- Egg shells do work - no blossom end rot this year ... I missed the early blight as well as blossom end rot I had last year which killed a lot of my tomato plants, but got late blight this year - Any suggestions on how to keep blight at bay without chemicals let me know!
- A day trip to Listowel for their annual wool  tent sale at the Spinnrite Factory, and many thrift stores on the way back.   Not sure I'd go back another time.  Len's Mill store in Guelph also has their annual tent sale this time of year and had much the same wool at the same prices.  Was a nice day out just the same and scenery was beautiful.  We took a picnic lunch and stopped at a park in a shaddy spot.  My friend must avoid all gluten and dairy, so eating out is too challenging - our picnic was much more enjoyable.
- Our very old pool is finally looking absolutely great.  The water  sparkles.   Took at lot of work to get the algae out.  Too bad the season is too short to enjoy it more.  We don't have a heater and the August nights have been cool - dropping down to 10C some nights, so the day time temperature in the pool is only about 68F.
- Spent a vacation day cleaning my father-in-law's house.  He's in his late 80's now and still living in his own house.  The cleaning was a birthday present.  A spring cleaning top-to-bottom, including windows and carpets, fridge, stove.  A friend helped and we spent the whole day and only got half done.  I still need to go back to clean one more room, the insides of his kitchen cupboards and wash the carpets. 
Our "watch cat".   
- Garden looks a little sad.  With the lack of rain everything has been very dry.   Despite trying to keep up watering, it's just not the same without the rain.   Spaghetti squash didn't fair well.  But the herbs are taking over - they like it dry.
- Planted zucchini seed in a pot and already have blossoms on the plants.  I'm hoping the powdery mildew doesn't get to the plants before they have a chance to bear some fruit this year.
- Put some netting from the dollar store around the veggie garden so daughter's dog won't dig up it up.   He's buried a bone somewhere in the garden
- Trying to grow spinach... it's just not working.  I think It's too hot...and lack of rain.
- Looking at plans for a cold frame to grow veggies in the winter in my raised boxes. 
- Collecting seeds from my garden for next year's garden.      Collected so far Purple Cone Flower (Echinacea), nasturtiums, and columbine.  I'll start the cone flower inside during the winter.

Nasturtiums in window boxes on the fence

Nasturtium seed

Purple Corn Flower seed (Echinacea)

Nasturtium seed

Sad spaghetti squash


  1. Amazing how much we can see, when we write it all down. :)

    My Nasturtiums are doing beautifully also...but has not shared a seed yet. You know that you could eat them as capers :)

  2. Quite a long list and you work full time. I should do the same, though I honestly do not think I come close. Love your garden, even the sad parts. I so miss gardening, but one day I will again.

    blessings, jill

    1. I'll give it a try here. A comment!!
      Your spinach will do better when planted when it is a little cooler. They germinate better in cooler weather, then then cover the plant when frost comes. We eat our out of the garden until Mid-December ( no covering)unless we get an early snow. My zuchini and squash are fantastic this summer. However they get only sunlight for a few hours and filtered light for the remains. They were one thing that didn't need tons of water. Don't know why not though???????

      You are doing really well in your goals. It is nice to see them in writing. Makes you wonder if your not related to Wonder Woman?

  3. Replies
    1. Thank for the tips and help in getting the comment field working again !

  4. Your garden looks pretty! I know it's easier sometimes to look at what you didn't do that you wanted to have done, but when you think about the things you have accomplished, it gives you motivation to keep going :)

  5. What a beautiful garden! I cannot even imagine doing all that you do on top of working outside the home. I am impressed. :)

    Have a lovely week!


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