Saturday, July 28, 2012

In which it's Lisa's turn for a Fabulous Wilderness Adventure

I am so jealous.

Ready to head out!

 Lisa packed up all her gear last night so she would be ready bright-and-early to depart on her Fabulous Wilderness Adventure.

She couldn't believe that the pack weighs only 31 pounds.
"Less than Luna?"  
Luna claims to weigh 32 pounds, which is a polite fiction.

She is following Will's example, by signing up with Northwest Youth Corps to spend five weeks in the wilderness, building trails and earning money.  Will spent the last two summers at NYC.  I was jealous of him, too.  



Seriously, I would love to do this.  Jim and I are planning to do this kind of work for the National Parks Service after we retire.  Until then, we can only spare the time to deliver a kid.  Sigh.

We always stop at the '59er Diner on the way to the rendezvous spot.  The food is good (milkshakes!!!)

and the decor is hilarious:

My favorite:  "Hormonex Beauty Serum."   

Not plugged in.
It couldn't understand modern television signals anyhow.

After lunch, we went out to the NYC headquarters, and listened to the family orientation. 


 I've already heard this twice before, so I wandered around and took photos.
Cool truck graphic--see the bootprint on the bonnet?

 After orientation, Lisa gave each dog a kiss.

Luna always has a smile for the camera.  Lisa, too.

Then, her dad and her brother helped Lisa shoulder-up her pack...

 ...and off she went.

Have fun, kid!  See you in a few weeks!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

In which the garden isn't pathetic this year (except tomatoes)

This is our fourth gardening year at Haiku Farm.  
Snap peas are almost done, zucchinis and beans are just about to ripen
(and then overwhelm, if past experience is an indicator!)

The first garden in 2009 was pathetic.  We didn't have time that year to do any soil amending for that garden.  The neighbor tilled under a big chunk of lawn and we threw seeds into the resulting dirt.

You could tell.  

Zucchinis were just about the only thing that grew here in 2009.

Even when we grow a big crop of snap peas, they rarely
make it into the house.
We usually stand in the garden for 20 minutes at a time,
eating them until we're sated.

In 2010, things were slightly better, although the weather didn't cooperate and a lot of things turned runny instead of yummy.  

This tomato blossom will need a flux capacitor if it's going
 to turn into a tomato before the cold snap comes to kill it.

Tomatoes are almost always a bad bet in our climate, but we almost always get optimistic in Spring and plant a few.  Last year we got nothin'.  This year looks about the same for tomatoes.  Ah, well.

The ego-boosting-est crop in the Swampland is zucchini. 
Zuke blossom.

The blessings of zucchini are mixed, to understate things rather a lot.
Countdown to the zucchini-bombing season has begun

Each winter, the chickens move into their Winter Palace: the henhouse inside the fenced garden.  We dump all of the stall cleanings into the garden, and top each wheelbarrow load with a handful of oats to entice the hens to dig and spread everything as widely as possible.  In the process, they remove weed seeds and slug larvae, while leaving behind, uhm, fertilizer.

Thanks to our Minervas, what Haiku Farm does best (at least in the last few years) is beans.  Last year, Jim canned 16 quarts of green beans.  
Magical fruit-blossoms
I love green beans.  I planted lots again this year.  They are delicious...and also, they are beautiful.

Elsewhere on the farm, perennials are growing like crazy towards harvest.
Soon we will be eating blueberries every day.

These apples are good dried and in pies.  The horses think they are divine!

Lavender is just for pretty?  No so, according to Clan Apis!
Let us not forget the year-round food producers on the farm!  Our Minervas aren't producing an egg-a-day like they did as young hens.
Still, four or five eggs each day all year long is just fine with us.  Breakfast this morning:  scrambled eggs with fresh sage and rosemary.

Oh yes.  You know it's good.