Sunday, June 23, 2013

This & That

We have a 30% chance of rain here and there for the next few days, so I went out to the garden this morning and scattered some seeds of Marigolds, Carrots and Radishes, in the raised garden beds. 
I'm settling into the comfort zone of having a smaller garden and less work. 
On the average day I spend 15-30 minutes pulling a few weeds, mulching up the soil, and adjusting the sprinkler heads. I have a timer on the faucet, sorta like a kitchen timer, that I turn to whatever amount of time the plants need watering, and then it shuts off automatically. 
I'm coming to terms in regards to my limitations as to what I can, and cannot, accomplish. 

Our local farmer's Market, and surrounding road side fields, have been filled to the brim with all sorts of local berries. 

A Summertime favorite here at Girasole Farm is Blackberry pie...

Fresh berries...

Homemade pie crust...

YUMMY pie! 

I made some yummy Blueberry muffins too--- (sorry no pictures) 

and while I was in the baking mode, I made some homemade pizza too...
I'm not really sure what happened, but I started to take pictures of the pizza process, but apparently only got as far as the recipe. hmmmm  

My nephew, my sisters boy, graduated from High School this year, so we headed to the Bay Area last weekend for a graduation party!    

Whaoo---- I took 2, as in  t.w.o., pictures-

(my sister was obsessed with the bubble machine)

and Miss Mia swinging in her night clothes, with crazy morning hair.

Way to go...NOT... 
I just couldn't find the picture inspiration, which I now regret. boo-hoo
But I can say we all had a great time, and the memories will just have to stay in my heart. 

I've been sewing, and spending lots of time outside. 
The weather has been just lovely. 

Caveman and I are still working on the back porch addition. 
Last night we finished the plumbing for the water, and the line for the electrical. 
It's been a slower process than I would have liked, but Caveman has been working 73.5 hours a week. 
That's right!
 6am-6pm Mon-Fri, and 6-2:30 on Saturdays and Sundays. 
And yes, he is TIRED, really tired. 
(we're not as young as we used to be)
I hope this afternoon/evening we are able to level the gravel and set the re-bar.
That should just about finish up our part.
We have hired someone to do the concrete pour and finishing. 
As far as the roof to cover the addition, it will probably have to wait until our slower time in the Fall.

Speaking of the Fall... we will be Grandparents again! 
due to arrive in November.
We get very excited about every baby that gets to join our family. 
That will make 4 Gran-babies....
we already have 3 gran-baby girls...maybe a ... boy?
Tonya will find out next month. 

Be good to yourself.
Even if that means accepting your own limitations. 
I know, for me, that I cannot DO IT ALL. 

The Girasole Lady

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

MAY / Knowing When To Say When

May has officially come and gone....
I sorta feel like I have too.

I have been working on this post for almost a week now, over a week,  almost 2 weeks now,  OVER 2 weeks
grrrrr....... I'm disappointed in myself.

Seems like every evening I intend to write, but when I actually sit at my computer I am completely exhausted, and cannot even form a logical train of thought. Not that I am entirely sure that is any different than any other time I have written- ha! I sit at my desk, with my head resting on my hands, and just close my eyes, dreaming of all the things I want to say, while unintentionally dozing off into dream land.

It's been a very, very, busy month.

I struggled the entire month of May about the vegetable garden. I fussed so much over the garden it felt like torture.  I have always prided myself in the beauty of plants and the produce which the garden provides. I enjoy sharing the harvest with family and friends. I remember, at the beginning of this blog, claiming the desire to be a farmer for Community Supported Agriculture. That goal too had to be remodeled and restructured to better fit my lifestyle.

I decided enough was enough and had to admit to myself, that this year, I just couldn't do the traditional large garden, as in years past. 
 Instead decided on doing only 4 raised garden beds for the vegetables. 
Each bed measuring  8x4 and 12" deep

 We used the raised bed guidelines in Sunset Magazine....HERE
 Placing Hardware Cloth/Wire on the bottom of the beds to prevent gophers/weeds from coming up through the soil.
 We put 6" legs on the bottom of the beds that went into the ground, to better secure the beds in place. 

This is what I ended up with.....
complete with automatic watering system for watering the plants. 

We had 4 yards of Garden Soil delivered to fill the beds. 

isn't it....
compared to past gardens





I'm not sure how I feel about the raised beds, but will give it a try for this year. 
Having a large garden requires constant work, whether it be watering, weeding, mulching, watching for garden pests, or picking all the veggies where they are ripe.
 It really is a FULL TIME job. and if you've ever had a really big garden, you will know what I am talking about. 

Another change started on May 1st, and one that helped my decision for a smaller garden, is that I have Harper 3 days a week,

while Mommy had to go back to work :(
She is almost 6 months old now. 
Such a good baby, and easy to have her tag along with me. 

I do plan on doing more gardening in the next few weeks, but not in the form of vegetables, but rather more flower gardening. I want to plants some rows of Sunflowers out in the garden, and some rows of Marigolds, out by the vegetable beds. 
Fun stuff! 

Let's see- This is MAY...
in no particular order...

Beth and I took another road trip to Loomis to visit the High Hand Nursery and enjoyed a wonderful class on attracting beneficial wildlife to your garden, bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. We ate lunch at the conservatory, and shopped the nursery for plants. I came home with a few Salvia, Veronica, and maybe something else I cannot remember.

Beth and I also went on a  local garden tour in Paradise, saw some really beautiful gardens, and gathered some great ideas for our own gardens.  

Caveman's family had a family reunion. We were able to see some of his nieces and a nephew that we hadn't seen in a very long time. It was great being reconnected with family. It was 3 days of visiting, sharing stories and memories, activities and food.

Our local Farmer's Market opened for the season, and we anxiously strolled through the market looking for the early crops of Summer. 

 Cousin Aletha came for a visit on Memorial Day weekend.

We took the Cobra car out for it's first official 'out of town' drive. We headed up towards Grass Valley/Nevada City, and on up towards Soda Springs. Tonya, Ryan, and the girls were camping at Sisco Grove and we popped in for a day visit, long enough to love up on Mia and Laci, and make yummy smores together. 

May also brought our annual towns Feather Fiesta Days, and the Gold Rush Car show, which included a visit from my brother, and sister-in-law from the Bay Area. It also included a giant Taco feed for 30 people here at Girasole Farm. 
Some of my family and some of Caveman's family combined.

Caveman and I started on an addition for the back porch.

We still have a ways to go, putting in the electrical and water before the concrete is poured.
We're deciding on what color, stain, and pattern to do the concrete in.
When the floor is done, we will put a roof over the top, which will be connected into the house roof.
I cannot wait to have a covered area to sit, BBQ, and do my canning under. Cool in the Summer, and a little more shelter in the Winter.

The Herbs grew...

The Peonies bloomed...

The Day Lilly and Hollyhock's bloomed...


The Orchard provided Plums and Nectarines...
and Pomegranate's to come a little later in the season.

I planted in the front of the house by the side of the garage.

Oh- the Amaryllis bloomed as well.

That pretty much sums up the month of May, or what I can remember of it.

I may be back tomorrow, or next month.

Bee Happy...

The Girasole Lady