Saturday, August 9, 2014

August 9, 2014: My Garden Grows, Regardless

Even though I have had very little time in my garden for the past two weeks, it has been able to do pretty well without me. Frankly, I think it does better without me than I do without it.

For me, as I think I've mentioned before, gardening is my meditation; I enjoy being outside, hearing the birds, seeing the sky, as well as hearing the daily sounds of our small town: the sounds of a pile-driver whenever a new building is going up, the fire trucks/aid cars as they depart the nearby fire station, the sounds of jets flying very high above, and the medical helicopter flying low overhead almost everyday to ferry some ill person quickly to a hospital in Seattle.

My husband has been ill and we spent 6 days of the two week span previous to this past week in Seattle at Virginia Mason Hospital . It is a top-rated hospital and we are very lucky to have it within our reach. However, it is a two and a half hour trip away and it is tiring to have to go there twice in two weeks; we are still tired even though we have been home for a week today. My husband continues to heal and we are looking forward to this spell of illness being a thing of the past soon.
This is a view from the 11th floor of Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle, on August 1, 2014, on a clear summer evening. If you have to be in a hospital room, it's great to be up in the sky with a beautiful view of the city. I use inexpensive Canon cameras, in the Elph series.
I put the Local logo at the top of this post just to remind people to support their local businesses. Dollars spent at local businesses stay in your community; they are spent at other local businesses, unlike the dollars spent at big box stores owned by a big corporation--most of those dollars go to the corporate headquarters in other states. So vote for your local businesses by spending your dollars there.  

As you can see from the tomato picture above, my garden is doing well. My first red tomato had a big slug bite out of it, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Here it is with some of the very last blueberries and raspberries, and the very first blackberry of the 2014 season.
Here is the "harvest" from yesterday--until the blackberries come on for real, I won't have a lot of picking to do, but once they get going, I will be busy picking berries every day. We freeze them and in the fall or winter, we make seedless jam. Some of the jam becomes holiday gifts for family and friends. We have a Victorio Strainer that helps us remove the rather large seeds from these thornless blackberries.  

Here are some of the berries moving ever closer to harvest every day. We have had a very sunny summer in the coastal Pacific Northwest and the berries so appreciate that!! I have had these blackberry plants for about 15 years, I think. Every fall they are trimmed to 6" tall, and every following summer they will grow as tall as I'll allow them. However, only the lateral branches bear fruit, so it's a good idea to cut the tips off when they are about 5 feet tall. I wish I could remember what variety they are, but I don't. I bought them by mail. They do not sucker and for years I only had three plants, however since we adopted a flock of sparrows, I have had more plants spring up; I have been able to give some to friends as well as add more to my own "stable."
These berries are very big!!

 This little cherry tomato is ready to eat!!
So I 'm hoping in the next few weeks I'll be doing more gardening and less work as a nurse. Stay tuned, and shop locally!!