Here is one of the projects that I did on a rainy day. My step-mother-in-law, Meg, had been given a stash of yarn that had belonged to her mother. In the boxes was a collection of crocheted granny squares. Her mother had made about 40 of these to use up odd bits of yarn but had no project in particular in mind for them.
|a bread bag full of granny squares|
|coffee pot cozy with bright red squares|
cozy on an insulated French press coffee pot
more subdued colours of the second cozy
opening for handle of the coffee pot
I had garden envy after seeing gardens belonging to my mom, Dan and Meg. Everything was easily two to four times larger than anything I had ever grown in Calgary. The difference was in part the skill of the gardeners, the soil and compost, longer growing season and the hot humid weather. It was not unusual to awake to mist and fog in the mornings. That just doesn't happen in Calgary - land of the dry heat.
Raised bed gardens with garlic, parsley and greens
snow peas, swiss chard, and perpetual spinach
Back at home, my garden was kept alive by Mary and Marj. It was a hot dry July in Calgary and if they hadn't watered, I would have returned to crispy brown plants. We arrived past midnight with an overnight temperature of 25°C. I was stunned by the exuberant growth of the plants. They grow a lot in 3 weeks time. The U of Saskatchewan cherry bushes were happy. I have Carmine Jewel and Crimson Passion cherry bushes. This is the first year that they have produced more than a handful of cherries. The raspberries were just enormous. My garden envy was replaced by astonishment and gratitude.
Carmine Jewel cherries - almost ripe
I picked them a bit early and made a sour cherry sauce for waffles.
I've been picking a tray full of berries every couple of days.
Self-seeded bachelor buttons that have taken over my vegetable garden. I have been cleaning things up and even have a few beans starting to grow.
I took 8 pounds of unripe apples off of the September Ruby apple tree because the branches looked overloaded. I pruned mini apples earlier in the year, but clearly not enough. The Zestar apple tree did not produce as many fruit to begin with and the size of the fruit on that tree was about 3 or 4 times larger than on the other tree. That would be my last observation of "less is more". Be more severe in the spring when pruning apples. One apple per cluster is enough.
I made some apple and date chutney (loosely following this recipe), some pectin and an apple cake using the apple sauce left over from making pectin and I froze some apple slices to use in cooking and baking. To keep the apples from turning brown before freezing, I used a trick that a friend's grandmother used - dipping them in salt water. I think it helped.