Just some random pictures from the past month around here.
One thing I really enjoy about our climate here is being able to grow things year-round. Right now, it is the equivalent of early December in the Northern Hemisphere. I harvested our salad and some vegetables for soup today, and spent some time weeding. After spending six hours teaching the children, weeding is a great way to relax and reset.
There was snow on the hills around us early last week. We went to Dead Boring that day, and enjoyed the beautiful snowfall on the way there.
And, some pictures of the children.
I have about a dozen empty jars left, of varying sizes, so I decided to start processing the beetroot. I knew they were getting rather large, so I sent my oldest son out to pull four of them. Well, “rather large” turned out to be an understatement! This is the biggest: all 10 pounds of it! All four together filled my 20-quart stock pot to the brim. I think we’ll have enough beetroot this year! How many quarts do you suppose I’ll end up with from these four beets?
We finally got the new raised-bed gardens filled with soil today. We had been trying to decide, for a month and a half or so, what to fill them with. A local man had topsoil for sale, but it would have cost nearly a thousand dollars to get that. We thought about using straight compost, since Gayle can get that cheaply from work, but that wouldn’t be good for growing tomatoes. There is a pile of rubbish and clay pushed up in the “pear orchard” near our house, so we decided to have a friend who has a Bobcat, a digger, and a big dump truck come today to sift through that pile and get what’s good from it, then fill in with compost. Apparently, the boys told our landlord’s son we were going to do that, and yesterday morning he came to the house and told me that his dad’s cousin, another farmer here in the area, had a pile of topsoil to get rid of–for nothing! He took Simon over to show him where it was. Simon came home saying it might be enough to fill half of one of the two beds, but I just knew that if God had given us that soil it would be enough for the job. When our friend arrived this morning, he went and got a load. Immediately, we knew we had plenty of soil! He ended up bringing three loads, and smoothing it out, and then he and Gayle went over to where Gayle works and got a load of compost. Once we get the smoothing out finished, it looks as though we’ll have a couple of lovely garden plots!
This has been another normal, interesting week. The “mud” in the title comes from Wednesday evening, when the three youngest boys slipped outside after supper when I wasn’t watching. They went into the garden, which they had been told before supper not to do, and played in the mud. I’m sure it was fun–but what a mess! I didn’t get a picture of it, but it looked worse than this one from Michigan two and a half years ago! This time, they were coated from head to toe in thick, sticky clay! Because they had disobeyed, and because they knew beforehand what the penalty is for getting muddy, I had no compunctions about hosing them down with a cold-water hose. I had to hose and rub with my hands to get the quarter inch of clay mud off their clothes, then had them take off their clothes, and hosed them again, and then sent them to the bathroom to finish off with a cold shower! And it wasn’t a warm evening. They all decided they don’t want that again. While the youngest watched the other two getting cleaned up first, his lip stuck out farther and farther as he considered his coming fate.
One day this week the sun shone! I did lots of laundry (and it all got dry!) and we weeded the strawberry bed. We found a number of ripe strawberries. Yumm! We have to get them quickly or the slugs eat them.
We went to Gore Bay for a baptism this afternoon, and when I mentioned we wanted a family picture, one of the ladies there offered to help take one. It took quite a few tries to get one with everyone’s eyes open, and this is the best.
So there you have it–several tiny glimpses into our week. It was a good one!
It always amazes–and challenges me–to see how the children ALL want to do whatever I’m doing. This afternoon I went out to transplant tiny tomatoes into individual pots. Within minutes, all six children had joined me, and were helping. A couple of boys got started planting pumpkin seeds that they had saved from the pumpkins they grew themselves last year in newspaper pots, and Esther worked on the tomatoes. They can’t wait to plant in the big garden, which was plowed this afternoon. Next week it should be tilled and we can plant!
One of my young entrepreneurs wanted to earn some money this week, so I told him I’d pay him $2 if he prepared a certain bed for planting. He spent several hours on it last night and today, and now he wants me to inspect it to decide if it’s ready. I think it is; he may just get a little more than I originally told him! I’ll check it out in the morning.
I actually got to spend a few minutes working in the garden this evening, too. I was weeding a bed, and as I was digging up dandelions I realized they weren’t blooming yet, so wouldn’t be bitter! I brought them in and chopped them into the coleslaw I was making. We also had our fresh radishes and several carrots the boys found when they were digging up a bed to go with the cabbage and onion I bought. Yummy!