Attila started back on the day shift today, hooray! He was up and “at em” at 4:30 a.m. this morning, and out in the garden. No greens for me this morning, he has finished thinning the Spinach and Swiss Chard, perhaps tomorrow. It will be time to pick the Spinach soon, it is bolting already. He did pick four pounds of Rhubarb for me. I baked a Rhubarb Crisp this morning, and froze four 2 cup packages
Rhubarb is a plant that will grow in most gardens in Canada, even a small front yard. It wasn’t until recently that I became aware that it will not grow in warm climates, thanks to interacting with other gardeners on the internet. Rhubarb has been in all of the gardens of my life. I remember when I was around three, my Mom used to give us a cup with a little bit of sugar in it, then set my brother Carl and I out on the veranda step at our first little house, with a stalk of rhubarb to dip in the sugar, the sweet and sour of it was amazing.
Rain is predicted for today, and thunderstorms. It is supposed to be a real stinker of a day, with a Humidex of 38C, so not good for working outside. Mosquitoes love this kind of hot humid weather, so it won’t be a good day to sit out on the porch either. No worries though, I am quite comfortable indoors, and will be quite busy taking care of all this rhubarb.
The garden loves the rain, and we did get some this morning, along with thunder but no lightening. After a rain the garden always looks so relieved, revived, quenched.
We are learning all about the soil here, which Attila amends with our own compost, peat moss, and manure. My powdered egg shell collection goes to good use as well. We compost everything except meat and fats.
I am also learning all about imported competitors for our food. The Red Currant bush we purchased this spring came with its own type of aphid issues, which I have been able, so far, to control with a mixture of dish soap and water in the spray bottle. The High Bush Cranberry came with a more serious infestation of aphids, and I am still battling them by frequently spraying with the dish soap and water, and spraying once with a chemical pesticide. It was very disappointing to purchase plants that came to us with this level of infestation, but I plan on restoring them to health, with great effort.
My thoughts on having used the chemical insecticide on the High Bush Cranberry are this. If I had allowed the insects to destroy the plant, I would have to buy fruit. The fruit I would buy would not be organic, as I cannot afford to buy organic products from the grocery store. So, since what I will buy will be grown on plants treated with chemical insecticides, herbicides, and fertilizers, I am just as far ahead saving my plant with the chemical insecticide here at home, where no chemical herbicides or fertilizers are being used.
We also have competitors for our food that are native to this piece of property. Beetles are devouring our Scarlet Runner Beans, Attila sprays them and picks the beetles off by hand, but we have lost a few healthy plants to them already. Rabbits chewed up one of my two new Veestar strawberry plants, so we had to move those two plants into the fenced part of the yard; they seem to be recovering from being chewed and transplanted twice this spring. Squirrels burrow in the gardens, killing small bedding plants, so that we have to cover a lot of things with chicken wire to protect them from the squirrels. Every year the birds eat all of our Black Currants, so if I want any I will have to net the bush to keep the birds out. And the Squirrels and birds will eat all of my strawberries, if any grow, unless I cover the crop effectively. Tomatoes too are sometimes subject to sampling by the Squirrels.
Date: 6:00 AM EDT Wednesday 10 June 2020
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.0 kPa
Dew point: 13.8°C
Wind: ENE 10 km/h
Visibility: 24 km
“An education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don’t.”
1844 – 1924
I love dianthus! I have a pot of them and they always catch my eye.
Hope you win the war with your High Bush Cranberry, Maggie.
Eileen, me too! I discovered them when we lived at the country house, and was so glad to get them into the garden here at Mist Cottage. I have my fingers crossed for the High Bush Cranberry, i would love to make Cranberry Jelly again, just like my Granny!
WE always had rhubarb as kids too but my mom was not very domestic and never really prepared any of it for us. we’d just break off a stalk from the back yard garden and munch on it plain… it was so sour!!! I think once she and a neighbor woman got together and cooked up some and made rhubarb sauce with it but only that one time.
Bex, wow, I don’t know if I would have picked a stalk of rhubarb just to munch on as is, hats off ot you! We were lucky, Mom stewed rhubarb with sugar, and sometimes with strawberries from our fields. We surely are enjoying the squares and upside down cakes I have been baking with the rhubarb. I have my fingers crossed I will get some strawberries so that I can bake a Strawberry Rhubarb Something!
Oh my, you have a lot of garden pests! When we lived in Ontario, Japanese beetles were a real scourge. They ate the runner beans, nearly all of the flowers and some of the shrubs. Fingers crossed, so far we don’t have them here in Nova Scotia. We cover a lot of our vegetable crops with white row cover fabric, especially leafy greens and strawberries to keep the rabbits and deer away. We use netting on our berries but we never seem to get the black currants netted before they’re gone. Funny thing is no critters bother eating the red currants! Thanks for your suggestion of drying the chives. I have a dehydrator so will try that.
Strawberry rhubarb pie is delicious! The amount of pests that want to kill my garden was an eye opener. I only grow flowers now and still get an assortment of beetles I have to fight off.
Sandra, I think the beetles that are eating our bean plants are called potato beetles, not sure though, but that is what they look like. Nasty little things! This year we have netting, so I am going to try to cover the black currant and see how far that gets me, we have oodles of birds here. I think the row hoops and covers are a great thing, so I am trying to get Attila on board with that, so far it hasn’t sparked his interest, but eventually I think he will adopt the method, it is his garden except for two of the raised beds which are mine. I have plans to net the strawberries the second I see a berry turning red. We have thousands of wild strawberries in the “lawn” and the birds love those, I am hoping that keeps them well distracted. Critters don’t like red currants, I didn’t know that! Well, there is one fruit that I will eventually be able to harvest from the garden! Let me know how the chives work out!
Sandy, I love Strawberry Rhubarb Pie! It is amazing how many competitors there are for our food! If farmers used nothing at all there would be a lot less food, and a lot that survived would be pretty chewed up. Luckily there are some organic solutions, we try those first, and of course hand picking the bugs off the plants, not my favourite task.