Summer Vacation Begins

6/21:  The first official day of summer vacation!  The day started out looking promising – big, puffy, white clouds and blue skies.  It clouded up around noon and stayed thickly cloudy the rest of the day.  The good news is no rain, although I find it a little sad that thick, grey clouds are now considered a good weather day in Portland.

I pruned back the tomatoes, pulling out the sprouts that formed at the leaf junctions and taking off the lower leaves that were in contact with the soil.  I also pulled out the bolted spinach and the lettuce that had too many slugs (yuck).  I’ll plant some more seeds of spinach tomorrow and moved eight of the lettuce starts into the area that I cleared out the old stuff.

The chickens need to be processed soon – they are getting huge and a bit messy.

I also bottled the rhubarb wine that I made last summer ( I know, it should have been done long ago).  I didn’t have any corks though so I temporarily capped the bottles with saran wrap and rubber bands.  I’ll stop at the wine store today to get some more corks.  I also started some grape wine using some grape juice that I made last fall.  I had tried the method where you put grapes in a jar, add sugar and hot water and can it.  It was way too sweet and nobody really liked it so I threw it all into a carboy and I’ll get a little yeast today too.  Experimenting is always fun.

6/22:  No rain today.  I was able to finish mowing the backyard and take care of triming the Emperor Oak and a Snowflake Hemlock so we could walk around.  I also cut back the sorrell that had bolted and trim out some swiss chard.

I decided to forego weed-eating today as something small bit me yesterday and left a huge welt – about 2 inches across.  I don’t know what these tiny things are, but they have gotten me in the past and my elbow swelled up so big that I couldn’t bend it all of the way.  I never see them, but it feels like I bumped a thistle.  A sharp prick that sometimes bleeds.  I hate the little things.


The Rains Continue

6/9:  This morning the sun was out and it was so lovely to wake up to.  It almost felt like summer.  It started clouding up throughout the day and looks like it will start drizzling soon enough.  Well my carrot transplant experiment did not seem to go well.  I went out this evening and they were all limp and lying down.  I did a little emergency watering from the rain barrel hose (YES! Finally a hose – no more tiny watering can) and I’ll have to see if they make a come back.

6/7:  It’s raining again… We did get a little done in the garden in the afternoon during a break between storms.  I tried transplanting some carrots.  I don’t know if it will work, but I thought I’d give it a try.

Joe helped get holes into the straw bales.  He’s brilliant, he use a 14.5 lb monster maul and using a full overhead swing, he was able to hack just the right sized hole for my 4″ squash and cucumber starts.  I usually try not to use too many chemicals, be I did put Corey’s Slug Bait around all of them and some extra around the green bean starts most of which have had their little heads chewed off.

Then we attempted a barbecue with our Big Green Egg –  it was interesting.  I rained so hard, even the chickens wouldn’t come out of the hen house.

June Rains

6/2:  I can’t take it anymore.  This weather is ridiculous.  It’s grey, it’s dreary, it’s cloudy, it’s always raining.  It Feels Like October.    No more garden fun until we get a few blue skies.  The garden is like walking on a sponge.

6/4:  We had a little break from the storms this evening.  Joe is madly trying to clean out the goat barn and lay a little more dry straw to keep them comfy.  We drove out to a little drive-in in Molalla for dinner and passed several swamped gardens.  They were literally under standing water.  I makes my little squishy area look a lot better.  Hopefully tomorrow may be dry and we can try mowing the back yard.  Wish us luck.

6/5:  THE SUN IS OUT!  Finally we have another beautiful day.  I was able to knock down the back field and the side pasture with the riding mower.  Joe took the push mower to the tall grass in the chicken yard.  The hens are running around in the sun looking for all of the new bugs that were rustled up by the mower.

Joe also mowed the main garden – it’s still way too wet to try to make any new beds but the potatoes and peas are doing really well and the beans are starting to germinate.  The grapes are looking good too.

I planted the cabbage on of the straw bales, but had trouble making holes big enough to plant the squash.  I Joe’s going to have to rig up same way to make holes in these very, very dense bales.  I hope it works.

The chicks and turkeys are in their new digs in the woodshed.  I rigged up their old pen this morning so they could get some time out in the grass.  The two turkeys and one of the chickens were thinking about going out, but they’re not too sure about it yet.  They are enjoying the newly exposed grass.