August Garden Update


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In our garden, some things are slowing down (we took half of the pea plants out last week because they hadn’t flowered for weeks and were dying back), others are in the middle of their production, and others have now gone to seed. The sweet peas have all ‘podded up’ and the calendula is still flowering alongside the seed heads. I didn’t use any flowers this summer because I was focused on ensuring that we had enough seeds for next year but they were prolific flowerer and seeders. Since I’ve already tucked at least a pack of calendula seeds away, I may make some calendula tea soon.

The chard is having mixed success, with some plants taking off and others staying quite small.

I thought the asparagus peas were near their end a week or so ago and so we’ve let two pods stay on the plant to seed. Checking it again today, I see that they’re still flowering and there are a few new small pods on the plant so we may be going for a bit longer. Next year we’ll definitely plant more of these.

The blackberries are producing like crazy, which is good because the wasps are certainly taking their share! This year, I’ve been able to pick a large handful at a time in addition to picking a few when I walk by. The blackberry canes that we trimmed off in the spring have begun growing again so although they didn’t seem to ever root, I’ve stuck them in the ground under the mother plant in hopes of more productive canes next year.


The amaranth continues to reach for the clouds and is a couple feet taller than this photo taken earlier in the summer…

and the quinoa is looking close to harvest. I check it every few days and, after getting a few seeds in my hand, I thought that yesterday was harvest day. I grabbed a paper bag and shook the top into the bag but only managed to loosen up a few bugs.

The brassica cage that Honey created this spring has been a wonder. With strawberry netting, the bees and hover flies can zoom in and out to search (fruitlessly) for nectar, but it has kept the butterflies out!


Limitations Stop Us From Seeing Where We Really Are


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About two weeks ago, I went to my yoga mat to get reacquainted with it and my legs after our holiday. I stretched a bit then started playing in poses that made me feel happy, made me feel powerful and strong. Some of my absolute favourites are cat-cow, prancing tiger, prancing tigress, and incomplete camel. I did these until my smile appeared then continued to play. I was in shoulder stand and feeling strong and thought about plow. Since I learned early on in yoga not to push myself if something isn’t happening, plow became a pose that I told myself that I ‘couldn’t’ do and always sort of just held my legs there without trying.

I thought that it would be a good idea to try plow this time. Immediately, I told myself that I couldn’t do the full pose, so I should hang there like I do in class, with my legs sort of parallel to the floor. As I was up in shoulder stand, I responded to myself asking why the heck I didn’t just try to do plow. I asked myself what the worst thing that could possibly happen was because even if I fell, I was already laying down!

As soon as I told myself this, and thought that I didn’t need to push myself into it, I relaxed and my feet fell to the floor. They were there. In the full pose. And you know what? It was only about an inch away the whole time. I just couldn’t see it and I doubted myself.

I laid in the pose getting the most wonderful stretch in my back and neck and feeling so freaking awesome. When I came out of it, I knew I needed to remember that what goes on in our head in yoga is a reflection of ourselves.

Tonight in class, my teacher had us practicing head stand and plow. When I tried and heard the clunk of my toes against the wooden floor, I giggled loudly with joy! This even made some of my classmates giggle too. My teacher came by during one of the next few times I was in plow and told me to push my feet and hands into the floor, lifting my bum into the air. That brought the stretch even further and made me feel amazing again. I even tried another pose that I had always hesitated on, realising that I’m so much closer than I ever let myself see.

Plow is my new reminder that when I doubt myself or am fearful of trying, I set unnecessary limits. These limits are irrational and hide from me how close I already am to succeeding! If I just relax and remember that I don’t need to push or doubt, I will fall into the things I am already on the way to doing.

Potatoes 2014



Last weekend we dug up the potatoes and let them dry out a bit in the basket (covered with fabric, placed in the pantry). Today, we transferred them to the box for storage.

I think potatoes must be one of the most satisfying things to grow. Seriously, we plopped a few potatoes into the ground in the spring, watered them when it was really dry, occassionally covered them with dirt, and then came back to see what we got. I don’t know if I said this last year, but Honey and I really enjoy digging potatoes. It is like we are digging for treasure, not sure what is going to come up but inevitably thrilled with what we do unearth. Potatoes may be worth growing just for that thrill alone!


Summer Memories


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Although I have a few activities and restaurants from our summer vacation that I plan to blog, one of my most favourite things from the trip was the week of the Fourth of July. My parents, sisters (and brother in laws) and nieces and nephews all stayed at my little sister’s house for almost a week and we just spent time together relaxing, talking, playing games, creating new stories and jokes, and enjoying the slow pace of life. It is the everyday moments with my family that I miss so much, so I treasured these days.








Hook, Stitch & Give Book Launch


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My friends do and make amazing things. For instance, my friend Kat is a crochet designer and creates gorgeous designs that are fun to make. Many of the baby gifts I’ve made that get the most compliments are from her patterns (and another) or book. Because, come on, pixie hats, dino hats and mermaid’s tails are fun!

She has now written her second crochet book: Hook, Stitch & Give. To launch it on 20th September, she will be teaching a class at McAree’s in Stirling in the morning and then having an official launch in the afternoon. To find out more information, or how to sign up, visit her website.

Purple Pole Beans


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The rain finally stopped and on the way to the compost bin, I was surprised to see that our purple pole beans (Cosse Violette) were ready. The deep stalks dripping from the post made me do a double take until I realised that they were mature pods. Like a lot of our new varieties this year, these are from real seeds.


The ‘vines’ you see running horizontally along the top of the bean poles, is the blackberry which has decided to grow 13-15 feet sideways. I’ll need to look into excessive branch growth and see what we can do about it.

Tomato Glory


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This is our second bowl his week; I am still amazed by these plants! Next year, we plan on filling two greenhouses with tomatoes. The ones that are producing the most prolifically this year are in cracked recycling bins, three to a container. Those in the grow bags and other shorter containers do not seem as secure. Now, we just need to slow down our picking so that some can stay on the plant long enough to have mature seeds.


‘Fill it Up Again’


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Today I escaped the rain outside by snuggling up to the computer and reviewing our summer photos. Sitting here in fleece bottoms and a hoodie, I scramble to keep summer close by.
We spent three weeks in my home state of Pennsylvania and I did my best to fill my heart. These images will probably only evoke joy-contentment-yearning in you if you’re from PA, but to me they are the essence of summer and what I miss most about it.

Family, fireflies (aka lightening bugs- how difficult to photograph!), forests…

(corn)fields that are shorter than me, meaning they have a long way to grow and we both have two long months of warmth and summer ahead of us (to be brief, short July cornfields mean the luxury of time and endless possibilities)…

and fandom.


Latah Tomatoes


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Until now, the earliest ripe tomato we had harvested arrived in late August and larger tomatoes have never ripened even against a south wall or in a greenhouse. Our Latah tomatoes from realseeds are fruiting like crazy, beginning to ripen up, and we haven’t yet reached the end of July! I hope we can gather a ton of healthy seeds from these plants to begin our seed library.



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