We have five black currant bushes, three large and two quite small. They had lots of fruit on them, although I don't think the currants were quite as big as last year. We got five almost full buckets off those bushes. It's a messy job getting them cooked and strained for the juice. I tend to try to rush things and the pot boils over and there is juice spilled and splashed everywhere. Today it was going much better. I figured out a better method to strain it, and didn't have all sorts of pots spread all over the counter. The first pot full was being strained with nary a splash anywhere. The second pot, well I decided to go down to the family room to the computer. You know how that goes..... I suddenly hear the sound of a boiling over pot, so leap out of the chair and charge up the 14 stairs to the dining room, and then across the kitchen, and managed to save it before the minor spill became a major one. You've just been introduced to one of my exercise routines!
In case you can't figure it out....the big circle is the side of the pot and the juice in that pot. The rest is a reflection in the juice, of the camera at the top of the pot, and the kitchen ceiling above that.
Those marijuana growers, they just dump what they don't want, anywhere they can.
And on a pleasanter note, the dogs had a great time down at the dyke on the weekend. The water level has dropped a bit, but still has a long way to go. This year the water has been high for a longer time than ever recorded before. It will be interesting to see how things have changed at the swimming hole once the water is at the normal level. There was a nice gravel beach there, I hope it hasn't disappeared.
We didn't bring any fruit back from the market this Sunday, but there were lots of raspberries at home that needed picking. As soon as the rows were in the shade, we got started. By the time we were done, three more ice cream pails of raspberries were added to the freezer.
The dogs are always happy to help out. They must have heard us complaining about bending down to get those low ones.
On Wednesday we headed out to Sumas Prairie for another bike ride. Sumas Prairie used to be a lake, and they are constantly pumping water out of the drainage canal to make sure it doesn't return to that state. We went east on Hwy 1 and got off at Exit 99 and parked at the Cole Rd rest stop. We headed south, through Hougen Park, and then picked up the dyke just south of the park.
Here's a map and videoof where we rode. I'm sure glad that we watched some of the video, as there is one tricky bit where you have to get on the road and then turn again onto the dyke and go down what is someone's driveway. In fact you ride right between their buildings, and it feels really weird and I felt as though we were trespassing. We would have never gone there if we hadn't known that it was part of the trail. As you can see, the summer that isn't, continues, with weather much like last week's ride.
There was quite a rain storm happening over on Vedder Mountain. Vedder Mountain is long and low and is in the background of most of the following photos. Jake was found hiding under a bush somewhere up there, 6 years ago (or so the story goes).
Still raining over on Vedder. We really lucked out, and didn't get rained on, although we did ride on some roadway that was freshly wet.
It is all farmland out there, and a lot of dairy farms, so the crops were either grass for hay or silage, silage corn, or blueberries. Some lovely looking farmhouses and gardens too.
For the first part of the ride, we stayed on the dyke, as shown on the map
Here we are just about as far south as we can go. Vedder Mountain ends up in the U.S., and the buildings on the left are on the other side of the border. Looking southwest.
Oops, I was wrong. Right down near the border were some raspberry fields. They were harvesting the raspberries with a mechanical picker. It straddles the row, and those horizontal lines you can see just to the side of the bushes, below the drivers feet, turn on a vertical axis and knock the berries off the bushes and into some kind of collection device below. That's the basics of it. Lots of raspberries on those bushes.
Looking southeast. The buildings on the right are in the U.S., and the buildings on the left of center are in Canada. Can you see that cut line going up the hill behind the Canadian buildings? That's the border.
The sun came about a bit, and you can see that border line better now.
We rode through the village of Arnold, which is an older little community that has been mostly renovated to be barely unrecognizable. Lots of new, much bigger houses, or older ones with total make overs. All very nice though. Lovely gardens too, but I didn't take any pictures. I'm a bit weird about things like that. If it is close up and belongs to someone else, and is personal like a house, I'm a bit uncomfortable taking a picture of it.
We headed west along Old Yale Road, and then north up Lamson road (here just about to pass under the rail trestle at Vye Rd.). We picked up the dyke again for the last bit.
We passed the same blueberry field as in the first picture. They were using a variety of bird scare devices, including a canon or two. They also had this fake hawk attached to a string and a pole. It is made out of something very light, and as the wind blew the hawk would lift up and glide around, and I swear that at one point it's wings moved like a hawk's would when it is hovering and about to strike.
Besides the netting, and the canons, and the fake hawks, there are some other methods blueberry farmers use. One farm out our way hires a falconer to come in with a real bird. Some farms run sound systems playing bird distress calls. We passed one of those, and they are kind of creepy sounding. I don't think I'd like to listen to that all day. The farm down the road from us uses that and cannons. Thankfully we don't hear the distress calls unless we are walking by. Jake doesn't like them. Some farms tie long lines of metallic streamers over the rows. They are silver on one side and red on the other, and twist and turn flashing the two colours.
The surface on the dyke was good, mostly a packed sandy gravel mix. In one spot we had to ride single file because one track was uncomfortably bumpy.
This sign was at the end of a hedge next to a huge grassy lawn on a farm that we rode past right at the start and end of our ride. Larry pointed out that the area was big enough to hold an agility trial. Where they saying that a person could just let their dogs loose there?
And here's Thursday's photo.
It's what is affectionately known as the Whaling Wall in White Rock. The farmers market starts right by that wall. It was painted by Wyland in 1984, and has been refurbished once since then. Wyland painted 100 whale murals all around the world, you can see them here. Unfortunately some are now in bad shape or no longer exist.
And if you want more information about that Living Wall that I took a picture of last week, there was a big article in the Vancouver Sun newspaper on the weekend.
Seems they use a different plant containment method than the wall at the airport. And just to clarify, even though the article talks about the wall being in White Rock, it is actually in Surrey, 1/4 mile north of the White Rock/Surrey border.
My original blurb is below. This blog was started to show some of our customers where their food is coming from. But...since there aren't actually many of our customers reading it, and just because I wanted to... this blog now is all over the map. Lots of dog stuff, places we go, things we do, and of course gardening and animal stuff, and whatever else I feel like rambling on about.
We live on a 10 acre hobby farm in the Bradner area of Abbotsford, British Columbia. We are vendors at the Abbotsford and the White Rock Farmer's markets, selling a large variety of items. These include jams, jellies and marmalades, sewn items, free range eggs, cut flower bouquets, fresh vegetables, herbs and fruit. We grow organically, although are not certified organic. At the present moment our hobby farm houses 4 adult humans, 3 dogs, 1 cat, 4 ewes, 1 horse and 80-99 laying hens.