Monday, May 28, 2012

Opening Day

It was opening day at the White Rock Farmers Market yesterday.
Let's just say that it was a very successful start to the market season.  The weather was good, except for the cold wind that seems to plague that site.  It's located right next to and between two high rises, the highest buildings in the area, located on top of the hill less than a mile from the ocean.  They create a gigantic wind tunnel.  Even though it can feel quite summery as we leave home, we have to remember to pack enough clothes for a mild winter's day.  Larry said he hadn't taken enough clothes yesterday, and said he is going to pack a permanent 'White Rock Market extra clothes bag' and leave it in the truck.  Of course we feel it more than the customers, because we are stuck in one spot for four hours.  We do put a couple of tarp walls up at the back of our tent, and that does make it more sheltered.  The only problem comes when the wind is strong enough to make those tarp walls become like gigantic sails, and then it just becomes too dangerous.  Everything has to come down, including the roof on the tent.  We had one day like that at the end of last season.  Just imagine if it started to rain too.  It doesn't bear thinking about:(

So 130 jars of jam later, and that's just yesterday's sales.  Add to that the 40+ jars sold on Saturday, and you know what I'm doing this week.  Oh, and quite a bit of sewing went as well.
This lady had just bought that stripey bag that's slung over her shoulder, from me.  She had her hands full and needed to make her life a little easier.

She said this cute little face was being snarky to all the dogs he was meeting at ground level, so this was her solution.

Maybe I could make one big enough for Luna.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How Are Those Spuds Doing?

I had wanted to get some more potatoes planted, so of course when I found a big bag of seed potatoes with a clearance price on it, I grabbed it.  To make it even better it was a variety I've planted before, but hadn't yet planted this year, and had people tell me that they really liked.  They were nice big potatoes with lots of healthy shoots, but none too long that you had to worry about breaking them off.  I could divide each potato into two to four pieces, and so some 100+ pieces later, here they are all laid out in their not very straight rows.  The whole plot has a curve to it, so I just followed the the outside edge as I raked a trench.  The potatoes don't care that the row isn't straight, and neither do I.  These are Norland potatoes. 
To the right of them is a hillock with small blueberry bushes, and the tall grass is some Fall Rye that I didn't rototill in, because I am letting it produce seed heads that I'll add to the flower bouquets. To the right of that is another bed full of Kennebec potatoes.  I grew them last year, and ended up with a ton of little ones, most of which had a green bit on them from where they had seemed to push through to the top of the soil and were sun damaged.  Instead of throwing them out, I just kept them as seed potatoes, and I'm interested to see how they do.
To the left is a mass of buttercups growing around the Fall raspberries.  The raspberries will eventually be higher than the buttercups.  It's been a good Spring for growing buttercups:(  This is a good place to grow potatoes, because there is more likely to be wildlife damage out at this garden, and the rabbits and deer don't seem to bother the potatoes.  We just have to remember to keep the gate closed though, as Pride has tromped through here a few times.

And here's the first potatoes I planted, a couple of months ago, down at the other garden.  These are Warbas.  Hopefully in a few more weeks I'll be able to start sneaking some potatoes out of the hills.

And out behind, the hens are merrily scratching away.

Columbine blooming.

And the great white hunter.
Well maybe not so much anymore.  She sniffed around down here, chewed some grass, and tried to stick her nose into the camera lens.
I wish I could teach her to weed.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Happy Wet Victoria Day

Our stretch of decent, a taste of summer, sunny weather came to a screeching halt about lunchtime Sunday.
It had been dry for long enough to create Death Valley type cracks in the soil of the garden paths, and I had to keep watering the basil seeds to make sure they germinated.

Some people went away camping for the long weekend, in tents, and the rain poured down.
Been there, done that, and it might not be much bigger than a tent, but I'm sure happy that we have our little trailer now.  Not that we went anywhere this weekend anyway.  Not that we have a choice, we avoid going away on long weekends.

We went down to the dyke instead.  It's a long time since we've been there.  We lucked out and picked a time when the rain had eased to a drizzle and we got all but the last bit of the walk in before the deluge started again.

The water is high, most likely because the Fraser River is running high with snow melt, and it backs up into the creek.

The dogs got a bit of water time, but all we could find to throw were rocks, so they weren't terribly impressed, since rocks don't float.

Next time we'll have to remember to bring something that doesn't sink.


Came across this inspiring video as I was looking for something else on the internet (Don't we all know how that goes!)  Don't you love how Zip still jumps some of the invisible bars.

Calli has this same cart, although we never actually had to use it.  We've hung onto it just in case she needed it as she got older.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Helping With Garden Clean-Up

There's someone who is quite happy to eat those old wormy carrots that survived the winter. 

Field of Dreams

It's so nice that a friend has a nice grass field full of agility equipment only six minutes away.
Luna and I went over there last night.

She worked hard, and a bit insanely, and she was one tired dog at the end.
It's our BC/Yukon agility regionals coming up in less than four weeks. 
It will just be me and Luna this year, Jake isn't entered because of the issue with his knee.

And this was my view on the way home, just down the road from here.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Fur Rug

Nelson's belly hair needs combing, but it looks like that five minutes after you've combed it anyway.

To Market To Market....

The first farmers market of the summer season in our home town was a rounding success.  The weather couldn't have been nicer, there were lots of vendors and lots of customers and lots of sales.  It was maybe a bit slow to start for us, but in the end I couldn't have been happier.  I had picked about 25 bags of greens and herbs.  Kale, beet greens and collards, that had all survived the winter and sent out new shoots and now flower heads, on their way to producing seed and dying.  I know there was one point when I was thinking that we were going to have a whole lot of greens to eat this week, but by the end of the day, (1pm) all those were gone.  The only thing left were a couple of bags of mint from the herb bin.  As usual, I tell myself that I'm going to whip up some mint jelly with that, but never do.  Maybe this will be the time....

Lots of jam sold, so I'll be making a few more batches this week, and even the sewing was a success.  A few mothers got aprons for Mothers Day:)

Could have sold more eggs, but only took 15 dozen.  Some of the new hens have started to lay, yesterday we got 6 little eggs from them.

There was opening day cake for everyone, the mayor was there, and came around and introduced himself.  The music was good, and we had a mini flash mob line dance group appear.

Unfortunately I forgot my camera, so no pictures.  We have one more Sunday off before the White Rock market starts on the 27th.  Before long I'll be complaining about making jam.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Why I Was In The Kitchen So Much

The Abbotsford Farmers Market starts it's weekly summer season today.  Me, whose first name is Procrastination, spent this week doing what I've had months to do, and just kept, well, procrastinating on.
So yeah, it was a mega jam making session this week.
20 batches, 18 different flavours,  88 pounds of white death sugar, umpteen pounds of fruit, approximately 240 jars which translates into somewhere around 280 cups of jam.
This was part of Thursday's cook-up.

18 varieties you say, pray tell, what are they?

Blackberry jam
Blackberry jelly
Blueberry Peach
Blue Cranberry
Crabapple Jelly
Cranky Mango
Ginger Pear
Mango Chutney
Mild Pepper jelly
Peachy Mango
Raspberry jam (three batches)
Raspberry Rhubarb
Strawberry Rhubarb
Seville Marmalade

Add to that another 13 flavours that I still had enough left of to get me through tomorrow.

And the weather is going to be perfect! 


  • 5°C


  • 26°C


  • 26°C
  • 10°C


  • 26°C
  • 11°C


  • 23°C
  • 11°C


  • 20°C
  • 7°C


  • 20°C
  • 7°C
Issued : 4:00 PM PDT Friday 11 May 2012
Clear. Low plus 5.
Sunny. High 26. UV index 7 or high.
Saturday night
Clear. Low 10.
Sunny. High 26.
Sunny. Low 11. High 26.
Sunny. Low 11. High 23.
Sunny. Low 7. High 20.
Sunny. Low 7. High 20.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Through My Kitchen Window

If I could build the house of my dreams, one of the big requirements would be to have lots of windows in the kitchen, but specifically a big window over the kitchen sink.  When we did a major renovation to this house, that started a lot of years ago, and isn't finished yet (and never will be), we made what was already a pretty good window by the sink into an even better one.  
And when I say 'we', I mean Larry and I.  We added about 1000 sq ft to this house, part of which is a one car garage.  We re-roofed and re-sided the whole house, and replaced all the windows.  We did it all ourselves, almost.  We hired a neighbour and his machine to dig the holes for the footings, we had someone spread the concrete for the floor, we had someone install continuous eavestroughs, and Larry had a friend help with the electrical. 
But I digress.  One of my favourite things was the greenhouse type window we installed in the kitchen.  It gives me a great view over the backyard, the hay field, and out towards the back of our property.

(Despite being next to the tap, I totally suck at watering house plants, so that is why the Jade plant looks so pathetic)

I spent a lot of time in the kitchen this week.

 The flowering Cherry burst into bloom while we were away.

And already it is just about finished, showering pink confetti with every gust of the breeze.

You can just see the staples still in the top of Jake's head.  He finally got them out yesterday noon, nearly two and a half weeks after the event.  When I took him back last week, the vet removed the stitch by his eye, but he decided that he wanted to leave the staples in longer.  The hair has got a good start at filling in the shaved spot.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Not Just a Pretty Face

The great black hairy beast has not only stopped dropping so many clumps of hair, he has started to pay rent.
This is at least the second mouse he has delivered to the back door.  At my Mum's, he had a cat door, and was back and forth through it constantly.  I'd love to put in a cat door here.  In fact we already have one that fits in a window that is accessed from the roof.   We got it for Smudge, who refused to have anything to do with it.  Nelson would like it just fine I think, he's pretty good at pushing himself into small spaces.  Leave a drawer or cupboard door open, and he's right there climbing up into it and checking it out.  The only thing is, he likes to bring his victims in with him, and they are not always dead.  And then he lets them go, and they hide under the furniture.  That happened at my Mum's.  The thought of it happening here makes me shudder.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Camping -Keremeos.

When we headed out on our camping trip, we had to pass through Manning Park, and Allison Pass.  The night before there had been fresh snow.  It was afternoon when we went through, so I don't know if there was ever any on the road, but there was a dusting on the gross black piles of old snow and sand that are still standing down each side.
This is Hwy 3, one of the main routes across the province.  It was a heck of a mess, with potholes and grooves between lanes.  Lots of summer paving to be done.

And then we got to Keremeos.  The next day was beautiful and sunny and Spring warm, which I love.  This campsite, mentioned in the previous post at the Old Grist Mill, was a decent place to stay.  $15 for no hookups.  There was a water tap next to us, and washrooms but no shower a bit of a  walk across the parking lot on the end of the Tea Room.  The elderly owner said he had just opened (ie pulled the barrier away that was blocking the first driveway).  He didn't have his paperwork organized, so I just handed over the $15 and we were good to go.  He said he would normally ask us to keep the dogs on leash, but since no one else was there, it didn't really matter.  There was room for a good game of soccer for Luna and a sedate game of fetch for Jake.

Keremeos creek was right behind the campsite, complete with doggy salad bar.  The dogs love that wide bladed fresh spring grass.  The had no interest in going in the creek, although might have if they'd been hot enough.  Keremeos got some heavy rain early that week, and the creek was running higher than normal.

This was Upper Bench Road, with it's orchards backing onto the mountains.  We had a good bike ride down here.  Jake and Luna were in the pooch-mobile.  Jake, who is usually the one that doesn't like things that move, was okay in it.  Luna, at first, was not.  She stuck her pointy nose into openings and forced her way out a few times.  I ran over her foot once.  Eventually I used the repair tape for the trailer awning to close up some of the holes, and she had to stay in.  Further along to the east, there was a barrier across the road, 'closed due to flooding'.  We found that hard to imagine, and kept on going.  The dogs got out to run, since there was no traffic.  Eventually we got to the area that had been flooded.  A creek rushing down the hillside had been too much for the culvert and had roared along the shoulder of the road, washing it out and undercutting the road in places.  They had eventually brought in a big excavator to cut a trench right through the road, which was too wide to jump, even without bikes and pooch-mobiles.  We turned around to go back, up the steep hill we had just come down.  The dogs went on foot up that one, it was a struggle to ride it just pulling the empty trailer.

  We got back to the campsite and there discovered that one of the pannier bags that Larry had slotted on the sides of the rack on the back of his bike had jumped ship.  He immediately set off back to find it, of course hoping it was just up the road.  Not to be.  He got all the way to the bottom of the steep hill, almost back to the washout.  He asked some people walking if they had seen it.  Yes they had, at the top of the hill, and they had hung it on a fence post.  I guess he wasn't looking in the right direction when he passed that post.  I'm glad he found it, as my favourite pair of shorts and some other clothing were in that bag.
The dogs and I walked up to the road to see if we could see him coming back.
At lunchtime we packed up and headed to Oliver.  

We'd stay at that campsite again, at least in the Spring, although I wouldn't want to be there when it is full, (too crowded) and maybe next time we could bike farther on Upper Bench Road, right into Cawston.

The pooch-mobile was a success, as it enabled us to ride faster along a road with traffic to a dog friendly spot where we could let them run free. Luna can go for miles, she gets a long striding steady trot going, but Jake not so much.  He has to run, and gets tired sooner, and we were trying to not over do it with his leg.  And speaking of his leg,  he is holding it up less often when he gets up from a down position, so it seems to be improving.

Oh yeah, the pooch-mobile is going to get a make over.  It needs more mesh and less plastic.  More airflow coming in the front.  I'm thinking I might strip it right to the base and see if a big crate will fit on. Another project, and I've got projects piled up over my head.
Help me, I'm drowning!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Reading, Riding, Rambling and Relaxation

Just got home from a six day holiday in the South Okanagan.  We actually did what we said we were going to do last Fall, which was to try and get away in the Spring before the farmers market season started.  So Larry and I and Jake and Luna and our little truck and trailer headed out last week.  We stayed the first night in Keremeos, and then the next four nights in Oliver.  The weather was mostly great.

Cherry orchard across the road from our campsite at The Old Grist Mill

 Lots of sun but not hot, some cloud, and a bit of drizzle.  We rode our bikes for miles, one day riding about 40 km.  We walked lots, and I got 3 1/2 books read.  Meals and our needs were simple.  Checked out places for sale, as Oliver is a place we are thinking we might eventually move to.  

At the north end of the Bike and Hike Trail out of Oliver

And back on the farm..... Just before we left, we sold the 34 hens from the north coop, and while we were gone David picked up 45 new pullets that will start to lay in a few weeks, I hope.  One monstrous rat was killed in a rat trap.  We've been having trouble for a while with rat(s) in the walls of that coop.  Probably still more.
The seedlings that were coming up before we left don't seem to be much bigger.  We came back to wet weather.  The potatoes are doing well, I've got them all hilled up and they are still popping out of the tops.  They are about the only things that are doing well.  Just not enough warm days.

The vegetation all burst open while we were gone, and after spending six days in a much more arid part of the province, it seems rather overwhelming.

Keremeos and Oliver have these....Prickly Pear cactus. Picked these off Luna's legs and feet while out for a walk