Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Homemade Yoghurt (aka Yogurt)

Ingredients: milk, bacterial culture.
How? Heat Milk to simmer (+/- 80 C), let cool to +/- 40 C, add bacteria (from yoghurt and/or pro-biotic tablets), place in oven for 24 hr with oven light on such that temperature is around 40 C (usually half-way across oven from oven light in ours). Enjoy!
Cost is generally one-third or a quarter of buying yoghurt in store.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Early July 2008

The June rainy season winds down and with more sun the plants begin to grow noticeably more. All have been well taken care of while on vacation by neighbours and friends.

Kale, broccoli, cauliflower, volunteer sunflowers from birdseed (not sure what kind yet. Any guesses?).

Norland Potatoes.

Volunteer sunflowers in compost pile.

Tomatoes, peas, carrots, swiss chard.

Rhubard showing some hail damage. Several hail storms with pea-sized hail this year, but most plants survived and recovered. Also purple beans (Royal Burgundy) around rhubard, snow peas and broccoli.

Late July 2008

Unknown tree (above and below). Guesses?

Uknown weed? Guesses?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

June Showers

We had over 150mm rain between May Long Weekend and the middle of June. The beans didn't come up at all until after the rains were finished (planted May Long Weekend).
Yet more garden expansion for next year.

Flowers and miscellaneous annuals from Aunt Mary.

Norland Potatoes.

Mystery plant. The bird feeder is just above. The birds are messy eaters. Our neighbour's guess is sunflowers.

Broccoli, kale, cauliflower, red onions, lovage, radishes, random mystery plants (birdseed was likely in the compost).

Tomatoes and peppers from Aunt Mary in the last minute garden expansion due to lack of room.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Spring is sprung - May

Broccoli, Cauliflower, Peas, Swiss Chard, Carrots, Radishes

Plant's eye view (L to R: Peas, swiss chard, carrots)

Rhubarb, broccoli

Mystery compost plants (squash??)

Winter Days

Life in the dead of winter:
Brown-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum)
Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium)
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
Spearmint (Mentha spicata)

Friday, June 6, 2008

2007 in Review - August

Fried squash leaves and flowers served with perogies!

Front flower bed progresses.

Rudbeckia triloba (Brown-Eyed Susan) in bloom. This is a species native to the United States. The Canadian Brown-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) common on the prairies around here are slighly smaller as well as other subtle differences.

Sneezewort (lower left), Sage (upper left) and Yarrow (upper right)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

2007 in Review - July

The following posts are a true "blog" in the sense that they are a "web-log" of the past year of gardening (i.e. electronic garden journal), mostly for my personal reference since I forget easily what we planted in previous years and for any others who may be interested. 2007 was our second year at the house, we didn't take many photos in 2006 since we didn't have much garden space at that time.

Spaghetti Squash (Cucurbita pepo) which grew out of the compost from seeds of the discarded innards of a Spaghetti Squash which we bought from Co-op that we ate during winter (ate the squash, composted the innards, not vice versa). The squash's parent was grown in Mexico, so we were surprised to see it grow here! The flowers made great salad or stir fry additions. For the latter you can batter and fry. It did grow some squash, though they were mostly small and did not ripen completely before the first major frosts at the end of August and early September, but we still ate them anyway. In the end we harvested more flowers than squash! The flowers kept popping up every couple of days all summer.

Smooth Brome (Bromus ramosus ssp. racemosus) in the back alley. We are thinking to try planting some raspberries here.

Unknown Mystery Flower that came with the property. Any guesses?

Potatoes (store-bought from Co-op), we didn't eat them in time so into the garden they went. A struggling paper birch (Betula papyrifera) behind dying a slow death due to my destruction of it's roots in the above garden expansion.

Mystery flowers, peppers, and spaghetti squash attacking the baby stroller.

Spinach (left), rhubarb and snow peas climbing in the back.

New garden expansion, ready for next year.

Front flower bed with several donations from family.
Left to right:
"Silver King Sage" or Artemesia ludoviciana
Common Yarrow or Achillea millefolium (native to Alberta)
"The Pearl" or Achillea ptarmica (aka Sneezewort)

The Purple one is "Clustered Bellflower" or Calmpanula glomerata

I'd like to plant more plants native to the Alberta prairies, so far only Common Yarrow is native, though even that is likely a hybrid subspecies derivation from the actual native Yarrow. For now we are planting veggies in the back and flowers and shrubs in the front.