Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Current Temp 105 Degrees

When the temperature hits in the triple digits for the second day in a row, find some shade and sleep until the sun goes down.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hot, hot , hot!

New record high - and climbing
At 4:16 p.m., the temperature at the airport was 106 -- well over the record 100 from July 28, 2003, and the KVAL forecast of 103. The all-time highest temperature recorded in Eugene was 108, set in August 1981

The only thing left to do, when it's so hot the "Butercup" squash leaves are drooping, is to find a shady corner and and take a nap underneath the primroses.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Last Rose of Summer

This is the last bloom on Dorothy's old rose for the year. Some years I think it opens one or two blooms through the early part of August but seems to be done a bit earlier this year.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Garden Update

Thought it was time for a garden update. Today I will start with the vegetable bed at the house. It has just gone crazy the last 3 weeks. As soon as the temperatures finally started consistently hitting 85+ degrees everyday, the growth has been amazing to watch. It was only 4th of July weekend that I added the second tier on my tomatoes. Now I have two plants have grown taller then the second tier. The squash are crawling like crazy, though I haven't yet found any set squash. So far the open male flowers and the open female flowers with immature squash haven't timed together. The "Good Mother Stallard" beans are beginning to bloom. They have a very pretty pure white flower. I am hoping this weeks heat isn't too much for them. The sunflowers have also developed their primary top bloom, though "Gloriosa Polyheaded" are branching and will have multiple blooms. I am disappointed at their height. The packaged said 6-10 feet tall, but mine will be lucky to reach 5 feet. They just never could get ahead of the tomato plants.

" Gloriosa Polyheaded" Sunflower bud, beginning to show color.

"Good Mother Stallard" pole bean blossom.

Immature truss of "Sweet Million" Cherry tomatoes.

A female bloom on a "Buttercup" Winter Squash plant.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Heat Returns

The temperature has jumped back into the 90s. It's every man for himself!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Lavender and Pollinators

My Lavender plants have begun to bloom this week. They are about a week behind their "normal" date. In the past I have cut lavender stems to pair with the wild daisies for 4th of July mini bouquets. The variety I am growing is "Hidcote". The plants are about 7 years old now, which is getting old for a lavender plant. I lost one plant over the winter, for seemingly no reason at all. I suppose my "to-do" list next spring should include buying new plants or starting cuttings from my old plants.

In the good news category, my lavender was quite full of bees. The vast majority were sweet old bumble bees, but I also had a few honey bees and a couple species I can not identify. I do think that the bumble bees are my favorite. I am very thankful we still have so many of the native bees around when many areas are experiencing a rapid decline in their pollinators.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Corvallis & Kami

Today I got up early ( for me on a Saturday!) and my sister and I drove up to Corvallis. It has literally been years since I have been there and it was great to see all the positive changes in the town. The purpose of our trip was two-fold. Beth wanted to attend the once-a-year blow out sale at one of her favorite cross-stitch stores, Friendship Crossing. I had been wanting to visit to check out Corvallis' Farmers Market. I also wanted to try to combine our trip with a visit with an old friend. Happily we got to do everything! While Beth shopped till she dropped, I met Kami and we went two doors down to the New Morning Bakery, where we had a great breakfast and did some much needed catching up. After an hour or so, Beth joined us and we headed down to the Farmers Market.

Corvallis has a beautiful Farmer's Market. It is located down next to the Willamette River, on First street. The street is blocked off for the morning and the vendors are set-up on both sides of the street. It makes for an open, uncrowded feeling, even when it is quite busy. I was surprised by the number of vendors. They have every bit as many vendors as Eugene does, possible even a few more. We ended up making purchases at Willamette Valley Cheese Company, Denison Farm, Alpine Sourdough Bakery, and from a fisherman out of Newport.

The Fruit and Vegetables were abundant. Cherries were everywhere and tomatoes are really starting to come in to season.

I also enjoyed all the dogs at the Market. It was alot like being in Paris. It seemed like everyone who came to shop brought their dog. I really fell for a Burnese Moutain Dog female puppy who was being good as gold as her owner waited in line to make a purchase.

Thanks Kami for being our tour guide. It was wonderful to see you and to do some much needed catching-up!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Someone to Watch Over Me

Tonight I went looking for Parvati and found her up on the bank on a stump. The cats just love all the stumps on the property for stealth surveying platforms. But all that observing does make a girl sleepy!

Monday, July 6, 2009

New Kid on the Block

This weekend it became apparent that my "Red Rose" Tomato was quickly dying. I tried everything I could think of to save it and read all my reference books for help. Nothing worked. Finally I pulled it out before it could infect the other 7 healthy plants. So that meant I had room for something new. Every cloud has a silver lining!

I went to the Farmer's Market Saturday with every intention of buying a big 1-gallon replacement tomato. It was just a matter of finding a variety that interested me. Unfortunately, everything there was either too everyday for me, or something that I already had. Then I turned around to a booth I walk by every week, that specializes in pepper and eggplants. There's an idea! After much reading of tags and contemplation, I took home a "Gypsy" Pepper. And here's why. It is described as " a small red pepper with a very sweet flavor. They can be eaten raw, cooked, used for dipping or stuffing. The pepper turns from shades of green-orange to scarlet-orange when ripe. Somewhat similar to a Bell Pepper, but much sweeter. The walls are thinner, meaning they are easy to cut, clean, and cook. They also hold their vibrant color when cooked. An All-American winner. Tapered fruit 4 1/2" long by 2 12" wide. Harvest starts 65 days after setting out." How could I not buy it?! Now it is planted and settling in to its new home.

Today was also a milestone in the Winter Squash patch. I had my first blossom open. It was on one of the "Buttercup" plants, which are quickly taking over. The bloom was starting to close, but looked so pretty in the evening sunlight.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Local Eating in the Summer - Meal #2

Tonight we ate our second local meal of the Summer. Saturday at the Lane County Farmer's Market we picked up some Andouille sausage and some fresh eggs from Sweet Briar Farm. So tonight we simply fried the sausage and scrambled the eggs. I had some Red Potatoes and part of a Walla Walla Onion left from a market visit 2 weeks ago. I shredded the potatoes, diced the onion and made a batch of hash browns. The water content in the Red Potatoes was a bit too high, so they steamed more than they fried. Never the less, they were still good. It's hard to beat breakfast for dinner.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday America!

I hope that you all had a wonderful 4th of July. Mine was quite busy. Started the morning with a 4.2 mile road race. Then hit the farmer's market. New this week were berries ( boysenberries & raspberries), heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers. After all of that, I went home and had a nap! Later in the afternoon we went to Art & the Vineyard. Saw lots of great jewelry. Then we had dinner and grabbed a place on the lawn. We heard two different groups from the Bach Festival perform and then ended the night with fireworks.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Dog (Cat) Days of Summer

Today is the hottest day of the year, so far. The temperature is 90 degrees and our wind of the last week has disappeared. As always, the creatures that know how to handle the heat the best are the cats. Cleo has found a beautiful spot of shade underneath the petunia basket.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Beginning to Climb and Beginning to Crawl

As July begins, there are more milestones in the vegetable bed. The "Good Mother Stallard" Pole Beans are finally grabbing a hold of the cage and beginning to climb.
So far 3 of the vines have wrapped on, and another 2 are trying. It has been so windy the last week that they are having a tough time. It will know be interesting to see how many days it takes for them to reach the top of the cage.

And in the front of the bed, the "Buttercup" Winter Squash are the first ones to have tipped over and begun crawling. The first tendrils have formed and baby blossoms atop immature squash are now visable.