Hiking in the Neighborhood

February 20, 2022: With the cornflower blue cloudless sky and light dusting from yesterday evenings snow squall we couldn’t resist the temptation of a short local hike. All Trails app is amazing in that it can list all trails in your zip code. We never knew this place existed and we live here 30 years!

We put Toulouse’s coat on and he stood by the door with anticipation… we wanted him to go into the back garden, but he waited by the garage door waiting to go into the car, he was up for a walk, which was surprising, but he was really into it..happily

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2022: February and Spring around the corner

February 19, 2022: It has been so long since I have posted, I have been very active on my Weedie in the Garden instagram site. The 2021 garden was very successful with over 50 lbs of peaches, Tomatoes, Tobasco peppers and assorted other very HOT peppers.

Presently, I have been experimenting with stronger lights in my greenhouse. AeroLight has a small unit that works really well! I have started using grow bags with Amaranth, spinach and broccoli. Potatoes will be put in by the end of the weekend. I am curious to see how those work, It’s nice to be able to move them around, and as the weather heats up, they can go outside.

Pictured above are the raised beds late in the season. Partially covered to protect the peppers from killing frost. Also this past season we added another apple tree, two more blueberry bushes and grapes. It is growing into a real homestead!

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October wrap-up

October 22, 2020: A season of Covid, a season of learning

It has been quite a while since I have posted to the blog, My Instagram Weedie in the Garden has been updated almost daily with the garden and greenhouse progress through the season. Like most, I have turned my interests inward during this time specifically to the garden. Techniques and processes have been honed. Here are a few things this summer has taught:

Succession planting: Not only was it successful outside in the raised beds but in the indoor greenhouse as well. We had different varieties of tomatoes, all ripening at different times. Jet, Beefsteak, Big Boy, Acer, Roma. To date, we harvested 62 lbs. of tomatoes, canned 10 quarts, and they’re still a substantial number green on the vine. Garlic planted last fall was harvested in July, and then I planted Dragon Beard Beans (VERY prolific) 7.5 lbs harvested to date, I just pulled out the bushes this past weekend to make room for a winter crop. I raked leaves, mulched them up, and spread a thick layer on top until I decide how to proceed. Meanwhile inside, I have another batch of Basil started from seed and just transplanted into the raised bed.

Stratification: My Paw Paw seeds had been in the fridge since November 2019. I planted them in March. From 10 seeds only 3 germinated, and so far those three have been growing outside. I brought them in 2 weeks ago and the bottom leaves seem to be yellowing. I gave them some seaweed fertilizer, and repotted, thinking that perhaps they were root bound, they weren’t, so now i’m not sure why the leaves are yellowing ūüė¶

Seeds on heat/ when germinated to the lights!: Prevention of scrawny, lanky seedlings is a quick transfer to grow lights. The germination rate varies, but so far I have radishes, mustard greens, basil, beets, and carrots.

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Summer garden

Panoramic view of the garden June 27, 2020
Pleased with the transformation. More to come !

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Post Holiday Hike

December 29th, 2019: Westmoreland Sanctuary

Well, it’s about time we get out! We have been so busy with the Holiday this year that Hiking has taken second place. We have Rosa the grand-dog staying with us this weekend, a perfect opportunity to take both dogs out for a quick hike at our local Nature Preserve! A quick hour and 1/2 walk before the rain set in…just enough to tucker out the poochies!

Perfect breaking-in walk for Toulouse as well…he will be coming with us on our next adventure in the Adirondacks. We will make him a hiker yet!

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Our Maine Adventure

Sept 2, 2019, First full Day/ the Kayak Trip in Frenchman’s Bay

All geared up in our new wetsuits, off we went to Bar Harbor / Coastal Kayak Tours. We arrived early with enough time to get a brief intro from Annie our tour guide. Annie was in Bar Harbor for the summer in from South Africa where she usually would take tourists on Safari!

The weather was overcast but no rain until our excursion was just about over, so luck was with us! We went out as five tandem kayaks and surprisingly we were all pretty good at staying together. We paddled out to Frenchman’s Cove and headed toward Bar Island, skirted Sheep porcupine island, then Burnt porcupine island, landed on rum key island where we stayed a half hour or so to stretch and snack. Heading back we were all getting a bit beat, so we went back the way we came, rather than explore the choppier windy way.

Sept 3,2019: Champlain Trail, Acadia National Park: Our first National park adventure hike and it did not disappoint.  As expected  the park was crowded, there were two cruise ships parked in Bar Harbor, one was the size of one of the islands, and I heard it carried 4000 passengers! When those boats empty out onto the shore, a sleepy little town is transformed into Manhattan!  The shoreline is rugged and magnificient, dangerous and alluring all at the same time. As we drove through the park, we intended to park and hike to the top of Cadillac Mountain, however we ended up driving to the top only to find bus-loads of tourists (from the boats) Not exactly the summit experience we were looking for!
Sept 4th, 2019: Long Pond Kayak, and Jordan Pond Hike. Two wonderful excursions done on the same day…A First! Kayak AND¬†Hike. Long Pond was beautiful and as always one of the things we love most about Kayaking is that there is never a crowd! ¬†The Long Pond hike circled the pond, and there were quite a few hikers on the trail. We actually saw a porcupine taking his nap just off the trail, but within sight of all. Was hoping to see more wildlife, however we found out that although the Moose is the icon for Acadia Park, there are actually no Moose on the Mt. Desert Island. We did see (at a distance and extremely tiny…) A Dog Nose Seal in Frenchman’s Bay. I imagine I should be careful what I wish for, maybe meeting a Bull Moose, or Black Bear is not quite a Disney interaction!

Finally the last day, Bill and I did get to fish and chill right on shore of the Vacation Rental.  Something  we  learned  while  staying  by  a  river  is  that  it only looks really pretty during high tide, which happens only twice a day. People that live in places that have tides, live by the tides and if you are not willing to kayak against the flow, be sure to check when the water is moving in the direction you want to go when you are the most fatigued. 

A great Vacation, a new locatioin that brought us our of our Adirondack comfort Zone and enabled us to experience a new part of the world, expaning our Horizons!

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July 11, 2019: Garden update

The Garden is filling in nicely! Corn is really looking like corn! Early Girl tomatoes are looking good so far. Now what we really need to do is to net off / fence off the raised beds so we have a chance at harvesting.

One thing I am having difficulty with, and not sure if anyone else has this issue, is that as my squash start to form, they turn yellow and fall off ūüė¶ Is that too much water? not enough water? maybe something is stepping on them at night. There are other young squash forming, but I hope they remain on the vine to maturity.

The “three sisters” concept seemed like it make sense, however I am concerned that the squash is going to shade-out all the green beans and the other smaller crops underneath (like the radishes)

The Marvel peas are finishing up, looks like I need to start another round! Pasta Piselle was tonights dinner, I am happy that I am finally growing enough that I can actually make a meal with the harvest.

So Propagation of my hydrangea has been less than great. Time to start again and see how it goes. Years ago I seemed to have better luck with grafting and starting plants, I guess I am out of practice

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June 8th-Mid Spring

I finally have a weekend that I can actually take stock of what was planted last year, as well as see the progress of some things planted this year! The after-shock of planting from the Nursery has settled down, roots are established and plants are now getting into the swing of their second full year.

Happily wildflowers are returning and the area that we reseeded is filling in. Two possible mistakes made: 1) Leaf litter was too heavy and was not allowing many of the perennials from pushing through OR too many annuals were planted (like cosmos) and of coarse, being annuals did not come back.

The 4 raised beds we build are filled with corn, squash and bean (3 sisters) as well as radish, beets, tomatoes and freshly planted zuccini seeds. Lets see how long they can grow before night bandits start taking bites out of the harvest!

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Hello Grayson G’bye Mice

March 24, 2019 We have a new family member! Grayson has joined us and I am sure he will be a great help in keeping the mice population from creeping up. My greenhouse was suffering between mice snacking on salad greens and sprouts and the pillbugs tunneling about. I feel now that at least half the problem will be kept at bay naturally. Still working on the pillbugs but they are pretty well under control (check in on Garden Spot to see how all is doing there)

Spring has arrived and the days are lengthening. The sun is noticeably warmer and life is sprouting out around the property. Plants in the Sunporch are starting to bud and sprout new shoots. Longer days here at last!

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February

Had a few big snow storm threats but all ended as nothing but an inch or two at best, not a snowshoeing season at all this year here in Westchester.

Outside all is fresh and crisp above, but below all is alternate crunchy and soggy, not a good time to walk on soil but sure is nice to clear your head of the winter cobwebs!

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