I haven't blogged in a week! Eeek! Sorry readers, it's been a busy time. I'll try to make up for it today with lots of pictures and garden news.
Today we did a lot of work in the garden. It has been decidedly cooler for the past few days, and this morning presented the perfect opportunity to battle our way through the jungle of weeds in our vegetable garden to see what we could find. I'm afraid it's rather gotten away from us this year and the weeds have been overwhelming. I think next year I may try more drastic measures, like landscape cloth. Mulch and occasional hoeing does not work. I avoid herbicides, so physical barriers are more attractive to me.
In spite of the weeds that want world domination, we managed to harvest our garlic. This year we grew 6 varieties: Chrysalis Purple, German Extra Hardy, Siberian, Shvelisi, Broadleaf Czech and Georgian Crystal. All of these came from the Seed Savers Exchange and grew very well. They still have those varieties for ordering for this fall, so why not give one a try?! We'll let the garlic dry for a few days and then I'll braid some of it.
This is the broadleaf Czech - it is large and has purple hints to it.
Here is the German Extra Hardy garlic. Smaller bulbs but very white!The chrysalis purple variety was not very interested in staying attached to its plant when dug, so those won't be braided. It's such a rich colour though.
I noticed that our acorn squash are progressing very well and have gained weight in the past couple of weeks!
In addition, I've got some butternut squash progressing nicely, although they are still quite small.
We also managed to hack our way through the 4 foot tall redroot pigweed and velvetleaf patches to get to our rows of potatoes. We had planted 8 varieties this year, also from the Seed Savers Exchange. Today, we dug some Yellow Finn, All Blue and Red Gold. Here is today's harvest. The Red Gold were particularly productive. We only dug half rows of the Finn and blue potatoes and will pick more later. Tonight is definitely a night for fresh new potatoes on the dinner plate!
I spent some time wandering around the flower beds and looking at the progress of things. The echinacea has done exceedingly well this year. I noticed that the bees were very busy with it today.
I do love to watch the bees. If you "biggify" the picture below, you can see the bee's proboscis coming out of its mouth to take the nectar. They are so important in our garden as pollinators for our fruits and vegetables, as well as our flowers. I try to give them lots of preferred plants to encourage them to enjoy our garden and help our crops in the process.
The daylilies are still blooming. Here's a pale peach one that caught my eye today.
One of my favorite named daylilies that I have is this one - Bela Lugosi. I'd love to spin some yarn in these colours.
I took a look at the apple tree - here you can see the ducks hopefully watching for apples to fall into their path. I think they've got a while to wait.
The Stanley plum is also showing colour on its fruits now. That plum was planted last year, so this is the first year to fruit. It has about 8 plums on it, which isn't much, but it's nonetheless exciting for me!
One of my favorite clematis vines is "Avant-garde" and it is a later flowering one, so right now it is just covered in blooms. The blooms are smaller than many varieties but so pretty and there are so many of them. I need a bigger trellis for this one!
Finally, I have also been busy with spinning this week as usual. I spun a wool-soy silk-sparkle blend in rich gold, navy and turquoise tones.
I learned to Navajo ply last night at my spinning guild meeting last night. That is a plying method that allows one to keep sections of colour together in the final plied yarn. I was a bit slow at learning this technique, but it came out quite well in the end. I had deliberately spun this into a thick-and-thin style yarn to try for interesting texture in the final product.
I'm really quite pleased with how it worked out, although it's only about 80 yards, so I'm not sure how I'll use it. Maybe for trim on something in a solid colour. Or maybe I'll save it and sell it in the Etsy shop that I eventually plan to open. In any case, it's finished, and so is this blog post!