Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things.
Summer is nearly here, the hay stands tall, the ground wet, rain forecast nearly every day preventing the cutting, raking, and baling. A few fields near us were done several weeks ago, others that will be done before they get to us are still standing too. Since our brush hog mower fell apart last fall, areas that the riding mower can’t handle and that won’t be hayed due to trees they don’t want to work around, we can’t even mow those areas. I can’t get to the berry patches as they are scattered along the edge of the woods by the hayfields.
Last week was spent helping daughter out with two of our grands. With school out, babysitting help, camps, and trips keep the kids busy are needed for a working Mom. Half of two of those days, there were activities that had been scheduled using my spinning and fiber history skills, and granddad had the kiddos. The first morning was not in costume, about 25 camp kids rotated to try candle dipping, see spinning on a wheel and spindles and get a length of handspun yarn to take, watch the blacksmith, and see mini balls made on an open fire and then an old flintlock rifle fired without a ball. Friday was Flag Day at Wilderness Road Regional Museum. We had the same activities, minus the blacksmith, but with a Bobbin Lace maker in attendance and all in costumes.
With three fleeces, there will be plenty to knit a sweater when it is all done, but since it mostly gets done at events, that might be a while.
Because of the rain and not being at home, the garden hasn’t been getting the attention it needs. About 10 days ago, I took the weed eater to the paths so I could get in to see what else was going on. The asparagus are tall ferns now, and too many weeds in there, but too hard to get to. Once the ferns are cut in the fall, it will be weeded and mulched with straw for the winter. The tomatillos were planted through a thick straw mulch and are doing well. The tomatoes and peppers were weeded and staked after the paths were done and need weeding again. They need straw put down around them, but it doesn’t seem to be available in the area right now. I can’t go rake leaves from the woods to use because I can’t get to the woods for the standing hay. This afternoon, I went out to pick peas for dinner and realized that for the first time ever, the blueberries were heavy with fruit. The bushes are still fairly small. Though they are about 4 or 5 years old, they were not being kept weeded and last year, they were moved to a 4 x 8′ box on the edge of the garden, given a good layer of new soil, a sprinkle of bone meal, a layer of newspaper covered with several inches of wood chip mulch. Though they have required some weeding, the weeds are mostly just in the mulch and the berries are thriving.
After sorting the basket and shelling the peas, it looks like berries for cereal, muffins or quick bread, and a couple meals of peas. There are many more peas to pick over the next few weeks. The bush beans are blooming, and that bed got weeded as well this afternnon. A second planting of them should be done soon. I would have stayed out longer and worked, but the thunder storms started again. The cucumbers are climbing the fence, the sunflowers are more than knee high, there are green Roma tomatoes, pumpkins vines developing. The garden is small this year, some produce will come from the Farmers’ Market, but that has been the routine for several years now. I hope the peppers begin to grow soon. One that was planted is gone, none of them much larger than the transplants that I put in the ground. I’ll have to check what is available for transplanting when I go to the Farmers’ Market next.