Okay, it's raining today, so the garden planting has to wait until tomorrow. I guess I've waited this long and it hasn't killed me . . . although the first broccoli I planted has
gone to seed. The bees like it.
So. Here is the list I've compiled (and will continue to compile) of what is currently growing on our property. It is a rather old homestead, so there's lots of stuff, both wild, and tame but a little too outta control, even for me.
TREES - Forest and ornamental
Wild Forest Pansy? (1)
Lots of weeds I don’t know the names of, but I'm sure we'll get acquainted as time goes on.
PLANTS & FLOWERS
Poppy - different varieties
Japanese Knotweed (!)
More will undoubtedly show themselves as we continue to clean up areas, and uncover treasures. But all in all, for a long term rental property, it is pretty clean. Once we hacked our way through all of the overgrown jungly areas (and there were a lot of overgrown jungly areas - what I like to call our Old Growth Broom forest) I was surprised that there wasn't more garbage. I mean, there is
definitely garbage, but I thought there might be more.
Anyway! Things I'm excited about:
The deliciously edible grapes! Thrilled to pieces, and have managed to root about 7 new plants so far. And will do more. They are just so lovely, and delish. It's quite a novelty for me to be able to actually grow edible grapes. (Not a lot of grape growing in northern BC).
Breadseed Poppies - Not only are they incredibly beautiful - ranging in color from purest white, to light pink, dark pink, and all the pinks in-between; single petaled and double, pom pom types - the bees LOVE them. Every flower will have at least 5 or 6 bees hanging out in it. I'm happy to see the bees.
Dragonflies - we have a lot of dragonflies, all different kinds - not sure why that tickles me, but it does.
Plums - Really looking forward to our little plum harvest this year. Last year, I realized too late that plums ripen a lot
earlier in the summer than apples and other fall fruits. So I just caught the tail end. But, man, they were good.
Figs! Never thought I'd have my very own fig trees. They are plumping up as I type this, and I hope to be getting a few soon. Will also be propagating these. Gotta get that food forest started somehow!
Saskatoons! Coming from the north, this is the berry I miss. A neighbour up the road came from Saskatchewan, and is growing them, so she gave me a bunch of cuttings she rooted. I'll have about 8 plants. Another fine food forest addition.
In the meantime, I am gathering all of the information I can, getting my trees and plants together, taking cuttings, planting seeds, and generally getting ready for some major planting all over the property. We do have deer. Our very own little herd.
They liking hanging out here, so I'm learning to live with them. That's why the garden has a 7-8 foot fence around it. Planting the food forests will be a little trickier, but I've gleaned a lot of info about how to keep my baby trees safe (thanks to many of you on here!) so I'm sure the deer and I will work something out. I know they'll wiggle their way into places they shouldn't at times, but hey, they were
here first. And it's the only animal manure I have on the place so far. Next year, chickens
! And ducks as soon as I can. This is the Pacific Northwest after all - Slug-a-palooza!
Happily, we don't have as many 'garden' predators as some folks have to deal with: mostly deer, slugs, racoons and rats. No rabbits
. No groundhog type critters that I'm aware of. And the only large predators on the island are wolves, the occasional cougar, and the very occasional bear
that swims over from the mainland. Silly things.
So, I have it pretty good as far as keeping my garden safe. It is amazing how much damage a deer can do in a short time. So I'm being quite diligent in keeping my growing things safe.
Hmmm . . . what else. So much going on, and so many ideas!
Some things I will be doing as money-making ventures on the farm:
• Growing fruit
and veg, obviously. Lots of winter greenhouse
• Growing herbs - fresh, dried, vinegars, and essential oils. I'll be making them for myself, so may as well make some extra to sell.
I've got a captive audience here on Cortes Island for things like this.
• Amaranth and/or Quinoa - I'll grow both to see which grows best here. Love the stuff, and it keeps forever. Makes me feel secure.
• Painting - I'm a watercolor artist. You can google my name to see my website if you like.
• Freelance graphic design. This is what I do for work. I like it, but I'm sooooo much more interested in growing things.
And now that I have this beautiful place to grow things on, the graphic design just ain't as satisfying.
I'm whittling down my clients to the ones I like, and the ones that make me money, to free up more time to spend outside in our little paradise.
And that's it for now. I'll pop a few more photos up, just for fun.
First one is a rock. A rather large rock. One of many rather large rocks scattered hither and yon around the property. There was even a boulder in the bedroom . . .
Second one is of a small pond
in the front yard. There are 3 more in the back yard: one about this size, one about half this size, and a wee tiny one. This one doesn't stay full in the summer, as there is nothing shading it at the moment (we're working on that), but the large one in the back yard has lots of plants in and around it, so it stays pretty full. We add a bit of water during the summer, as there is a large koi in there. Don't know how old she is, but I'm sure she's been there for a while. We named her Wanda, of course.
The third photo is a profile of our lovely soil. Okay, it's a photo of a hole dug in sand. That's our soil. Hence the buried wood beds. We'll get there.
Thanks for reading. Please drop me a line to say 'Hi', and we can talk about . . . stuff!