Now that summer is over and we are well into the autumn weather I may be a bit better at trying to keep this up. The garden has almost been put to sleep for the winter. Still a few plants in the 'home' garden, including tomatoes, beets and carrots. The others have either been harvested or pulled and left to turn into compost. The allotment is almost done, the only thing still in the ground are beets and carrots. All of the other produce has been harvested.
I did get a fair crop of potatoes but did lose maybe 20 - 30 percent to mice. The little buggers eat a bit of the tuber and then move on to another one. Planting under straw may be a bit of a drawback in that respect but it is a lot easier to not only plant but also to keep the weeds down as well as harvest. You simply have to pull the straw aside and there are the new potatoes laying either on the ground or only slightly buried. No need to dig them up.
Tomatoes seemed to be a bit of hit and miss. I was extremely disappointed in the Black Brandywine. They just seemed to quickly ripen then rot right on the vine. All of the others did fairly well and have quite a few bottles of stewed tomatoes and two different kinds of green tomato ketchup or what we may call relish or chow-chow.
I realized my mistake in some of the other plantings i.e. parsnips, turnip and onions - do not plant them with the big leafy vegetables. Why not? Because the other veggies block out the sun and they either don't sprout or if they do don't grow. Oh well live and learn. Next year there will be fewer of those leafy ones and more of the other kinds.
Also plans in the works to realign the rows, have alternate rows of tomatoes rather than beside each other. This may not only help the tomatoes but what ever I plant in the other rows. Putting the beans and carrots with the tomatoes seems like a good idea and will probably to that again. I will also be putting a couple of layers of newspaper down in some of the rows, cut a hole in the paper and then drop in a seedling. This should work well to keep the weeds down in those rows.
I tried to grow carrots hydroponically but that did not work out. It may be simply because the rock wool that the seeds were in was kept way, way to moist and the seeds simply rotted before sprouting. Another idea for next year.
It seems as if all the plans are for next year.
I also pulled up some rose sprouts in the front yard. It appears as if several varieties spread via underground roots and suddenly there are new rose sprouts everywhere. Anyway, I pulled them up and put them in a bucket of water. Will give them to Don so he can plant them at his place in the spring. I also tried taking rose cuttings, put them in soil and see what happens, probably half of them did grow roots and seem to be doing well. Again a new crop for Don. He will have to keep them all in the basement over winter or put the ones in pots in the ground.
Next week I will be trimming back the flowers in the front and back garden
Probably the most important things, which of course come in the middle of the posting.
After Olivia's school year finished she head back to Ottawa and arrived in June. While Heather had to wait out a few more weeks in the U.A.E. Wendy arranged for Olivia to be enrolled in a nearby high school for the start of the new school year.
Heather arrived in mid July and settled in. Hareth stayed in the U.A.E. to spend time with his family before he immigrated in September. He is now a landed immigrant in Canada and is enjoying it. The house is a little full with the three added guests but everything seems to be working out well.
Olivia is now busy at school and enjoying the new environment and taking an active interest in being in the school band as well as taking music. Both Heather and Hareth are seeking employment and hopefully that will happen sooner than later.
Heather has enrolled in another school course which is aimed at becoming a school principal. Without this accreditation she can not become a principal something that she is aspiring to be.
Hareth has started swimming lessons and is enjoying them and seems to be progressing quite quickly.
The two of them are also members of a local gym and are taking full advantage of that.
In addition to the usual Monday night hash 'runs' I got back into running/jogging again. I started out with a couple of kilometres 2 or 3 times a week then pushed it up a couple of K's and 3 or 4 times a week. For some reason I decided that I may just like to try out 'competing' in a race. I decided that five kilometres would be a good start. I don't think I have the patience to do another marathon and 10K may be a bit of a stretch until I get a bit more training.
In September I did the Army 5K run and was quite impressed with my time. I finished 7 out of 49 in my age group with a time of 30 minutes and 21 seconds. My training times were in the 31:30 range.
After this event our daughter-in-law, Shereene, signed up the family to do an event in North Gower. She signed up Hareth and I to do the 5K run and the rest of the family (except Heather who was at school) to do the 2K walk or run.
The 5K run was a chip timed event and Hareth did an impressive time of 27:22! Not bad for only a couple of weeks of training and his first ever race.
I decided to just walk this one. Had somehow hurt my foot and figured it would be easier and safer to just take it easy.
I think both Hareth and I are hook on the 5K runs and will be looking forward to more next year. Although Hareth is not that impressed with the idea of running in the winter. He does have a little bit to learn.
A few photos of both the Army 5K and North Gower events.
ARMY 5K RUN
18 September 2016
01 October 2016