The past few weeks have been very busy. The temperatures are in the three digits almost every day. In this valley the nights doesn’t get cold, they get a little cooler, but it’s very warm all the time.
The garden in doing wonderful, and takes a lot of my time. (I love it!) I have planted, harvested, and planted some new crops, several times this year. My watermelons, and pumpkins, still have some time left before it’s time to harvest. The watermelon should be ready by the end of July/August. The pumpkins right before Halloween. I found a really cool, short time lapse video that shows growing pumpkins from seeds, which is what we are doing. It’s three minutes long, you can watch it here. (It leads me to believe that we should of planted ours earlier..I was told to plant them in April here in California. We’ll see. Learning by doing, right?)
In the meanwhile we eat strawberries every day. I recently planted some broccoli, and squash. Some of the peach/nectarine/apricot tree seedlings I planted died from the stress of being replanted, and some are thriving in our back yard.
Yesterday my daughter and I picked organic apples, in a neighboring town. It was hot! I stood high up on a ladder, and my daughter stood underneath catching the apples I throw her way, putting them in bags. We had a high of 107 Fahrenheit. My favorite temperature is between 75-90, but I discovered that I actually can handle the high temperatures pretty well. (I wear sunscreen, a hat, and drink plenty of water.)
We gave some of the apples away. When we got home I worked for many hours sorting our apples, and preparing them. I made some apple pies for the freezer. I prepared another 10 lbs of apples for future pies/canning/jam etc. I still have around 50 lbs of apples to take care of today. I enjoy filling up with good things for my family. It’s a satisfying job.
One of my long term goals is to learn as much as I can about organic gardening. It’s a little more challenging when you’re fighting bugs/weed without pesticides. Eventually I would like to grow the majority of our food myself. Here in Northern California that is doable, and not at all unrealistic. I’m making an effort to learn as much as possible from our local farmers; what crops do well here, and how to care for them. It’s rewarding process in many ways. I try to involve my daughter as much as possible.
Since the days are so hot, especially in the middle of the day, there’s a lot of things that has to be done early. (Yesterday the hot temperatures lingered on until after 8pm. It was 100 degrees at 8pm when I walked the dog.) I usually start my day 3.30am during summer. After doing some chores inside, I work little in my garden before my daughter wakes up. We have breakfast, walk the dog, train our new horse (she’s awesome,) work some more in the garden, and have lunch. After lunch we either run errands, read books (learning to read is one of my daughter’s goals for the summer,) draw/paint, or something else educational inside. This is the hottest time of the day, and it’s perfect to dedicate that to the theoretical part of my daughter’s education. Some days we work less in the garden, and go for an adventure. You have to mix it up a little bit 😉 With a garden, and animals there’s automatically some structure to the days. I don’t mind that at all. We always eat an early dinner at 5pm. After that there’s plenty of fun time. We might go to the pool, a beach, a playground, or just relax at home. Life is good!
PS. The photos from the garden is a few days old. Things are happening so fast!