Busy Season in My Garden

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Pumpkins

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?)

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Watermelon plants, with mint underneath/next to the garden beds. A natural protection against ants, and bugs.

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.

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Broccoli sprouts, 2 days old.

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!

 

Happy Summer!

/Maria

PS. The photos from the garden is a few days old. Things are happening so fast!

MJP Gratitude Challenge

Every Saturday I host a gratitude challenge. I share something that I am grateful for, and encourage you to do the same!

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My daughter and I planted morning glory’s from seeds a few weeks ago, and we’ve been watching the plants grow bigger and bigger. This morning when I went out to the garden, I saw the first beautiful, purple flowers. It seems like they came out of nowhere. I didn’t see any flowers yesterday.

Seeing nature, people, and animals grow, always makes me tremendously happy. Seeing things grow fills my heart with gratitude for life.

As always, I hope that your week have been filled with good things. I would love it, if you would join my Gratitude Challenge! Write about something you are grateful for, and tag your post MJP Gratitude Challenge. What are you grateful for this week?

Have an amazing Saturday!

Yours,

Maria

Partners

The Weekly Photo Challenge, at The Daily Post; Partners.

This week, share an image of partners. A pair, a trio, a sextet; people, buildings, plants — whatever you choose to shoot, give us subjects that are in tune with one another.

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My daughter recently got her first horse. The catch, to get a horse of her own, was that she would be involved in every need of her horse, when it comes to training, and care. This photo is from one of the first lessons with her horse. To lead a horse with a slack rope, and not drag the horse around, is an art. The ultimate goal is of course to become partners.

Love & Light, Always

Maria

Thank you!

A couple of you emailed me after yesterday’s post. Not about my garden, but about the photo that I posted on Instagram, of our horse wearing a tarp. Why on earth would I dress her in a tarp? It’s a legit question, and I love honest questions! Thank you!

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This is partly an excerpt from a previous post, combined with the answer that I gave to my dear friends who emailed me yesterday. Maybe someone else is wondering why as well 🙂

Imagine a ride on your horse. It’s a beautiful, and sunny day. An hour into the ride, the wind picks up. You decide to turn around. You take the shortest way home, a dirt road with very little traffic. There’s some cars, and trucks driving by every once in a while. There’s a few houses. One of the houses have a clothe line full off laundry flapping in the wind. Another house have a metal mail box, that opens and close every time the wind increases. Someone is mowing their lawn. A dog barks. A plastic bag comes flying, and lands on your horse’s head, and falls down towards the ground, but get tangled up in one of your horse’s front legs. How does this scenario unfold in your head? I can see a few scenes that I wouldn’t like to experience, including the horse bolting, and running into traffic. 

To avoid these scenarios (including expensive vet & medical bills,) I prepare my horse. For the horse sake, and for mine. Things happen with horses, but there’s a lot that can be done to make every experience as pleasurable, and positive as possible. The mounted patrol spend a lot of time preparing their horses. Why wouldn’t I?

It works! Ariel is by nature a very reactive horse. Using horse terminology she would be described as a “right brain extrovert”, meaning that her instincts as a prey animal (to run when fear takes over,) is very close to the surface. Some horses don’t care much about what’s going on in their environment. Arabians are sensitive horses. They notice everything. Their intelligence, and eagerness to be with people, makes it relatively easy to gain their trust, and teach them new things. I see it as my responsibility to help her use the left side, the thinking side of her brain more. To make our time together safe, and enjoyable for everyone.

I really enjoy this side of being with horses. With many horses, and most definitely our Arabian Horse Ariel, you can easily see how proud they are of their own efforts, when you reward them with praise. Ariel loves our lessons, and often comes running from the other side of the pasture, begging for me to open the round-pen, where we usually play. One of my favorite things is watching a horse gain confidence, and afterwards enjoy spending time with a brave horse. That connection, and bond that you form, when guiding a horse in our crazy human world, is the most intense way I know, to be connected to Mother nature. Each horse that I’ve been blessed to spend time with, have taught me so much during this process. It’s definitely the gateway to another world. If your mind is open.

Love & Light, Always

Maria

PS. Be aware! I am not a horse trainer, just a girl who loves horses. I am not responsible for anything you decide to try!

Happiness From My Garden To You

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My garden is starting to bloom. I already harvested some vegetables; radishes, carrots, onions, herbs, and strawberries. Others are on their way. Right now everything is green and lush. These are some photos from his morning.

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Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul. – Luther Burbank

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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.

– Marcus Tullius Cicero

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Well I do find the beauty in animals. I find beauty everywhere. I find beauty in my garden.

– Doris Day

ar (1)If you would like to know what Ariel and I did today, you can find out on Instagram 😉

I hope you’re having an awesome day!!

Love & Light, Always

Maria