Summertime

I always say that I love each season as it comes, and I do! They’re all my favourite when I’m enjoying them. And right now, I’m in love with Summer.

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There’s been lots of barbequing, watering and weeding in the gardens, riding on the trail, and just generally enjoying being outside in the warmth and the green. Flowers have been blooming, lavender, a second round for the fuschias, hibiscus, and now the portulaca has begun to flower its many different coloured blooms. The strawberry plants are sending out shoots for new strawberry babies (which I think is telling me I need to plan a strawberry bed).

It’s so easy and peaceful outside right now. Sure, it may get a little overly-hot now and then, but that’s what a shaded deck and cold iced tea (or beer) is for!

I know I’ve mentioned my favourite place in the world, Kincardine, before, and we finally got out there yesterday to enjoy the beach. That place calls to me, and once it’s possible, I know we’ll be moving there. There’s nowhere else I’d really rather live. London was good, very tree-dense for an Ontarian city! There are plenty of different kinds of food to be had too. Vancouver was gorgeous, feeling like a small town with how many trees there are, and space between houses. The enormous, fantastic-smelling cedars, and the mountains, they are something I really do miss (not to mention the people <3). Moncton, I could really care less about. I was born and raised for a while there, but meh. I never found it appealing, to be honest. I could totally live in Nova Scotia or PEI, but not New Brunswick so much, unless on the coast.

But Kincardine. My love. I told my husband-man that I’m married to Kincardine. That when we move there, it’ll have as much priority as him, lol. In a sense, I’m probably not wrong about it though. It’s a place I actually want to go out into town and walk around. I feel safe there, and people are incredibly friendly (a woman yesterday sung happy birthday to my mom because she heard my dad say so at the DQ counter; I asked mom if they had known the woman when we lived there… nope!).
What I think also helps is that the town celebrates it’s Scottish heritage, which translates often to the old importance of hospitality. I find that’s something that isn’t really emphasised in North American places where there is not any sort of specific culture (even a North American culture). Plus I’m in love with all the Celtic culture that’s celebrated there. There’s a Celtic festival every summer, Highland dancers, Celtic musicians, and Scottish Games. And a bag-pipe band every Saturday in the summer.

The husband-man also asked if perhaps I was a selkie from around Kincardine. I said there may be different kinds of unseelie creatures there, from long before the Scots came to occupy that bit of land… but I wouldn’t put it out of mind that perhaps a selkie or few had come over and made their home there.

I don’t think I’m kidding when I say I’m in love with Kincardine.

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But besides all that being in love with a place, enjoying the summer with my gardens and trails around here has been good. I collected my first garden haul with my niece, so we’ve got snap peas, yellow wax beans, raspberries, three kinds of basil, rosemary, oregano, sage, and thyme. The herbs will be drying, later harvests of basil will be made into pesto, and the rosemary thyme and sage into a healing salve with some plantain. But this little batch will be dried for spicing food.

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So as for the shop, there has been frustration with Canada Post and the Postal Workers’ Union being wishy washy about whether or not they’re going to have a service disruption. Looks like they won’t let that come to pass, so that’s good!
I have some tea ideas to be working on, and reworking some older recipes that need a quick update to my current tea making system. AAAAAAND… a very SEKRIT PROJECT! This is unlike what I’ve done before, and I am so excited about it, I. CANNOT. EVEN. 😀

And so, dear gentle reader, I hope you are enjoying your season, whether it’s summer or winter, and I offer many blessings of the wilds and waters.

Mia

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PBP – The Love of Green

This morning, I luckily got out in time before a downpour to check on my garden. I had noticed yesterday that there were seedlings above the soil, but it was much too humid and hot to bother with staying in the direct sunlight to take pictures. This morning, after off and on downpouring yesterday, and rain through the night, it was much more pleasant to walk around in the sun to check on things. I guess I won’t be needing to do much watering for a little while.

As I was walking around a few days ago, I noticed at the back of our property, just behind the fence that houses a swampy area beyond it, there is a grapevine happily growing away, attaching itself to the fence and the pine tree that stands behind it. I was shocked for a moment, as I have been thinking of grape growing, but didn’t know how it would do in my climate, and there it was, just doing its own thing all by itself. I’m thinking I may harvest some leaves for dolmades at some point. Yum. We’ll also have to wait to see how the grapes turn out. I wouldn’t mind using them for food, but would love to make some wine if I think the grapes would make a decent one.

Apparently there are grapes growing in the back yard :D

Apparently there are grapes growing in the back yard 😀

This cattail stood the test of this long, frigid winter and hangs out, wafting in the winds. I wonder if the fibers have been used to make yarn before? Must Google.

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This lovely, red branched bush is producing flowers, it looks like they will become berries later in the year. Before we moved out west, these bushes had not been on the property, so it’s a new addition, as well as some ferns that have made their way to the fence.

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These beans are coming up quite well. There’s a strange uncertainty that happens when you plant all your seeds, and then there’s nothing left but to water and wait for them to turn into seedlings. I thought a lot about the seeds not producing anything, that all my planning and hard work digging out the plots would all be for naught. It might yet be for naught if some freak weather happens, or some pest or animal comes in and makes a meal of my young plants. Alas, only time will tell.

Bean

Kentucky Wonder Bean

These willows are providing much for me this year. I’ve always had an extreme fondness of Weeping Willows, they were one of my most favouritest trees to climb when I was a child, and now they quietly watch as I putter in the garden. I tell them my secrets.

Weeping Willow

Weeping Willow

This is the delicious Swiss chard coming up. I decided I wanted colourful veggies, and so I picked out Rainbow Swiss Chard, along with some rainbow mixed carrots. Next year, I want purple cauliflower.

Rainbow Lights Swiss Chard

Rainbow Lights Swiss Chard

My potatoes are finally starting to show their sprouts above the dirt. The red more than the Yukon Gold at this point, but I am excited.

Norland Red Potato

Norland Red Potato

This flower, which loves growing around here as I see it on the hiking trails all summer long, has graced one of my garden paths since we can’t get the ride-on mower in there. We’re planning on getting a non-powered push mower with a basket on the back to do the paths and a very steep hill that I’m thinking may eventually house some flowers.

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This rhubarb slowed for a while after I planted it in ground, now more leaves are starting to pop up, so I’m quite excited for rhubarb pies!

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

The onions just kind of shot up over night two nights ago. One day, there were a few little spikes of green coming out of the soil, maybe half an inch long, now there are many, even up to three inches above the soil.

Dutch Onions

Dutch Onions

I’m singing blessings to my seedlings each night as I water them. It puts me in a trance, and then I just hum the tune as it now holds the power of the words to be sung with it. So far, the land seems to be happy with my endeavours, and I’m making fairly regular offerings.

It is so incredibly good to have dirt beneath my finger nails and staining the bottoms of my feet again. Playing in dirt releases chemicals that makes you kind of high, and rightfully so.

Mmmm, Shepherd’s Pie

Last night, I decided to make some Shepherd’s pie with the unthawed hamburger that was supposed to be used for quesedillas the night before (but we had sadly run out of salsa). I was finished cutting up the onion and garlic and about to start the potatoes, when I thought, mmm, I love sweet potatoes, maybe I should cut some up and put them in too! And I did, and do you know what? It was so delicious!

Mia’s Shepherd’s Pie
1 lb hamburger                                       1 med onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced salt & pepper to taste
3 medium potatoes, chopped          2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped
1/2 cup peas                                            3/4 cup green beans
1/2 cup corn (not shown)                  1 medium bay leaf
1 tbsp chili powder                                1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp Italian seasoning (sage, oregano, thyme)
3/4 to 1 cup butter/margarine
half and half mixture of flour and water

1. Place 1 cup of water into a deep pan. Add salt and pepper, chopped onions, and garlic. Let simmer on med heat until onions are soft. Add hamburger and make sure it is mashed up so there will be no huge pieces. Let it brown, while occasionally stirring/mashing with spoon. Add in chilli powder, cayenne pepper, and Italian seasoning. When it is done browning, add the peas, beans and corn and let simmer for a while.


2. Cook potatoes.


3. When meat is done, make sure there is some water still there to make enough gravy. Add the half and half mix of flour and water (I like to start with about 1/2 cup of each). You’ll want the burner on about med-low for this, as flour will easily make little dumplings, lol. After it has desired thickness, salt and pepper once more to taste.

4. With the oven warming at 350 F, drain potatoes and mash with butter or margarine.


5. Place meat on bottom layer of a casserole dish (a bigger one is best suited), then carefully place the potatoes on top.

6. Cook in oven for 35 minutes, then serve after the boiling has stopped.

And as always, cook with intent. Infuse your positive energies into every meal.