Garden Update

Twocumbers (I have to give credit to Clara Parkes for that name.)

I cleared all of the cucumber and zucchini plants out of the garden. We couldn’t handle any more cukes or zukes. I’ve got plenty for more pickling, and Bob made a delicious vegan lasagna with zucchini sliced lengthwise instead of noodles.

I transplanted the kale, cabbage, and broccoli seedlings for fall. I hope this net keeps the cabbage moths off. I also transplanted arugula, chard, and Bibb lettuce seedlings.

In other exciting news, we have blackberries! Which are my favorite, even if the brambles jump out and scratch me.

It’s worth it.

Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

  • 4 medium eggs
  • 3/4 cup melted butter, vegan butter, or oil
  • 3 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 cups gluten-free flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Beat the eggs, add sugar, vanilla, and butter. Mix in zucchini. Add in dry ingredients and mix well. Turn into two greased loaf pans, divided equally. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 – 60 minutes, until done. Insert a toothpick or knife into the center. When it comes out clean, the bread is done.

I used one metal loaf pan on the bottom rack and one glass loaf pan on the upper rack. The metal pan was done in 45 minutes and the glass pan took 60 minutes. I wish I had added pepitas to this. It’s really delicious, though.

A Plethora of Pickles: A YOP Update

I was a little under the weather this week, so didn’t blog. I didn’t even knit for two days! But yesterday, I caught up on my mystery knit along. Ready to start Clue 3!

I also cast on the Cemetery Cowl (Ravelry link) for a little impromptu knit along. It’s Halloween in July! Also, I sewed myself a Halloween treat/project bag.

I had to rip out the cowl and re-cast on because I twisted my stitches, of course. I was really careful so I don’t know how I manage to do that almost every time I join to knit in the round. The yarn is BFL Mohair Fingering from Forest Lane Fiber Co in Pitch and October. I also recently purchased an Apothecary Collection, and I love everything!

Especially this tiny skull planter from Ice and Dust Pottery, which I planted with a tiny coffee tree.

The garden is overflowing with cucumbers. I’ve canned five quart jars of pickles, and we have one quart jar plus a bucket of refrigerator pickles. Yes, a bucket. I went into the garden this morning and came out with enough for three more quart jars, so I ordered some that I will pick up later. I will also have to stop off for some dill because there wasn’t any at the farmers’ market yesterday and I used all my garden dill. It’s a good thing we love pickles!

I researched what might be going on with my zucchini plants, and learned that too much nitrogen + too much moisture = over growth of foliage and calcium uptake deficiency. The remedy? Plant Tums in the ground around the plant. I did it, and now we are getting zucchini! One got away from me (it’s very large) so I’m planning to make zucchini bread this afternoon.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can learn more about the group on Ravelry. You can read my updated list of projects here.

Here’s one that hearkens back to my youth:

Saturday Harvest

I went into the garden to check on the plants, and found so many cucumbers! I was excited. I made pickles.

Refrigerator Pickles
Canned Pickles

We still have a few fresh for eating, and I’m sure there will be more.

I made a new friend today.

My orchid is still blooming!

May 9
June 26

I never thought I would be able to keep an orchid alive, but this one’s been going since April 2019.

Friday FOs

After complaining that I hadn’t done any sewing last Sunday, I decided to finish up these linen Emerson Shorts. They were cut out. I only had to sew them together. They came out really nice, and they are super comfortable.

I finished up Bob’s Pride socks!

This photo shows the colors better.

I made a “make do” drying rack with netting and a frame, and am drying calendula flowers to steep in oil.

Have you finished any creative projects this week?

My volunteer sunflowers have been taking a beating, thanks to heavy rains and critters knocking them over. So I cut the stems for a bouquet. They look lovely in my raku vase from The Alchemist’s Studio.

No Mercy for Slugs

My garden ( I say my garden but it’s really our garden as Bob put in a significant amount of prep work) is a veritable jungle. Yet, so far, we haven’t had a single zucchini or cucumber, which I think is due to blossom end rot and slugs. It’s been a wet year here.

I have declared a strict manifesto of “No Mercy for Slugs” in an attempt to remedy the situation. I feel I need to share with you that not all slugs are dumb. Sure, about 80% fall for the beer trap, but a good 20% hang on to the edge of the can wondering what the heck happened to their friends. 80% will sit in the bottom of the bird seed tray, waiting to be eaten (after I pick them off the plants) but about 20% will truck it over the side of the tray and bungee jump on their slime to safety.

I’ve ordered some Escar-Go from Gardens Alive. (See what they did there?) It should control the slugs without harming any other critters.

The good news is we have calendula (my new favorite flower/herb) peppers, tomatoes, dill, and mutant volunteer sunflowers.

I’ve been knitting on The Lonely Heart is a Hunter mystery knit along today. It’s been a long time since I’ve knit lace. I had to pull it out and start over once, but I think I’m on my way now. I’ll post a pic tomorrow!

Garden Update and a Yucca Story

I thought it would be fun to take you on a little ramble through my garden. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen it. 🙂

And, yes. My dress does have root vegetables on it.

I found another dragonfly in the garden. I’m not sure what kind it is. Maybe you know? I also saw a praying mantis, but they are still too small and quick to get a photo.

We have black raspberries.

We also have yucca in the front landscaping that are flowering. I was surprised someone planted them here. But they seem to be surviving. I have a yucca story to share with you.

When I was a student at the University of California, San Diego, I took a Southwestern American Art class. We had to weave a traditional Pueblo basket as a project. Most students bought reed at the hobby store, but not me. I saw a traditional basket woven from yucca at a museum, so I had the bright idea that I was going to find yucca and strip it and weave my basket with it! So, I dragged my surfer boyfriend out to the desert to look for yuccas with me. I had a photo from a book so I would know what they looked like. We spent an entire day hiking. We did not find a single yucca. We went home and I was exhausted and sad because I couldn’t weave my traditional yucca basket, and guess what! There. Was. A. Yucca. Growing. Right. By. Our. Front. Door. In the landscaping of the condo complex where we lived.

I did weave my basket and I still have it. I used Rit to dye the yucca fiber because traditional methods called for urine as a mordant and I didn’t have the guts to try that. I got an A. The end.

Summer Solstice Year of Projects

Happy Summer Solstice! My flax is starting to flower.

Gardening

I found cabbage worms all over the cabbage and kale. I had intended to pick them off, but it was impossible. There were too many. There was no reason to leave the plants in the garden, so I pulled up all the cabbage and kale and took it to the compost pile.

I don’t know if you’ve ever eaten a borage flower, but they taste like cucumbers. Delicious!

Knitting

Happy Father’s Day to Bob, who is a wonderful Dad and Stepdad. I’m knitting Pride socks for him for Father’s Day, and I’m currently being overwhelmed by rainbow yarn barf. I’m hoping to finish these before July 1, when we start over for Year of Projects.

I ordered the beads for my MKAL and I thought they were not the right color for my yarn. Too gray! So I ordered three more colors. Then I took photos outside, and the color is more like I wanted initially. Hopefully one of the four bead colors will work. Every time I take these beads out of their bag, I lose five, so hopefully I still have enough if this is The One. I’ll knit another chart repeat on the swatch and knit the beads on as the pattern specifies. That should give me a better idea.

Fiber Art

I felted a new piece today. I like the way it looks, but the felt didn’t take to the prefelt backing. So I ordered new felting needles, because mine are old and breaking, and I’m going to have to do significantly more needle felting on this piece. I don’t know why it didn’t work, as nothing has changed. This seems to be the theme for my week. Is Mercury in retrograde or something?

Sewing

I didn’t have the energy for sewing this week, so I have nothing to report.

Music

Here is the song I am currently listening to on repeat.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can read my updated list here. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link). I’ve started a new list for 2021-2022, and I’ve created a finished list for 2020-2021. I will post these on July 1. I had to go back over my completed items, as I had a few slip in that were completed prior to joining Year of Projects. Oops! I see how I am.

I got a new pin. I ordered mine from Fibre Space, but they are sold out. You can get them directly from Nerd Bird Makery, though.

Porch Life: Wednesday WIPs

I took the afternoon off because I haven’t been feeling myself lately. It’s been quite cool where we are, so I knit on the porch, watched and listened to podcasts, and read the new book by Alys Fowler. You can see I haven’t made much progress on Bob’s Pride sock.

My Milkshake cardi is coming along. I skipped the waistline decreases because I figured those were for people with a waist. I will do the hip increases, though.

I cast on my swatch for The Lonely Heart is a Hunter MKAL. This lace pattern is repetitive, so I am enjoying it. I look forward to trying the beads with it when they come in the mail. I think I’m really going to enjoy my first mystery knit along.

My garden is a happy jungle.

The peas got a beating from a heavy rain earlier in the week. I’m hoping we can get some pods before the tops break. Even though they are English Peas, I’ve been eating them like snap peas.

Lots of lettuce.

Tomatoes are starting.

Apparently, I planted two different types of basil.

I’ll have calendula flowers soon.

Borage is in full bloom.

I saw a whitetail dragonfly in the garden. That’s a good sign, right?