Heatwave; Gardening And Ecological Footprint

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There is an unusual heatwave in my area with temperatures in the upper 80’s. We might even reach 90F the next four days. We surely didn’t have any summers like this when I was kid, neither did we have any winters as mild as this winter. I think these climate changes are very scary. We are doing great, enjoying our staycation, but in the bigger picture I think a lot about where this is going. I’ve always cared a lot about the environment, but I feel inclined to learn more ways of lowering my ecological footprint. What are your thoughts about this?

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My garden is loving the heat. We’ve eaten lots of salad greens, celery, cilantro, and basil these past two weeks. I saw signs that the salad is threatening to go into bloom. That’s OK, I have started new salad inside. We also eat a lot of different sprouts that I grow inside in a kitchen window. The sprouts are coming fast in this warmer weather. 

When it’s been too warm to do things outside I’ve been educating myself via YouTube about new gardening tricks. There is so many fabulous gardening channels out there. I’m also thinking about investing in a good food dehydrator, to be able to take the processing of my harvest (and all the berries and mushrooms available in the forests around me) to another level. It’s a big investment, and I am not sure that I am going to do it this year. When I do, I want to get one that will last for many years, and they are not cheap. My longterm goal is to be as self-sufficient as possible. Being able to grow a bigger garden, and have access to all the produce year round would be a game changer. Do you have any experience with dehydrating garden produce? I experimented with it a little in California, but I’m by no means an expert. I’d love to learn more.

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I planted this zucchini from seeds about a month ago. No flowers, or fruit yet but it is looking very healthy, and sure is growing. I had the pot standing on the ground, but decided that it would be nicer to get it spread out here up on the bench, with less bugs crawling all over it. I have three zucchini plants in similar sizes, one next to this one on the bench (morning-day sun about 10 hours of direct sun,) and one in another spot in the garden (day-afternoon sun about 8-9 hours of partly shaded sun,) trying to figure out the best location for each plant, since this is the first year growing here. The green that you see at the soil surface in the pot is basil. Basil is an excellent companion to zucchini. It loves the shade under the leaves. The white that you see next to the basil is crushed eggshells. The eggshells is a slow release fertiliser, a steady source of calcium that prevents blossom end rot, helps aerate the soil, and keep slugs away.  I mix eggshells into the soil while planting, and add some on the top every once in a while during the growing season. If you are free planting your veggies and have problems with slugs it pays off to spread eggshells generously all around.

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Enough said about me, how are you doing? What is the weather like where you are? What is happening in your garden?

Love,

Maria

Weekend Coffee Share – Glad Midsommar – Happy Summer Solstice!

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Welcome to another coffee on the porch. There is regular hot coffee in the French press (very strong,) ice tea and ice coffee. What would you like? It’s 75 and sunny today, and 45% humidity, and a light breeze. It is a beautiful Midsummer’s Eve. This is usually one of the biggest days of celebration, if not THE biggest celebration of the year in Sweden. Some people are celebrating almost like if there was no virus, others are more careful. We choose to celebrate at home by ourselves.  Here is a kid friendly video about some Midsummer traditions (not my video.)

Since this is the first time my daughter experience this holiday I talked her through the meaning of this celebration of life, and showed her how to make flower wreaths. The making of flower wreaths is a traditional part of celebration. Our place is full of flowers and we picked all the flowers we needed for a wreath in no time. 

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Can I get you a refill on that coffee? How is your week so far? Are you working? In self quarantine? Or maybe you have started your vacation just like me? I have to say its been a very relaxing week here. I have worked outside around three hours most mornings, clearing up the property and gardening. I’ve done this while my daughter is still asleep. The rest of the days have been spent relaxing, talking, drinking coffee, experimenting in the kitchen, reading, looking at old homesteads online, playing cards/chess, eating ice cream and playing with my camera. I’ve done all this while enjoying time with my daughter. I mostly let her set the pace. I’ve noticed that tine off have already done her a lot of good. She is more centred and relaxed. It’s been a tough semester for her. Speaking of reading, I reached my goal of reading 70 books this year yesterday. I didn’t know that we were going to spend so much time at home when I set that goal back in January. Lately I’ve been reading Icelandic Sagas, an interesting mix between history, folklore, legends and fantasy.

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How is this season treating you? I hope you get to enjoy some nice weather. Have a fabulous weekend!

Love,

Maria