The Best Weekend Ever

This past weekend we took care of things around the garden and outside of the apartment and even took time for a bit of free fun.

Sunday an independent radio station wanted to thank its listeners for supporting them by throwing a party and opening it to the public.  There were four bands that played 70s rock music, one per hour in a covered barn, the same barn that holds the weekly farmers’ market for our town.

Live entertainment

Live entertainment

Food was abundant and delicious.  Provided by the station were stacks of pizza from a local pizzeria, trays of baked chicken, cake and pots of coffee and ice water.  The picnic was potluck as people were asked to bring a covered dish to share and their own drinks.  The food that arrived was amazingly delicious.  There was the perfect mix of salads, appetizers and main dishes.  The desserts were fresh from the oven and as you can see below people brought kitchenware nothing disposable with the exception of paper plates.

One section of the food

One section of the food

I had my granddaughter while her mom worked and invited a friend and her son who is good friends with my little one to join us.  The children had a great time as well making new friends and later kicking back to enjoy music with homemade (and I don’t mean from a microwave) popcorn delivered in paper bags.

Popcorn time

Popcorn time

The gathering of people came from all walks of life. There were young children, some as young as a year, one my granddaughter and her friend sat on the grass and played ball with for a while, bikers, grandparents and young families.  People were friendly and interacted with all the children as if they were there own.  At one time my friend and I noticed the little ones had moved and spotted them in another part of the field (still in our range of vision) talking to a couple in their early 60s I’d say.  We headed over to ask if we should move the children away and were told not to worry they were enjoying talking to our kids.  But it wasn’t only the children who felt free to roam and mingle.

This was just one of the dogs that were allowed to roam freely through the picnic.  Leash laws were ignored much to my delight.

This was just one of the dogs that were allowed to roam freely through the picnic. Leash laws were ignored and no one cared.

Outside of the picnic this weekend, we did a bit of maintenance on the apartment building.  The moss which grows up the brick outside my apartment needed attention.  I received help from my neighbor’s son who loves to work outdoors.

scraping moss.

scraping moss.

I found the perfect tool for this job is a wire grill brush.  It doesn’t damage the brick yet cleans without chemicals.

Cleaning moss off brick with wire grill brush.

Cleaning moss off brick with wire grill brush.

 

The gardens are doing well, many plants are starting to flower but things are way behind where they should be this time of year.  We’ve had cold weather for almost two weeks now with highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s and 50s at night.  We’re still having lots of rain which is good but it needs to warm to ever get any food.  The one good thing about the rain is that I have yet to have to hook up the hose to water the gardens.  I see this as a plus in a couple of ways.  First I’m not using water we need for drinking and secondly, I can say my garden is completely organic as I haven’t fed it any tap water with fluoride or other contaminants the system doesn’t know how to filter out yet such as pharmaceuticals.

flowering pumpkin plants

flowering pumpkin plants

 

flowers on the cucumbers

flowers on the cucumbers

 

Our largest watermelon is slightly larger than a pea which is not good but the flowers are everywhere so I am still holding out hope the weather will warm back up.  We’ve finally spotted bees.  Were they just late arriving?  If so it’s very late but they are every where in the gardens now and covering the clover through the field.

Bee on clover

Bee on clover

 

I decided to try and help a few of my plants by feeding them compost.  The food scraps I froze during the winter months were completely decomposed within two weeks. We gave it a good stirring then added compost around the plants which are slow growing along with the corn that while doing well I know pulls a lot of nutrients from the soil.

These plants were started in nothing but topsoil with egg shells and lime sprinkled over them.  With all our rain I’m hoping the nutrients from the compost will feed them the nutrients they need to produce the most nutrient dense foods for us.

My grandson took control of the shovel, man's work. ;-)

My grandson took control of the shovel, man’s work. ;-)

Granddaughter didn't care about the shovel, she wanted her hands in the dirt.

Granddaughter didn’t care about the shovel, she wanted her hands in the dirt.  Here she is spreading compost around the ground cherries.

 

I am amazed at how easily the children trust me and don’t ask if it’s okay to play in the compost or have that ick factor knowing this is rotted food.

These are my bell pepper plants. I have deterrents above and have planted my onions in the next section hoping the deer will leave them alone.

These are my bell pepper plants. I have deterrents above and have planted my onions in the next section hoping the deer will leave them alone.

 

We decided to pour compost around the edges of the corn stalks then spread it by hand to avoid damaging any plants.

We decided to pour compost around the edges of the corn stalks then spread it by hand to avoid damaging any plants.

 

All in all we added compost to the above plants, along with the tomatoes, melons (both watermelons and cantaloupes).  The children had the time of their lives with this task and after asked if I would make this the best day ever by letting them eat dinner outside.

Setting up for dinner.

Setting up for dinner.

This weekend I spent four dollars to provide a dish for the radio station’s picnic.  I had a good time and the children are still talking about their weekend so I’d say it was a perfect weekend.

How did you spend your weekend?  Are you concerned with your garden due to the weather this season?

36 thoughts on “The Best Weekend Ever

  1. Wow.. what a full and fun packed weekend Lois, lovely to see your grandchildren hands on, They love it don’t they.. Its great to see your produce and the bees… there isnt as many bees or wasps about this year.. Remember I told you we had two bees nests last year, one in our rockery and the other under our shed in the allotments.. Nothing this year… The worrying thing too is that I have seen several bees dead and on close inspection of one it had a large parasite attached to it.. .. Our Squash is now flowering with little butternut squash shapes at the end.. The Courgettes just keep producing, and lots of berries of both raspberries and blackberries are already being frozen every day….

    Loved your Best Weekend Ever xox Hugs Sue

    • Our berries are just starting to produce, and my squashes and watermelons are finally getting small fruits on them.

      How horrible that your bee was attacked by a parasite. I found one with a damaged wing, but before I could get something to put him in he crawled away, we finally found him later dead. We haven’t had nearly as many wasps this year which is a blessing in many ways.

      Yes, I love seeing the children enjoy the gardening.I only hope their love continues into adult hood.

  2. It does sound like a perfect weekend. We mostly did yardwork, trimming trees and bushes and trying to control the English ivy a previous owner planted everywhere. But we also took a couple of hours to attend the Brew Fest downtown and try a bunch of different craft beers.

    • Ah, yard work, that’s on my agenda for this weekend if things stay dry. I love ivy and used to envy one homeowner here who replaced all his grass with ivy, until I saw him one day out cutting back the ivy and pulling it off his house. It does come with its own problems.

      The Brew fest sounds like a lot of fun. I’m hoping in another week or two there will be another event in town, for now I am enjoying listening to the bands practice at the university.

  3. Gardening & 70’s music with free-roaming pooches… what could be better?

    But Wow! Those are downright chilly temperatures! I was thinking what a cool summer we’ve been having here with highs mostly in the high 80’s and low 90’s!

    The monsoon finally arrived in Denver today, so naturally CatMan decided it was the perfect day for a bike ride! But hey… if he’s crazy enough to want to ride, I say Game ON! Amazingly enough, though it POURED throughout the city, we managed to dodge all of the storms and only got sprinkled on. It’s raining now though, and the temps tomorrow are only supposed to get up to around 70. But perhaps I should not complain given what you’re dealing with!

    My peppers and cucumbers are way behind too, but the tomatoes and zucchini are goin’ great guns!

    So glad you enjoyed such a wonderful weekend!

    • I would give anything for your temperatures! Winter lasts so long that I hate the thought of closing the door in summer but have even had to do that a few times to keep from freezing when it’s dipped so low.

      Racing a monsoon? Only you and CatMan. ;-) Glad you didn’t get caught in the worst of it.

      I have my fingers crossed the garden will get the warmth it needs to finally take off.It’s good to hear someone is having success with tomatoes.

  4. Sounds like a grand time for you and the grands. Those are the kinds of experiences they will remember all their lives. Good, wholesome fun. We are have oddly warm weather here. Most of Portland has no AC but I’ve noticed a swarm of installation trucks running around this summer. I think summer will be short though and fall will come early. Weather IS changing everywhere. We were warned. We went to the green waste station yesterday and took our yard debris. We can also pick up topsoil and compost there. I like the idea of a place that makes good use of what is too much for us to manage. I will have to wait till next spring to put in a real garden. At least it’s cleaned up enough to see what’s there. I had a day off a week ago. That’s all I get for awhile. :)

    • I would love to have some of your warmer weather, we only get warm in spurts here lately.

      How great that you have a place to take yard waste, I’ve tried to be creative with building piles and hoping the wildlife will use it because I would have to pay to haul it away and even then it’s landfilled not composted. I can’t wait for next summer to see what you do in your yard. Glad you took a day off. Hope you are also enjoying some quality time with your sister.

      • Thanks Lois. Sis will be here a while till she rebuilds her life. I’m grateful to have a place to where I can provide a safe haven for awhile. We will get the garden spring ready then see what’s next. The weather is weird everywhere.

        • I hope you two have lots of fun while she’s there. It’s not often we can spend real time with our siblings as adults.

          I’d say your yard is coming along nicely already I love what you are doing out there as well as inside.

  5. It sounds a lovely weekend…it does not get much better than good food and live music, in particular 70’s rock!
    Nice to see your garden is doing well and you have noticed bees in it again. We got alot of rain last summer too, saves hours of watering but it meant not as many sunlight hours that we needed for some things to nature well. We have had a particularly mild winter though so hopefully yours will be too and not the hard one you had this year.Lovely to see the kids in the garden.

    • It was lovely and it’s rare to hear 70s rock especially well played which this was.

      I am a bit worried about the lack of sunshine and the amount of downright cold days we are having on the garden, but it is what it is, nothing I can do about it. I may try covering my plants at night to see if that helps them grow and ripen.

      • Yes, we were the same, quite disappointing but that’s gardening! Last year was great.

        My son is in a band who play great 70’s rock, he’s a long way from here but the odd times I have been able to watch I have so loved it. He was raised on those songs so nice to him him singing them 35 years later :)

        • How nice! My son hasn’t played for a while, never been in a band but I enjoy listening to him play. Maybe now that he’s my neighbor I will have the pleasure again.

      • I am currently with my family and we are nomads travelling the countryside – right now we are camped in a beautiful spot with the Rocky Mountains surrounding us. Every morning I sit with coffee – watch the mountains as the light passes over them and changes their colour. I see many humming birds as well as dragon flies! Love this life – hoping to retire in five years or so to be a nomad!

        • Enjoy your time in the Rockies, I love being out there but it’s been a few years for me. I hope are able to retire and live the nomadic lifestyle.

  6. Sounds like a fun weekend, Lois. And I’m so glad your bees are showing up at last.
    I attended an Amish auction that was really fun and included homemade ice cream and pie! I really admire the Amish for their eco-friendly lifestyle, and I wrote about the day on my blog yesterday, if anyone is interested.
    There is a post today on this blog about how to contact some of the tea companies about the plastic in their tea bags. http://treadingmyownpath.com
    She has made it very easy to contact British tea companies and I’m hoping someone will be inspired to put together some info for American companies, including the herbal tea market.

    • Cynthia, thank you for letting me know about your most recent post. I have been having problems with my subscriptions and not getting updates. I hope you had fun at the auction and come home with something you love.

      Isn’t Lindsay amazing? She is such an inspiration to me.

  7. The right combination of rain and sun has caused my garden to blossom. I am astonished at how fast one of my stronger oak saplings has grown in these good conditions.

  8. You seem to be having a summer like the one we didn’t much enjoy this year. Rain and low sunlight hours interspersed with the odd day that gave hope for ‘summer finally arriving’. We didn’t even get an Indian Summer – and now our winter is remarkably mild with just two frosts to date. We have to learn to adjust to this new climate I think.

    • I’m holding out hope for a mild winter if this is what summer is going to be like. This afternoon everyone was bundled up in hoodies and long pants. Our hands were so cold they were in pockets. Only the children who ran around so were staying relatively warm.

  9. Only growing tomatoes in buckets this year. Looks like a great time was had by all Lois. I love things like that. The weather is weird all over.

    • How are your tomatoes doing? It’s been so cold here most days that mine have started but haven’t done much. I’ve had 3 small green ones sitting the same for almost 2 weeks. They just won’t grow and ripen.

      • They are a bit slow this year as it cools off pretty good at night, but this week should help as it is suppose to stay warm even at night. We’ll see. I have lots of little ones, but like your’s they have kind of stopped.

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