MAMA MOOSE and TWO BABIES!
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Do you see what I saw this afternoon out of the corner of my eye? A mama moose and her baby down at our pond.

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Oh my goodness...wait...two babies!!!

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Um....don't go down there little one.  It's more like a mudhole now than a pond.  Summer has been dry.

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OK...your youthfulness is gonna get you into trouble!

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You're making my heart skip a few beats...

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Puhlease get your cute little moose body out of the mud...

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Kick it into gear lil' one...

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Do you have any idea how lucky you are?

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Mama acts like "well whatever"...

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Get over here baby and let's all take a nap...

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OK ...let's hunker down and let's sleep off all this excitement.

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Did someone say excitement? Can we come out and play???

OCTOBER | GARDEN TO DO LIST
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October? Really? Already?

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While the trees are looking absolutely gorgeous, the garden is beginning to take on its seen better days look.

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First order of business...plant garlic! Yeah baby!

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A few inches of straw on top to keep them happy during the cold snowy winter.

The cool nights are bad news for tomatoes, tomatillos and chile peppers that I have left.

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So...on my list for October...

Pull tomatoes and tomatillos and throw away plants. I don't save them in the compost bin since they are prone to disease, and I don't want anything remotely sickly staying around in the soil until Spring.

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I left one kale plant to see if it will overwinter.  Word is that they'll be ok...but I'll see. It's my big daddy bush...hehe.

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My cabbage is looking good...but only two heads left. 

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After I harvest it I'll keep the roots and stems in the garden bed. Supposedly any cabbage parasites will live in the leftover plant until Spring and then they'll attack any cabbage beetles that might visit when I plant cabbage again. An old wives tale?  I'll find out.

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I've cut down the fernlike shoots from the asparagus. Some gardeners don't cut them, but it does help to control asparagus disease if they're cut to the soil.

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My Brussels sprouts and broccoli are pretty, but only leaves so far!  I don't think I'll be getting any edibles from them but I'm just gonna let them stay. It's late but who knows. Fingers crossed.

 

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All the empty garden beds need to be turned over with a pitchfork. UH UH Roxie. You are NOT allowed up in a garden bed! How does this girl always know when I'm taking a pic and she wants to be in it?!? You're such a diva.

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One last thing...saving all the wood ashes for either the compost bin or sprinkled in the garden beds. Very helpful.

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In about one month we'll be getting snow...so I'd better enjoy my flip flops while I can!

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Keep Calm and Garden On!

PS  Hopefully the email subscriptions will go out with this post. It should be fixed. And I just realized today that there is no place to make comments! ARGH! More fixing!

~ Holly

 

 

 

MAKING CHILE PEPPER FLAKES

Hi all!

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I have something REALLY easy for y'all today.  If you're like me and like hot {as in spicy hot} food...and grow chile peppers...and have an abundance of them...then here ya go.  This is way too quick and simple to not do.  You can do it when you're doing ten other things LOL. That's how we live nowadays, right?!?  {Hey...I like chiles so much that I hang chile lights in the barn!}

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OK...any kind of red pepper will do.  Most of my peppers that had enough time to turn red were Anaheim chiles, but I also had a wee bit of cayenne and jalapeno.  So use what ya got.  Mix 'em.  FYI...I'll be making green chili powder in my next post {I have way too many green chiles this year!}

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Rinse chiles, cut off stems...and if you have plenty of time then slice them down the middle to lay flat while drying.  I didn't have the time...and instead opted to dry them a tad longer. Whatever floats your boat. You can see I had a few green Anaheims...so I went ahead and used them in the mix.

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I popped them in my dehydrator at the highest temp of 155 for about 8 hours.  You can also put them in the oven on cookie sheets at 170-200 degrees  for about 6-8 hours. They're done when they snap easily with your fingers. If not keep drying. You might want to line your cookie sheet with foil :)  If you need to turn off your oven or dehydrator before they're done...no problem. Just continue when you can.  They won't spoil.  But don't wait a month...hehe.  I'm just talking a day or so.

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Get out your food processor {nope, blenders don't work well!} and crush the peppers along with the seeds.  You can make it flaky or fine...up to you. You can even use your hands. But do use gloves! These babies will still burn even after drying.  They'll make you sneeze too if you breathe in the fine pepper dust.

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So there ya go...and ya know what I realized when I put them in a jar? What a hot gift {pun intended} this would be for Christmas.  Put in a smaller jar, tie raffia around it, add a label...voila...a wonderful from the garden gift. Got that on my radar for next year now :)

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Sprinkle on pizza {oh yes, ALWAYS for me} or eggs, add to pasta, chili and Asian cuisine. OH YUM. 

Have a good last weekend of September :)

It's Fall Y'all!

 

 

 

Preserving the harvestHolly
I'M BAAAACK!

Hey Gardenistas!

Remember me? The one who disappears for weeks on end? LOL.

I'm back!...and what a long journey for this new website. Live and learn. Not an easy transition, or as easy as I had expected, altho I had a wonderful expert who helped me transfer it...then it was up to me to manage links and learn a new way of doing things.  Still not sure about it all...should I admit to that? I like the cleaner and more updated look, but I'd also like it to have a western/cowgirl kinda look. Maybe I'll experiment some more with the font & navigation...whatever. It's kinda like moving to a new house...the first way you decorate usually changes when you live in it for a week. So you might have to suffer along with me on this one...hehe. Since this lil blog is just a fun venture for me I didn't want to spend thousands for a new look and branding. But that may come in the future.  Changes either take time or money...and I've spent enuf for this new look. So it took time.

While I was away from the blog,  I had fun posting on Instagram.  You can see recent photos on the bottom of the home page. I've also added an Instagram block...which I love seeing on other blogs.  You can follow me on Instagram for almost daily what-the-heck is going on stuff.

Ok, so without further ado, I will post this and hope you sign up again for email updates. Ya know,  it was a huge disappointment to realize that all your email addresses went poof in cyberspace when I made the change. So come back and see what's up!

~ Holly

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BlogHolly
FALL ITCH

Hey hey hey gardenistas!


{my latest photo on Instagram of my homemade garden bouquet}
Just as I was settling into a long hot summer…BAM…here comes August with subtle reminders to think about a Fall garden.
Am I right?

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I think I have another month of flip flops and parched grass 😉.
{but I am so ready for boots and green grass!}
Anyhoo, I’ve dismissed a Fall garden in the past...
simply because I’ve been garden weary by the end of the summer…

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and too focused on saving and storing summer produce like these Walla Wallas I pulled the other day.
Freeze, dehydrate or try to store until snow comes?  All three most likely.

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This year, though, I've decided to give a Fall garden a try since for the last few years the summer garden harvest has been more lackluster than I would like.
I mean, I would starve to death or wear a size 2 if I depended on my summer harvest.
Well, if I was a vegetarian.
So…here is a quickie reminder that if you’re so inclined…you’d better start your seeds now…or at least in August.

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The average first freeze/frost date for my location is mid to late September. Yikes. So I quickly planted my favorite cool weather veggies.
They range from 30 - 110 days until maturity.
Until then I will need to cover them if a hard freeze comes.
Most of them will tolerate and taste better with light frosts.

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No need for a heat mat or grow lights to get the seeds started.
YAY.
 It’s warm enough during the day and I’ve kept them on the picnic table…rotating them to stay in the shade in the hot afternoon sun.
I  planted chinese cabbage, regular green cabbage, broccoli, spinach, romaine, Brussels sprouts and leek.
Hmmmm…thinking now that I should plant kale and chard too for 🐓 treats.
{I’ve tried all of these cool weather veggies in early Spring…but then they bolt from hot weather before I can harvest them. Time to change my tactics}

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Anyone else ready for crisp evenings and cooler temps? Me too!
Have a great week and thanks for stopping by!
 

The Garden {and Life} in July

Hi friends!
This has been one ugly month…weather wise that is...
with extreme temps...
at least for North Idaho!!!
{I don't remember a summer this hot in the last 6 years since I've been here}

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...and it’s gonna get worse.
HELLO FRIDAY!
Sheesh….am I still living in Arizona?!?
I left Arizona because of heat and blowing a/c!


 So a girl’s gotta have a little bit of fun mixed in with the gardening & heat…
like taking the chair lift to the top of Schweitzer Mtn...
{Lake Pend Oreille in distance}


to dine al fresco at the new Sky House restaurant at the 6400' summit.
Hey, at least it was 80ish instead of 90ish.
{Yeah my gardenista-itis wants to plant cover crops ASAP up there!}


 Oh my goodness…wonderful mahi-mahi tacos!
One of Sandpoint’s true pleasures is enjoying Schweitzer Mountain!
GO & ENJOY!

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 And…of course…hitting Lake Pend Oreille…this kayak adventure on the Fourth…totally patriotic hehe.
Yeah that’s who I am. Just having fun with the mini flags. Isn’t that what life’s about?
 OK…..now to the garden...

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 The heat has just decimated the garden…but the flowers are loving it :)
So far.


 All looks better than it really is :(

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 I harvested the garlic scapes...

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 made pesto...

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 and the garlic is now drying in the greenhouse for a couple of weeks.

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 I’m improvising with a new herb dryer that I bought on Amazon.

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 Cucumber plants look fantastic…but no cukes yet...

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 I do have one beautiful red cabbage head ready to pull…

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 tomatillos are loving the heat...

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 pole beans look happy but no beans yet!

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Oriental snow peas are very unhappy...

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 but the Oregon sugar pods are doing well.
Go figure.

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What’s left of the parsley is bolting and the cilantro is pretty much gone...
{I have used a lot of parsley already for juice}

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The Walla Walla onions are doing FABULOUS!!!

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 Butternut squash not so well. The zucchini looks like this too.

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  I hope someone can tell me what kind of black bugs are eating my beautiful sunflower petals!!!
They’re everywhere!
I’ve never had this before in the garden.
HELP!
*UPDATE*
Only one day after posting this, I discovered what these nasty bugs are...blister beetles.
They are toxic and can injure horses and livestock if swallowed.
Google to check out more info.
I am cutting all the sunflowers with beetles on them and soaking them in soapy water.  Also, my calendula that I had been drying for salve will be thrown out too.  They were all over the flowers when I picked them.
ARGH...live and learn :)

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 I tried to fool Mother Nature with our cool Spring and planted Brussels Sprouts...
hoping I might get some.

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I have a few at the bottom of the stalks…but with this heat coming not likely the rest will survive.
Better pull them tomorrow.

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Cut some lavender…haven’t decided how to use it…still drying...

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red potatoes and green onions and a few Anaheim chiles were ready...

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 Anaheim peppers are the only ones so far that I’ve gotten...

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 beautiful…but not as hot as my planted Jalapeños, Thai chile, Cayenne or Serrano...
and I like them HOT🔥!

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Green tomatoes everywhere…and not one red.
And it’s almost August for crying out loud!

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 Echinacea is beautiful! The bees love it.

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 Have also cut calendula and drying it for salves.

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I have new Brussel Sprouts growing to plant soon to harvest in the Fall.
Hope I get some this time!

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Hope your garden is doing great!
Let me know what you’ve got going!

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I leave you with this calm and cool photo of horses grazing on the edge of Lake Pend Oreille.
I am always amazed at what I see when kayaking.
There ain’t no place like North Idaho!
Carry on gardenistas!
PS  I almost forgot to mention…website happenin’ much slower that I had hoped.
It’s happenin’ tho...
when I stop pulling my hair out...
coming soon means coming sometime soon…hehe :)

TWO THINGS

Hi all!

 Popping in real quick today to let ya know two things:

1) ENJOY your Fourth of July holiday! 🇺🇸

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EAT

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DRINK

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AND BE MERRY

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{we won’t tell anyone you’re eating cupcakes!}

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Or anything else that’s not on the live-to-100 food list!

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Have some R & R and FUN too!

2) This blog is having a major redesign this week {hope you guys will like the new look!} and may be down a bit and/or looking kinda wonky and/or you’ll not be getting your posts by emails.

Like temporarily or like ever again. You might need to resubscribe.

I dunno how it’ll all play out…so this is just a heads up.  Tech stuff has a mind of its own. Hehe. You know what I’m sayin’.

Now go forth and have a good Fourth!

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Let the fireworks begin 🎉

PURE NONSENSE WITH THE PUPS

Happy Friday all!

We’re closing in on a holiday weekend that maybe we can extend to a four day weekend?!?

Anyhoo, like all good bloggers…I try to schedule photo ops long before a post.

All I wanted yesterday were some cute patriotic pup pics.

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Roxie was the perfect poser :)

You sweet German Shepherd.

Good girl!

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 Riley the stubborn Frenchie was a whole different ball game.

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Riley: So whaddaya want? My handsome profile?

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 Riley: I’m getting annoyed. Can't you see that my ears are talking to ya?

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 Me: Puhlease just smile and we’ll be done.

Riley: OK…but only ‘cause I heard the word “treat”.

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 Riley: It’s past my nap time. Hurry up.

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 Me: OK…we’re done. Go ahead and pretend to kill your bandana.

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Me: But it’s here waiting for the real Fourth of July.

Fair warning Mr. Frenchie!

NUMBERING THE GARDEN BEDS

Hi friends!

Over the years I’ve accumulated 28 raised garden beds.

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Or I should say I instructed Mr. Denim to build ‘em.

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Two years ago I stenciled numbers on all of them...

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to keep track of what I planted in which bed.

I once drew out a garden plan but it got too convoluted and confusing.

This garden ain’t neat and orderly with beds arranged in rows.

It’s pretty much cattywampus.

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The stenciled numbers were {yawn} boring looking and I’ve never found any stencils to liven the look up.

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This summer the industrial looking numbers are fading pretty badly.

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 So…I had an aha moment at Home Depot a few weeks ago…and decided to get these house numbers for something more permanent.

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 You know paint and I are good friends....of course I decided to paint them green...

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 under Roxie’s ever-watchful eye.

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 Here you can see the new larger metal number…and old painted number.

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 A little sandpaper to rub off the old number...

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and while it’s not perfect right now, the wood will weather more and in a year it’ll look good 😉

I have half of them done so far…just takes time!

Have a great week!