Jul 5, 2012

Summer In Full Swing

I hope everyone had a wonderful Canada Day and 4th of July this week!  Summer has finally hit us here in the valley.  Although, I have given up having any sense of what the weather will be like from day to day and bring a second set of clothes with me to work in case I arrive under hot sun, and leave under rain.  A little girl-guide preparedness never hurts.

The fruit harvest has begun in this land of orchards.  Our first crop, cherries, took a hit this year with all the rain.  Much splitting has occurred and some folks were forced to get their fruit down a bit early.  Regardless of how they look - they taste amazing!  Cherry jam is on the to-do list this week and I think I'll freeze a few for smoothies too.

The farmers market has had rain every Saturday for the past 6 weeks.  This weekend may be the first to see sunshine since the first two weeks it was open in May.  I've not even had the heart to do a farmers market post.  With any luck, this Saturday I'll have plenty of pics to share.

Also in season now are the Saskatoon berries.  These make a lovely jam too.  There are many bushes along the river where I walk, so I will have to start bringing a bucket to pick a few.

Much of my time has been spent in the garden trying to keep up with the massive growth due to the rains and occasional hot sun.  I'm very fortunate in that my office work can be done on my own schedule, so mornings are reserved for outside work and the hot afternoons now will be spent in the air conditioned office.  When I do have a chance to escape the valley floor though, I take it!  I went back up into the hills a few days ago to pick some self-heal and a bit more yarrow.  These are invaluable in salves for healing all manner of bumps and cuts.

I was also fortunate to spend an afternoon in my friend's garden, which puts mine to shame.  Full of ponds, hidden paths, arbours, bird houses, fountains and faeries, this place is alive with birds and wildlife.  Also, mosquitoes.  Ouch!

The last two days I've been processing some lemon balm that I harvested from a friend's garden.  I've hung over a dozen bunches to dry and threw the remainder in the sun-tea jar and set it out to infuse in the heat.  What a gorgeous, happy drink this makes.  A bit of sugar and it's perfect.

Happy July - and happy summer harvesting!


Cottage Tails said...

Glad the sun has come out for you! You guys are having a rough summer. I do feel for the orchardists.
Love Leanne

jaz@octoberfarm said...

rain....i have no idea what that is! saskatoon berries are called service berries here. i like your name better. it is 98 degrees here right now and the weather man just said horrible heat is headed our way! What? did i die and go to hell and no one told me???

Ashling said...

I feel like such a terrible slacker after reading this. Saskatoon berries? Is there any fruit they resemble in flavor? Although we escaped, many of the farms immediately around us were devastated by a hailstorm w/ golfball-sized hail. It's heartbreaking to see the damage, and it's a reminder of how fragile an existence farming is.

Rue said...

I've heard of the heat and storms hitting the East. If it's not flooding, it's wildfires. Such extremes we are seeing these days.

Stay cool Joyce & Teddy!

Ashling - I hate to see crops ruined, it breaks my heart. I find Saskatoons similar to blueberries in taste, but not as sweet. They are great for anything you add sugar to, like pie or jam.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm so happy you have sun now. I wish we had a bit more of that ; )
Your friends garden looks wonderful and so does the place where you walk !!
Have a wonderful weekend.

Mary said...

Rain, rain go away :-). I'm glad to hear your weather has improved. Your pictures today are wonderful. Our growers have been able to save most of their crops but the flavor is not what it should be. Local berries never really sweetened. I hope you have a great DRY weekend. Blessings...Mary

Bogaman said...

They just started a farmers market hre in Shelbina at the Shelby Co. fairgrounds. It's in the early stages yet, but i think it will be a success eventually. It's great to get local produce for the table, besides what I raise in my garden. X.