Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Preparing Raspberries for the Fall Harvest

~ raspberry patch ready for the next crop ~
I'm glad I have 2 raspberry patches that have slightly different growing habits. This patch is on slightly poorer soil, which is being amended heavily 2 or 3 times a year with mulch, manure & compost, so it will eventually become as rich as the other patch.

The harvest ended last week & I went in & cut down the canes that had just finished producing this year's crop. What is left is what grew this spring & will produce a crop later on in September. I thinned out the weak canes & made sure there were no weeds or other competing plants growing around the roots. I chopped up the removed canes & am using them as mulch. They'll break down over the course of the next year & help with improving the soil.

Since I have ducks to like to dig for insects in this mulch, I will not use my regular berry food at this time. I would normally throw down a good handful of berry food to encourage the plants to grow stronger. This time, I'm using the bedding material from the duck house - pine chips & fresh duck manure. I might make up a couple pails of compost tea from my compost tumbler as I see that it is cooking along nicely right now too.

That's it - now I just wait for these canes to start producing their first crop of fruit in September - this harvest is much slower & longer than the summer crop. I could find myself picking fruit right up til November! Then these canes will overwinter & give me my harvest next spring. A wonderful cycle.

Time to get back outside & continue to harvest the wild berries out along the roadsides.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Who's That Squawking at my Door?

~ Percy comes for a visit ~
 Quite frequently we hear something at our back door & look out to see Percy has come up to investigate our absence from the outdoors. Currently, the ducks are content to let Percy be the one to seek our attention & it usually works.

The fun thing is watching Percy go back down the stairs. Ducks can jump up easily, but they do not really have great downward vision & very often stumble over simple things like rocks.

Percy just stands on the top step, stretches his wings out & jumps. He'll soar almost to the end of the deck towards the veggie beds & his landing is still very awkward.

~ flying leap about to commence ~
~ they get tired of waiting for action ~












Sunday, July 27, 2014

In The Gardens Today...

~ second garlic harvest ~
Looks like we are finally getting some summer heat - today is a great day for working out in the gardens; tidying up, weeding, harvesting & even replanting!

I decided to pull up the remaining garlic today & found a really nice large one! That one is definitely going to be used this fall for starting next year's crop! Hey - I can actually grow good sized garlic & maybe if I dedicate enough space in the fall, I'll be able to sell some at the local store!

Nothing like fresh, locally grown garlic....


The borage has self seeded in some interesting places - I don't really mind because I like to eat the flowers & the ducks like to eat the leaves (the leaves can be used in salads & they taste like cucumbers - just use the small ones as they are slightly less fuzzy).

The bees really like the flowers too, so while the borage is attracting the bees to their flowers, the bees are also discovering the flowers of the squash & runner beans growing right along side. Bonus!

The peas have made a small come back after being munched on by the ducks. Good to see & good to nibble on while wandering the gardens.

Just might sow some more today to see if we can get them growing into the early fall!

The runner beans - Scarlett Runners - are in full bloom & so far have remained out of duck range. Am looking forward to eating fresh beans again. Hopefully I'll have enough to try making pickled beans again later on!

Time to head back out with some seeds & row covers to fill in those empty spots from where I harvested the garlic. I know I don't have quite enough lettuce growing just yet... :)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

To Beat the Birds One Must Be Tricky

~ under ripe blueberries harvested ~
My blueberry bushes are still in 'deer recovery' mode this year, but they are quite loaded with berries. A wonderful sight to see, until you notice the ducks standing under the shrub looking up at the berries...

Crafty little darlings... So I wrapped bird netting around the shrubs in the hopes that this would deter the ducks. Not.A.Chance.

Well, at least I have one trick up my sleeve that I've used for years & will continue to do so. I harvest the berries before they are fully ripe on the plant!

I let them sit out on the counter for a day (or 2 or 3) til they are fully ripe & then I eat them or freeze them for the winter.. The trick to doing this is to make sure they are at least half way to being ripe - if you pick them & they are too green, they will not ripen up at all. Wasted fruit - might as well give to the ducks (who will probably turn their silly bills away because they know it's not ripe). I look at this as also a way to encourage the berries remaining on the shrub to increase in size & have a larger volume to harvest. Win-win... As long as the ducks don't follow you out when you go to pick them.

Another trick to that is to pick when they are napping or taking a bath... but they are curious creatures & will eventually find you. Learn to share, a lesson I re-learn each year...

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Darling Duck Family - Update

~ Percy - 14 weeks old ~
 Life with Ducks - what an adventure! They sure do bring a smile to your face when you take the time to sit with them & just watch them.

Percy is starting to pop out some tail feathers that have shown us that who we thought (hoped) was going to be Penelopea, is actually & truly Percy. Our boy...

There is lots of green in the head & tail feathers & this duck is quite the talker. Will get right up in your face & have a conversation with you. Mostly I think he's begging for
peas....
~ Horatio - 12 weeks old ~


Horatio is also changing. He's flapping his wings a whole lot & seems to be overcoming his spraddled legs. His walking & running is improving.

But he's BIG - much bigger than Percy. Especially the wing span. Watch out when he gets flapping - he doesn't care who is in his way!

He's also lost his twitter & peeping noises. He is basically a mute now - it sounds more like a wheezy pant. But a most affectionate duck - think he's a dog & loves to be pet & scratched.

~ Monday - 8 weeks old ~

Monday & Tuesday are only 8 weeks - so we don't really know if they are male or female. But they are certainly catching up in size to Percy & are developing their own myschievious personalities.

The colouring of Monday is simply beautiful. I love the greens in the bill & feet & the browns mixed in with the bluish gray of the feathers.

The 'Twins' as we still call them - are not easily separated - they will look for each other & go off on their own adventures, usually followed or monitored closely by Percy, who immediately adopted them when we moved them all in together.
Tuesday - 8 weeks old ~

 Tuesday is very pretty with a ring around the eyes. I think this one might be our only female, but it's too soon to tell.

Tuesday is very skittish, but will come just as quickly as the other ducks if there are treats - especially peas to be had.

The ducks have continually outsmarted me in many of my distraction tactics in the gardens. They now know where the blueberries are & despite the bird netting - they have also figured out how to get the blueberries through the net!

At least they still enjoy their greens - dandelions we have plenty of & I think it might take a few more years of feeding them to the ducks before we remove the dandelions from the yard. Wonder what next month with bring with our Darling Ducks...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What Do you Do When Someone Hands you 10 Pounds of Plums

~ over ripe plums
 Earlier this week I was handed a box with 10 pounds of over ripe plums - they were on the verge of being dumped into the compost when someone thought to ask if I might be able to do something with them.

Well, of course!!


~ cooking plum mixture ~
I cut out the bad bits, threw it all into a pot with star anise, green cardamom & black cardamom & lots of fresh grated ginger & water & started to cook them down.

After about 45 minutes of slow boiling, everything in the pot was a runny, mushy mess but smelled heavenly - actually, it smells just like Christmas!

I poured it all through my jelly bag & let it sit over night. I now have many yogurt containers in the freezer waiting for me to turn this thick syrupy juice into Spiced Plum Jelly! A great flavour & sure to be a hit at the Christmas Craft Sale later in the year.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Summer Blooms

~ purple daylily & feverfew ~
 I love wandering around the yard at this time of year & seeing all the different colour & texture combinations out there. Some work very well - planted either on purpose or by happenstance.

~ hydrangea & astilbe mix ~
I also enjoy being able to bring in bouquets to the house to enjoy up close.

Hope you get out to enjoy the summer flowers & wouldn't it be lovely to have a neighbour share a bouquet with you?!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Garlic Ready for Storage

~ first garlic harvest ready for storage ~
Earlier this week I harvested my garlic - well, only half of it as I needed to make room for some cuttings & lettuce.

I left it out on the deck for a couple days to cure & dry the skins & have now brushed off the dirt, snipped the roots short & cleaned up the stalks.

I like to arrange the bulbs in order of smallest to largest - that way, I remember to stop eating the garlic just in time for fall planting!! You want to make sure to use the largest & healthiest bulbs in October for next year's crop.

This will hang downstairs where it is cool & dark & dry & every once in a while, I'll head down & snip off a head from the bottom & bring up to use in the kitchen.

Can't wait to see how my 2nd harvest looks in another week or so! Am hoping for larger heads...

I should roast some up to test out the flavour now too! Nothing quite like home grown & fresh picked garlic...

Friday, July 18, 2014

Marionberry - Part 2

~ Marionberry patch ~
Back a couple weeks ago, I introduced you to my new Marionberry patch & now I'm doing a bit of work on it.

The very tall & flowering mustard has reached its expiry date. Well, for me it has. I can't eat it - it has become so hot that one little leaf will more than likely have fire shooting out of your nose!! And they are now starting to shade out the pole beans I thought I would plant in here in order to utilize the new soil & the vertical growing space.

Plus, I needed to install some duck barriers...

So, today I cut back & mulched the mustard (which will no doubt reseed itself & continue to give me edible & decorative displays), found the beans & tied up some of the marionberry canes to the fence in order to start growing them for next year's harvest.

~ Marionberry patch manicured ~

With the lawn mowed & the duck barrier installed & the squash plant tended to, things are looking pretty good over here!

Now to just keep the ducks out of the beds...

I just might be eating beans this year instead of darling ducks!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Adventures with Ducks - Sow it, Grow it, Watch Someone Else Eat it...

~ Percy & Horatio find Food ~
 Well, my blessed, darling ducks have continued to provide me with a constant source of amusement & frustration.

They love their greens so much that they are now helping themselves to the greens I have growing in my raised beds.

One particular bed is doing extremely well this year & has peas, Swiss chard, borage, runner beans, squash & a variety of herbs, all crowded in tightly in a confined space.

Percy & Horatio have shown the twins where this lovely bed is & they have nibbled on all the leaves that stick tantalizingly close to the edge of the raised bed. And it's a tall bed...
~ Duck Barrier installed ~

I spent my morning stapling small sized wire mesh around the top edge of the beds to discourage their hungry & curious bills from ripping everything out.

But Horatio proved to be a smarter duck than anticipated... he saw a pea leaf leaning towards the outside edge of the bed & he just simply jumped higher than the barrier & ripped the whole pea plant out over top...
~ Duck Barrier installed after the Destruction ~

I wasn't quick enough on one of the other beds. All 4 ducks managed to rush over & have a 'pea hauling' feast before anyone realized just what they were doing. It looks like my pea harvest this year will NOT be shared with the ducks, as previously anticipated.

Let's see if I still have time to resow something in the now barren beds & grow some food to feed me...


~ Never turn your back on a duck ~
I caught all 4 of them in the greenhouse - do they look guilty to you?? I shooed them out before they could get in-between the tomatoes & peppers & sit on the rosemary & do massive destruction... Trust a duck... I don't think so...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Trying Something New - Part 2 - Harvest of the Jostaberry

~ black currant vs jostaberry ~
A couple weeks ago I showed you how my jostaberries were coming along. Well, I've finished my first harvest & wanted to show the difference in size of berry.

How could you not want to grow more jostaberries?! A much larger berry & the shrub seems to grow much better than the black currant shrub.

The only down side is that the flavour is not as intense as the black currant. So, I think I will take a bunch of cuttings from the jostaberries this year & grow at least a half dozen more shrubs (more likely a dozen!) & plant them out in different areas of the property to see where they prefer to grow & keep my black currant shrubs just so I can add a handful or 2 to whatever it is I decide to make with my harvest. The first few years it might only be for personal use, but I would love to share the flavour with others who come into town!

I'm just glad that I managed to harvest the berries before the ducks found them! Ducks can & will & do jump in the berry patch to get tasty treats...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My 'Blessed' Ducks - Part 1

~ exploring their new herb bed ~
 I thought it would be a grand idea to give the ducks some extra special 'things' in their enclosure. This time is was the concept of a herb bed. The ducks I had last year couldn't have been bothered with excessive greens in their diet & I thought this was a nice way of breaking up their space, providing some break from the wind & sunshine & to give them some 'pretty things' while stuck in the pen all day long.

Little did I realize I've created green-machines... these ducks LOVE their greens. They get quite aggressive with my feet in the mornings if I decide to clean their house prior to feeding them chopped up greens - the same greens they munch on all day long if they are running around the yard [dandelions, borage, comfrey, sorrel...] but in the mornings, they demand that it be chopped up & in the water basin & that I sit there for 15 minutes & hang out with them.
~ duck proof herb box ~

The destruction they caused in just one day when left with their new herb bed was truly amazing. Broke my heart a wee bit, but I was laughing too much at their curiosity & their love of greens to really be all that upset. Now the herb bed should be indestructible with the 'duck barrier' I installed - at 7:00 in the morning & replanted with some very sad calendula.

If the herbs recover, maybe I'll snip a few pieces off for them to enjoy later on in the year...

Lesson learned... You feed ducks greens from hatch out day & they'll consider any reachable green part of their diet - not yours...

Monday, July 14, 2014

Harvest Time: Garlic

~ first garlic harvest this year ~
Well, mid-July is the time when we start to harvest garlic. I decided to haul a few out in order to make room for more seeds in a week or 2 & to see how well they were growing for me this year.

I can see that a few are not so healthy, but the rest look wonderful!

Pull the garlic out, lay them in the sun to dry a bit & just brush off the dirt. You can either tie them up in a braid or cut the green stalks off about 2 or 3 inches above the bulbs & store in a cool, dry, dark area for many months.

Stop watering your garlic about a week or 2 prior to harvest - that helps with flavour. You'll also want to take a look at the bulbs at this stage too & set some aside to plant in October for next year's harvest. Pick the largest & healthiest bulbs from the ones you've grown.

Garlic will evolve & modify itself to the conditions within your own growing space. So the bulbs you bought last year or the year before & continued to propagate yourself, with not be the same if you bought new ones each year. Decide if you enjoy your own flavour & maybe start sharing with your neighbours. Garlic you propagate yourself will also be healthier - as long as you start off with the healthiest bulbs (hard as it is to reserve those for planting!)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A Different Kind of Fuchsia

~ Cape Fuchsia: Moonraker ~
A few years ago I received a cutting from a new type of fuchsia: the Cape Fuchsia (check out the basics: Phygelius capensis) 
 
My original plant (African Queen -seen below) out grew the bed that I originally planted it in. I now have some cuttings elsewhere, but they don't seem to be taking very well & I hope I don't loose them entirely.
~ Cape Fuchsia: African Queen ~

My mom gave me a second plant a few years ago - not knowing I already had one & this one is called Moonraker with lovely lime & green flowers.

I may be pruning these plants incorrectly or they find it too wet in the winters, but this one is also suffering slightly. Again - something else for me to study up over the winter to see if I can figure out how to encourage a more healthy & robust plant. The hummingbirds adore these plants so I'd like to get a few more of them around the yard, especially the brightly coloured African Queen variety.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Never Weed too Much

~ evening primrose ~
If there is one thing I've learned over the years out here, it's never be too eager to weed out everything in the flower or vegetable beds.

That's a hard one to stick with. I like to be able to identify what the 'weeds' are before I pull them out & sometimes I find I have surprise returning plants - ones that I've never planted to begin with & hope that they return.

This week the Evening Primrose has returned. Granted it's growing right along the front edge of my dry bed & it's a tall plant, but you really notice it when walking up to the house & get to appreciate it. Yes, it is weedy in appearance - but I enjoy the tall burst of yellow just when the pink foxgloves are finishing & the purple toad flax is almost done. The bees will enjoy these too.

I hope to save seeds this year & spread them around to the back side of the property where there is very rocky soil. Maybe a few will start to grow & self-seed out there! I do not use this plant for any herbal remedies - I just admire it for being a pretty flower just when I needed something new.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Summer Flowers - Daylilies

~ daylily ~
 Finally the rains have returned to freshen up the greens & give some much needed moisture to the soils.

Overnight the daylilies have started to bloom & they look so lovely with rain drops! While they may be edible, the ducks think they are too foreign & remove them from their water bins & toss them aside. They look at me rather crossly when I try to convince them they should try a petal or 2... they'd rather have peas or raspberries or blackberries or anything else!
~ daylily ~

I never remember to keep plant tags & have a bad habit of not writing down the names of the varieties that I pick up & plant. Quite frequently, though, my plants are cuttings or divisions from other people's gardens, so I never really knew the names to begin with.
~ daylily ~

The one on the right I would like to believe is called 'Wild Horses' but I could be wrong. There are daylilies that look very similar to this by that name.

Daylilies do quite well out here - they don't require too much attention - other than the occasional watering & maybe some help with dead-heading to keep them tidy looking. Dividing them every 5 or 6 years keeps them under control & healthy too.
~ daylily ~
Too bad the flowers didn't last as long as other summer blooming plants - I would love to have these as a property border plant!

I'll just keep tucking them along edges here & there where there is a bit of moisture in the summer & we'll see where they like it best. I like that they are so easy to clean up in the fall - a lawn mower does the trick very nicely!


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Duck who Thinks It's a Dog

~ duck on the deck ~
 Well, Penelopea is almost 12 weeks old & that is generally the time when it becomes very obvious if your duck is male or female... the male will pop out a tail feather that curls back towards the back... plus a few other key identification clues (no quacking, protective behaviour, 'aggressive' behaviour...)

We've been watching this duck over the last few weeks & may have just come to the conclusion that Penelopea is actually Percy... I'm holding out til the tail feather either shows or doesn't show...

But sometimes this duck thinks it is a dog. Early in the mornings - if you don't spend enough time just hanging with them, the duck will climb the stairs & squawk at us through the back door. Hilarious - but how do you get a duck down the stairs without freaking it out?

We found out that the duck will take a flying leap - literally. As long as there are no impediments on the stairs, it isn't as awkward as imagined. We are rather concerned that the duck will fall through the stairs & tumble down to the ground underneath, so we don't encourage such silly behaviour. So far, the other ducks will wait at the bottom of the stairs til we come back outside with another cup of coffee & possibly a handful of treats to bribe them off the deck... they do like to poop all over it!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Wild Berries Starting to Ripen - Part 1

~ thimbleberries starting to ripen ~
Going back to the end of May when I was sharing with you what wild berries are out here that you can harvest, I mentioned thimbleberries. (thimbleberries in bloom)

Well, they are now just starting to ripen up. In the next few weeks, I'll be wandering around the back roads with containers to pick these delicate little goodies & I would love to be able to make a couple batches of jam & then a nice batch of wine!

Sweet & tart, they don't need to be mixed with any other flavour. I do spend a bit of extra time straining out half the seeds as they are loaded with little tiny, crunchy seeds that some people don't like too much.

When picking them, they have the wonderful annoying tendency to fall off the plant right before you pick it. So when wading deep into the ditches to pick them, do be careful not to thrash around too much! You'll loose half the berries that way & I've been known to scare people walking by as I'm buried in the ditch & they think I'm a bear!! Good fun...

Monday, July 7, 2014

And Now for Something New - Introducing the Marionberry

~ new berry fence installed ~
 Referring back to my quick note about what our local blackberry harvest is like out here, I started to do some research into other cultivars of blackberry & came across the Marionberry.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Hot Box on the Deck

~ recycled hot box ~
 This year I was lucky to inherit some old windows from a house down on the boardwalk. I immediately envisioned some boxes up on the deck where I could grow things year-round.

Well, we had just enough material lying around the house to build the first box. It might not be very pretty, but we shall see how it works.
~ pepper plants ~

I've wanted some boxes for the pepper plants - they like things a bit hotter & more humid than tomatoes, so this is a great opportunity to see if I can get more of a harvest & earlier ripening. The last few years I've grown Italian red peppers, I had very few fruit & they took forever to ripen - we are talking October!!

I've got 2 plants in the hot box & 2 in the greenhouse. We'll do a 'compare & contrast' at some point to see if one way is better than the other.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Still Life with Ducks

~ always seeking shade ~
Ducks can be difficult to capture in photos. I've been finding that especially true of the twins lately...

Now that we have entered our warm season, the ducks are seeking out shelter during the warmest parts of the day & have taken a special liking to my citronella plant just this week. I've found all of them (except Horatio who can't manoeuver on the deck very well) crowded under the leaves, so have moved it into their enclosure for the rest of the summer to give them their own shady spot.

Guess what - I think they like being up on the deck close to us because this morning they were huddled around the boot scraper waiting for us to come back outside!
~ ducks + water = mud ~
I've found more rain barrels to install behind the greenhouse this year, so in preparation, I've had to drain the rest of the water out of the one barrel so we can move it & attach the rest.

Of course, the ducks come running when they hear water in a bucket & towards the end I just let the water drain out so they could have a bit of fun with mud. Not sure what they are finding to eat in the mud, but ducks just love it!!

I've found that if I can't locate the ducks around the yard, all I have to do is turn the hose on & fill up a bucket with water & they pop out of whatever hiding spot they've discovered for the day to see what I'm doing.

The twins are now 5 1/2 weeks old & while not 'petting' ducks, I can manage to grab one every now & again for a session of holding & inspecting. They are very comfortable with us, so I know should we see any issues with them, we won't stress them out too much if we have to grab them to check them out. Their feathers are just starting to pop out & they are growing so fast! I hope they will be a good size - bigger is better for their safety out in the yard. So far, no predator encounters - such as swooping eagles or uninvited dogs. But we are always on the look-out...

Clary Sage in Bloom

~ Salvia sclarea - Clary Sage ~
 I've used Clary Sage as an essential oil for a few years - it's an interesting scent - not quite like culinary sage... so I thought I would try it as an ornamental.

I picked up some seeds last spring & started them in the greenhouse. Eventually I remembered to plant them out in the gardens & it is so interesting to see how some have done amazingly well - as pictured here - while others are barely more than a set of leaves above the soil. I definitely have soil health issues...

They bloomed just a few days ago - not much scent in the flowers, but they are interesting to look at!

~ Salvia Sclarea ~
As long as your soil is well drained & not too acidic (as is the case with our west coast soils!), this predominantly Mediterranean plant should survive through Zone 5 winters. Prune in the spring & after flowering.

With proper maintenance, the plants should last up to 5 years before requiring replacement. I take cuttings each spring to propagate in the greenhouse as insurance for the ones I may loose during the year - especially now that we have ducks who love to sit on top of herbs...


"How can a man grow old who has sage in his garden?" Ancient Proverb

Friday, July 4, 2014

Hydrangeas

~ blue hydrangea ~
 When I was planning & planting the yard in the early years of moving here, I tried to go with 'deer resistant' plants. Ok folks - there is NO SUCH THING! That's Mother Nature's cruel little joke. The neighbour's had a lot of the same plants as I, but never seemed to have issues with the deer eating them.

Mine must have tasted better...

So this year, I'm quite pleased to see that the fence has worked like a charm & the yard is starting to fill in with shrubs that are rewarding me with blooms.

~ green - cream - purple hydrangea ~
 The electric blue hydrangea is stunning, but I'm currently loving the 2 little cuttings that have survived & are blooming for the first time this year.

They emerge as green petals that change into cream with purple & pink highlights & eventually they'll turn a mottled pink & purple colour. The leaves of the shrubs are dark-dark green, almost a black colour, that eventually fade down to green.


Overall, they are quite stunning & will, over the next few years, finally reach a proper height that will allow others from the road to appreciate them too. They are like my little secret in plain sight.
~ cream-purple hydrangea ~

Always Trying Something New - Introducing the Jostaberry

~ jostaberry ~
Ok - I love experimenting in the gardens. You never know what will or will not be successful until you try it - at least twice!

I've mentioned I took some cuttings from a neighbour's berry shrub - what I thought was a gooseberry & for years they barely survived until I moved them down to the front yard where it was more moist & better soil.

The shrubs took off & last year I was finally able to see what the berries would look like. Definitely NOT gooseberries!!

This year I've identified them as Jostaberry - a cross between a gooseberry & a black currant (here may be the solution to my black currant dilemma...) As you can see, they are quite large & have come along quite nicely. So far, I've not noticed any robins or other birds in the shrubs - maybe birds prefer the red fruit to the darker coloured fruit??

I'm pretty sure I'm still a couple weeks away from proper harvest, but in the mornings while wandering the yard with the ducks, I will usually inspect the shrubs & sample one or two in order to find out when I should start harvesting them. They should be much darker in colour when ripe. The flavour has the tartness of the black currant & something else too... It might be that I should locate some gooseberries to grow to see what the actual difference is!
This is one harvest I'm not too sure what I'm going to do with!!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Wild Berries in Bloom - Part 4

~ blackberry bloom ~
 Let's return to what is blooming out there now that will be edible later in the summer season.

Blackberries!
There are lots of different types of blackberries - these are your typical invasive, nasty thorned, super-fast growing, potentially incredible flavoured blackberry.

They are also very dependent upon the right weather conditions. Hence, Bamfield has very few opportunities to have incredible harvests of these fruit.
~ blackberry bloom ~

The season in which blackberries out here grow & ripen tends to be during our drought season & into the foggy cool season. July is notoriously dry - weeks & weeks without rain... August then enters with heavy fog & cooler temperatures. We are lucky if there is a spite of rain, but for the most part, the sun burns through the fog for a few hours each day at noon before closing back in. The blackberries need a bit more rain & a whole lot more sunshine & heat to produce plump, sweet fruit.

Each year we all cross our fingers for either an early or a late harvest & this year won't be different. I haven't had a good tasting crop (all wild growing out along the road side) for a few years & would love to make some lovely blackberry jam or super thick syrup.... mmm.... We'll keep our eye on the weather this summer...