Ah, those summer days!

Whiling away these warm (often hot) summer days usually involves work of some sort.  Watering is always an issue, and we are still mostly using our captured water (off the roof and stored during the last rains), but that source is nearly dry.  Soon we'll be using water from the hose spigot.  We're kinda proud that we managed our water usage so handily w/o draining more from the city system.  Nevada City has been teased the past two weeks by off/on overcast days with rain potential, but -- alas -- nuttin', honey.  According to AccuWeather, there's no rain on the horizon, and I mean for months!  Jimmy is designing and installing a drip system for both front and back yards.  to be continued

Our first keyhole garden is about kaput.  Only thing left in it is Swiss chard and some onions, which I continue to harvest and enjoy.  We used the last of our lettuce, I pulled the garlic and it's stored in the spice cupboard, adding quite a fragrance.  Two potato plants established themselves in that garden (just made themselves at home!), I guess from discards in the compost.  So far I haven't disturbed them.  I'll wait till I'm real hungry for taters!

The above jungle picture is of the second keyhole garden, and the verdict is mixed.  None of the pepper plants is producing fruit.  Flowers, yes, but nothing has set. The tomato plants are all producing, but no pretty red ripe maters to sink my teeth into yet.  I did yank out an overgrown "no name" tomato (on the left in the pic) that never did a thing except grow, till it was head and shoulders above me. I bought organic green bean seeds earlier this year, deliberately picking "bush beans."  But when I saw the shoots beginning to vine, I looked again at the package, which said "Pole Beans."  Rats.  The durn things are so leggy and wandering all over the place, like Jack's beanstalks.  They're flowering, but no beans as of right now ....

The entire keyhole concept needs to be reworked for me.  I dislike the compost well in the center as it seems to foster unwanted pests.  I quit using it for compost.  All the materials/dirt we put into the garden areas sank, naturally, as it settled, and the gardens need to be built up considerably.  Have to add better dirt, too.  When the growing season is over, but before the snows fly, we'll spend some time looking at what we need to do for optimum produce.

Meanwhile, the farmer's markets are open and well stocked with fruit!  Beautiful, sweet-smelling, delicious fruit. Take these huge Suncrest Peaches, for example.  

 That flat of peaches will make our winter oatmeal bowls sooo tasty!

 And then I picked blackberries one day and made this cobbler.  Best ever, Jimmy said!

 It didn't last long!

 A flat of organic strawberries at Costco transformed into 

 eating berries, freezer berries (for smoothies, etc), and

 Jimmy's all-time favorite, Strawberry Jam.

All this kitchen work keeps me busy, so I stay out of trouble. (well, mostly ).  Jimmy and I have taken the motor home out for short jaunts, always fun, with a longer trip planned soon.  Heading north, but nothing too far away, up in the mountains or along the coast, or both.  Cooler, doncha know!

Meantime, we're eating well.


  1. I say ... you are eating well ... doesn't look like that cobbler lasted long ;-) We're finishing off the last jar of strawberry jam Mui made ... we'll have to get some berries soon so he can work his jam magic.

  2. Wow, you are a cooking maniac! Very interesting to read about your experience with the keyhold garden. By the way, I wanted POLE beans, then found I had planted bush beans. Went back and got pole beans. All beans: very few flowers, ZERO beans! The complete opposite from my cucumbers, which are producing like crazy. What's with the "flowers but no fruit" stuff this year?? Of my tomatoes, most are doing well, but my SuperSteak produced exactly ONE beefsteak tomato, smaller than an Early Girl! Ha, ha, jokes on me. BTW, super-kudos on your watering. Nevada City should love you.


We love hearing from you -- please leave us a note! (Comment moderation is turned on, and your comments, including anonymous comments, will be visible after they have been reviewed and published.)