August 8, 2015

Garden Bounty

Bee pollinates sunflower
Bee Pollinates Sunflower
The garden is doing great.  The bees are pollinating the sunflowers.  We're planning on giving the sunflower seeds to the chickens for treats.

All those challenges at the beginning of the gardening season are long gone.  I have not bought vegetables from the grocery store in a couple of weeks and it looks like I won't need to for awhile.

I've had a lot of beans, more than we can eat.  I've blanched and frozen about four meals worth and the rest we've been eating fresh.

We've had a few artichokes, carrots, lettuce and beets that we've been eating as we harvest.  I made one batch of salsa.  But most of the tomatoes are still green.

Here's some beets and the broccoli has been great.  We picked off the main head and we have lots of little sprouts growing that we pick regularly.
Heirloom beets
Heirloom Beets

August 1, 2015

Don't Mow Your Lawn and Support Nature

No Mow Lawn
I leave a wide strip of unmowed
lawn in the front yard.
I've been living in a country subdivision for the past 10 years.  We all have 2 acre lots and they are mostly lawns.   I hear the sound of lawn mowers all summer. Between all the neighbors mowing, I can't hear the birds most of the weekend.  The ride-on lawnmowers are so loud.

I want to see the wildflowers and encourage the bees and butterflies to visit.  I saved a lot of milkweed plants for the monarch butterflies.  However I didn't see any monarchs this year.

Why do people burn gasoline in their mowers for hours on end?
Wildflowers growing on the unmowed lawn.

Mowing by-laws

Since I live in a residential community I do have to follow some by-laws.  The by-law related to mowing the lawn states that the ditch must be mowed.  I mow our ditch about once a month and this is actually a lot to mow across the whole front of our property.

I also like to have some walking room around the gardens and a path around the house to keep the critters away.  I mow a small patch in the backyard too so the kids can access the play structure and the camper trailer and badminton.  I spend about 2 hours mowing a month.  This still seems high to me but if my neighbors could also cut down their weekly mowing of 2 acres, as a community we could make a real difference.

It still seems that the majority think a mowed lawn is necessary.  Only a couple of weeks ago, a neighbor with a ride-on lawn mower came to visit and offered to mow my front lawn for me.  I replied that it is my meadow and I was purposefully not mowing it.

When I come out the front door of my house and look at the front yard, I see humming birds, bees, crickets, frogs, birds nests and bright pretty flowers.