In The Garden V.7 - Mid Way Update

The garden has gotten pretty out of hand lately (weeds included of course)! I must say that July has been perfect gardening weather here in Edmonton. Sunny and super hot all week followed by a day of rain to refresh everything. I can't say I love the heat nor does my power bill with all this AC! It wont last long before it's back to the snow so I really try not to complain about being a sweaty mess!

I have been really trying to come up with new ways to cook all the zucchini we have been accumulating. So far we have been living off loaves of zucchini bread, potato/ zucchini hashbrowns, and zucchini au gratin. You can't go wrong when you smother anything in cheese.

Now is the time for me to plant my kale so it will be ready for a late September or early October frost. This is my first time planting it but apparently the frost gives it a better taste. I also have to hill up some dirt on my potatoes this weekend for maximum production.

Cue photo dump.

a baby pumpkin

yellow zucchini

spaghetti squash

corn and squash jungle


yellow corn and onions



escaping pumpkins


Horseshoe Lake, Alberta

I think my favourite part of Horseshoe Lake is the amazing drop off that happens. This lake is so deep and so clear you can see exactly how the edge of the cliff your standing on extends down into the depths. The freezing water made it a popular swimming hole on this hot day and while I don't swim, I did dip a toe in to try and stay cool. We managed to pack in two more lakes on our short trip so I hope you're not sick of them yet!


Resolutions V.5.1 - More Pottery!

This is my favourite little set from my attempts at pottery this year. I loved this combination of glazes. They were dipped in midnight blue with red/green glaze dipped overtop. If you decide to take a pottery class I would suggest using your first separates to find out what glaze combinations you like and then focus on making a set. Part of the reason I love my cream and sugar containers so much is because they are more usable than the random stuff I started out making. You have to start somewhere though!

I ended up making a few bowls but only got to make one plate and I was kicking myself as they are so easy! Excellent for using left over clay!

Another functional piece I made was a simple spoon rest. I made a small plate and then pushed one section out flat. I love the simplicity and if I take the class again everyone will be getting them for Christmas.

These are a few of my first wheel attempts..... not very good at all! Lopsided and uneven. I did use them to try out some glazes though!


Medicine Lake, Alberta

Last weekend we took a little road trip into the Rocky Mountains. It was a scorching hot weekend so our time was mostly spent lake hopping. We decided to head up to Maligne Lake. The road is winding and beautiful and takes you by Medicine Lake (pictured here). As we drove up into the peaks we ran into not one...not two... but three separate bears! We only stopped to take photos of one since he was a safe distance from the car. The others were literally less than a stones throw from the road.

That didn't seem to deter people from getting out and walking their kids less than 5 feet from it!! I was honestly shocked with the stupidity of people repeatedly on this little trip when it came to wild life! In what universe is walking you or your child up to a wild black bear ok?! No universe.

Anyways! These photos were safely shot from the vehicle with the zoom lens 100% zooming!


Elk Island National Park - Part 2

After our walk around the lake we finally came to the other side and eye to eye with a herd of buffalo.  We knew there was a chance to see them but after 2 hours of no wildlife we figured we were out of luck. They were generally uninterested in us. Some would stare as they chewed away and we kept a safe distance. 


In The Garden V.6 - Rhubarb

This is our rhubarb plant. It is huge! It was left to it own devices for about five years and only in the last couple years we have been harvesting. I noticed that down wind there are at least another eight rhubarbs starting up so we are well on our way to being rhubarb farmers.

You want to pick the rhubarb when the bottoms are nice and red. Just pull on the stems lightly and they should break right off. I made a delicious rhubarb/strawberry crisp (from here) and then packed up the rest of my haul in freezer bags. I only froze three bags worth which didn't even make a dent in the plant but you don't want to excessively harvest as the left overs create compost for next year. If you do have a rhubarb and you don't have space for it to reproduce just wait for the seeds to sprout and cut off that stem before they start falling. 

To freeze give them a wash and cut off the leafy tops where it starts to go from red to green. Some people suggest peeling the stalks but I find this way to messy so I just start chopping into 1" sections. As you chop you will notice the stringy top layer gets loosened and you can just pull it off rather than covering your entire house in rhubarb splatters! You do need to blanch your rhubarb before freezing it so drop them in some boiling water for a minute or so and then an ice bath before they go into the freezer bags. I had to do a couple batches. Suck the air out with a straw and they will stay fresh for months. 

Afterwards put your cuttings back under the plant for compost and don't just dump out that nice rhubarb-y flavoured water you blanched in. Let it cool and use it to make rhubarb lemonade! It is so refreshing on a hot day!

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