The Flavors of August

Turn red, turn red! 

It's the middle of August and our gardens are bursting with flavor. We're really enjoying our daily walk through's and finding new ripened fruits and vegetables ready for harvest.  Like this William's Pride apple. Isn't it gorgeous? It really was as delicious as it was pretty. 

We're begining to prep garden beds for fall plantings. This bed will contain an assortment of cauliflower, broccoli and leeks.  We started them a few weeks ago in the upper greenhouse and they're ready for transplant.  

Our beans are just about finished, and they really were flavorful this year.  These gorgeous hot pink, borlotti beans were fun to grow   We'll be planting them again next year.  

As the beans finish up, our cabbages are getting bigger and bigger as summer comes to an end. 

As you can see there's a few beans left on the bean bushes.  We're able to get a few handfuls here and there to go with supper when we want. 

Here's another shot of the cabbage that's growing up nice and big as fall is approaching us.  A couple more weeks, and we'll be ready to harvest most of them and make sauerkraut. 

We're still enjoying  radishes, bok choy and leeks in one of our smaller raised beds. Soon, we'll be removing most of what's in this garden box and plant more fall crops. 

As the heat continues to hold strong through August we're noticing another round of fruit come onto our white raspberry plants.  Not that we're complaining. They are so delicious. 

We usually harvest these as soon as we see them ripe on the plant so there's never really enough to make a recipe with them. They are probably my second favorite "walk by" treat while I'm gardening. The first, are those pink lemonaid blueberries! 

Grandmother's sunflowers are tall, strong and mighty colorful. This was the first year we grew sunflowers but we've really enjoyed the starts she gifted us. We're planning on growing a lot more of them next year. 

Our cucumbers have finally taken off, and while the vines are smaller than they were this time last year, we're still getting enough large cucumbers to get our fix for fresh cucumber and tomato sandwiches.  

I thought we grew to many tomatoes last year... I WAS WRONG. This year, we might be growing "too many". Oh what am I saying. That's ridiculous. One can never really have too many fresh tomatoes.  In the weeks to come we'll be canning tomato sauce and salsa until we're blue in the face, but I don't mind. 

You can barely even SEE the "pizza garden". It's been overtaken by fresh herbs and tomatoes. There are onions, somewhere underneath there. I promise. 

Here's a look into the lower greenhouse. We're harvesting lovely tomatoes and peppers daily, and watching our citrus trees create lots of lovely fruit.  I can't wait for the meyers lemons. 

Dare I say we're growing approx. 25+ different varieties of tomatoes this year?  

New to our gardens this year are these Ancho Grande peppers. Delicious. 

All of our jalapeno plants are REALLY taking off.  In a month or so, we'll be buried in flamin' hot jalapenos. 

Our Cayenne Pepper plants all have quite a bit of fruit on them, but none of them have turned red yet. Soon! 

We're finishing up with our broccoli probably this week.   We left the stems so the plant would produce miniature heads of broccoli for us to enjoy. 

The hugelkulture bed, containing all of our squash, melons and pumpkins is on a roll.  We're having a hard time actually getting to the ripe ones because it's so hard to navigate through the mass of vines.  It's really something to look at these days. 

I'm so excited to start getting melons and pumpkins off of this bed.  We're certainly enjoying the squash. 

You've got to be careful when you're walking through the gardens on your way to the chicken run. The vines are stretching out all over the place. One false step, and crack... busted pumpkin. :( 

By far, our hugelkulture bed is probably our most favorite part of the gardens. It's so pretty to look at during the summer months.  Speaking of summer, it's almost over. I need to start deciding what kind of cover crop I should grow on it next. 

I'm happy to report, both Iris and Hazel are doing remarkably well. Sure, they miss their boys...but life is beginning to get back to "normal". 

I'm sure between the bunny and the chickens they have plenty of company out there. 

Well, that's a pretty good look at some of what's been going on down in the vegetable gardens up until now.  We'll be working a lot out in the gardens this weekend and we'll post an update on all of what we're able to harvest. It's gonna be quite the haul! 

12 Miles Across the Dungeness Spit

Well, for our "big hike" we did a 12 mile beach hike along the Dungeness Spit, in Sequim. We got up at 5am, and left the house at 6am so we could make the drive to Sequim, Wa.   Once we got to the park, the sun had disappeared and the clouds were grey and the skies were covered with fog. It seemed as if it was raining the fog was so thick. 

As we ventured out onto the spit, we were alone. We had only seen two other cars in the parking lot so we knew it was going to be quiet along the hike, at least the first part.  As we began walking the long hike through the sand, we could hear the fog horns.   About halfway out onto the spit, there was a large, flat, sandy beach.  We timed our hike to begin a few hours before low tide so we could enjoy as much of the beach as possible.  We unbuckled Noahh from her stroller and let her run on the beach for a few minutes. 

Her and daddy ran for probably a mile right there on that sandy beach.  Not a soul around made for a pretty surreal moment. It was so quiet and so peaceful. Noahh was having a grand time running and playing in the sand. 

After all that running, we buckled her back up into the stroller and pushed on. We still had about another 4 miles until we reached the lighthouse at the end of the spit.  

Once we arrived at the end of the spit, we saw the most gorgeous lighthouse.  We were greeted by the lighthouse keeper and she invited us for a tour up into the lighthouse for a view I know I'll never forget. 

Oh the stairs. Seriously? I just walked 6 miles and now you're asking me to climb up and down all of these stairs. My goodness my legs were angry at me. It was worth the climb, the view was spectacular. 

ALL that way. Yes, I walked from the shore (the dark green smaller mountains) all the way out here and back.  What a feat. I was pretty impressed with us, after all, pushing a stroller in the sand isn't an easy task. It was hard work, so much that it is still reminding my legs even two days later. 

This is the lighthouse keepers quarters. They were such a nice couple and they even had their grandchildren there helping them out with the tours. 

You can see where we posted up at the picnic table for a quick lunch and refuel.

It was nice that there was a large grassy place for Noahh to get out of her stroller and run. 

After we finished our lunch, we said goodbye to the lighthouse keepers and loaded up our backpacks and stroller. We still had 6 miles to go before we'd be back at our car parked up on the bluff in the parking lot. 

As we started to leave the lighthouse, other hikers began trailing in. I think it was a good thing we started as early as we did. The later it got, the more busy the beaches got. 

Isn't this the coolest? What a piece of art, and right there on the beach.  

We made it back to the car, and round-trip we spent nearly 5 1/2 hours walking up and down the spit as well as enjoying our time at the lighthouse.  It was a fantastic 12 mile hike! We can't wait to go back.  

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