The Feeders are Busy

The Feeders are Busy

Watching the birds at feeding time is always interesting.   So many varieties flit in and out.  We have two feeder poles in the garden, each with four types of feeders on them.  Both are located fairly close to trees so the birds can take shelter if necessary. There are other types of feeders in different locations around the garden.

Enjoy some of the backyard visitors.

The female grosbeak on the coconut feeder.

the female grosbeak at craftygardener.ca

The male grosbeak at the coconut feeder.

the male grosbeak at craftygardener.ca

The red bellied woodpecker at the peanut feeder.

a red bellied woodpecker at craftygardener.ca

The nuthatch loves the peanut feeder too.

the nuthatch at craftygardener.ca

The oriole at the new oriole feeder.

the oriole at the feeder at craftygardener.ca

The male ruby throated hummingbird at the same oriole feeder.  There is a hummingbird feeder on the other side of this pole but the hummer seems to prefer this feeder.  Perhaps it is the nice landing ring all around that attracts it, because the food is the same.

a hummingbird at the feeder at craftygardener.ca

The feeder pole at the back of the garden is busy at dinner time.  This one is located fairly close to the honeysuckle shrub for snacking on the berries when seeds or nuts aren’t the choice.

at the feeder pole at craftygardener.ca

This young grosbeak was rescued after a loud thunk on the front window.  At first it didn’t move and we got worried, but after a minute or two being held in some warm hands and then being placed into the garden it recovered and flew back to its family.

a young grosbeak rescued at craftygardener.ca

Happy bird watching.  Nature never fails to amaze me.

throughmylenslg

Have a look at some more of my lens friends photos.

the gardener side at craftygardener.ca

Harvest Time

Harvest Time

The harvesting of peas and beans is happening.  Actually the peas are just about finished but all the varieties of beans are just starting.  I planted several types of beans and peas this year so I could document the growth and compare them.

The purple pole beans grew really well, tall, lots of purple blooms, and lots of long purple beans.  When trimmed, cut and steamed they ended up being green.  Darn, I was looking forward to purple beans on my plate.

October pole beans at craftygardener.ca

The yellow Gold Rush beans also grew really well with lots of white flowers and plenty of long yellow beans.

hello gold rush beans at craftygardener.ca

The Railway Creek tall peas and the Alaska peas outdid themselves this year, possibly due to the cooler and really wet spring.

Alaska peas growing at craftygardener.ca

They outgrew the bamboo teepees and toppled over.growing tall peas at craftygardener.ca

I’ve picked lots and lots of peas and beans and froze a lot of them for the winter months. I steam them slightly, blanch quickly and package in serving size bags.  They taste so delicious in the winter months as a side serving or in soups and stews.  Do you freeze up your garden harvest?  I also buy a lot of fresh picked ones from the farm to make sure I have enough to do all winter.  They sure taste better than the frozen ones purchased at the store.

freezing serving sized portions of peas and beans at craftygardener.ca

In my search for the perfect plant marker I’ve been trying a different idea this year.  I put the empty package into a plastic bag, sealed it tight and used a clothes pin to fasten it to the trellis.  This method has worked really well this year and I would certainly use it again. I was worried the moisture from all the rain would get inside the bag or the heat from the sun would create condensation but except for a tiny bit they stayed dry.   So far over the years the best plant markers are made with a dymo machine and metal markers.

plant markers at craftygardener.ca

So far the harvest has been wonderful.  I’m also picking tomatoes and lettuce to add to sandwiches and burgers.  Nothing tastes as good as home grown.

Other varieties of beans are also being harvested – pencil pod, painted pony, wild goose, and rattlesnake.  I’ll share more about them in another post.

Happy gardening and healthy eating.

the gardener side at craftygardener.ca

The Gardener Side of me keeps my online garden journal to help me keep track of when the plants sprout, bud and bloom

2013 … 2014 … 2015… 2016 … 2017

Growing well: red carpet stonecrop,  ligularia, ferns, sedum,  mint, garlic chives, sorrel, clematis,  rose of sharon, Jerusalem artichoke, canna,  yucca root,

Promising harvest: potatoes,

Harvest: peas, tomatoes, lettuce, Egyptian walking onions, beans

Blooming:  meadow sage, coral bells, yellow loosestrife, potentilla, yellow daylilies, hosta,  lady’s mantle, daylilies,  wegelia, drumstick allium,   Egyptian walking onions, rose campion, coreopsis, heliopsis, lavender, Stella d’oro daylilies, yucca, ditch lilies, echinacea, false spirea, obedient plant,

the gardener side at craftygardener.ca

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread

It’s that time of the year when zucchini are starting to be plentiful in the garden,  this year I didn’t grow my own, instead I’m relying on the farmers markets and farm road side stands.   I use a tried and true recipe from a Hasting County International Plowing Match cookery book from 1986.  These types of books are usually sold as fund raisers for various churches and organizations.

Hastings County International Plowing Match recipe book

I love these types of recipe books as you know that the contributors have made all the recipes many times over, perhaps they are even old family recipes passed down.  I haven’t bought any for ages but I’m sure they are still produced.  I’ve got a few cookery books like this, do you have any?

cookery books at craftygardener.ca

One of my oldest is one my mum had when I was born.  I still use some of the recipes from this book.

The Art of Home Cooking, a cookery book at craftygardener.ca

This is the recipe I use for my zucchini bread.  I do cut the water down a bit as it is a very moist bread from the zucchini and raisins.

Hastings County International Plowing Match recipe book

Here is a printable recipe if you would like to try this one out.

zucchini bread at craftygardener.ca

Cool, slice, add a bit of butter and enjoy with a cup of tea.

Get creative when there are lots of zucchinis around.

zucchini recipes at craftygardener.ca

Do you have a favourite zucchini recipe that I would love to try?

Here are some that I’ve tried.

zucchini bread |grilled it on the bbq | zucchini omelette| zucchini fritters |zucchini fries| zucchini casserole

teacups

hints & tips …  in the kitchen … recipes … kitchen crafts

At The Fly Thru Feeder

At The Fly Thru Feeder

The latest feeder is really popular with the birds.  I’m calling it the fly thru feeder as the birds can get right inside to enjoy the seed.  Perhaps it should be fly-thru like the drive-thru restaurants.

The downy woodpecker lands on the outside and peer inside.

fly through feeder at craftygardener.ca

It has mesh all around, inside and out, and there are opening so the birds can get right inside.

fly through feeder at craftygardener.ca

The grosbeak likes the outside and inside.

The young female grosbeak peeks out of one of the openings.

at the fly through feeder at craftygardener.ca

The little chickadee flies right to the inside for a snack.  This one is not as clear as it was taken through the windows on a dull day.

fly through feeder at craftygardener.ca

And look who else likes the fly through feeder, cheeky chippy.

chippy at the fly through feeder at craftygardener.ca

It’s 2sDay so I’m sharing 2 grosbeaks at the feeder.

2sDay grosbeaks at the fly through feeder

Hope you are having a great 2sDay.

the gardener side at craftygardener.ca

Monk Peas

Monk Peas

Monk peas have a fascinating story with them and are classified as heirloom seeds.  Gregor Mendel, an Austrian monk, discovered the basic principles of heredity.  after extensive studies and used peas most of the time because the offspring could be quickly and easily produced.  These seeds grow into dwarf plants with pink and white flowers and are perfect for making pea soup. growing monk peas at craftygardener.ca

They were planted on May 14, 2017 and by May 19 they were sprouting.

growing monk peas at craftygardener.ca

The pretty pink and white flowers started to appear by mid June and the small pea pods developed as the flowers finished.

growing monk peas at craftygardener.ca

On July 12, with the help of my granddaughter, we started to harvest them.  The pea pods are smaller than regular pods and the peas have more of a squarish shape to them.  As usual most of the peas are delicious snacks right from the plant, but some did manage to make it to the table either cooked or in a salad.

growing monk peas at craftygardener.ca

The first ones didn’t taste as sweet as regular peas and there were usually just 2 in pod as compared to 4 or more in the regular pods.  There are lots more to pick and some will be left on the plant to dry and use as seed for next year.  This has been one of the successful experiments to grow this year.

I’ve been sharing the garden and have mailed some Egyptian walking onions to Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia.  The evening primrose needed thinning out and those plants were shared with some local gardeners.  And of course the family has been enjoying the harvest of veggies.  Snipper has been trimming some of the shrubs as they finish blooming.

The weather continues to be changeable … rainy spells to hot days, with only the odd day when it has been humid.  We’ve been enjoying the garden and watching the families of birds as they come to the feeders.  We’ve been out and about to our favourite places on the nice days and on the rainy days I’ve been reading, stitching and doing a bit of crochet.

the gardener side at craftygardener.ca

The Gardener Side of me keeps my online garden journal to help me keep track of when the plants sprout, bud and bloom

2013 … 2014 … 2015… 2016 … 2017

Growing well: red carpet stonecrop,  ligularia, ferns, false spirea,  sedum,  mint, garlic chives, obedient plant, sorrel, clematis,  rose of sharon, Jerusalem artichoke, canna,  yucca root,

Promising harvest:4 o’clocks, beans, potatoes,

Harvest: peas, tomatoes, lettuce, Egyptian walking onions

Blooming:  meadow sage, coral bells, yellow loosestrife, potentilla, yellow daylilies, hosta,  lady’s mantle, daylilies,  wegelia, drumstick allium,   Egyptian walking onions, rose campion, coreopsis, heliopsis, lavender, Stella d’oro daylilies, yucca, ditch lilies, echinacea,

Other unusual veggies I’ve grown in my kitchen garden are okra, potato beansKabouli black chickpeas and monk peas.

the gardener side at craftygardener.ca