The crazy season has started as the summers are so short in the Yukon and there is so much to do while the weather is nice. I picked my first harvest of the shiitake mushrooms a few days ago.
First Shiitake Harvest
They were yummy mushrooms. I ordered the mushroom growing kit from Richters but apparently they are sold out for now which is too bad.
I have been watering like a crazy person and today I saw my greenhouse frog in between my two yellow bedstraw markers.
Greenhouse frog (wood frog, Lithobates sylvaticus)
Where I live there is only one kind of frog and no reptiles. There are some other frogs right at the very southern end of the Yukon as shown in this pamphlet but the wood frog is the only one where I live. I had a frog in my greenhouse last year too and with all that mulch I put in my greenhouse maybe it is the same one.
I have 2 black Hungarian pepper plants that have peppers so far:
Black Hungarian Pepper Plant
I also have one valerian plant that I didn’t plant out and left in the greenhouse and it is growing like crazy! I am going to have to transplant it I think.
The guinea pigs have been chowing down on quack grass and chickweed so far this summer. They love the fresh food right from the garden even if most gardeners don’t like those plants. I am sure they can’t wait for the parsley to get bigger because that is another favourite.
I have done some silk scarf dyeing with the arts society and hope to get more done this summer. I had one mordanted scarf left from the onion skin dyeing workshop and I want to find this resist I had and try using a resist before dyeing. I have ordered more silk scarves for another workshop and some for me to try using resists.
My sweetie was here for a visit but now he has headed back home. He helped me with so many things including installing my new washing machine and taking the old one out. I have shelves for my dyes and mordants in the garage and 4 cords of wood split and stacked sitting in the yard (most of it done by us but he helped with the larger logs). He also built James the dog a doghouse that he can easily get his rather obese self into with an open front so he isn’t claustrophobic while in it which is an issue he has. James loves his new doghouse.
Next week I get some bloodwork done for Lyme disease. Where I lived in Germany had a lot of ticks and maybe all of these health problems are related to something like Lyme (this brain tumour could have been caused by an infection in that area in the past). One more thing to test out.
Life is good!
I have had a bit of a lull lately as far as making things. I needed something to contain my hair this summer and decided to try to make a mesh head wrap. I just finished it and I really like it. Yay!
I used some German cotton yarn I had in the stash (I haven’t lived in Germany for more than 8 years). It is a sage green.
I also finally dug the hole for my lilac bush I bought last weekend. I want to grow a hedge and lilac is one of the few hedge plants that grow up here. I have a pot of raspberry canes for the backyard that I still have to plant. I am almost done planting everything and am busy watering every morning. The weather has been fantastic.
In 2 weeks I will be doing a nature walk as part of the Anvil Range Arts Society Funfest. The walk will be looking at natural dye plants around town. I have to dye some different fibres in the next week to have to show people what they look like so that should be fun. I pulled out my dye books trying to come up with a list of plants I can use. So exciting! It feels great to start the dye studio season. I hope to get a bunch of dyeing done this summer.
Life is awesome!
A lady in town said she had some extra alpaca and wanted to know if I wanted some. I said sure and today my doorbell rang and their she was with 5 bags of alpaca. It must be close to 20 pounds of it, all different colours and unwashed. The stash is close to 70 pounds now so I foresee a bunch of spinning in my future. It is that time of year again where I can do stuff in my garage just as soon as I clean it out. That is after I get the garden planted. We are getting down to freezing tonight and then I think we might be good for that although I think the official last frost date is June 8th or something. My peppers are still in the house but soon I will put them in the greenhouse during the day. Once I get all my beans, beets, and carrots planted I can start on the dye studio in the garage. It never ends it seems but it will be great once everything is just down to maintenance, and not cleaning and heavier work. I just use the garage until September and then I stop dyeing and go back to doing stuff in the house.
The vertigo and nausea hit earlier in the week but I still managed to get a bunch of things done this week that needed to be done. It is almost time to start foraging again and the spruce tips will be out soon. Dandelions are already starting as my youngest has picked me some at school. I will start collecting dye plants soon also. The summer is always busy because it is so short. Life is good though!
I have been so busy. Most of the plants are outside covered up at night with just the pepper plants still inside. I will start hardening them off soon. I have staked out the 2 areas in the backyard where I will be planting. I need some better soil so I have to wait until I go to Whitehorse to get that done. I have this epic shopping list going and will be bringing the trailer so I can haul everything home. I need to get my summer tires on which take up a bit of room and all the gardening stuff takes up so much room. I am already spending about half an hour every morning watering and I expect that to increase quite a bit in the next couple of weeks. It is all good though.
After the garden has been planted, my boyfriend will be here and we are going to get the rest of the wood split and stacked (he is 16 inches taller than me which helps). There are some things around the house I need to get done this summer like wall painting and so forth. I need to get my dye studio cleaned out and get some dyeing done too. I will get it all done eventually.
I am also the president of the arts society and we have a festival in June and one in July. The one in June has me doing a demo of the results of local dyestuffs. I have to get started on dyeing with local dyestuffs so they are ready in time. I am also doing a nature walk showing local dyestuffs in their natural habitat. It should be fun.
So far the neuro problems have been less the last couple of weeks. This happened last year at this time also. The symptoms I had 2 winters ago were milder and I didn’t really think there was anything to be concerned about at the time. I do get some vertigo if I move my head from looking down to up quickly so I try not to do that. Noise still really bothers me so I have some earplugs coming.
Life is good.
I spent the day moving the firewood I posted about this morning. I was doing it all day and am so sore. The kids stacked the wood and I split it with my electric logsplitter.
The garden now with just a few logs frozen to the ground. The sun should melt the ground in the next day or two and I can move them also.
Almost done moving the wood
My woodpile. For scale the pile is 64 inches deep and the fence is 5 feet tall. There are 10 feet between the fence posts.
The kids stacked this
I am so sore and tired but so happy I got this done. Life is great.