Today is June 28th and the weather of late has been crappy. We are establishing the wettest and coolest June on record for the Similkameen Valley. So wet and cool that I have removed the mulch from the early softneck garlic to assist maturation in the field. This requires extra work. Something I don’t take lightly. Most farmers are concerned about a late start to the tomato and pepper crops. The same concerns as the last two seasons. Seems to me a cool damp June is the new normal. Get used to it and the old normal will seem a blessing. Glass half full or empty.
Our world is full of activity. Up and at it early each morning. The bakery is doing well and farmersdotter is slowly developing a following of breadies. Folks who regularly stop by the market and even cycle up the drive investigating the place with the big wood fired oven. “Got any bread?” inquires the cyclist. “The folks at the organic winery sent me here.” Because it wasn’t a bake day we were not able to offer the cyclist any bread but we did recruit her as a field hand. And that is a good way to get a free loaf at the end of a work day.
Over the next couple of days we will be planting the summer cover crop in the fallow fields. In the meantime our conscripted carpenter friend has been good to his word. His fix for the bedroom floor worked.
There are new sill plates with engineered joists and 3/4 T&G sub floor. It will be buttoned up tonight and we can at least get a coat of primer on all the surfaces before guests arrive. Not the Four Seasons but it ain’t camping either.
We are having a blast at the Penticton Farmers Market. So gratifying making new friends and looking forward to serving them each week as a casual vendor. That is our descriptor: Casual Vendor. We are allowed to participate each and every week but we do not yet enjoy the ‘rewards’ of membership. The waiting list for that is long. It will take several unfortunate accidents… some time before we achieve market maturity. This is a long winded explanation/apology to our friends as to why after saying “Yes, we are here every Saturday” we won’t. Be. On Saturday.
We, (me) were warned a couple of weeks ago from a certain Market Organizer, (won’t name names here) that to allow space for the annual Peach City Beach Cruise some casual vendors might be bumped for the day. Well, we were warned again yesterday. Ya’ don’t need to tell me twice. Although maybe in this case you did. Warned me I mean. Twice. So yeah, in all likelihood we will not be there this Saturday, June 23. We apologize. Sorry. We will make room for some… old Ford. Chevy. Or Ferrari. So while we are the real deal with real bread *insert wild applause sound track here* you can instead take in some tribute artist…
and some exquisite cars too.
Exquisite. Yes. Very Nice. And of course the Penticton Farmers Market with all the superb farm fresh produce and meats, crafts, and baked goods minus one will be there. As usual. As it should be. Yup. Seriously, if you are anywhere near Penticton this weekend the Peach City Beach Cruise is a must see. Very popular. Very. I got land for sale. Call me.
Lately, the bakery and perfecting a recipe for supplying the Penticton Farmers Market with just enough bread has been consuming most of our effort. Now that the middle of June looms it is time to kick activity into high gear. The Early Kowloon, one of the rare soft neck garlics to produce a scape, is now producing a scape.
That means time to sharpen the scissors and begin ‘scaping’ before harvest in a couple of weeks. It is believed that removing the scape at just the right moment will produce a superior garlic bulb. Though when that moment occurs is widely in dispute and whether scaping or not is even effective is only marginally less in dispute.
Later this month we are looking forward to having friends stay with us. We expect quite a few visitors this summer. If we continue to delay the guest bedroom renovations any further our visitors can expect to be campers. The bedroom needs a new floor. From the ground up new floor. Literally. We discovered rotting joists and sill plates.
Seems the original construction predates pressure treated lumber and environmental seals. A friend who has experienced a similar problem with his own home ensures us he has a fix that ‘should’ work. Should work. He has been conscripted.
farmersdotter thought too that while we’re at it we “might as well replace that old window with a nice new french door and hey, wouldn’t a new bedroom patio be lovely for our guests. And we could take that nasty old window and make a new cold frame for the kitchen garden! We’ve always wanted a kitchen garden. Watcha think?” Now where is that high gear?
The past few days have been overcast and cool with an accumulation of almost 30mm of rain. Not bad for garlic but growers of tomatoes and peppers were hoping for a little more heat and sun. Regardless we all need a little more heat soon to get the season developing in the right direction. In the meantime farmersdotter has been making Peony Jelly from the delicate bloosoms in the garden.
The result is a sweet-floral jelly with a brightness that might ripen those tomatoes and peppers on a cloudy day like today. A new jelly for us this year is Spruce Tip. Tips from pine and fir can be used too but we are fortunate to have a few vigorous blue spruce so Spruce Tip Jelly it is. Recipes needn’t be complicated. A simple place to begin is Bernardin’s Jams and Jellies recipe page.
For me its time to fire the bakery oven for this weekend. Do weeds stop for cloudy weather? Time to thin apricots too.