Sunday, August 24, 2008


Our gardens have done well this season. Root vegetables, the brassica family, peas and most greens have thrived here.

Getting ready for the frost in the
middle of August. By August 25 we had a frost every night for 1- 1/2 weeks, a break of 2 or 3 nights and then the frost was back. By October there's a hard frost every night.
It was a cool and short growing season this year with a couple of frosts overnight in July. Natural. It lets every plant know ...

Aki has dried our winter supply and she has been canning over the last couple of weeks. I brought in our second load of fire wood. Aki dries broccoli, kale, beet greens, wild mushrooms, rose hips, herbs like basil, oregeno, sage etc.., cauliflower, tomatoes, peppers, cherries and horseradish.

We've been eyeing the rose hips - they're red and ready to pick, just have to get around to it. Perhaps that'll be a job for Kai, who is helping out more and more. We dry rose hips for tea and cooking and our rose hip wine is on the go. This year we'll try rose hip/apple jelly, as we're enjoying the first real crop of apples from our little orchard.

We love this time of year. Cool enough for the cookstove, warm days, no bugs. A good harvest is an added bonus. Things are coming together as we prepare for winter.

Bugs had their way this year but were overcome with a little extra work from ourselves as well as the plants. We've found that cardboard box makes for really good mulch and the worms and toads love it.

An organic farmer told us that rather than worms being good for your soil, they are more importantly a sign, with their presence, that the soil is good.
The cardbord biodegrades over the season. By next spring it is decomposed and the soil is richer for it. We're not worried about what it looks like because of the amazing things it provides for the garden. We have researched whether it will cause any ill effects to the soil and it doesn't. The cardboard is easily biodegradable.
The inks are vegetable based and degrade as well leaving nothing behind but great compost.

This is August
Lunch is fresh.

A fresh lunch becomes challenging

by the middle of October.

Now we are seeding rye grass and peas as a cover crop for the winter. All our kitchen compost is buried directly into the garden. We dig in rotten wood, egg shells, wood ash, composted chicken manure and grass that hasn't seeded. We find that what we prepare now will have a lot to do in determining next years yield in our bushcraft /survival garden.

Please check out the body of work we've done over the summer at,

Sunday, August 17, 2008

One Week Later

After 3 direct bomber hits
We woke up this morning to a pond filled with smoke. After 3 days of rain and 3 days of sunshine.
A lightning strike from a week ago smoldering. With a couple of days of hot dry weather and some wind the fire was back.

We had to Skype friends in Williams lake to phone Forestry and give them our googled coordinates. For some reason we don't have access to
1- 800 emergency numbers. After the fire spotting plane saw the small fire it swept dozens of times checking the area for more smoldering fires. A couple of times they flew over our cabin with their sirens on. About ten minutes later 3 bombers dropped their loads of red fire retardant.

I never thought of it but Aki finally remembered the camera after the bombers were gone but caught the spotting plane doing one last pass with their siren on.

A fire fighting ground crew is here now pumping water onto the remains from the lake.
Watching the bombers flying at the tops of the trees and dropping their loads was quite a sight.... Damn I wish I had my camera.

Friday, August 8, 2008


We were under lightning yesterday. Kai and Aki watched a strike on a tree just inside the forest line at the end of our small lake, start a fire then trees began igniting. I was changing a tire and heard Aki yelling "fire!" Lightning began striking all around us. Another fire started on the west side of the lake about 300 metres away. We couldn't see the flame but we watched the smoke. We watched the smoke speed up very quickly.

We got over how cool it was.
With lightning striking all around us we planned our escape. Funny, the computer was first on the list.
At that moment light rain started with a breeze. It built and within minutes it was a raging rain storm. Winds tossed the trees around, bathing ... splashing them in water. For a 1/2 hour the forest was drenched.

Within 10 minutes after that the sun came out, the sky cleared and we went back to work --- exhilarated and full of awe.