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String ’em up!


It was getting to be situation critical with the tomatoes.  If you’ll recall, when I originally planted them, the cages promptly fell out what with our hurricanes and all, and the tomatoes were left to sag on their own.


And sag they did. And that didn’t look right. And due to the fact that they’re planted in a styrofoam container there was no way to rig up something to it. And since they were on concrete there was no way to stick something beside them. And my engineering skillz ended right there, but the plants still needed support.


Surfing the internets I came across a brilliant sounding idea from Hanna at This Garden Is Illegal and it involved nothing more than a few nails and a piece of twine. I thought there’s no way even I can screw this up, but to be on the safe side I stayed away from power tools and got J to drill some screws in for me, right into the deck strip over the tomato containers.

 Hang tomatoes - screws


Then it was simply a matter of tying up some twine at the base of each tomato plant, and winding it gently around the stem. I did it twice on the longer tomatoes that really needed it. And voila! All of them were gently suspended in a moderately upright position. Now it’s just a matter of monitoring whether this set up will damage the stems at all, since – did I mention our winds? So I’ll let y’all know on how that works for them, but so far so splendid.

 Hang tomatoes - all done


Oh and the cat went absolutely nuts over the whole string thing – he was thrilled throwing himself at the window and breathing furiously, and he never ever gave up! Good boy.


Hang tomatoes - cat


Road Trip

Roadtrip - Boswell Rd.


I love road trips. I love traveling in general, but road trips have a special place in my heart. Something about waving goodbye, hitting the open road and watching the scenery unfold is pure magic. A part of it is certainly the lack of formality – no timing airport arrivals, no security checks, no agenda and fighting with rental cars or cabbies. Just a car and a seemingly endless stretch of pavement that places you right in the middle of the story, not simply an observer hopping from A to B.

I love stopping in tiny towns with a main street and a few hotels. I love exploring odd little beaches, and asking locals for their favorite restaurant. I love scenery that leaves you speechless, and I will always, always take a detour to see something interesting.

Like many people we don’t travel as much as we’d like to, but we’ve had some epic road trips over the years. A drive down the pacific coastal highway was so impressive that we did it twice, and intend to drive it again. A simple visit to BC coincided with the lightning storm that grew into the massive fire that devastated Kelowna the next day. There was nothing like the experience of driving the tiny dirt road (with no guard rails) for 6500 feet up to the Seven Devils in Idaho (and surreally seeing a momma cow with a calf near the top). And driving the road that happens to be one of Canada’s coolest highways is an adventure in speed and scenery each and every time.


Oregon coast - pacific highway

Oregon coast - pacific highway


The beauty of road trips is that you hardly need to go far. Plenty of times we drive twenty minutes out of town to have a coffee in the neighboring town of Bragg Creek, or an hour for a lunch in Banff. Each trip leaves us invigorated by the new scenery and energized by getting away from our busy but mundane lives.

So in the spirit of road trips, we are embarking on another small one – to the neighboring province, to go spend a few days on a ski hill near Vernon. In the summer Silverstar converts to a mountain biking destination, with the village uniquely, halfway up the mountain, and it’s a very cool place to visit. We visited for the first time last summer and loved it. Not only did they have awesome hiking trails:


Silverstar - the village

Silverstar - the village


Hiking trail

Hiking trail


the view from the trail

the view from the trail


But also one of the best little bakeries in the world. Which I don’t have a photo of, as I was too busy drooling to operate a camera. Seriously. Every single thing I had from that bakery rocked. Not just the homemade croissants and pastries, but also amazing soups and wicked sandwiches. I lived at that bakery from nine to noon. I woke up early to get to that bakery before they were sold out of my faves, and people, that’s no small feat.

So this time around I’ll wear a drool bib if I have to, but I’ll take some photos of the amazing sumptuousness, and you can drool along with me. Please feel free to share your amazing road trip stories, if you’re into that sort of thing, as inspiration for new destinations is always welcome around here.


Taking my own advice, for once


In writing the zucchini post, I added the most wonderful transplant instructions EVER. How do I know? Cause I finally planted my three little peppers and zucchini, all survivors of the great backyard destruction.


So I did what I said YOU should do to ensure transplant success, and by golly it totally worked.  If you live even more north than me, and have stuff yet to transplant, (I imagine everyone in a normal climate has their stuff looooong in the ground, anticipating a harvest), then do what I did:


Pre-mix a bucket of full strength kelp and fish fertilizer.


Stinky fish juice

Stinky fish juice

kelp fertilizer


Dig a really really deep hole. About three times the size of the plant root you’ll be burying.

 Pepper - deep hole

Add some decent fertilizer, like the COF, or any equivalent thereof, and mix it in at the bottom of the hole. The idea is to have the food below the plant.

 Pepper - COF


Fill the hole back up, leaving just enough room for your plants root ball.

 Pepper - in the hole


Place the plant gently inside, and fill the hole with the pre-mixed fertilizer water. You’re aiming to make a nice slurry that you will gently press around the roots. Like making mud pies for adults. Really fishy mud pies. Do a happy dance.

 Pepper - all planted


I did this two days ago, and everything seems to be doing great. No drooping, listing, yellowing – all the plants seem healthy, vibrant and green. The zucchini promptly put out a flower. I’m always listening to myself from now on.