Thursday, June 28, 2012

Busy Month

This has been a very busy month so far. Thankfully it is almost over and with luck July and August will be a little less busy.

We've actually been extremely busy since we joined the SCA, but the summer months are always even more so. During a normal week we spend two days doing SCA related stuff. Armour Repair and Arts & Science on Mondays and Fight Practice on Thursdays. One week a month we also have Scribal Arts and the Canton Business Meeting. That is just the Winter schedule.

In the Summer months we also have events and demos to attend each weekend. This year I also set up a merchant booth at the two local events. I spent a great deal of my spare time making spoons, drop spindles, lucets, and nalbinding needles to sell at my booth. I also helped organize our annual Summer Seige, which required a lot of my extra time. It was worth it though.

My ETSY shop has been very slow and barely paying for the monthly fees to maintain it. The merchant booths brought in quite a large sum over the last two months, which will help keep my ETSY store open a few more months. I've also been doing sewing commissions for our local fight group, which has started to expand a little into the next Canton over, so that also helps with the income. But, as with all things it takes time.

The next couple of months look like they will be a little slower. We still have our normal schedules but the events are mostly to far away for us to attend. That gives us some breathing time on the weekends, though we do still have one demo and one event we have already agreed to attend. I've also been asked to teach carving at an event in Northern Outpost, our unofficial southern cousins in Potsdam, New York.

Other than that, it looks like we will be able to take some time to ourselves. Peter will be spending time with the horses, I will be spending time working in the garden and with luck canning tomatoes. Did I say we will be less busy? I guess I just meant less busy with the SCA.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Blessed Weather

We are finally back to somewhat normal temperatures here. Highs in the lower 20ยบ C range and lows getting down to the middle teens at night. Makes life a lot more comfortable for me and the kohlrabi and cauliflower. Unfortunately, it is to late for the radishes.

Radishes are cool weather plants. As soon as it starts getting hot they stop putting their energy into making yummy root balls. Instead they put their energy into making leaves and seeds, which are inedible. The heat wave in May made the radishes grow tall, leafy, and start flowering. Now they are getting culled from the garden, which seems to be making the chickens incredibly happy.

Speaking of chickens we had another one become egg bound. That means the egg broke inside her and caused all kinds of nasty stuff to build up. Once this happens there is nothing you can do for a chicken, as most vets will not see chickens. Egg bound is a death sentence for birds and is a slow and very painful death. Instead, we took the humane route and put her out of her misery before the infection could get really bad and make her hurt.

The squash seeds we planted have not sprouted. The seeds were left over from a previous years planting, so fewer sprouts were expected, so we over seeded the hills. We have had no sprouts. That would suggest the seeds were old when we got them or possibly even hybrids designed to prevent seed saving from year to year.

Regardless of the reason for no sprouting, the end result is that we have to buy new squash seeds and replant. Normally I would not be overly worried about this, but around here the stores have a tendency to run out of the good seeds early and not restock. So, if I can not find Yellow Crookneck Squash anywhere I have to find another type of summer squash for the garden.

Maybe I can find some Pattypan Squash. The meat is not as tender or as flavourful as crookneck squash but the pattypan are usually very prolific growers. I like having very prolific producers in the garden so that we have enough for us to eat when we want but we can exchange with other gardeners for vegetables we didn't grow. Gives you twice the garden for half the space and work if you can find other gardeners willing to do an exchange like that.