Costco top up: this is $260

Good grief, it’s hot out there.

It’s 5:30pm as I start writing this, and I’ve just got back in from outside.

I’ve got one app telling me it’s 26C/79F out there, another saying it’s 23C/73F. The thermometer in the sun room is reading 30C/86F

The thermometer outside my husband’s south facing window is reading just under 50C/122F.

My feeling is that it’s more like 30C in the shade right now, but I’ve no doubt that anyone sitting in the sun right now would be feeling like it’s closer to that 50C/

We’ve got inconsistent predictions of thunderstorms. I really hope we get on, if only to reduce the humidity!

Anyhow.

I headed out late this morning and ran some errands before heading to the city. This included dropping off some extra tomato transplants – one of the Spoon tomatoes was starting to bloom! – and pick up a flat of eggs. The egg lady went to pick the last few to fill the flat but was still short 2, and promised to add extra the next time we get eggs! I will have to go back to pick up the baking tray I used to carry the pots of transplants, anyhow.

Before going to Costco, I met up with my SIL for lunch, and we had a fabulous time. Gosh, I love her so much! My brother really picked a good one. πŸ˜‰ We talked about how things are going here on the farm, of course. They know we’ve been having a hard time keeping up with some things. Especially the lawn. They are thinking of loading their lawnmowers up on their trailer and coming to help out on the weekend. What day will depend on the weather. It would be fabulous if they could make it, just because we enjoy their company so much.

After that, it was off to Costco to get gas – prices there are 149.9 cents/litre for regular right now – then we parted ways.

I had a short list for Costco, but it still came out to $259.66 after taxes.

For that amount, I got four 9kg bags of kibble, at $28.99 each, 4 packages of wraps that I forgot last time, at $9.99 each (they got one bag to themselves), a bag of flour for $9.99, and the baking powder I forgot last time; a 2pk for $8.99. I had spaghetti on my list, but couldn’t find it, so I got a variety pack of pasta for $12.99. Things that weren’t on the list but that we get regularly included the 2pk of lemon juice, for $4.99 and a 2pk of butter chicken sauce for $9.99

There were a couple of things on my list that I did not expect to find at Costco, but find them I did. I picked up a 3pk of WD-40 for $19.99, plus a 30 cent eco fee. I was going to just get one can elsewhere, but decided to spring for this one. The larger cans have different spray options, and the tiny can will be handy to keep in the garage.

I also did not expect to find a new spray nozzle for the hose at Costco. I got a 2 pk set for $19.99 Much like the 2pc set I got last time (which started to break fairly quickly), on has a nozzle with multiple settings, while the other has a nozzle where the spray is kinda like the control on a spry bottle; turn the tip to go from jet to a wide cone, and everything in between.

Of course, once I got home, I had to test it out. At least the multi-setting one.

My first confusion was, how to turn it on. It doesn’t have a squeeze trigger. I could see that there was something to do with the thumb rest, but there was nothing on the packaging about it. At least not in writing. If I’d paid more attention, I’m sure I would have figure it out from the picture. The thumb rest pushes forward and back, which I discovered almost by accident. The feature I like best, though, is that it can turn 360ΒΊ, without having to turn or twist the hose itself. I have high hopes for this set. It cost less than the Walmart set I got last time, but seems to be much stronger in construction.

So this top up is done. I’ll still need to make a Canadian Tire, possibly Walmart, trip but that will be to pick up just a few things, like the litter pellets, an air filter for the lawn mower, and more line for the weed trimmer. I might end up doing that tomorrow, since I’m going to help my mother with errands the day after.

And then, hopefully, I won’t have to go anywhere again for awhile!

The Re-Farmer

First flower!

Once things started to cool down, I went out to do some weed whacking. I especially wanted to get the outside of the chain link fence cleared, because the grass was getting so tall, it was interfering with the garden beds on the inside.

While trimming the grass by the gourds, I realized I was seeing something new!

This is our very first Zucca melon flower!

When we tried to grow these last year, we had four transplants, and they all got flooded out. One did start to recover, but by the end of the season, it was still smaller than this one was when I transplanted it here. And now we have a flower!

This was not the only surprise flower I saw today. While trimmed around the outhouse and the raised box beds, I saw a tree deeper in the spruce grow in full bloom. It looks like another rather large apple tree. There is another one nearby that we had uncovered while cleaning the edges of the spruce grow that had already bloomed and is done. The nearby cherries have also bloomed and are done. It should be interesting to see what we find in there in the fall!

While moving closer to look at the flower tree, I walked through the tall grass of an area we’ve been able to clear so far. It’s quite overgrown with crab grass and some of the poplars we cleared are trying to come back.

I found flowers among the grass and weeds.

There are strawberries in there! Because they are surrounded by the crab grass, the plants are a lot taller and thinner than the ones we planted with the asparagus, but they are most definitely not the very fine wild strawberries we have growing elsewhere. I have no idea why there would be strawberries in here. There is also a path of some kind of lily that started to grow after we cleared away the area of dead trees and other detritus.

You’d think, after being here for more than 5 years, we wouldn’t still be finding surprises like this, yet there they are!

Eventually, I would like to transplant the strawberries I found to someplace where they won’t be competing with crab grass to grow!

As for weed whacking the edges of the yard and around some garden beds, I didn’t finish the job, yet. There is still lots to do, but it will have to keep. It likely won’t be tomorrow; as I plan to head into the city to do our second Costco shop. I’ll be making a couple of stops along the way, and just arranged to meet my SIL for lunch, since the Costco I go to is a fairly short drive from their place.

It’s been a long day for me, even though I did end up taking a nap (woke up to find Cheddar using my hand as a pillow!), and it’s going to be a long one tomorrow, too, though in a very different way. The girls were able to put things away, bring in the plants, and close things up for the night for me while I took a break and hydrated.

Now, it’s time for a shower, and bed!

The Re-Farmer

Our 2023 garden: sowing carrots, beets, turnips and bush beans

I really need to give myself a break.

With the weather we’ve been having, I have been feeling really anxious about getting the garden in “in time”, when we physically don’t have places prepared for everything yet. I feel like I’m falling behind, and everything is being planted late.

Then I remind myself.

Today is May 29. Normally, I wouldn’t be transplanting or doing a lot of direct sowing until after June 2.

Still, with the weather forecast being what it is, the more we get in the ground now, the more time we’re adding to our short growing season.

I headed out shortly after 7am this morning, to beat the heat, and didn’t come back in until almost 11. It was already feeling too hot by 8am, but I stuck it out as long as I could. My main focus was to finish planting in the beds the tomatoes were transplanted into, and get something into the high raised bed.

I’m still bordering everything with the yellow onions. I decided to plant bush beans in the high raised bed. That will make harvesting so much easier on the back!!

There wasn’t a lot of space left in the low raised beds, though that is partly because of the boards protecting the tomatoes. Once those are removed, it will open things up.

In the bed on the far left, with the Indigo Blue Chocolate tomatoes, I sowed all the Gold Ball turnips in one half, and Merlin beets in the other. These were densely planted in many short rows, more Square Foot Gardening style. When we planted the Gold Ball turnips last year, something ate them pretty much as soon as they germinated. I’m hoping surrounding them with onions will help keep away whatever ate them – I never saw any hint of what it was. I had intended to put a floating row cover over the turnips to protect them, but the space is too narrow for that.

In the bed with the Black Beauty tomatoes, I planted one long row of Uzbek Golden carrots. There was only space for the one row, which I then covered with boards. I will check under the boards daily and remove them as soon as I see carrots sprouting.

Both beds got a thick mulch of grass clippings along the outside, next to the onion transplants. Aside form helping keep the soil cool and moist, and slow down the weeds that come up from under the log boarders, the grass will also help prevent soil runoff while watering. I’ve basically used the last of our grass clippings at this point. We haven’t been keeping up with the mowing, unfortunately. Not only are the dandelions now all going to see, but in a lot of places, so is the grass!

With the high raised bed, I planted the yellow Custard beans – a new variety for us – on the left in the photo, and the green Lewis beans – a variety we’ve grown before – on the right. At each end, I stuck in a few more onion transplants. By this point, only the smallest yellow onion transplants are left, and I was planting them a bit closer to each other than usual, but I was still left with may 10 little transplants left. They’re so small, I probably shouldn’t bother transplanting them, but I’m sure I’ll find someplace to shove them into the ground!

(As an aside, while working on all this, I was happy for a breeze that kept away the mosquitoes. It wasn’t enough to keep away what turned out to be horseflies! Thankfully, they didn’t seem interested in bighting me today. Just in dive bombing my head.)

The large low raised bed you can see on the right is still completely empty. I’m considering using it for the Roma tomatoes, which are growing much faster than expected – one bin in particular is has plants so big, if it weren’t for the labels, I’d have thought they were Black Beauties or Indigo Blues that were started so many weeks earlier! Why that one bin of Romas is so much larger than the others that were started at the same time is an interesting question. I was originally wanting to plant peppers in that bed, but the Roma tomatoes need transplanting more urgently. I wont’ be able to fit all of them in there, but if I can at least get the biggest ones transplanted, that would be a good thing.

Before heading in, I made sure to water the corn bed, too. There are corn seedlings popping up now! I’m quite happy to see them. I was afraid that, with the heat and minimal rain, they might not make it. Checking the raised box beds in the East yard, I was happy to be able to see more carrot seedlings showing their true leaves, without having to look close and wonder, are those seed leaves carrots, or a weed? It’ll still be a while before the carrots are strong enough that we can safely weed around them. Right now, weeding mostly involves removing the biggest leaves from the weeds, and pulling and dandelion flower buds, and being careful not to disturb any carrot roots.

I was thinking of doing more transplanting later today but, at this point, I think the mowing is a more urgent priority. Not just because of how overrun both the inner and outer yards are getting, but because I need the grass clippings!

I also want to get in and around the garden beds and where the squash will be planted with the weed wacker.

When I came in, my weather app said it was 23C/73F. I think it felt quite a bit warmer than that! We’re supposed to reach a high of 26C/79F, with chance of a 43% chance of thunderstorm at about 4pm. I suspect I will have no problem getting out and doing the weed whacking when it’s cooler.

For now, though, it’s time to stay inside, stay cool, and hydrate!

The Re-Farmer

Blinded

I wasn’t able to get more work done in the garden this morning, though my daughter was able to water the newest transplants for me. We were still getting thunderstorm warnings, and hoped to at least get some rain while I was out.

My younger daughter and I headed out early for my eye appointment. It was my first appointment in this province, never mind the eye clinic, so I wanted time for the initial paperwork. Even with a stop along the way, we got there about 45 minutes early, which I’m quite alright with.

Before the main appointment, the staff took care of things like reading the prescription from my current glasses (which are not my newest glasses), and I had to warn them that the arms don’t close, just in case! Then I was taken in for some pre-tests, including the puff test and getting photos of the inside of my eyes. Then I had a while to wait until my actual appointment.

Once I got in, the optometrist asked me if my appointment had actually been at 1, not 2. I assured her that it was at 2; I was just really, really early. She was relieved! Seeing me come in so early, she thought there might have been a mistake in times made.

The appointment took quite a while. One difficult thing was trying to give some sort of accurate time from of when I last had my eyes checked (I think it was 8 years ago, give or take), or how old my glasses ere (more than 10 years. Maybe 15?) and why I was wearing those instead of my newer ones.

My prescription ended up changing exactly as I expected it to; my distance vision has improved, but my near vision has gotten worse. It’s going to be a pretty major change, so she warned me that once I have my new prescription, it’ll take as much as 2 weeks to get used to them, and that my depth perception might be quite off.

As we talked about the different tests, I mentioned that I brought another driver, just in case it was necessary. Once she found that out, she asked if I were up to getting the dilation drops for the last test. If I had not had someone to drive me, she would have tried to to the test without the drops. It can take a long time for the eyes to recover, and driving would not be safe.

Since it takes about 15 minutes for the drops to do their job, I sat in the waiting room for a while, as she saw other patients before getting back to me. The test itself wasn’t too bad, but I sure was glad to have my daughter to do the driving!

When it came time to pay, they couldn’t find my husband’s account with the insurance company. We’ve had this problem before, with our pharmacy, as they changed things up a few times over the years. The account number hasn’t changed, but where the clinic is supposed to look to find it has. The cost was only $45 (it was partially covered by our province’s health care system), so I just paid it and got the receipt for my husband to submit for reimbursement, which he was able to do right away, by email. I also got a printout of my prescription. As much as I would have liked to buy new glasses there, I was looking at the cost of frames while my daughter had her appointment, and it was hard to find any that didn’t use up at least half of the amount our insurance will cover. Most cost more than our coverage. Heck, my lenses alone would probably cost more than the coverage. The amount covered (once every two years) has only gone up about $40 or $50 since the last time I got glasses.

After paying the bill, I was feeling well enough for us to make a quick run at a nearby grocery store, though I had to get my daughter to read labels for me. Mind you, I have to do that anyway, but usually just for the small print! πŸ˜„ Once I got home, I started looking at the Zenni website. While setting up a new account, I got my daughter to help take a picture of my face without glasses, then measure the distance between my pupils.

I probably should have washed the sweat off first. My face is SO shiny in the pictures, but who cares?

Then I uploaded the pictures and took a good look at them, to choose which one would be best for “trying on” glasses.

This was several hours after I got the dilation drops.

No wonder they are feeling so strained! Wow!

Anyhow, I got all set up, then started looking at frames. I got feed back from the family on which ones they thought looked best on my picture, because I’m terrible at judging such things. Then I had to do it again, because it turned out most of the ones I liked the best didn’t come in the size I need. I had assumed the different frames could come in their ranges from XS to XL, but it turns out that each style came in one size.

Ultimately, though, I was able to afford two pairs. Both metal frames. I haven’t done plastic frames since I was in junior high. They kept breaking in half. I figure modern plastic frames are better made, but even with two pairs of glasses, I don’t want to take a chance!

It’s going to be so good to have new glasses again. And to have two pairs! I’ve never had two pairs of glasses in the same prescription before!

With both pairs of glasses with progressive lenses, the total came out to just over $200. I printed off the receipt for my husband to submit to the insurance company for reimbursement, too. That will certainly be a help to the budget.

As you can imagine, going outside to get work done was not an option this evening! Too hard on the eyes. Even writing this post, after waiting so many hours, is still putting quite a bit of strain on them. As for not getting work done outside, it worked out okay, I guess. We didn’t get the predicted thunderstorms, though we certainly heard some going by. Looking at the weather radar, the system had lots of tiny storms in it, scattered all over. We did get some rain, though. I would have been happy with more, with the heat we’ve been having, but am thankful for every little bit we get.

Tomorrow, I hope to get some good progress outside, because I’m going to be making a second Costco trip the day after. In the process, I’ll be swinging by the egg lady’s homestead and dropping off some Black Beauty and Spoon tomatoes for her! They are taking 6 of each, which still leaves me others to give away. I offered them to my family members, but they all have plenty of their own tomatoes already!

Meanwhile, I need to get to bed, and give my eyes more time to recover in darkness!

The Re-Farmer

First sighting!

I was out again this evening, when it cooled down a bit (as I write this, it’s past 10pm, and we’ve finally cooled down to 26C/79F, from a high of 31C/88F), to do more transplanting. I was able to fit 13 Black Beauty tomatoes into one row in a second bed, which leaves another 13 extras I can give away.

After putting the rest of the Black Beauties in the sun room, I started to get the rest of the transplants from the picnic table, when I spotted not-Junkpile sitting rather strangely beside the storage house.

Then parts of her moved and turned out to be…

… bitty bebbehs!!

It was getting dark and I zoomed in so as not to disturb them because, of course, they ran away as I skirted around them to get the trays of plants. My daughters came out to help, and we saw them dashing about, hiding in the lilacs.

Later, I saw the mama up on the cat house roof, looking for kibble and growling at me. I’d already given them their evening feeding – early, so avoid feeding the skunks and racoons – but she wasn’t the only hungry mama around. I set out about half what I usually do, putting most of it on the cat house roof, where the skunks can’t get it. The racoons can get up there, of course, but they’ll go for the trays in the kibble house, first.

There are more very round cats wandering around. Junk Pile, who lost her first litter that she had so incredibly early in the year, looks like she’s about to explode. Caramel and one of the grey tabbies that we can’t get near are looking round, too.

And I can now confirm that least one, maybe two, of the white and greys are female. One of them, simply because I’ve seen her getting some action with the males. The other – the one with the distinctive almost black spots – is starting to look round.

*sigh*

Hopefully, they will all have small litters like this one, instead of the usual four or five.

Tomorrow, we’re supposed to hit 28C/82F, but by the time that happens, I should be on the way back from my eye exam. My daughter is coming along as a back up driver, in case they do that eye dilation test. I haven’t had my eyes tested since several years before we moved out here, so… 8 years? Nine?

If all goes well, though, I’ll be able to get some work done outside during the cooler hours.

Assuming my body is up to it. I just had to get my daughter to clean the litter boxes in my room for me, when I could barely bend over to put my inside shoes on – and I was sitting down! πŸ˜„

Getting old sucks.

The Re-Farmer

Our 2023 garden: transplanting first tomatoes

Well… starting to!

It’s not even 11am as I start this, but I’ve already put in several hours in the garden, trying to beat the heat. Which wasn’t easy, since it was already feeling too hot when I was doing my rounds, first. The weather app was saying 18C/64F, but it felt hotter. It would be good to set up a thermometer in the garden area again.

My focus today is to get the Indigo Blue Chocolate done, and as many of the Black Beauty as I can fit, plus an edging of yellow onions. There are only 11 Indigo Blue and, at about a foot apart, they will easily fit in one row in the bed I chose for them. This bed is somewhat narrower, so it will be able to fit one more row, plus the onions around the edge.

The problem?

There are 26 Black Beauty transplants.

I also counted the Roma tomatoes as I set them out. There are 61, though the plant that broke in the wind yesterday is looking like it probably won’t make it.

Then there are the 30 Spoon tomatoes.

Right now, we have 2 more low raised beds, which are about 15ft long, for about 14ft of growing length. Then there is the high raised bed, which is 9′ x 4′ on the outside, so about 8′ x 3′ of growing space. Aside from a small section in the wattle weave bed in the old kitchen garden, and 4 blocks between the gourds at the chain link fence, that’s all we have left for prepared beds. The squash patch needs work and, of course, we need to get those trellis beds built.

Meanwhile, the lawn is getting out of control, we still need to cut down the dead spruce trees that will be used to make the trellis beds, as well as pre-cut and drag over the trees I cut down for the trellises.

As it is, I did as much as I could this morning, then had to head in to get out of the heat. We are at 24C/75F right now – yes, to me that’s way too hot already! – and we are supposed to reach 30C/86F this afternoon.

I got the Indigo Blue Chocolate tomatoes in, after setting up three of the salvaged T posts to hold their vertical supports, then transplanted some of the yellow onions along the outer edge. The tomatoes were starting to wilt already, so I added a grass clipping mulch around them and along the outer edge of the low raised bed on the one side, being careful not to cover the onions before giving them a final watering.

I was planning to plant the Black Beauty tomatoes on the other half, but I think I will put them in another bed, instead, and direct sow something else with them.

Unless I fill an entire bed with just Black Beauty tomatoes, I will have room for only about half of the transplants. And I don’t want to fill an entire bed with them. A dozen plants is more than enough for fresh eating. The Romas are the only variety that I’d be willing to dedicate an entire bed to, since those are being grown specifically for preserving.

Meanwhile, we’re still getting storm warnings for tomorrow evening. We’ll see if the system reaches us or not, but be ready to protect the garden beds, just in case.

For now, I will be staying out of the heat! Maybe get a nap in, since I will likely be working outside once it starts cooling down, and staying as long as daylight holds.

Yeah. That sounds like a good plan. I didn’t get much sleep last night!

The Re-Farmer

Our 2023 garden: got a few small tasks done

I headed outside when things started to cool down and gave the garden beds another watering. I also snagged the trays of Spoon tomatoes and “potted them up”.

Which was just taking off the lower leaves and adding more soil to the cups. These were all so tiny when they were transplanted from the Jiffy pellets, the cups were barely half full of soil. Even now, a couple of them are so small, the cups still couldn’t be filled to the top. A few of the largest ones, however, actually seem to be showing the beginnings of blossoms!

We’ve got 30 of these, plus the Romas, and I still don’t know where they will be planted. It all depends on how much progress there is on the new trellis beds that still need to be built!

Next, I transplanted the lemongrass.

I treated the pot a bit like filling a raised bed; on the bottom, I put a layer of grass clippings, which got a good soak, then potting soil. The potting soil was really dry, so it took quite a bit more soaking to get it moist.

For the lemongrass, I decided to break them up and plant them individually, instead of in groups. That meant breaking up the biodegradable pots. These had been started in smaller, square, biodegradable cells of the same material, so when I potted them up, I just put the whole starter cell into the bigger pot.

For biodegradable pots, they sure don’t break up easy. They were still pretty rootbound in the original cells! So I pulled those pieces out, too. Considering how much handling the roots got, I really hope they survive!

Once transplanted and watered, I very carefully mulched with grass clippings. This pot is set up on the concrete landing of the stairs in front of the main doors. A good, warm microclimate for an herb that needs much warmer temperatures than what we usually grow here. It’s going to get pretty baked, though, so the clippings will help moderate the temperatures as well as protect the soil and transplants. Once the clippings were in place, I was going to give it one last watering.

The handle broke off the sprayer.

*sigh*

I bought is at part of a 2pc set, so I did have another nozzle I could use. I just don’t like it very much. It’s the kind where the spray is adjusted by turning the tip of the spray head. It doesn’t spray very well. Ah, well. Something else for the list of broken things to replace!

Then I finally!!! finished the cover over the shallots bed.

The ends are now closed off, so no cats can walk through and use the shallots as a bed!

As I was finishing this off, I could hear thunder that seemed to be coming closer, so my daughters and I quickly got the rest of the transplants inside. According to them, we did have smatterings of rain today, while I was in the city, and even had a very brief downpour last night! I never heard a thing. There sure wasn’t any sign of it when I watered the garden beds this morning.

Whatever system I was hearing this evening, it passed us by. A good rainfall really would have been nice! It got so very muggy out there!

Tomorrow is supposed to be another hot one, with no expectation of rain at all, so I plan to get an early start. The largest tomatoes need to be transplanted, but I want to put in the supports for the indeterminate Indigo Blue Chocolates first. The Black Beauties can be staked individually.

Which means an early bed time for me, and hopefully a good sleep!

The Re-Farmer

Costco shopping: This is $800, and prices are insane!

It’s feeling a bit surreal today – I’ve gone to the city and back, and as I start this, it’s not even 1pm yet. I headed out early this morning to do the watering and switch out the trail cam memory cards, and was on the road not long past 7:30am. Usually, I don’t leave for the city until around 10:30 or 11.

I wasn’t sure if I’d be making the trip at all, today. My husband’s CPP Disability was due on Monday, but these days, both his CPP and private insurance payments show up in our account on Saturday instead of Monday.

I have no complaints there.

Because I left so early, I asked the girls to take the transplants out to the picnic table for me. We’re not supposed to get the high winds we got yesterday, but we were still supposed to get pretty hot, with a high of 25 or 27C/77 or 81F, depending on which app I looked at. The thunderstorm we were supposed to get last night is now pushed back to Monday. In the end, I figured it was just safer to have the transplants under the old market tent, even though it’s further from the house. Even there, with the high winds we had yesterday, one of our tomato plants snapped clean off, right at soil level. I replanted the stem. It might still survive. Not that we can’t afford to lose any. I just can’t help trying to save any that need it!

I was greeted by a pleasant site when I opened the gate to head out this morning.

Most of our lilacs were badly damaged by last year’s flooding, and not showing a lot of flower sprays. This one, however, has the most we’ve ever seen on it! Usually, it has none at all. This area is usually baked dry. For the first time in the past 5 years, at least, the water table is high enough for it thrive and bloom!

When I got to the Costco, their doors had just opened, and I found myself winding through two long lines of people that had been waiting to get in. The parking lot was already almost full! Things moved smoothly and quickly, though.

I did have quite the heart attack when going through the meat section. Especially the beef!

The strip loin grilling steaks were $39.99 (US$29.37)/kg. The ribeye grilling steaks were $45.99 (US$33.78)/kg. The whole beef tenderlions were $53.99 (US$39.66)/kg One kg equals 2.2 pounds.

No. I didn’t buy any.

Time for another order from our beef supplier!

I still ended up spending $800.06 after taxes.

That looks really meager for $800.

This is what I got:

Two large jars of mayo, at $10.99 each (yes, we can make it ourselves, but with the cost of ingredients, that’s no longer worth the effort, really)
One jug of Kirkland EVOO – the smaller one – at $23.99
Iced tea mix, $9.99 That’s almost $5 cheaper than what I’m seeing for regular prices elsewhere right now.
Triple berry jam, $7.99
Peanut butter in the 2kg size jar, $10.49
garlic granules, $8.99
Truffle, parmesan, black garlic mix, $9.99 This one was a splurge. I was looking for the garlic granules when I heard a couple other customers looking for ordinary table salt. She spotted this and read the label out loud, wondering what it was for. It sounded fantastic to me, so I grabbed some, and we ended up talking about different ways to use it. πŸ˜„
popcorn, $10.89
Bacon, 4pk, $19.99
Whipping cream, two 1L cartons, at $4.79 each – much cheaper than anywhere else
Kirkland sour cream, $5.49
4pk Kirkland cream cheese, $9.49
Old cheddar, Marble and Mozza cheese at $14.99 each
Double cream brie, $10.99
Butter, five at $5.49 each
Two rotisserie chicken, $7.99 each
Eggs, 60 pack, $17.89
lean ground beef, $46.29 – this is the huge plastic chub of meat that will be broken down into smaller packages
ground pork, $19.99 – another chub that will be broken down into smaller packages
pork loin, $29.47, minus $5 for a sale
Tilapia filets, $32.89 – a treat for my fish loving daughters
flour, $9.99 – a much better price than elsewhere. I’d have gotten two, if I wasn’t concerned about the space and weight in my mother’s car
Vit. B12, $13.99
Mr. Freeze, $14.99 – this huge box of freezies cost about as much as boxes half the size in other stores
AA batteries, $25.99 plus $1.60 eco fee
AAA batteries, $25.99 plus 80 cents eco fee
laundry detergent, $21.49, minus $4.50 for a sale
Kirkland toilet paper, $22.99
Dry cat food, six 9kg bags, $28.99 each
canned cat food, $38.99

The sub total came to $757.79, plus $42.27 in taxes.

Ouch.

It wasn’t that long ago when a load like this would have cost between $600 and $700, depending on how many things like batteries or household supplies were on the list. Back then, I would buy 10 pounds of butter at a time, too. As for today, I completely forgot to pick up any bread and wraps, which is okay, because I was running out of room.

Given the price of kibble, we might end up doing another Costco run. We did find a source for larger bags at an even better price, but none of the cats liked it. Not even the outside cats. There’s a reason the cheap stuff is cheap.

Along with the groceries, I got gas, which was at 151.9 cents per litre for regular gas.

So the first stock up shop for the month is done. It took a huge chunk out of the budget for the month. This month will have some extra expenses, too. One is to get the septic tank emptied. The other is to get the van checked and find out what’s causing that noise near the alternator. Hopefully, it will be a minor fix. As much as I appreciate being able to use my mother’s car – especially with working air conditions! – there are some things I would rather use the van for, like big shopping trips, or runs to the dump.

The Re-Farmer

First!

Well, the heat is really kicking in. Last night, in the wee hours of the morning, I checked the temperature, and we were at 20C/68F

That was somewhere around 3 – 3:30am

As I write this, it’s past1:30pm, and we’re already at 31C/88F. We are now above the 30 year record high for today, set back in 2015. I’ll still take that over the record low of -3C/27F! We’re getting heat warnings all over the place. Winds are high and we’re looking at possible thunderstorms this evening.

Pain levels were high for me this morning, so the girls took care of feeding the outside cats and setting the transplants out on the picnic table, under the old market tent and sheltered from most of the wind. Then my younger daughter did a fantastic job of cleaning up the branches from when I harvested trees for the permanent trellises we will be building. I just asked for the branches I tossed over the fence to the driveway side to be picked up, but she cleared away the big branch pile in the trees, too! Even sorted out longer pieces that we can potentially use, others suitable for the fire pit, and the rest went into the big branch pile we still have just outside the gate by the fire pit.

She was still working on it, when I finally made my way outside.

I started watering things, before it got too hot, and was able to mostly empty the rain barrel. If we do get some rain this evening, it won’t be enough to need to add the diverter to prevent it from overflowing.

While watering in the old kitchen garden, look what I found!

Our very first potato has broken ground!

This is one of the Irish Cobbler potatoes, which were the first ones planted.

I am very happy!

While watering further afield, I found the Crespo squash was very wimpy and made sure they got a super deep watering. These plants grow very big and, if they survive long enough, are supposed to produce very larger pumpkins, so they are going to need a lot of water. The nearby leaking rain barrel that I filled with a hose still had some water in it, so I was able to use that, while refilling it with the hose, at the same time, to water the raspberries, cranberries and sea buckthorn, too. I filled the barrel to almost half way, and hope to be able to see where the leak is. It may be more than one spot.

Things are looking quite lovely out there! The crab apple trees near the house are in full bloom, and the ones along the north side of spruce grove are almost there. The common lilacs and the double lilacs have sprays of buds that are starting to open. Of course, we have a sea of dandelions blooming and starting to go to seed, but the mowing will have to wait.

There are a few outside jobs that I want to work on, but will have to work around the weather conditions. Thankfully, the days are getting long enough that, if I time it right, I can get some good productive hours in the early morning and the evening. I’m not good with mornings, though! So far, at least, the house is not over heating, but we’re going to have to set up the screen “door” at the top of the old basement stairs, so we can leave the real door open to help cool the house down.

Here’s hoping all this heat and, if the long term forecast for June is at all accurate, rain will mean a healthy garden and a good harvest!

The Re-Farmer

It all comes down to the weather

Well, my plans for the day changed again.

We’ve got high winds today, with an expected high of 29C/84F. I wanted to get the transplants out, though.

With the wind direction, I was able to use the picnic table under the old market tent by the fire pit. They won’t get full sun, but with the expected heat, that’s quite all right. They will still get some wind, which is good for them, but not enough to send them flying across the yard.

The next while is expected to continue with high temperatures, with high winds and a possible thunderstorm tomorrow, though only one of my weather apps is predicting that. Overnight temperatures are also expected to be quite warm.

I decided today was a day to do some direct sowing, while also raking up some of the grass clippings to lay down some much needed mulch. If we’re going to be getting thunderstorms, I want the soil protected as much as possible. If we don’t get the thunderstorms, I want the soil well mulched to keep it moist, and from getting too hot!

I set up the extra phone to take time lapse video, so that will be put together for another post. With the peas, I planted the free Hedou Tiny bok choy from Bakers Creek and Jebousek lettuce I got for free from Heritage Harvest. As the peas grow up the chain link fence, they will shade and shelter the lettuce and bok choy. Then I prepped and planted the Tom Thumb popcorn.

I don’t know if I’ll have the energy to get back out there again today, but I’d really like to transplant the Black Beauty and Indigo Blue Chocolate tomatoes. They are getting quite large, and I’d rather transplant them than pot them up again. That and it would mean a fewer trays to take in and out every day! As it is, there were some Spoon tomatoes that didn’t make it, and removing the pots meant I could combine 3 trays into 2, with some judicious rearranging. When I transplant the bigger tomatoes, I want to transplant some of the onions in with them, too. The Black Beauty tomatoes are determinate, but the Indigo Blue Chocolate are indeterminate, so I need to consider the different types of support they will need. I also need to resist transplanting all of them, if I start running out of space. We had very good germination rates and few losses, and it’s the paste tomatoes that I want to have a lot of. I can always give away the extras! It’s the same for the remaining peppers. We have a 100% germination rate on all but one variety, and of that one variety, there’s only one peat pellet didn’t germinate – and I only planted one seed per pellet!

With the way things are looking, we may have to start doing outside work in the morning and late evening. The hottest part of the day tends to be around 3pm, but stays hot until about 6 or 7.

In my youth, I wasn’t bothered by the heat the way I am now. Makes it harder to get things done!

The Re-Farmer