Collecting stuff

We collected acorns in October.

acorns

First these…

acorns

…and then these – about 300 acorns in total. Some of the acorns were already sprouting, lovely. 🙂 We collected them from the ground, under big oak trees, here in our home village.

The first two pictures I took in October, the rest of the pictures in this blog post I took today.

acorns planted

So, we planted the acorns in our garden, here…

acorns planted

…and here.

And we also collected some acorns for the land that my boyfriend now has in the region of Etelä-PohjanmaaSouth Ostrobothnia, about 180 kilometres north from our home, that is to say, we already planted the acorns there, into the forest ground. There’s a certain spot or place, an island actually, where broad-leaved trees are growing in the forest, but there are no oak trees, not yet…

So, this is all an experiment, with these acorns, just nice and interesting.

spruce cones

I collected spruce cones, too. These were on the ground in our yard, on the driveway. We don’t have big spruce trees, but there are spruces just outside our yard. I started to collect these just because I think that they are lovely, but my boyfriend said that we could try to get seeds from these as well. Well, that’s a good idea, an interesting experiment, too. The cones have been drying inside the house now.

emptying a compost bin

And I was shoveling compost, emptying a compost bin a bit today. We have this year-round composter for kitchen (and garden) waste.

emptying a compost bin

We shovel the compost into this container, where the process continues, and in the end, it all goes back to nature again. 🙂

-Leena

Autumn colours, by the lake, parsnips…

The first six pictures I took in our garden yesterday.

red oak

Our red oak is red, strikingly red, this autumn. 🙂

red oak

red oak

red oak

October

Birch tree & maple tree, again… I got a bit carried away with these two, they are both fabulously yellow, golden, this autumn.

October

Two pictures that I took by the lake today:

by the lake Pyhäjärvi

By the lake Pyhäjärvi here in our home village.

by the lake Pyhäjärvi

And I already wrote earlier that we are growing parsnips, too, for the first time ever, this year. I’ve made roasted parsnips twice, this was last night:

roasted parsnips

I used only salt and pepper and olive oil. And I don’t peel the parsnips.

Parsnip has a lovely nutty and aromatic flavour, it’s one of my favourite vegetables, best from the oven. 🙂

-Leena

Autumn leaves, new grounds, beetroot…

The autumn colours are particularly abundant and vibrant this year. We have our own word for the autumn leaf colour here in Finlandautumn leaf colour is called ruska in Finnish.

It’s exceptionally warm for October in many parts of Finland this weekend – over 15 degrees Celsius.

First just a few pictures that I took in our garden today:

October

October

October rose

We still have rose blooming in the garden, in front of the porch. We planted the plant in the summer this year.

October rose

October rose…

Okay, and what else am I doing…? 🙂 Hmm, for example, working by my computer for a bit again. And we, my boyfriend and I, we’ve been familiarizing ourselves with new grounds and exploring a new land – thanks to my boyfriend who had the chance to buy some land – forest and field, in the region of Etelä-PohjanmaaSouth Ostrobothnia, about 180 kilometres north from our home. So, that’s my boyfriend’s project, but there’s plenty of space also for me to learn new things and to help out, and in fact, we both already attended our first day-long course on how to take care of forest.

I already wrote earlier that we are growing beetroot for the first time ever, this year. Here’s now our pickled beetroot that we made yesterday:

pickled beetroot

I used water, vinegar, sugar, whole white peppercorns, cloves, a cinnamon stick and salt when I was cooking the pickling liquid. And I put also cloves of garlic into the jar. Should be nice. 🙂

-Leena

About some of the edibles in the garden II

Garlic! 🙂 This is the first time that garlic has grown in our garden. – We’ve tried to grow garlic once before, but nothing really happened then…

garlic

Now, all of a sudden, we have both smaller and bigger garlics. They are marvellous! I love the smell and taste of garlic and I eat small amounts of raw garlic, too.

dried onions

We used some of our onions fresh from the garden, but the rest of the onions we dried, because they were pretty small. There are both yellow onions and red onions. Dried onions are delicious as well.

fruit and vegetable dryer

Here’s our fruit and vegetable dryer. A nice machine. The scent of onion, for example, was wonderful when the onions were drying in there.

growing zucchini

This year we tried to grow zucchini for the first time ever. Well, actually, we weren’t trying that hard, we didn’t pay that much attention to this try. Here in the pic is our biggest oddball, our smaller zucchinis didn’t have the time to grow bigger before the weather got a bit colder.

broad bean

And another try… My broad beans… In a raised garden bed with wooden frames these were.

broad bean

broad bean

I didn’t get that many broad beans, but some broad beans anyway, and I want to try growing them again next year! 🙂

sweet corn

About the sweet corn… We’ve got more sweet corn now than a year ago. 🙂

sweet corn

And we are drying some sweet corn, too, for seeds, hopefully.

I’ll write about a couple of edibles in the garden a bit later again.

-Leena

Flowers in the garden

I took all the pictures in this blog post in our garden today. I already have a couple of recent flower pictures on my Instagram, here’s now a few more.

viola

There’s still viola flowers, red viola flowers…

echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower

A bunch of pictures of the echinacea purpurea or purple coneflower flowers, the most long-lasting flowers I’ve ever had! – Some of the flowers have been there for over a month now. 🙂

echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower

echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower

echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower

Still new flowers, too.

clarkia amoena/godetia, calendula, marigold

Clarkia amoena or godetia flowers and calendula or pot marigold flowers again. 😉

clarkia amoena or godetia

calendula or marigold

“Psst…!”

-Leena

About some of the edibles in the garden

Today I’ll write a bit about some of the edibles in the garden right now. Here’s really only some of the edibles in the garden – about a few more a bit later…

sweet corn

This is the second time that we are growing sweet corn in our garden. Last summer our sweet corns grew from seedlings, these are grown from seed now. This summer has been very good for growing sweet corn here in Finland, it has been very warm and sunny.

sweet corn

The tallest plant is much taller than I am.

sweet corn

There are cobs growing in three plants or stalks, two cobs in each plant. We had several sweet corn stalks growing, but only three grew taller and are now growing cobs. Hmm, I’m still not sure how to talk about the different parts of the corn plants, how to call them, and not even in Finnish… :p But yeah, I’ll write about the harvest of our sweet corn then later. 🙂

potato

Our potato patch this summer – new patch for potatoes this year again… We haven’t dug up any potatoes yet.

carrot

This is how our carrots grow this year; a raised garden bed with a wooden frame. Neat, no weeds.

beetroot, parsnip, turnip

Beetroot, parsnip and turnip. A raised bed with the frame as well. And we are growing all these three for the first time ever. We haven’t dug up beetroot and parsnips yet.

carrot & turnip

But we have dug up some carrots and turnips already. I used these in soup.

tomato

And we have only one tomato plant growing this year, we had more than one, but only this bears fruit. But yeah, the plant doesn’t look very good anymore. The nights can already be a bit colder, and a bit cold for tomato plants, but we still have warm days. The temperatures have been around 20 degrees Celsius in the daytime.

tomato

But there’s fruit turning red all the time now.

tomato

tomato

Our first ripe tomatoes this year. I will never stop wondering at the taste of home-grown tomatoes – they taste so sweet and amazing. 🙂

-Leena

The heat’s been on

The summer has been unbelievably hot in Finland, as it has been all over Europe. At least for now the temperatures have gone down here in Finland, and yeah, there shouldn’t be temperatures like 30 degrees Celsius anymore this summer. (?) Anyway, this summer we learned that temperatures around 25 degrees Celsius are kinda cool. I mean, usually 25 degrees Celsius has been the Heat for us, but this summer we had 30 degrees Celsius or even a bit warmer for so, so many days that, yes, one truly felt it. And it was so dry everywhere for so many weeks that we couldn’t light campfires.

And about me, myself and I… I woke up at 4.30 am when I was working, and with so many early mornings during the week this summer, I didn’t quite yet learn to get my shi…itake together in my free time, I mean, it can be seen, for example, here in my blog… or, you just can’t see anything here… But I learned that I can make money by doing something that has something to do with gardening, funny. 🙂 And now it is the time to do… many things, I have a ton of things to do, but that’s nice, and I’m quite excited about writing here in my blog now, too. 🙂

echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower

Echinacea purpurea or purple coneflower flowers in our garden now. I planted three tiny young echinacea plants last summer and two of them have been growing this year – the one in the middle didn’t grow at all a year ago either.

echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower

Butterflies, too, love echinacea flowers… The right wing of this beauty was a bit damaged.

echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower

echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower

echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower

New flowers still growing.

echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower

Echinacea has been one of my dream flowers for my garden.

And here’s another one of my dream plants, in our garden now as well:

bougainvillea

Bougainvillea. My ‘mini Spain’. – Bougainvillea is “the miracle bush in the south” for us here in the north. 🙂 These plants are so huge in the south! And the first time I met this wonder was in Spain. My plant was tiny and there were no bracts or flowers when I bought it, and it cost me only a few euros. I’m glad it began to flower!

bougainvillea

The actual flowers of bougainvillea, small and sweet.

This summer I’ve seen a bat in our garden. One bat, only once. My boyfriend has seen a couple of bats a couple of times here this summer, but we definitely saw more of them a year ago.

And last week I saw a raccoon dog here for the first time. My boyfriend has seen it here once before this summer. I’m not quite sure how to feel about raccoon dogs here…

The summer is not over yet!

-Leena