Sunday, 24 July 2016



Garden committee experts are happily surprised every single year as the raspberries start to ripen. Other than the annual cutting in the fall very little is done for the raspberry bushes. There are no fertilizers added, no fancy soil aerating machines used, even regular watering is not done. It seems the more neglected the plants are, the more they thrive. This is a plant everyone needs to have in their garden. It takes very little yet gives so much. 
Every morning Lolli pops out to the garden to pick some raspberries to put atop of her yogurt.

The heat wave, combined with some added watering, has done wonders to the peas. They have become so big they are falling over and intertwining into neighbouring plants. 

Plump peas
The parsnips had a slow start, but, as of late have flourished. The garden committee is excited to see what is happening below the surface.

Pretty Parsnip
And, some late planting (beans found in the bottom of a junk drawer) of beans are starting to flower.

Blossoming beans
Fine times in the garden this week.

Thursday, 21 July 2016



Ready to rock
The earth is such an amazing place. The variety of rocks, plants, and animals to study and learn about is endless. The citizens of the PUTP love to learn about the earth by getting out into nature - seeing, touching, and getting dirty  - and even better if it involves sledgehammers! It is one thing to read about how the right conditions of a water molecule under tons of pressure at extremely high heat can make a diamond - and, it is another thing to smash a rock, see the sparkle, and pick out a shining gem. 

You may recall last year our family rockhounds, Uncle Al and Auntie Amber, brought some boulders to the Place Under The Pine and let the younger citizens smash them to bits in search of gems - click here. Well, recently the entire population of the PUTP took this geology lesson one step further and took a trip down to the rocky lands of northern New York, to the land of the Herkimer Diamond. They visited a site (just north of Herkimer, NY) rich in herkimer diamond deposits, a rustic site full of potentially diamond filled rocks - where one has to smash their way to treasures.
Our guides brought their special tools, safety equipment, and geological knowledge (look for the rocks with black holes in them) and we got started. It did not take long for us to find the gems we were looking for. 

Through the scorching heat, a mid afternoon thunderstorm, and the sore muscles that come with carrying heavy rocks and tools for hours on end, the citizens ended the day with smiles on their faces, great memories, and some unique rock knowledge. The day was so enjoyable that there is already a plan in place to visit the mine next year. 

You can watch the citizens in action in this video.