It has been a crazy summer again. The inside is getting a long overdue updating. We had all our top flooring torn out and replaced by an eco-friendly product which hopefully will be the last time this flooring will have to be done. We waited for 17 yrs to replace these 40 + year old floors. If our flooring were wood, it would have made life easier. We would have torn up the old carpet and refinished the floors. This house was built in 1968, and they had some interesting ideas as to what colors looked good. We found some different flooring underneath the one we took out. A “bubble” tile pattern that I can’t even imagine anyone would want in their home. As they tore out the dining room, they also found some funky avocado green LONG shag between two walls which meant the office and dining room was actually one large room back in the sixties. I love the color green but not long shag!
This summer project was a horrible mess. The garden was again neglected part of the summer, and I am playing catch-up here in August as our summer is moving towards fall. June and July we painted our entire first floor, stained our woodwork and moved all our furniture to the garage. I found out I am not so young anymore after moving all that to our garage.It took a week for them to get our flooring laid but a month for us to move our furniture back. It was exhausting, but once it was completed, it felt like a new home.
Back in 1999, we moved in our home with these old floors; 3 kids, five dogs, three cats and all kinds of other caged critters. I loved having a house filled with children and animals all those years running in and out, I just looked the other way and tried my best to make it look presentable. It never was fancy or in style, but we had fun.I am glad I waited until this last year to start looking for new flooring since technology is more advanced now to create these new family-animal-garden friendly floors. It is a recycled flooring from an environmental friendly Belgium company that has A+ air quality ratings, 50 percent recycled materials and can tolerate dogs, kids, and abuse. It has a residential lifetime guarantee. They just built a factory in the USA. It finally is affordable for people, and as a gardener, I am so glad I put this floor into our home. I just use a swifter to clean up all the dirt, dust and dander. I had no idea that our old cat Simon created so much fur. I just never saw it on the carpet! YUCK, it was there just hiding!!!!.
Now that the inside flooring is taken care of, I can focus on harvesting food, collecting seed and grow some of my fall crops. We have enjoyed a fantastic summer this year. Our weather has been neither too hot, wet, or cold. It has been perfect. We have not even had to use the air conditioner much this summer. I sure hope we are not spoiled and our winter will be an extreme.
My raspberries are all coming in now, and I snack on them every day fresh from the garden. They do have some damage from the Japanese beetles, but not enough to stop the fruit coming. Why don’t we grow more fruit trees and bushes in the city? I have never understood why since it is one of the easiest things to do and provides so much enjoyment. It is the ultimate in healthy eating, too.
These are my peppers from saved seed a year ago. It is interesting to see what Lipstick and Jimmy Nardello produce. Not quite sure how to describe them for they don’t really look like either of these peppers. I will save seed another season to see what I get next year. They have an excellent flavor and are very sweet. I was determined to find a red pepper to grow for in our grocery store they run almost 5 dollars a pound. That is just too expensive. I hope the characteristics from these two peppers combine to make a great new pepper from our urban potager.
I have learned over the years to start my Kale in the spring. I always fence it until the rest of our garden fills in late summer. One of the nice things of mixing flowers with vegetables is that as the weather turns cold and flowers go to seed, the kale will fill in this entire area and provide winter eating.
Next, to the Kale bed, I have spring planted lettuce going to seed. I have found a beautiful lettuce that seems to take to our zone 5, humid and hot weather. It provided lettuce until a month ago. It did not start bolting till we had consecutive weeks of hot, humid weather. This lettuce is a keeper, so I let it go to seed and have been collecting seed this week. I will fill you in on this FANTASTIC lettuce for small gardens next week when I post a story about my favorite summer lettuce. I promise I will share its name, it is an amazing lettuce!
Next few weeks our inside is going to be neglected as I get my fall greens out in the garden. You have heard me say this MANY times, growing food is not something you do when you feel like it. Timing is crucial. Once you start growing food on your city lot, your microclimate will let you know when it is time to fill in and start a new season crop. Sometimes the animals let you know that you need to pay attention! I had to finally fence my radicchio for the bunnies were nibbling it to the ground. UGH!!!The growing never ends, and sometimes you have to do what you have to do to get food and live peacefully with your resident critters.