July 2013 Week 4: Harvest Update

Summer heat is here, we are seeing less berries and more varied harvests.

We picked some of the frilly lettuce, it was planted mid-spring. I had packet of American seeds – bought for 0.25 at local ACE hardware store, pretty good returns.


garden bowl lettuce
frilly Lettuce and berries


Peas are all spent, they are yellowing. Although second flush of flowers is evident (more peas in 15 days!), I decided to rip pea vines out. Last year I kept pea vines longer but they got pretty bad mildew. I don’t want that this year. Peas are out. But before that we got good harvest, me and girls has FUN shelling peas and munching on them. I got few to use in Pohe and Cauliflower subzi.

pea vines
Yellowing pea vines are taken down

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Peas for snack

also on the harvest tally are chard and  broccoli florets

some more chard


IMG_0209and broccoli florets

Happy Gardening!


Hiking: Mason Lake/Ira Springs Trail

I am so fortunate to live in Pacific Northwest, with its snowpack, mountains and varied terrain makes many wonderful hiking opportunities. One such hike is to Mason Lake. This 6.2-mile out-and-back traverses Ira Spring Memorial Trail, which winds for 3.2 miles above Snoqualmie Valley, ending at the picturesque Mason Lake. Trail is dedicated to efforts of wonderful Ira Springs.

Mason Lake via Ira Springs trail #1038

Location: Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest I-90’s Exit 45, Forest Road 9030 
Roundtrip:  6 miles
Elevation Gain: 2550 ft
Highest Point: 4750 ft
Time: 4.5 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

ira springs 
IRA Springs Mason Lake Trailhead


ira springs trail
Investigating route and distance before heading on

Mason Lake trailhead is off Exit 42 on I-90, few miles on forest road brings to well marked trailhead.

alpine lakes
Alpine Lake wilderness

This is a very pleasant workout hike which begins on the rerouted Ira Spring Trail.

mason lake
about a mile into the hike, this creek crosses the trail.

Shortly, we passed Mason Creek, once we hiked in May and we had to cross thundering water creek with help of ropes and poles. In August, waters are tame.

mason lake
up and up


mason lake 
Leaving behind tree line, view opens up with huge talus fields


mason lake  Talus fields

Above the tree line the trail comes to a junction, sign-posted left for Mason Lake; continue right to Bandera Mountain.

Right here, Majestic Mount Rainier is viable in its full glory.

Majestic Mount Rainier as seen from the trail


I-90 meanders through down below



alpine wildflowers


alpine lake wilderness

Trail descends from here, passing Ira springs memorial on the ridge line, another 3/4th of miles lead to Mason lake shores.

mason lake 
Mason lake

mason lake 
Mason Lake

mason lake 
Clear waters of Mason Lake

We returned down on 1038 trail back to our car. 

mason lake
Heading back to the car….

Thank you for reading.

July 2013 Week 3

Berries are in high production now, we are eating many berries and clicking less. Here are few of the pictures clicked. This year I didn’t a good job cleaning out Strawberry bed in fall and early spring. There were many weed runner, mainly buttercups and lots of old dead leaves. Many of my strawberries were rotten (neglect to pick up, rotting under leaves mess).  I have to keep up with strawberries and clean up in spring next year for more production.



Here is mid-July garden update:

Pea vines were pulled out, before pulling peas reached high up.

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Here is Bed 2 with huge broccoli plant with tiny head 😦 along with kale, lettuce and some chard.

tiny broccoli 

More peas – these are snow peas. I didn’t like the taste and I didn’t use much in cooking. I might not grow snow peas again, I’d rather grow shelling and snap peas.

snow pea vines 

We harvested more Peas (snow peas, snap and shelling) , broccoli shoots and arugula this week.

arugula peas

Next week looks more promising with harvest, many onions are dropping tops so I might get a big harvest out of it.

This week’s harvest:
Snow Peas:  #22
Broccoli shoots: 1 cup
Strawberries: 2 containers (not pictured)
Parsley: 1 bunch
Onions + tops: 32
Raspberries: 2 containers (not pictured)

Happy Gardening!

July 2013 week 2: summer harvests

This post is red and green, harvest colors

This year, we are picking more berries and enjoying them rather taking pictures. These pictures are just symbolic 🙂

Harvested broccoli, some snow peas and parsley bunch.


Walla walla onions

walla walla onions

More strawberries


and raspberries


This week’s harvest:
Snow Peas:  #22
Broccoli shoots: 1/2 cup
Strawberries: 2 containers (not pictured)
Parsley: 1 bunch
Onions + tops: 32
Raspberries: 2 containers (not pictured)


July 2013 Week 1: New Bed

Summer weather is embracing PNW, we are seeing 70s and occasional 80s (Yes, that’s height of summer!). My shade garden is in production mode.

I need more space to transplant tomatoes and maybe some squash plants. Just beyond one of the vegetable beds, there is some space that I may use. I am going to try to build a temporary bed over there. Here are some of the efforts –

Step 1 – define perimeter and set up wood planks


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Step 2 – Define the temporary  space to build vegetable bed. Dig.. Dig .. Dig


vegetable bed


Step 3 – Gather and throw away rocks, roots etc and remove.


vegetable bed


Step 4 – Mix in compost, potting soil, manure etc


vegetable bed


Step 5 – Transplant, sow something… Below is picture of same space in 10 days.


vegetable bed

Tomato transplants, squash plants, fenugreek, cucumbers and garbanzo beans growing here.


This is still work in progress, I am planning to plant cucumbers, tomatoes, squash in here. Hopefully I can post updated photo with actual veggies growing in here…

Apart from garden additions, there was some harvest from garden.

Sorrel leaves were picked to mix in with daal.


More strawberries


and some chard


This week’s harvest:
Green Sorrel – 1 bunch
Strawberries – 4 cups
Raspberries – 2 cups
Chard – 1 bunch

Happy gardening!