Filberg Weekend

I spent the weekend with my sister in Courtenay, BC at the Filberg Festival.  It’s a unique festival that blends a juried art show and market with music and food in a beautiful park/garden setting.  Robi is a painter, collage artist, writer, editor, and she was selling art and greeting cards at the show.  We had a great time hanging out with friends and family, other vendors and the public.  It was a beautiful, and busy, weekend!

The people-watching was fascinating too.  Robi’s work is detailed and layered, and some folks, swept up by all the bright sights and sounds around us (not to mention the fudge stand next door!) just walked right by.  We met many women who are passionate about greeting cards who oohed and aahed over the stunning collage cards.  Then there were the men, women, and children who we watched move from yards away straight toward one or another work of Robi’s art.  They looked as if they were being sucked in by a tractor beam!  And once they could look away and up to us, the stories would begin to pour out of them; some element of the collage would remind them of an event, a person, a childhood experience.  It was a privilege to meet so many people who connected so deeply with the art.

Artist at Work!
Collage with Tractor Beam

Beautiful Filberg Park

I have to admit that after 3 days away, I was getting very antsy to get back home again.  Our wee homestead is so peaceful and rejuvenating that I have my own tractor beam pulling me home each day!  And this time of year, everything in the garden changes every day.  I came home to all kinds of excitement:

The first Golden Nuggets!

The Skipper and I have eaten the first ripe tomatoes!!! Let the record note that it was August 2nd.  Here’s to tracking these dates over time.  No surprise that it’s the yellow cherry tomatoes that are ready first; next will either be the larger yellows (Taxi) or the supposedly super-early large red Siletz.  The plants are all loaded, so I’m hoping this is the beginning of the tomato-marathon that will be August.

Also coming along nicely, but still a little painfully slow for this impatient gardener…

Baby Cukes

I think my dream of jars of pickles will have to wait for another year; neither the cukes nor the dill seem to be coming to much.  I’ll have to be satisfied with a few salad cucumbers like these until we have better soil next year.

Purple Bush Bean Flowers

Daphne in Massachusetts is already HARVESTING DRY BEANS!!! That’s how hot their summer has been on the East Coast.  Here on the wet cold coast, my tri-color blend bush beans are finally looking strong, and the most vigorous of the lot, the purples, are now in flower.  Be a long wait for my pole beans and dry beans, though!


One thing that has been doing well this year, though, is berries.  We’ve got Tayberries galore, these are juicy thornless blackberries (I think!) above, the blueberries are still going, and the second flush of the everbearing raspberries are now snack-ready.  The invasive but fabulous Himalayan Blackberries are ripening by the roadsides.  It’s going to be a good jam-year.   Mmmmm….jam.

It’s good to be home.


5 thoughts on “Filberg Weekend

  1. What beautiful photos! So glad to hear that your berries are going so well. The blackberries on Pender are just ripening but our blueberries aren’t doing so well. Today I broke down and bought some because I just couldn’t wait for our merry blues to ripen any longer! (The birds are eating the ripe ones as they ripen, so sad.)

    So jealous of your toms. I have green ones still with no blushing yet.

  2. So sorry to hear about your blueberries! I kept reading that the birds would devastate them, and we did think about netting them, but in the end it hasn’t been too bad. I think there’s so much else for the birds to eat and drink that they’re spreading themselves thin. 🙂 We did lose ALL of our wine grapes last year, though, so I feel your pain. Luckily with the jam berries, I don’t care if they’ve got bit marks!

    I’m pretty excited about the tomatoes, but none of the other varieties have the slightest blush. Glad I planted the yellow cherries…MIGHT have enough to add to a salad tomorrow if we’re lucky!

  3. Oh, how beautiful! Can you please tell me more about your Purple Flowered Bush Beans e.g.: full name, where seed purchased, what colour the bean pods and seed are etc. etc.?
    Funny how things vary from year to year, isn’t it? Here in Southeastern Ontario, we had heat and drought (late June/July weather) early in May followed by a freak frost in some places, so our Strawberry season here was really crummy, but now the raspberries have more than made up for it. That early heat pushed a lot of things about 3 weeks ahead, but everything seems to have balanced out since with just the right amount of heat/rain/sun so now we’re back on track – waiting for the fall nectar flow. Thanks, Deb

  4. Hi again Toni, Just had the thought, while looking at your garden photos -beautiful BTW – that you might find this interesting, speaking of slow cucumbers… My Dad used to “hill” his vines in old tires. They seemed to love the extra boost of heat generated (and held) by the black tire. Oh, and something else you might find useful… here’s a link on trellising vines from Michaela @ The Gardener’s Eden
    Cheers, Deb

  5. Thanks for the tips and links, Deb. The tires sound like a great idea; I’m sure the cuckes would love their very own warm composty spot to grow.

    I was admiring all the baby beans on my purple bush beans this morning. I planted the “Tri-Color” bush bean blend from West Coast Seeds this year, and it has been an amazing trial–the purples have absolutely thrived, while the green and yellow have been chewed to the stem by slugs. I’m glad to know that the slugs either don’t like the purples much, or perhaps the purples just outgrew the bites faster! Either way, I know what to plant next year.

    WCS doesn’t specify the name of the beans in the blend, but the only purple bush they list is “Royal Burgundy”, so I suspect that’s it.

    Hopefully everything will balance out here weather-wise as well. I always think of August as the end of summer, because of all my years in the school system, so I start to feel doomed that my beloved heat is on its way out. But usually we do get good sun through September and into October, so here’s hoping that everything continues to have time to ripen!

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