Friday, August 8, 2008

Send Help

The garden is going great guns and I'm outta gas. All of a sudden (not really, I've been waiting over two months for this), more than I can handle needs to be harvested and processed.

Yesterday I picked our first six slicing cucumbers. Sent all but one with the box of produce to the restaurant and I can see there will be several more today. Also had our largest delivery of mixed salad lettuce yesterday. Just short of eight pounds. All our lettuce is gourmet baby lettuce . . . imagine how much one leaf of baby lettuce weighs. So how many of those little leaves does it take to make up eight pounds? A lot. An amazing lot. Also sent baby Swiss chard and possibly the last of the snow peas.

I pulled all of the shell pea vines on Wednesday as they were done, done, done. The vines went to some happy chickens. Here's the naked trellising still standing (I haven't gotten that down yet) with the sunflowers behind. With the lush pea vines gone, I'm hoping the sunflowers will get more sunshine and grow a little faster than they have been.

I had planned on making some jam with the raspberries in the refrig that I had picked two days ago. But yesterday looking at my list for the day, I knew it wasn't gonna happen so I spread the berries on cookie sheets and froze them. Here's a sheet of them frozen solid and ready to be shoveled into freezer bags. Freezing this way keeps them individualized; they don't smoosh together. I can make jam with them at a later date or most likely we'll use them as the fruit sweetener in smoothies this winter.

Last night after dinner, I had to pick raspberries again. Also picked a small amount of blueberries and combined them with the raspberries and then made a batch of Blueberry-Raspberry Jam today. Mmmm, good.

This bush doesn't have many blueberries on it but the berries sure make a pretty picture.

I had to plant beans twice this year as most of the first planting rotted in the ground. When I did the second planting, I left the few of the first plants that did sprout. Now those have inch long beans on them so I know it won't be long before I'll be blanching green and yellow beans for the freezer. Also planted some French fillet beans, which are my husband's favorite, but they don't freeze well at all, so we'll eat them fresh and send some to the restaurant.

So you see, just when I've given my all to get the garden to this point, it's rewarding my efforts with an abundance of beautiful produce . . . and I feel overwhelmed and under-powered. I've used up all my oompf. Gardening is hard work . . . especially if you strive to grow enough veggies to can, freeze and process to take you through to the next growing season, plus some extra to sell.

Okay, you can send in the harvest crew now. Has anyone seen that person who's gonna work full time in my kitchen to process everything? And, oh yeah, do you know of anyone who does windows and would clean my bathroom?

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