Sunday, July 22, 2012

End of the Weekend

I know I got a few things done this weekend (I MUST have, right?) but basically I feel as though I went backwards on the move ahead front. Two days of hot, hot weather with no rain. Besides it being simmery, sultry summer time out there, there are lots of small (and a couple of big) wildfires in Canada and we can smell the smoke the second we step outside.

Yesterday I did my first picking this season of the blueberries. I only got two cups but it's a start and they were wonderful. (Snarfed them right up, we did.)

I also picked raspberries. Of our three 14 ft. long rows, only one row is currently ripe. From that row I got two quarts. We're also managing to eat these fresh. Fresh raspberries and cream are just about my all-time favorite summer time treat. Mmmmm-mm!

The weather conspired against our strawberries this year. At least I think that's what did 'em in. The picking season was short, I never got what I would call big berries, many of them had a solid white side that had to be cut off and most were small and rather seedy. (Other than that, they were great. Hahaha!) I was feeling like a really baaaad strawberry grower until I heard that the pick-your-own strawberry farms up in Canada a short distance from us had exactly the same kind of season I did. Add strawberries to the growing list of weird gardening experiences this year.

We did eat our share of fresh strawberries, I gave some to friends and family, put eleven quarts of mashed berries in the freezer for smoothies and made seventeen 1/2 pint jars of strawberry jam. I also squirreled away a quart and a half of whole (specially selected) strawberries in the freezer that I'll use to make Strawberry Shortcake later on.

I had wanted to take a bunch of pictures out in the garden this weekend for a garden tour post (the good, the bad and the ugly it will be) but never got to it. Tomorrow looks to be a jam-packed full day but maybe I can still get that post ready. These days when I feel over-worked and droopy from the heat and the daily lists seem to get longer and longer, I wonder who thought of the lines to the old song, "Summer time, and the livin' is easy . . . "

26 comments:

Sparkless said...

Well at least your smoke isn't coming from Serbia! Earlier this year the interior of BC was blanketed with smoke and everyone thought it was from the fires in the US. Turned out to be from Serbia. There truly are no borders when it comes to things like weather and smoke.

Sorry to hear your strawberries didn't do well this year. None of the things we planted is doing well except for the carrots. The tops look wonderful but I haven't bothered to check to see if they are actually growing a carrot or not.

Fall is the best season, at least I think so.

Akannie said...

I've heard several people saying their strawberries didn't do well this year...hmmm.

I know what you mean--I've been feeling like this for the past few weeks...so hot down here it's awful.

But I am getting some canning done...I saw the jars!! lol--Just feels so..I don't know--disorganized, or something...

Take care and watch out for that smoke...

2 Tramps said...

Our strawberries were being eaten by the rabbits so we put up rabbit fencing. Then the birds were getting them so we put up sparkly bird tape and that seems to be helping.

When I need to feel like I am having fun this summer, I take a break in the hammock. Swaying in the breeze watching the brilliant blue sky and clouds makes me smile.

Sue said...

I'm going to do the "Dorothy" thing and click my heels. This summer has got to go!

judy said...

at least you can relate to the2nd verse",your daddy's rich and your momma's good looking"-----I asked Jerry yesterday if he had heard if any snow on the way,that's how I feel about this heat

odiie said...

The blueberries down this way all froze out. I may be going up your way to find a patch. :)

Karen L. said...

The livin' is only easy in the summertime if you have someone waiting on you ..... making your meals, cleaning your house, doing your wash, tending your gardens ... or if you finally decide that it really is too darn hot and unhealthy to do much other than read or sleep. Of course then livin' isn't easy in the fall because you have to make up for all the "nothingness".

Erin said...

Isn't that odd, here the strawberries had one of the best years. Amazing how odd weather patterns work in different areas. At least it sounds like you got a year's supply of jam stashed so you did okay in spite of it, I'm still reeling from that last year's haul of berries you got!!!

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - Ha! Your carrots are doing well and that is the one veggie that almost ALL gardeners had trouble getting to germinate this year!

Yep, fall is definitely the best season, but not for letting a fall crop mature around here. Darn.

Mama Pea said...

Akannie - I think that darn disorganized feeling goes hand-in-hand with having way too much to do!

Mama Pea said...

2 Tramps - I'm ashamed to say we haven't even put up our hammock this year. I haven't even thought about it for a month or so. Not good. No, not good.

Mama Pea said...

Sue - If I still wasn't hoping for some vegetable and fruit harvests from the garden, I'd say to heck with this summer, too. What I really want is a cold, severe winter to kill off some of these awful insects that are plaguing us!

Mama Pea said...

judy - Okay, the big question is . . . HAD Jerry heard of any snow on the way?? (I think it would be welcomed!)

Mama Pea said...

odiie - I know . . . fruit tree and berry blossoms froze this spring farther south of us but we suffered none of that. Just another weird happenstance of the weather this year.

Mama Pea said...

Karen L. - Yeah, I often think of wealthy families spending the summer on Hyannisport (or a similar place). Now that would be enjoying summer!

Mama Pea said...

Erin - I've probably got more jam than we need. We've really cut down on jams the last several years. It's been a hard lesson to learn but our bodies simply can't handle much sugar as we . . . ah, um, mature!

It's been hard, though, adjusting to a puny strawberry crop after the last two years that were HUGE!

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

I think that every morsel that comes out of the gardens this year is a cause for celebration. It is also making for a bunch on depressed gardeners. I think due to the law of averages we just have to have a better year next year. Or at least that is what I am telling myself to get through this one.

Freedom Acres Farm said...

I think in 27 years of gardening this one has been one of the most challenging. We are getting some harvest out of some things. I just had such high hopes that I suppose it didn't have a chance to meet my expectations. We had doubled the size but we're certainly not getting double the harvest. Must be getting enough though cuz I have no time to blog LOL

Mama Pea said...

Jane - I know it would help us a lot up here if we had a severe winter to kill off the "southern" insects that are now able to survive up here. Up until several years ago, we never even had ticks up here because they couldn't survive the winters. Now the winters have become way too mild and we are infested with ticks.

Mama Pea said...

Freedom Acres Farm - I've said more than once to my hubby that if I were just starting out gardening this year, I would think it was impossible to grow enough to make it worth it. Luckily, I know this is just one terrible, crummy, awful, depressing year.

I also feel short on time right now but I think we're putting more effort into our gardens trying to get them to survive!

Lisa said...

I hope those wildfires are not a threat to you or your land if they're so close you can smell the smoke in the air!

I'm envious of your blueberries. Our (very many) bushes are loaded and nary one is ripening. Do you have any thoughts as to what our problem may be? Ours are all 'wild' and in my theory, should've been ripe by now.

2 qts. of raspberries in one picking? That sounds like a lot of good-picking to me! Very good!

and gosh, if all that strawberry production is a 'bad' year, I can't even imagine what you must produce in a 'good' year!

Sounds like you and Papa Pea are enjoying some good-eatin'! Just don't work too hard, my friend. It is 'okay' to take a break every now and then. :)

Stephanie said...

Snarfed...rofl!!! Sorry you're not getting as much this year as you should be. Although I suppose that makes you appreciate what you do get all the more.

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - The wildfires are no threat at this point. It's remarkable how far the scent of smoke from a fire will travel.

Your blueberries not ripening is a mystery. You've certainly had the heat and it sounds like enough moisture.

Two years ago (when I weighed my strawberry harvest) I got 174 lbs. Last year it was around 150 lbs. (Unbelievable, huh?) So you can see why this year seemed like a "bad" harvest.

Mama Pea said...

Stephanie - Yes! I'm appreciating very much any and all fruit or vegetable harvest we get this crazy, wonky gardening year!

The Weekend Homesteader said...

okay, brag about your strawberries and raspberries, why don't ya! I'll trade you some berries from some watermelon. Even your bad year of strawberries is better than my best year.

Mama Pea said...

The Weekend Homesteader - Trade berries for watermelon? You've got a deal! I'd love to do that. Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are something that do seem to grow up here without too much trouble. Now tomatoes and corn and melons . . . not so much!