Sunday, July 31, 2016

Full-Blown Summer Time

We have the sprinkler going in the garden this morning.  All the heat has made the garden grow like it's on steroids this summer, but presently we're in a rain-less period and everything really needs moisture.


The ripening blueberry bushes got a good watering close to sundown last night.  We haven't made our first picking yet, but soon.

The strawberries are done except for the Everbearers which should give us another (small?) crop late in the season.  I can't tell the flavor of them has improved much over this first harvest period, but Papa Pea picked the last couple of cups of them yesterday and reported (from sampling in the patch) that he thought they tasted more like "real" strawberries now.

Raspberries are coming in, but I think our patch is trying to tell us all the canes are contemplating moving into a retirement home, and we should start some replacements.  Very soon.  We've had excellent harvests from these plants which have to be at least 15 years old and a new patch has been on the list for a couple of years now.  Maybe it will (had better) actually happen next spring.


A week or so ago my old (and I do mean old), but faithful Bee Beyer dehydrator stopped putting out heat.  Wouldn't you know it would happen right in the midst of harvest season?  ('Course, when else would it happen other than when you were using it?  Duh.)

Thankfully (and, yes, I am lucky), my dear husband has the know-how to tear into it . . . and get it up and running again.

Turns out the way the unit is designed, there is an old-fashioned glow-coil (circa 1950s or 60s, he says) with a standard bulb-type electrical base.  The glow-coil is screwed into and held in place by a small plastic bulb holder which after years of use and heat fatigue burned out at it's bottom (don't cha hate it when that happens?) creating a short which disconnected the heating element from the power.  (Got that?)  Papa Pea had a new plastic base in his spare parts inventory.  (How does he do that?)  He added an insulating ceramic screw-in adaptor between the glow-coil and plastic socket base so we shouldn't have the problem again.


I was back in business so I could get another batch of parsley dehydrated.

I harvested the last of the shell peas yesterday, came in and processed them for the freezer and then went back out and pulled up all the spent pea vines . . . with copious quantities of sweat dripping off me.  (That's good for detoxing the whole body, right?)  I ended up with five more servings of peas in the freezer than last year which is better than I expected to get since the peas matured in our hot, hot weather.

With the area where the peas grew cleared, the pumpkins will have more room to spread out.


If I can coerce them into traveling that way.  Which may be a challenge and involve chains and stakes.  And possibly whips.

My beans are about 2" long so perhaps by the end of the week (?), I'll start harvesting them.


A gaggle of geese to say hello this morning.


Then heading to the pond for a swim.

The day has dawned a little overcast so we have the sprinkler going in the garden again.  If things go as they usually seem to, a thorough watering of the berry patches, new fruit trees, raised beds and field garden should bring on a natural rainfall . . . which would still be very welcomed.

19 comments:

Dawn McHugh said...

I have just started picking Blueberries this past week, I have started replacing raspberry canes this year too, as my oldies were not preforming to well so thought it time to introduce new stock

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

I'm so jealous of your blueberries! I have also had to turn the sprinkler on the garden. Your pumpkins will no doubt take up that extra space you have created. -Jenn

Rain said...

We're enjoying a great summer here. My tomatoes are finally turning red! Yahoo! Soon I'll have a dozen red tomatoes to taste, I can't wait. ONE strawberry is blooming and it better taste good once it's ready to pick ;)...the lemon tree is starting to sprout little green thingies that will grow to lime-looking, then actual lemons, I can't wait :) Your geese have such a nice pond, I wish I had one in my back yard too!

Sue said...

I just love your geese. What a "Friendly" look they give to a place.
Got my beans all done today. That's a record for me--3 days!! Freezer FULL. All this hot weather was good for something!

Mama Pea said...

Dawn - Sounds like we're operating on the same wave lengths!

Mama Pea said...

Jenn - Even with the extra space, I'm fearing they don't truly have enough area to spread out. I think as soon as I can pick out several forming pumpkins, I'm going to start nipping of the growing ends of the vines. If I just get enough of the pie pumpkins for decorations in my window boxes and a few pies and several big pumpkins for fall decorations, I'll be more than happy.

Mama Pea said...

Rain - I don't know if it's the hot weather or what but when our geese are in the pond, they have taken to diving under the water like diving ducks and resurfacing a few feet away. We've never seen geese do that!

Mama Pea said...

Sue - I'll be sure to pass on your compliment to the geese! Our pond was empty for a couple of years, but now I just love the looks of the geese and ducks on it. They add so much "life" to the place!

I've never heard of a bean harvest beginning and ending in THREE DAYS! I usually pick for at least a week. Hmmm, I think I might like your method better . . .

Sue said...

I've NEVER had it go so fast either. I put up 26 pints---and have 6 left from last year. That's enough for us---we don't eat them during the summer.

Robin Sam said...
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Robin Sam said...
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Vera said...

We have been watering by hand this year, but I think putting a sprinkler system in place for next year is going to save us a lot of effort.
We brought our bean harvest in over two days, and I got twenty jars canned up, but will not use them until winter. Couldn't put them in the freezer because it is full of meat!

Mama Pea said...

Vera - Having a freezer chock full of meat is NOT a bad thing! We don't eat any of our vegetables from the garden (except for fresh greens, summer squash, tomatoes, etc. and podded peas which I can't freeze successfully) that I put by expressly for winter either. (How's that for a poorly constructed sentence?)

gld said...

I love seeing the geese; they are like exotic species for me!

Beautiful blueberries. I hear they had a bumper crop in Michigan this year. Hope yours is too.

Hope your watering brings on a good, soaking rain.

Mama Pea said...

Glenda - I shall endeavor to post more pictures of the geese . . . just for you!

The wild blueberries (a big thing for many people up here) have been prolific this year so I'm assuming conditions would be good for our domestic ones also.

My hubby says we might get some rain tonight . . . oh, how we need it. We had a reading of 100 degrees in the sun today. I can hardly believe it!!

2 Tramps said...

Everything looks so nice there! All the luscious green and those beautiful blueberries! Just today I was thinking how I am so tired of looking out at the dry desert landscape of beige dry grasses and dusty green juniper trees. But at least we don't have any fires in the our area this year so far, so I am grateful!

Kristina said...

That's great about your peas. I did not get any in the freezer, but we did enjoy about 3 meals of them. I pulled all the vines already. I am sad they only reached about 12 inches do to lack of rain, but this year was better than last year.

Mama Pea said...

2 Tramps - We got some much needed rain overnight which made the brown spots in the grass look green again . . . just that quickly. Rain does do wonders and I hope you get some soon. It's so necessary, especially this time of year.

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - I have to plant two 16' long trellises (planting on both sides of each one) to get enough peas for the two of us for our winter's supply. I can't imagine how many you would have to plant for the number of people around your table!