Two more days and the whole month of July is gone, gone, gone. Is this summer going by fast or what? Even though a lot of us have been bemoaning the crummy gardening season, the over-abundance of heat and humidity and are ready for this summer to be history, there are still many things around here that need to get accomplished before nasty weather arrives making it too difficult to work outside . . . or inside (painting, polying) without windows wide open for good ventilation. Guess this all means I need to shift into a higher gear and sprint (shuffle faster) toward the finish line.
Hubby and I painted inside the garage yesterday. He stayed with it nearly the whole day but I only worked there 'bout half the day. I had peas to process and freeze, raspberries to pick and raspberry juice to make.
There are now ten servings of garden peas in the freezer. Many thanks to my daughter for helping me shell the peas Saturday night. Not a bad job at all when you have good help and conversation to speed things along.
I had nearly a gallon of raspberries and I hope I didn't waste them. Since Papa Pea loves canned raspberries for the juice left in the jar(!), I decided to try to make raspberry juice so he can guzzle as much as his little heart desires.
Combining a few recipes I found on the good ol' Internet, I made what is supposed to be raspberry concentrate. For a delicious (hopefully) raspberry fruit juice drink, it's to be diluted with three or four parts of water. I got just short of 6 pints of the concentrate. The pint that was a smidge short is in the refrigerator and we'll sample it this morning with breakfast. Fingers crossed it's good stuff.
We had a couple of storms roll through yesterday afternoon. Our rain gauge collected right around 3/4" of rainfall. Then overnight we got another 7/10ths of an inch. We were getting mighty dry again so all of this moisture is good to have.
Saturday I planted two beds of fall crops. One bed of broccoli and another of kohlrabi, lettuce and chard. I still want to put in some radishes, which I love, but will wait a while longer before planting those. If I could find enough room somewhere I'd plant some more shell peas, too.
Even though a lot has been disappointing in the garden, I can't complain about my kohlrabi. Kohlrabi likes to grow in cool weather and the faster it matures (usually around 45 days), the more tender, crisp and good-flavored it is. Mine that is just coming mature now was planted April 29th right before it turned really warm up here. So it has been growing in not just warm but very hot weather. It should have been ready to eat around the middle of June. Here it is the end of July and it is just big enough to harvest. BUT darned if the stuff isn't sweet and tender and we're enjoying some almost every day. Go figure.
The recent rain has brought our temperatures down a little which is a welcomed relief. Cooler temps are in our forecast for the next week and I don't think anyone will complain if that actually comes to pass.
POSTSCRIPT: We did try the raspberry concentrate with our breakfast this morning. It didn't look thick to me so I made two sample glasses: One mixed with two parts water and one mixed with three parts water. We both agreed we think we can go with even more water so I'll try four to one next.
And the flavor? Lip-smackin' good! Score one for our side. I think I've got some good raspberry juice here. Maybe I should try making some blueberry juice next? (Heck, maybe I should finally buckle down and learn how to make WINE with this luscious fresh fruit!)
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