Tuesday, August 30, 2022

It's Harvest Time . . . Help!

I know all of us with gardens are in the same boat right now what with our harvests coming in lickety-split.  It's what we all plan and wait for all season, but wouldn't it be better if we had a few more hours in each day and perhaps two more people to help?
Not to complain, that's for sure, but good-golly-Miss Molly, is it a busy time!

Yesterday I picked these green peppers that I'll use to make Stuffed Green Peppers for the freezer.  Not good timing as my To Do List is already out of control, but the plants are bearing so heavily that several of them are listing at a 45° angle with the weight of the fruit.  These will have to wait a couple of days in my spare refrigerator before being processed.
Papa Pea helped me pick the last of the green and yellow beans yesterday.  There are still beans growing on the vines, but with this last picking I'll have an ample quota already put by.  Why is it that everybody is eager to accept extra strawberries or blueberries, but not so much beans?

Speaking of berries, we're getting more blueberries this year than we expected.  We're in the blueberry patch filling our bowls nearly every other day now.  And there are still lots of green and pink developing berries on the bushes that, hopefully, will turn deep, dark blue yet.

In my notes from last year, on August 1st I wrote that our slicing cucumbers were producing like crazy.  This year, all we currently see are some developing flowers.  How different the seasons can be.

Yesterday while checking out my Asian Lilies, dear daughter spotted this teeny-tiny frog (I didn't know they came this small!) perched on a lily petal.  She snapped this photo before the little creature moved on to further adventures.
I wonder what month it will be when I finally get around to processing all those strawberries, blueberries and haskap berries waiting in the freezer?  No doubt after the apple harvest and all the planned on jars of applesauce are lined up on the pantry shelf! 

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Good Lookin' Guy

We caught a picture of this buck with a beautiful and growing rack of antlers on our trail camera last week.
Also, the camera picked up a couple of shots of a good-sized black bear lumbering along back by our wood pile of logs to be worked up.  It was our first sighting of a bear this summer.  Unfortunately (darn), we neglected to save those pictures.  (Double darn.) 

Friday, August 26, 2022


I have a little book entitled, Simple Pleasures - Soothing Suggestions & Small Comforts for Living Well Year Round, written by a trio of authors, Robert Taylor, Susannah Seton, and David Greer.  It's a compilation of quotes gathered from their various friends and acquaintances.

In this book, I recently came across a piece (written by an anonymous author) that made me realize there are others who feel the same as I do about weeding.
For Love of Weeds

I have a confession to make that I hope my father
never hears -- I love weeding.  During the
summers when I was small, my father 
used to pay me fifty cents an hour to 
pull weeds from our extensive gardens.
I suppose, looking back on my wage scale,
it was a great deal for him,
but it was even better for me.
It was such a feeling of accomplishment
to finish a square area and look down at all that
sweet-smelling moist dirt and
not see a single little invader.

Exactly!  Remember the picture I recently posted of a portion of our blueberry patch that had been sadly neglected?

Same patch after I spent some quality time in it happily pulling and digging out the rasty weeds.

And nobody even had to pay me to do it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Tritzing Through My Garden - Again

But before we go out into the garden, here are pictures of a couple of our landscaping berm boxes.

Those gargantuan plants are hollyhocks (oh, how I do love hollyhocks) which look as though they will burst into bloom shortly.  I'm going to wait a year to decide what paint or stain to use on the berm boxes.  At the moment, I'm thinking I'll stain them a medium-dark brown.  In the picture you can also see the one and only window trim that I've gotten done so far this summer.  Sigh.  Oh boy, do I need a crew!

These boxes span the front width of the deck.  The one on the right is in position and leveled but not filled with dirt yet.  The lefthand one still needs leveling.  Those plants in pots in front are ones that will go in the berm boxes when they're ready.  The construction of the boxes has been done completely by our daughter.

Here's the much neglected weeding of part of the blueberry patch.  Even with my continuing fight with the invasive Witch's Broom, we're getting more blueberries than we did last year.  And there are lots more on the bushes to come.  Thank you, tough blueberry plants.

This is my tepee trellis with Scarlet Runner Beans climbing up it.  Doesn't it look like Mother Nature's Christmas tree?

The Brussels sprouts are doing . . . just okay.  Not many of them are forming nice look sprouts.  Why?  Wish I knew.

I'm always amazed at how lovely the potato plant flowers are.  Who knew the lowly potato would produce such delicate blossoms. 

The row of potatoes on the left (the Carola white tater variety) is much bushier and taller than the two rows of Red Norlands on the right.  I just went out an hour or so ago to see if I could find some "new" potatoes for dinner tonight under one of the plants of the Red Norlands.  They bloomed first so I thought they'd have bigger potatoes.

Wowzer!  Will you look at these that I took from under one plant?   The four of them weigh in at just over 2-1/2 pounds.   Methinks we're gonna have a mighty good potato harvest this year. 

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Another Stroll Through The Garden

We've been having to water the garden with either the sprinkler or hand- held hose a couple/few times a week.  So the 1/2" of rain we got last night was very welcome.  
Some of the vegetables are starting to mature while some cause me to wonder if they will make it.

I planted two varieties of garlic last fall.  Most of the bed was taken up with Chesnok Red and a small portion was given to Northern White.  I dug and tied up to cure all the Northern White this past week which matured quite a bit faster than the Chesnok Red that is still a ways from being ready.

Papa Pea mowed the grass yesterday and with the bag on the mower, collected the cuttings to use as mulch and a bit of natural fertilizer for the bare areas of the garden I didn't get planted this year.  (You can see how brown the grass is that was taken from an area that gets baked in the sun all day.)

My pickling cucumbers are finally showing some growth.  I need to make both Bread & Butter pickles and dills this year.  For the dill pickles I need . . . well, dill.

I think I mentioned I had to plant the dill seeds three or four times to get anything to germinate.  They are finally growing but the plants are still only about 3" high.  I think I need to regularly give pep talks to the little guys to try to encourage them to grow big enough to use when the pickling cukes are ready.

Something is dining well on both my yellow and green beans.  I've never had this happen before and am hoping the plants will remain strong enough to give us the beans we need.  We've been dusting with DE in the mornings while the dew is still present.

The green pepper plants are tall and healthy producing lots of peppers in various stages.  We haven't even had an especially hot summer (lots of nights down into the 50s) yet they look as good as they ever have.  Makes me wonder why I've always gone to the trouble in the past of putting them under protection to hold in the heat.

Peas will have to be picked again tomorrow.  (They're still soak-y wet from last night's rain.)  We've taken two harvests from the vines thus far and by the looks of them today, tomorrow will give us more than from the previous two pickings.  Love those fresh frozen garden peas! 
I have a dehydrator full of parsley, sage and rosemary as we speak.  (All on separate trays, of course.)  Do any of you grow and dry your own herbs?