Friday, July 30, 2010

What to do with it all!!

Tam & I went on vacation and friends of ours Carolyn & Paula took care of the garden for us. They will probably never volunteer for that job again but they did an awesome job and we thank them very much for the much needed vacation.
The flowers in the yard are in full bloom and growing like weeds. Some of them like the Tithonia are just out of control. I grew some impatiences by seed this year but they just started blooming now. I think I will start them a little earlier next year.

While we were gone there was some bad weather and the wind knocked over some of the tomato plants. The girls picked them up and tied them down. They also collected all the tomatoes that had fallen off and they are now ripening in a window sill. A lot fell off but there are still an abundance still on the vine ripening rapidly.
All the pumpkins & other squashes are growing rapidly, I'm harvesting something everyday. The pumpkins I have tied up in old onion bags I have saved through out the winter. They are already starting to turn orange. I have 2 huge Blue Hubbard. I told Tam that I want to enter them in the Fryeburg Fair but she says that they keep them. The Zucchini & Summer sq have been very prolific. I would like more of the Patty Pan maybe do another plant of it next year. The butternut sq. is just starting, we have got a couple started.
The peas and snap peas produced a lot but have gone by now. We tore down the plants before we went on vacation and planted another couple rows of peas for a fall crop. When we got home they are already a few inches tall. I really need to get the trellis back up for them. The beans have grown out and are starting to produce. Pretty soon we wont be able to keep up with them. Although the Japanese beetles have had quite a meal of them lately.

The rest of the plants are coming along. The wind knocked over the onion stalks but I have left them in for a little while longer to see what happens. The sweet bell & banana peppers are starting to grow well. We have already harvested a few bell peppers. It has not been a good year for the cucumbers. we have harvested some but they are odd shaped and the plants themselves look wilted & stressed.

So all in all it has been a pretty good year. Now it is time to keep up with the harvest and try to preserve all this good veggies. This year I was able to even make our own compost and so far we have got 5 wheel barrels of compost out of the bins and composter. Hope to get a few more before the weather starts to cool down to much.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Harvesting & Canning

The weather seems to be the garden's best friend this year. We are having a hard time keeping up with the harvest. I have a quart size bag of each one of the herbs dried & processed already. The beets came up huge, we are eating them as fast as we can pull them along with the lettuce & peas. Radishes & Strawberries are finished but they were tasty. I think we have had Zucchini & summer squash every night for the past 2 weeks. We have some Patty pans coming and 2 very huge Blue Hubbards. The Zinnias have been gorgeous. I grew Tithonias for the first time this year and they are beautiful. I'll get a picture up next time.

We have already made Blueberry Jam, some from blueberries that came from our friend Janet(we need more this year 8-) ) and some from our bushes. Tam is hoping to make a pie with the rest of them. Then we made Zucchini relish & then in case that was not enough we went raspberry picking @ Doles today and Tam made some raspberry jam. I do the beginning dishes, help can and then do the ending dishes so I do help somewhere in the process.

The Japanese beetle & cucumber beetle have been a plenty this year but my biggest problem has been earwigs. I tried the rolled up paper and the paper towel roll. They didn't work, but I found a recipe that works awesome.
Take a small can (cat food or Tuna can) put in the following and then set it in the garden, preferably under some shadowy, moist area, such as under the hosta or the broccoli leafs.

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon Molasses

It truly works, set it out and the next morning check the can and you will see a ton of earwigs in the can dead. Very gross but satisfying knowing they are no longer eating my plants down to a stub.

I still don't have my poles set up for the hammock, but Tam did get some pea gravel to put in the holes, hopeful this will hold the buckets in the ground. If not I will cement the buggers in.

I cleaned out the composter and the compost bin. I actually got 5 wheelbarrows full of the black gold. Very nice to see all that. Making a good pile behind the garage for next years garden. I'm actually out of compost raw material now, but it wont take long to replenish from the garden.