Every year in the garden, there are successes and disappointments. So far, the star this year is the cucumbers. I got lots. (You want some?)
The biggest disappointment is the pumpkins, which continue to suffer groundhog incursions.
But it looks like the onions might be another success story. Check these out!
Aren’t they lovely? I pulled them on Friday. After sitting out in the sun for an afternoon, they are curing in the garage. Tomorrow when it is less humid, I might switch them to the front porch. These are called Yellow of Parma. I am handling them with kid gloves!
Today, I added manure and bonemeal to the spot where they grew. I’m thinking I’ll just plug the garlic bulbs there once I get them.
The tomatoes have been kind of hit or miss. After picking some uglies:
I got some nice ones today:
I have been picking the tomatoes before they are fully ripe to beat out the squirrels (groundhog?), who are still getting to them here and there, even with the bird netting. They ripen pretty quick if I put them in a paper bag with a banana.
The peppers seem safe so far.
Last Sunday, I went to a local farmers’ market that I’d never been to before (since I’d missed the Saturday market while down the Shore). I picked up tomatoes, zucchini, and peaches.
The tomatoes (plus one of my own) became tomato sauce on Tuesday and went in the freezer. Next time, I’ll puree it more and cook it longer: it’s slightly chunky and looks more like puree than sauce. But it still ought to be able to go into my spaghetti gravy.
The zucchini got eaten for dinner Monday.
The peaches, I blanched, sliced and froze. I don’t think they looked that great but maybe they will be OK in muffins or bread.
On Sunday, I also bought Ball jars at Acme and made another jar of pickles (the fifth or sixth?). I’ll be making another today. I don’t know what else to do with the cucumbers. I gave some away.
My final act of food preservation this week was to pick parsley and dry it in the oven. It wasn’t that much, but maybe the picking will spur some growth of the plant.
Monday, we had chicken piccata, egg noodles, and farmers’ market broccoli that I had frozen the other week. The kids were initially suspicious of the broccoli –they could tell it wasn’t the usual frozen kind I get — but they ended up eating it. Tuesday was chicken nuggets, zucchini and watermelon; Wednesday was spaghetti and clams for me and plain spaghetti with butter and/or cereal for the kids; Thursday was McDonald’s for the kids and takeout for the grownups; Friday was pizza. For tonight, I’ve got ribs going in the slow cooker; they are both rubbed and sauced. I had all the spices on hand for the rub but used Sweet Baby Ray’s for the sauce.
The rest of tonight’s dinner comes from this morning’s farmers’ market trip — Jersey corn and mashed potatoes:
It was a nice week. Had some really pleasant days at the pool, some playdates. We knocked some errands off the to-do list, like dropping off paperwork to school and buying new soccer gear. Sebastian is diligently learning to tie his shoes; Aidan passed the swimming test at the pool so he can go off the diving boards. Lots of laundry. Just one meeting.
Tonight/tomorrow, I want to plant a new round of lettuce (the bed is all prepped) and maybe some new pumpkin seeds. Monday, I vow to call someone about the groundhog. Been dragging my feet on spending the money — and I need a commitment from hubs to close off the space under the deck as soon as the beast is evicted. Tomorrow I might go back to the Sunday market and get more stuff to preserve. Still have lots of freezer space.
When the heat wave broke this week, I immediately felt like we were on the downslide of summer and I could even just barely taste fall. I feel like this happens every year. It’s still very warm out, lots of summer stuff going on, but something has changed. Maybe it’s the crickets too. I’m hearing them more at night, and found one in the playroom right on schedule, on August 1.