Sunday, September 13, 2009

Time to Catch Up

Well, I have not blogged in forever.  And I know I have said before that I’d be a more frequent blogger.  While that is my desire (I really do like it!) I just can’t make any promises!  I’ve got a bunch of stories and pictures from this past summer.  So as I find time, I’ll try to share some of them with you

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Back in July, before we put in the invisible fence, we came home from church and let Melody out of the kennel.  Usually she clobbers us and then does a few laps around the house.  Not today.

Instead she went right to the flower bed by her kennel and started barking.  We’ve had bunnies there before, so I didn’t think about it too much and turned to go inside.  Then I heard it.

Not an animal noise that I had ever heard before, but it was definitely a critter of some kind.  I decided that I’ll let my big, strapping husband investigate.  Here’s what he found:

woodchuck

Now I can’t tell you for sure, but we think it is a woodchuck.  And one who hasn’t been chewing too much wood by looking at his teeth!  I threw Mel inside in case the guy decided to fight for his spot.  Adam got a shovel and started shooing him out.

He ran a little bit, but once he got to the garden, his bravery stepped in.  He stood up and started jumping on Adam’s shovel!  At that point, we decided that Mel might be useful.

woodchuck2 

I put Mel on a leash and handed her to Adam.  Then he let her “chase” the woodchuck out of the yard.  It was just enough that the critter was scared enough to run away, but we could pull Mel away in case he decided to fight.  We haven’t seen him since.

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Do you remember the garden we planted in May?  Well it’s been great and interesting at the same time.

Our first “crop” was strawberries!  I ended up making 2 batches (or maybe it was 2 double batches) of freezer jam.  I didn’t want to try to figure out canning yet, since this we June and we were out of town most of the month!  We gave away lots, but I do have a little stash in the back of our freezer. ;)

jam-on-toast

After a few weeks, towards the end of June, Adam declared strawberry season over.  So we let the weeds overtake the patch.  But a least a month later we were still seeing some beautiful red berries!  It is certainly a resilient patch.

Then we had radishes.  They were good, but I only eat them on salads.  So most of them went to work.  Will plant MUCH less, if at all, next year.

Cucumbers, oh my cucumbers.  We kept looking for them.  Didn’t see any for the longest time.  Then one day we found this:

cucumbers

This is a comparison between a normal sized cucumber (on the left) and one of our monsters (on the right).

cucumber

Since then, we’ve been monitoring them more closely and have gotten some great cucumbers.  

cucumber-slices-edited

I even tried pickling a few jars.  But really, they looked and smelled downright disgusting.  And apparently there are special “pickling” cucumbers.  We didn’t use those.  So I’m not really sure how they will taste, but I did learn how to can them! 

Those are our beans below.  We ended up with 11 quarts of beans.  Melody certainly enjoyed the nights when we picked and cut beans.  She’d just stick her nose in the bucket and saunter off to eat her treat.  And then come back for another.  And another. And another…

canned-beans-and-pickles

Our corn did not fare well this year.  We had a few storm and most to the stalks got pushed over.  So we ended up with only a dozen ears, but they were pretty good!

corn-edited

Carrots,  so pretty.  We planted them really close together and then never  thinned them out, so most of them were really tiny, think “golf pencil.”  But we did get one ice cream pail full.

carrots-edited

And the tops, just because they’re so green!!

carrot-tops-edited

The tomatoes started off not so great.  My cherries that I got from a friend were obliterated after a storm (I had just planted them).  Then the romas and goliaths kept getting bugs!  But lately they’ve just been thriving.  Must be that we’re actually having a little bit of summer now.  August was just cool!  I love my tomatoes.  I can say my, because Adam doesn’t eat them.  

tomatoes

Unless I make  them into salsa.  Three batches so far!

salsa

But this is how I like to eat them.  Chilled and with a little salt.  Perfection.

tomatoes-sliced

There is something very satisfying about making a salad with carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes that were grown in my backyard.  Next year I’m growing lettuce too!

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Long enough for you?  If you got bored with my produce rundown, I’ll try to talk more about people next time. 

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1 comments:

The Andrews Family said...

Yummy! Where are the green peppers? We did those one year (well, the only year we had a garden) and had green peppers the size of small canteloupes!