Independence Days Update

I’ve now lost track of which week this is, and we’re half way through another as well.

Planted:  nada.  I’m walking – no, running – down that road so nicely paved to *you know where* with *you know what* 🙂

Harvested:  Tomatoes.  Lots.  I’ve quit weighing, it was just too much to keep clearing more space for the new ones.  Cucumbers.  Lots.  I made a batch of relish which, since I only use single process organic cane sugar, is very dark brown.  I’m hoping it will impart an interesting taste to the relish, otherwise it will be a bust. Corn — dwarf varieties designed for the Midwest do not do well here.  I got about 3 cups of corn from about 20 ears; a lot of the ears weren’t fertilized (my fault, spacing too close) and of those that were, many were unusable because of some sort of fungus that took over.  Yuck.

Preserve:  relish, tomato sauce, Mr. Tin Foil made a two batches of salsa and I canned it so we have 6 pints of salsa.  That took up most of the tomatoes that were getting ready to rot, since my tomato saucer still is on back order. I guess I picked the wrong time of year to buy one!  Well, it will be here for next season.

Eat the food:  salads with eggs, veggies, the few zucchini I’ve gotten.  Cheese.

My satellite dish herb garden is doing fabulously well — the sage couldn’t survive the heat but the rosemary, Mexican sweet mace, oregano are all doing well, and the German thyme has come back really amazingly.  Now I have to figure out a way to make a little greenhouse cover for it so they all will overwinter.  I had planned on drying a bunch but they are all so healthy that even taking some for dinner just makes them grow faster it seems.

It’s time to make more pesto with the basil interplanted with the tomatoes as well.  And I think I may have late blight in my tomatoes.  I don’t know what it looks like, and I’m still getting great tomatoes from plants that look mostly dead, but they DO look pretty awful.

We have had somewhat of a break from the heat and all the tomato plants that survived the heat are blooming and fruiting again, as are the pepper plants.  I have 4 green chile plants that I keep thinking are going to kick off but when I went out this morning to harvest they had new leaves and new blooms – go figure.  The will to live is strong in them, Grasshopper…

The pickling cucumbers are really a total bust.  I won’t be planting any of them next year.  And my zucchini are a bust too, not sure why.  I really think that the composted manure I bought has a lot to do with it — that pesticide residue is very much more prevalent than it has been let on, I think.

I have a volunteer tomato plant that is about 2 feet tall under my front deck, no fruit yet but it has blossoms.  Planting beans out there was not a good idea though…they blossom but they don’t fruit, and then they die.  The pesticide thing again I’m thinking — they look exactly like the pictures of affected beans.

Building community systems:  Working on it.  Mr. Tin Foil has convinced me to get my ham radio license; the net around here is very active and there is also a net for emergency response that checks in once a week.  They do drills and stuff, and are involved in planning so they are the people I want to hook up with.  He has gone to a couple of coffee meetings with the group members of the regular net (although there’s a lot of overlap) and has really enjoyed himself.  We got to share eggs and home made feta with a few, so the base is there and the group are receptive to the idea of home made — and one of the members just got a compost bin and is very excited about starting a garden next year.  Mr. Tin Foil offered help with getting the mix right if he needs it (I know it took me going to a compost class to actually get it right).

Other than the new baby, and the following gratuitous picture of the new little one with grandma’s first present, a knitted crab, nothing much going on.  I’m moving to days which means that I’ll be taking a rather painful pay cut, but I need to move.  I need to get back on a schedule with my work life that is somewhat the same as my real life.

'Crabby' baby

'Crabby' baby

That’s it for me for now.  Have a lovely and productive day all.

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