Sunday, July 25, 2010

So busy and PHOTOS

My mom came down last week and stayed with us for a few days while my dad was on a motorcycle trip. She helped me get the family and playrooms painted in the basment. They were big rooms and we got it all done in just a couple days-2 coats. She went home on Friday. Saturday Josh and I installed laminate flooring in our family room and Sunday we had the couch, tv, and desk all set up! We also did a lot of clean up down there with the help of the boys.

Today I froze more blackberries and some green beans. I have more cukes than I know what to do with! I am not interested in pickling them. Oh well! Next year I'll not plant so many cucumbers! I took some to the neighbor yesterday.
Jalapeno peppers- going into the freezer until the tomatoes are ripe to use in salsa!
Green beans!
The garden!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Begininng to harvest

WOW! My garden is growing out of control! Next year I need to put more space between the hill for squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, watermelon and zucchini because that area is a giant section with plants criss-crossing each other. I put the hills so the centers were 4 ft apart. Next year I need to try 4 or more ft of flat ground between the hill I think. Cucumbers are growing and a few are only a day or so away from picking. I couldn’t even see them, buried under all the leaves. I have 1 tomato that is almost ripe. The romas are about 1-2" long at this point. Jalapenos just keep producing and I keep picking! Onions continue to grow. Green beans have formed and I’m waiting for them to plump out a bit. Today’s hand watering should help. Though we had an 80% chance of storms yesterday, we got almost no rain at all. We haven’t had rain in awhile, so this morning’s soaking was needed. The corn is about 4’ high and the tassles are now formed! I hope our corn is good! That’s the 1 vegetable the whole family will eat! Had friends over this weekend and we enjoyed salad with my fresh lettuce. She commented on how good the lettuce tasted-I was proud!

I have TONS of wild blackberries this year! Last year they were just thorny canes. Last night I picked about 4 cups of the frist ripe ones. The boys want me to make some blackberry crisp today. I think I will try to do that! Some places have huge plump berries while others have smaller berries. I wonder if they are different varieties or if the locations make a difference. The ones on the hill tend to be smaller than those down the hill on the edge of the woods. The berries are at various stages-some still small and white, some pink to red, others black; therefore I should have a long picking season.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Garden updates

The garden is continuing to grow very well! I wish I could post photos, but the cord that goes from the camera to the computer is in a box somewhere in a storage room in the basement all taped off during the drywalling phase of basement finishing. The corn is thigh-high, squash and pumpkins are vining all over the place, green beans and tomatoes are getting blossoms. I've been picking jalapenos and lettuce. I wish the peppers and tomatoes were on the same schedule though! Yesterday there was a garter snake slithering around. It was my 1st snake sighting of the season.

We are due for a break in the heat wave today due to some rain moving in. So far the weather map shows rain all around us, just not here! We could use the rain, as I'm sure most people can!

My fruit trees are a disaster this year (year 1) and I can just hope they survive and try again next year. After all my diligence in plucking off the caterpillars, ants ate the peach tree leaves and I never did figure out what was eating the apple trees. I have been spraying them with an organic treatment for fungus and insects, but I believe I started too late. The damage was already done.

My 2 little blueberry bushes are healthy and are producing a handful of berries each. One of the raspberry bushes is producing berries, but it appears to have some insect damage. The other raspberry bush is green and healthy, but has no berries!

I may go brave the mosquitos before the rain to pick some wild berries this afternoon. I'm off to a really late start today due to being up with the puppy for the majority of the night. Once the kids got up this morning, it was back to bed for me! I'm glad I don't have to work during the summer! I need to vacuum the carpets and mop the kitchen floor. It would be nice to get a loaf of bread started also. I guess I'd getter get started!

PS Last week while the boys were at grandma's house, I made a batch of soap using canola, olive, coconut and castor oils. It is curing and looks pretty nice!