Tis the season…

Tis the season for growing compost piles, for weeding unwanted seeds from the stockpile, for starting a wishlist for next year and reflecting on the season’s passing.

I think it may be the last year for the raised beds. And I think I’ll help them go. They harbor ants nests I can’t beat back or cajole away. They permit sweet potatoes to bunker under the walls, lessening the harvest and sowing the next generation of ground cover in the same allowance.

But to do so would require remapping the irrigation installed by our predecessors. And that is not in the time budget between now and the early sowings of spring when we’ll try for more peas and beans and carrots and things.

So perhaps another year, I’ll eke out of these tiring lengths, and perhaps next winter we’ll be moving, or the kids will be old enough to require less of my ship’s side to barnacle upon which will both ease and sadden my heart, and also increase the time budget a smidge, methinks. We shall see.

So the beds will rest, the compost will grow, and the caterpillars will continue to feast like royalty upon my cauliflower dreams.

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Delicious homecoming!

Coming home is always so nice. Aside from DH and the boys being here, it has so many reasons that I love coming back. It smells like DH’s cooking. It has the right pillow. I have gardens to walk through.

More reasons?

Sprouts!

This is the cauliflower pan. As many varieties as I like to grow of peppers and tomatoes, so far I’ve only grown one variety of cauliflower – Amazing.

And the delicious part of coming home?

Bell peppers from the garden! Orange and purple, even.

And those tomatoes? Still going strong. We broke the 40 lb mark and still can’t keep up. I’m taking more to work tomorrow to give away, and still have too many. What to do? The internet says you can freeze cherry tomatoes, which is about all I have time for currently. So as much as I’d like to try my hand at canning tomatoes for the first time, I didn’t grow any typical canning varieties and honestly don’t feel like blowing up the kitchen with my canning shenanigans. (If anyone knows how to keep the kitchen moderately clean while canning, I am all ears.)

So, I removed the stems, and put them in a strainer for a quick bath.

I gently rolled them on a tea towel to dry, placed them on a cookie sheet, and started to put them in the freezer…ooops! No room! So I made room by taking out the peaches I just froze and putting them in a ziplock for longer storage.

Oh, and making sure your cookie sheet actually fits in the freezer? Good idea BEFORE ¬†you put the rolly-polly tomatoes all over it. Also, because you don’t own a cookie sheet with edges, right? Right. (I don’t.)

So carefully tuck the cookie sheet into the freezer…and then! The chicken doesn’t fit. Luckily those tomatoes are rolly-polly! So I rolled them over, and the chicken made friends.

But not all the food is a success. This was my second year attempting melons, and my first year with melons setting on the vines. I think I may have planted them out too late though. They’re ripening while still tiny-sized. One Tigger Melon ripened and went bad in a day. The other? Ripened at the size of a golf ball. And this poor guy, a Kansas Melon, was growing nicely and we hit 102 this weekend. Boom. Ripe and bug-infested. But doesn’t the flesh look lovely?

The Farmer’s Market here is a good gauge for me as to when things should be ripe. I try and work backwards from when things at the Farmer’s Market are available to when I should be sowing similarly plants. The melons were ripe here about a month ago. I direct sowed these melons…where are the notes…that I didn’t make on the melons! Ha! My timeline shows that I intended to sow them March 15th. With how this year has gone, I probably sowed them about March 30th. So next year I’ll start them indoors Feb 1st and see how that goes. We have gotten a freeze in March once in the last nine years (for a few hours) but this year we didn’t have a freeze after…December?

And today we hit 106.

Home, hot, sweet, delicious, home!

 

P.S. If anyone remembers to remind me, I do not care for Jiffy Organic Seed Sowing Mix. It’s like powdered dirt it’s SO light and fluffy. I couldn’t recall if I liked Jiffy and didn’t like MiracleGro’s Organic, or vice versa. I’ve just re-learned my preference, but that doesn’t mean I’ll remember it.