It is now officially upon us.
Now is as good a time as any for an update on the GARDEN, and about time too! All these photos were taken in mid-July so they are already outdated. But, here they are anyway.
For the record, it is growing. :-)
For all the failed starts, the glory of the garden are by FAR the tomatoes. This says a lot considering they struggled so the first month. That motley crew of tomatoes that stayed dwarfs for about a month and looked like they were as good as dead turned into a luscious army of looming giants.
I am not exaggerating when I say giants either. Most of them are taller than *I* am. Since I am 6 feet tall, this is pretty impressive. Corynn took a photo of me standing next to them for proof, my own vanity prohibits me from showing it here. I happened to be wearing an orangey/red dress and looked like a monster tomato in the midst of the plants. And not in a cute way. (trust me) Instead, I give two children tall for their ages (4 and 6) for perspective...
Not to be left out....
The tomato plants are beautiful and the tomatoes ON them are divine. Hopefully lots of salsa and sauces will be made since we are officially OUT of it all, thanks to last years' blight.
My only sadness is that the tomato plants grew SO large, they broke and bent the cages that were SUPPOSED to support them, so about 90% of the plants now lay horizontal in the walkways.
This wouldn't be a huge deal except that, despite our Guantanamo Garden fence, we have had woodchucks, rabbits and who knows what else visiting and snarfing on OUR hard work. And now the tomatoes are just lying out there, like a nice, inviting buffet.
See? Those tomatoes WERE standing straight up. That is the Kinder garden by the way. Looks different now, eh?
Fresh vine tomatoes are one of summers' most glorious treats. (Especially like this.) So glad to finally be harvesting them, though admittedly, few actually make it to the kitchen. One of the (very few) downfalls of child-bearing is not being able to hoard all the tomatoes for yourself. Especially when you have more than 1.4 children to share with.
Cucumbers are the subject of all the canning recently. Pickles, anyone?
We had beautiful broccoli (had being the operative word)~ until a woodchuck came and feasted. Horrible beast. I can't believe I tried to nurse its' baby back to health. THAT's the thanks I get?!? sheesh
This was a photo of our VERY first weeks' harvesting! YAY. It has quadrupled since and I admit, I have had a hard time keeping up. Unlike most gardeners, I *LOVE* zucchini. I can never tire of it or have too much. It is just so versatile! The thorn in my side is yellow summer squash. I have about enough of that after the first handful are harvested. I am afraid it is these that are sorely neglected and sometimes even, dare I say it, wasted?
I have done far less canning than usual after taking stock of what we had leftover from last year. Still pickling plenty of cucumbers~ (Matt is addicted to these) because there is not much more you can DO with cucumbers but one can only stand so much PICKLING, if you ask me, and given my rather...compromised state....I am turning toward alternate methods of preservation for some of the other veggies (like zucchini) since we have a fair amount left of some items (like zucchini relish) from last years' bumper crop.
DEHYDRATING (man, I love this method!).
And of course, utilizing as much of it fresh as possible.
It has been niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice not having to be slave over a canning stove every single day of this crazy hot summer. I WILL have to be soon enough, when the tomatoes take over. But until then, I am loving plugging in the dehydrator and calling it good. I also love how much less space the end product takes up, how much more versatile the food is, how much COOLER the process is, how many less JARS it requires, and how much faster you can be done with it!
YaY for dehydrators!