What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Monday, August 09, 2010

The Country Gals Busy Season

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 All these photos were taken in mid-July so they are already outdated.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!


Melodie said...

What a beautiful garden! Zuchini is great but I still like yellow squash best. Whenever I fry a batch of potatoes (and being in Texas that's pretty often) I just throw in some cubed squash that has been dredged in corn meal. It at least gives the illusion that what we're eating is healthy. = ) lol Not to mention we used to have to grown a ton of squash to feed our reptiles, but since our collection of them is dwindling we may be buried in squash!

Bonnie said...

I, am insanely jealous. I don't even like looking out the kitchen window at our pitiful mess.
I have to say that your garden is proof positive that the lasagna method works beautifully!
Show us pictures of what you've canned- it might get me moving a bit faster on my flea market buys....

Peggy said...

What gorgeous pictures!! And your garden looks fantabulous (like that word, huh?!) We are staring at soybean fields gone wild, ha ha!! Our poor neighbors farm organically and it has been a bumper year for weeds... The weeds are almost as tall as our chain-link fence.

I love the lasagne method of gardening you are using... We just may have to try it next year or maybe a variation for the raised beds we are putting in (soonish, ha ha!)

OH I had a great garage sale and will be off to take the "leftovers" to the thrift store soon!!! Our place is slowly coming along... I am posting pictures soon (well not today but still soon!)

Take care now!!! :)

Nanci said...

I can't believe the difference in the garden even in the few short weeks since I was there. WOW!

Perhaps, I should post pictures of the Zinnias grown in our Lasagne Garden. They are thriving wonderfully (unlike our vegetable garden that is not done Lasagne Method).

Our local wildlife should be ashamed to be seen pilfering from a poor, meager vegetable garden like ours. BUT, they aren't! Brazen Thieves!

Perhaps, you would like to join me in my battle cry of "DEATH TO ALL GARDEN-PLUNDERING WILDLIFE SCUMBAGS!!"

Ooops, sorry -- I got caught up in the emotion of the moment!

Marlene Bibby said...

I used to freeze my tomatoes. Squish them and put them in containers and freeze. It is a wonderful way if you have a large freezer. And they work great for anything.

Remember Smooch is waiting until the 27th!

Mommy said...

So what do you make with all your zuchini? Our garden has a TON of them and I have made bread and casserole so far. Do you have any other great recipes that I could try out?

...they call me mommy... said...

It looks soooooooo yummy. I failed miserably this year with my garden! (I'm ok with it now. :P ) I planted too late, didn't do enough weed control, didn't weed enough, and had WAY TOO many critters...deer & raccoons!!! ACK! Anyway, thank you for letting me live vicariously through yours. :P

Morgan said...

Beautiful garden. mmmmm... pickles;)

Kim said...

Your garden is looking great! We are getting lots of zucchini as well and love it. Its one of my favorite veggies.
Tomatoes are starting to ripen in the past week as well.