Friday, June 28, 2013

The flattened corn. Results.

I DID get some corn from the stalks that were felled during Tropical storm Andrea.
But then again....
Not so much.
EH -  Oh well!
I'm now under the firm assumption that corn stalks that are laying down just don't fertilize well. Something to do with the silks and the tassels not getting together much. It was worth the try. These little nibblets were sucked of the cob so they were not wasted, but of course it is not enough to hit the harvest Monday posts.
I do have a few more ears for that, but not much. Was it worth saving? I don't see why not. I mean I spend each fall and spring planting up 3' square or 4' square of corn all to get jsut 4 or 6 ears of yumminess. This is turn would have been a decent crop if it hadn't fallen over.
See you soon!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Harvest Monday 6.24.13

Ah, it's Monday again! Time for another installment of Harvest Monday!
It's almost the end of June and the garden chores are getting interesting. The giant zucchini plant disappeared, but not willingly so. It took a chunk of me with it. The corn fell down. I'm still hoping and praying for the remaining 8 stalks to mature though it is doubtful.I did clean up the stalks that were broken. I found a little surprise there.

It may not be much, but apparently one of the stalks hadn't broken all the way through and one of the ears had matured before the others did. I don't know how it did that as the other ears are still not mature, but I'm not complaining. At least I got one ear! Interestingly enough my cucumber plant had sent out a side vine and low and behold a GIANT cuke had set up residence in the corn stalks. A freebie. A little on the hollow side, but it was still perfectly edible in my book. Sucker weighed in at almost a pound by itself! (OK 9 ounces, but I was still impressed) It was larger than my 9" ear of corn after all.

If you've been around the blog at all you know I did a little taste testing earlier in the week. My fig tree granted me 4 more of these little beauties for a total of 5 figs this week. YUM. I think I need more fig trees. They were delicious!
The first batch of limas are in. Tropical storm Andrea stole a good half or more of the first crop of them. The only good news about that is that MAYBE some of those limas are now growing instead of just rotting because of all the rain. There was just enough here for a good side dish. Love me some limas. The holsteins were finished drying, too. But, they aren't as pretty dried so I took a picture of the few that were picked last and still good shellies. These were finished with my limas for eating instead of saved for seed. They taste like a cross between black eyed peas and... well... I guess black beans. Me like.

Enter the seed for my Fall crop of beans. Daphne sent me the original beans, My first pole beans ever. Thanks Daphne. Unfortunately due to our rains and the garsh darned squirrels the tag is no where to be found so we'll call them Daphne's beans. Nice and beany flavored. Cooks up great. Get a string as it matures, but worth the effort for flavor. The beans are rather huge and it may be worth growing for the beans themselves if I didn't like the green beans so much!
So while the garden is slow to produce now it is giving me my seeds for next year. The long term summer crops are doing their thing and all I'm doing is trying like mad to keep up with maintenance. Oh, and since I like to keep records here I had a complete crop failure due to the rains and it looks like that was my dragons tongue beans (bush) :-(  Shame. There are just not many green beans you can get this time of year here. Hoping the yard longs give me something soon or I'll be eating the cowpeas as green beans instead!
See you soon!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ripe figs?

I guess the title sums it all up here. I had a few figs on the tree and being that I have no real idea what type of fig tree... (heheh tree. Its like 18" tall - bush) I have in my yard I have no idea what to expect when it comes to picking the fruit of this 'tree.' So this morning was the first morning that I saw the fruit had finally turned and the squirrels hadn't beaten me to the treasure.
So, I did what any self respecting gardener would do.
I snatched that sucker off that tree and pranced around the yard singing all the while - 'Nah Nah Nee boo booo... I got it and you didn't' Well, much to my husbands dismay. He was watching me. He was waiting in the car to take the kids to school. Well, summer camp - it's much the same to me. Especially when you turn around and realize that 4 people are staring at you when you've just completed your victory dance of squirrel  redemption that looks something like I would imagine a zombie trying to do the Dougie. Of course, I've actually never seen 'The Dougie' I've only heard of it through my son who tells me I'm just not cool and hip and with it...No not in those words but that is the message I got.
I digress. The point is this: I got this fruit that I don't know when it's actually ripe. So I snagged 2 fruits. (What it's just fruit, right I mean fruit is the plural of fruit? I'm confused) One that was definitely different in color that the unripe fruit that it was next to, and one that was possibly over ripe because it was squishy. Either way the victory dance? Totally worth it. I still got fruit that should be worth eating. At least that is what I was thinking at the time.
So. Here is my stash.
One nicely chartreuse fig, and one slightly brown and squishy fig.
Now, I did have to fight the little tree for the chartreuse fig. I suppose that should have been my first clue. But because the slightly brown fig was eh- slightly squishy I just didn't let it deter me.
Understand I've only had either dried figs, or figs of the Newton variety. I've never experience fresh figs. I almost typed Newton. LOL I guess that tells you just how brainwashed a society we are. It took me 3 tries to type fig instead. When most of us think of figs we think of those cookie/cake things.
I believe that there figs that are supposed to be eaten when they are that chartreuse color, and figs that supposed to be brown. I think there are even some that are a purple type of color. Well, I know from the first immature fruits last year that this little bush wasn't the kind that would offer me purple fruit, but I was still unsure if the fruit would be eaten at what stage. SO I sliced these two figs open and was absolutely amazed and the beauty inside.

Unfortunately for you, I was so amazed that I completely forgot to take a picture. It was beautiful. It was pink and white, and purplish and....and.... and....
Photo courtesy of My kitchen is my Playground


Juicy and succulent and amazingly sweet. I couldn't just no show you SOMETHING! It may not be my picture, and honestly I think my figs were a little prettier on the inside. Glossy and the color was just a little different but this definitely does it justice.
Both figs looked wonderful, but the brown fig was a bit glossier than the green fig. Upon tasting the brown fig was also sweeter, and a little more dare I say it? More mature tasting. It was as if I had opened a bottle of wine and chugged it instead of allowing it to breathe.
Eh- that's another bad analogy for me. I really can't stand the taste of wine. It gives me the heeby jeebies. Go figure.
So if you have some fruit you are unsure of try two, and make sure one of them seems to be overripe. Because apparently dome fruit(s?) are meant to be eaten that way.
Now I'm excited for next year when I should have enough fruit to try to make a fig jam.... MMMmmm. That should be tasty. Another first for me, but I can't wait to try it.
See you soon!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Harvest Monday 6.17.13

It's Harvest Monday.

It is. I promise! I may be slacking lately, but it's not on purpose. The sickies are still hanging around my house. Hopefully a bucket of Lysol and another week will set things right again.

Meanwhile, the garden has taken a real beating. I pulled out all the bush green beans, and the Holstein beans, the zucchini and the cucumbers. It's looking a little barren in one of the new raised beds. I'll need to get around to replanting it this week. I'm thinking about covering it with some netting and trying for another batch of cucumbers there and maybe some determinate salad tomatoes. Things that will stay low enough under the cover and behave. LOL.

Meanwhile my corn fell in the last massive wind/rain storm we had and it was really bad timing. The tassels and silks are already out and some of the stalks broke - at least half. Bad news for the remainder of the corn that still need pollinating. I guess I'm just not meant to have a decent crop of corn. But, I'll try again in the fall like always. I'll leave the stalks where they are because the lone cantaloupe is still developing in the stalks and I'm not losing it! The netting is almost 1/2 developed and I can't WAIT to taste that baby!

What I did harvest is a pound of the Holstein beans (dry), 7 huge cucumbers. The last for a long while. :-(


 The last zucchini on the plant. A monster no doubt. It was good and will be missed. I couldn't believe that the plant had shot out several new plants from the underside. I had never grown this variety before and will be trying to look through my seeds to see which one it is because even after it was completely attacked by bugs it just kept on going. The plant this baseball bat came off of had split in half from a cucumber worm burrowing and was still trying to produce. Unfortunately the gnats that the frass was attracting coupled with the fact that I was only getting 1 fruit a week now? Eh- not worth keeping in the garden. I don't need a bug attractant.

I also got another good couple of piles of tomatoes, a butternut (The only one! This plant is gone now, too)
And my girls constant working to keep me in eggs. Bless there little souls. Love my girls.
The garden is no longer being very productive. There are a few tomatoes left and of course the sweet potatoes as I need them for meals. The okra are tiny yet, but growing. They should be producing by July 15th. When we get back from our next trip to Alabama in July I'll be starting my Fall tomatoes and getting ready for the fall garden. I can't wait. Something to look forward to while the garden is going into stasis!
Linking in to Daphne's Dandelions. Make sure you check out her place to see all the great things being harvested all over the world!
See you soon!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Down n out.

The garden and I. We both are. I dealt with strep throat from the kids last week. This week I have some sort of flu/cold from my husband. I don't normally catch colds but I was at the tail end of the strep thing from the kids and susceptible I suppose. This is knocking me for a loop.

Meanwhile the garden is fending for itself, and not very well. Between Tropical Storm Andrea and our normal rain pattern I'm afraid it's too much water right now. Luckily the beans most affected were at the end of their lifespan anyway. It would have been nice to get a second cropping, but at least I have enough for replanting next year. Same thing happened last year so if it happens again next year I'm going to give up and eat the dang beans. These would be the ever expensive yin/yang beans. Also known as the Holstein cowpea. I paid $2.50 for 35 seed peas originally last year (or was it the year before...) Now I'll have enough to plant a whole plot, but it took 2 years because of foul weather. The plants are sturdy, take a great amount of heat, but they just wont take the wet feet. Once our rains set in they start to deteriorate. I guess I'll have to plant them out earlier in the spring next year. These may be better suited for Alabama, it's usually much drier there and the sandy clay tends to drain better than my boxes. Then again these are cowpeas. Perhaps I should set them up in my regular old sugar sand with the hibiscus. There is a thought.

SO off topic. I guess my brain is starting to process things even though my body still feels the pull to go back to bed. The poor chickens are also fending for themselves. The only good news is that I recognized the signs when my sinuses started opening up the night before I fell ill and was able to get out to the coop and get them all fresh bedding and make sure they had food, water, etc. They may be sitting on a clutch of eggs, but they should be fairly happy out there. I'll send the kids out to gather the eggs today and make sure there is still plenty of food.

Hopefully by this weekend I'll be feeling good enough to get rid of the plants that have died off and start replanting summer loving plants. I'll undoubtedly have a ton of weeding to do as well. It's now been 2+ weeks without weeding. I can only imagine the jungle out there. :-( This is when it would be good to have a lawn boy or at least a neighbor I could trust to actually tend to things correctly. Ah, well. Such is life. I'm on the mend and it won't be long now.

See you soon!


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Growing up.

It's hard on us Mom's sometimes to watch the littles get all big.
To watch them assert their independence and do things without us.
Getting pets was one of those steps.

I love watching the love and tenderness that I've taught them through my actions shining out into the way they treat these little parts of our family. Oh be sure of it, I hear things that have come from my mouth as well. 'I told you not to do that. Now look what you've done, and just who do you think is going to clean this mess up?' LOL (Mom will be obviously)

The first loose tooth, lost tooth and big tooth. Though in this girls case she didn't do them in that order. This girls got rows of teeth. Just call the girl shark tooth. She kinda likes it. We have been asking her if that is why she is growing so much, because she's able to eat more with so many teeth in her mouth. :-D

There is also always the moving up ceremonies. They make the kids feel so special. No matter how many of these a Mother has been to it always pulls on your heartstrings and produces that lump in your throat. Even when the lady next to you has produced a few unglamorous sounds and yelled rather loudly that, "Hey, Buddy! I 'd like to see my kid, too 'eh!'  hehe. Not that I could see either of mine. I just wasn't going to give into the goading of it. Why go there?

But what really got me? Oh what really got me was this little number.


This is not acceptable to do to me. A boyfriend? And see how shes all snuggled up to him? YIKES! I can't handle the truth! I'm just not ready for this. Aw, but they are so cute together. She says she only likes him because all the other boys pee on the seat. Shhh... don't tell her - she's got a lifetime of dealing with that still to come. *snort*

And when I get the most misty eyed?

Truly utterly moved?

That is when this handsome man steps into the picture. Be. Still. Mine. Heart.

*sigh* He may not be perfect but he's given me these wonderful children. Did I mention that one of them is getting their drivers license soon? GAG!


And just when I am feeling all sentimental and sniffling like an idiot about how grown up my kids are getting?
They go off and do this...

Sure do love the little rascals. :-D
See you soon!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I know better!

I know better. I do.
I should have kept my mouth shut.
I mentioned in a comment to someone that we are almost into our summer pattern of monsoon like weather. Guess what?
What a crummy thing.
We are expecting 5-10 inches of rain this week. That, and I had to get up at 2:30am to turn OFF the sprinklers that were NOT working 2 weeks ago and left my poor veggies gasping and begging for mercy.
OYE. I think that Mother Nature is one fickle lady.
It's nice to see the temps below 90, but sheesh. This is not the expense I wanted to pay. Guess I'll go grab the soap and lather up. I need to make something out of this. The only things that will be happy at the end of this week will be the cowpeas and the pitcher plants. Oh! I'll have to move them under cover. They are probably drowning about now.
Getting out the oars...
Switching gardening gears to the Summer duldrums. Another 6 weeks and I'll be starting my itty bitty seeds all over again. That's something to look forward to. At least I know that what the rain takes out now is going to be replanted in just a couple months :-) I do love the whole gardening process.
See you soon!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Harvest Monday 6.3.13

Wowsa! What a whirlwind! This Harvest Monday will span the last 2 weeks. Because I'm a ditz and didn't post last week.
Last week was Memorial Day, but that is no excuse. I simply was busier than a Groundhog on, well... Groundhogs Day.

Here's the recap of what i thought to take pictures of...

Beans, cukes and tomatoes are the star of the show this week. 7pounds of tomatoes, 4 pounds of cukes, and just as much for beans. Amazing harvests have graced my tables and my cooking pots and I am humbled by it all. I only wish I was able to store more of it. I have only a single jar of pickles to show for this. BUT! We have enjoyed the heck out of it. Eating most of our meals straight from the garden has been refreshing and the kids have been just as thankful.

After all these harvest I decided to go get the last of those potatoes. I just wanted to get rid of any problems for the tomatoes that they were growing next to. Not that the tomatoes were having problems yet, but I couldn't imagine the bugs that the potatoes had would be good for the tomato plants. So I set about my chore, and gathered another few pounds of spuds...

Unfortunately I broke one of the main stems of the super roma. :-(

Now I have another 6 pounds of green Roma's sitting on my counter. Hopefully they will ripen. These all seemed to be ready to turn soon. I tossed any that were terribly small or damaged in any way.
Needless to say I was in a small tomato glut this week. It didn't last long. The first tomato glut is always met with a serious intensity from all of us here. It's taken very seriously that those first 'maters are eaten with abandon. This years first seem to be very thick skinned for some reason. It may be what has saved them so far from the bugs. I'd be OK with that. I'm willing to trade a little less bug damage and gardener worrying for a thicker skinned tomato.
We also had an incident with our sprinklers again this last little while. Thankfully we had a wonderful harvest right before our problem or I would have been crying huge crocodile tears. Most of the plants are doing fine now, but the green beans seem likely not to recover. It looks like there is an issue with our electrical panel that carries the sprinklers and pool pump. I don't have money any time soon to have an electrician out so I guess we will just have to keep a closer eye on it. Good thing it just pops the breaker. Bad thing if I don't notice it in time.
Oh, and can I just give a shout out to those sweet potatoes? Oh sakes alive! Hubby won't usually eat the suckers, but I put them in a stir fry and he ate them right up. YUM! OK, I didn't put all of them in there. I just love a good sweet tater. (especially fried with a raspberry sauce. WOOWEE!)
See you soon!