Saturday, July 12, 2008

Missing in Action, Vegetable Manuevers Underway

Part of the mornings' haul.

So I've been a slacker about posting lately- sorry about that. Summer slump I guess and I've been gone a bit and also busy in the garden too. Big harvest this morning including 4 giant zucchinis, 2 yellow squashes, 2 eggplants, 5 cukes, a big bag of beans, some okra and the tomatoes are finally starting to ripen up. We also dug the potatoes and that yielded a big bowl full.

I've started picking the 'mates a little green because Shorty McSnitch and his squirrel kin have been snatching them off the vines early and chowing down. They have also been eating all of the blueberries and tearing up the blackberries too. I went over to my brothers and borrowed his 22, though I've yet to aim it at one of those pesky squirrels, I'm definitely contemplating it.

The yard is full of young birds, I woke this morning and watched 2 adolescent hummers buzzing about in the Sourwood tree outside my window, at one point they stopped and sat perfectly still, I had to blink to make sure I was really seeing them and watch the spot and then just as suddenly, they zipped into action again. Juvenile red-bellied woodpeckers come to the suet feeder, titmice, chickadees and wrens squawk and carry-on from the tree tops.

Goldfinches frequent the Verbena Bonariensis, a clown-like flower with tall leafless stems topped by small clusters of purple flowers. Goldfinch, the color of lemons, swaying in the tops of the purple flowers is quite a sight. If you scare them into the air- it's like fireworks going off.

How about all the rain we've been having? I read we've had more rain in July than in all of last summer!? The creeks are back up and flowing and mushrooms are sprouting everywhere. Still no sign of our purposefully sown mushrooms, it's too soon, but lots of Chantrelles and Amanitas and all manner of other shrooms are popping up in the woods.

The daylilies have been putting on a big show for weeks now and are the highlight of the flower garden at this point. Our turtle Gertrude has been making regular appearances and enjoys eating the remnants of the tomatoes that the squirrels leave around the yard.

So today I defrosted the freezer in preparation for the tomato onslaught to come. It wasn't too bad and I only had to toss a few peppers from 2006 and a couple of bags of green beans from 2007, we've done pretty good on eating everything up. I made a big pot of borscht using beets and cabbage from the garden, also a batch of curried beets to eat fresh. I plan to make some dilly beans this afternoon and get the fridge cleaned out, its just overflowing. I picked lots of stuff when it got hot; beets, carrots, turnips, cabbage, and much of it is still in there and needs using, but the new stuff coming in is overwhelming us.

If you are anywhere near my house please come get some squash- I know better and I still planted too much. I admit grinning to D this morning when I spotted squash bugs on the plants. People often complain about squash bugs, I always figure about the time they show up and kill the plants I'm sick of squash anyway, it won't be long now before they go down.
OK- so I'm off to make dilly beans and I'll try to post more frequently.


jamie in rose cottage said...

Our daylillies are going like crazy, too! Your garden goodies look tasty; we just got our first zucchini of the year, and we've had a couple of tomatoes. That's all we planted this year, but we've also got a couple of young blueberry bushes and apple trees.

swamprad said...

Something is also eating my tomatoes when they start turning. I don't know if it's squirrels, chipmunks, birds, or 'coons. I've learned to pick them as soon as they start turning and let them ripen indoors. As for squash, I envy you. The squash borers decimated my crookneck, pattypan, acorn, spaghetti, and zuchinni seemingly overnight. I had to cheat and buy plants from Lowes, now ungreenly dusted with Sevin. Maybe I'll have some squash yet, in a few weeks.

Stew said...

Dude. I harvested FIVE eggplants today. I have more cukes than I know what to do with (pickles, i guess), and my windowsill is filled with 'mates. I eat at least a pint of sungolds every day, my pepper plants are loaded, and of course the chard keeps on charding it up.

I've got a couple of summer squash, but that's it.

Something's been getting my ripening tomatoes, too. The big, fake snake didn't deter them, either. I've rigged up some chicken wire and have been bringing the tomatoes in to ripen as well. Argh!

I have a German Queen out there that's (I kid you NOT) about the size of a supermarket eggplant. I won't be surprised if it's a kilo.