An Annual Goal

pumpkin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every year it’s my goal to grow a pumpkin.  I’m not greedy, just one is all I need.  I have failed miserably over and over again and decided this year to increase the odds by planting two full raised beds of pumpkin seeds plus plant some in the greenhouse and some along the edge of our property far away from our vegetable garden to try to hide from the squash bugs.  I bought new plant-based pesticides at great expense to add to our arsenal.  Pretty much everything I could think of besides getting a commercial pesticide license which allows us to use the really harmful stuff (and I’ve considered it, believe me).  I’ve been fighting squash bugs for months.  Spraying them, picking them off, ripping off the leaves that have squash bug eggs on them, looking under every leaf of every vine.  Every. Single. Morning.  Two days ago I gave up and ripped all the vines out of our raised beds, I couldn’t look at the insect-damaged vines any more.  October is next month and  we hadn’t produced a single pumpkin.  Yesterday I ripped out the ones in our greenhouse for the same reason.  Today Brian found this along the edge of our property while mowing.  It was growing on a vine that had every single leaf eaten away.  Happy early Halloween, everyone!

 

 

 

 

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Beauty Berry

Beauty1 Beauty2Our beauty bush is just starting to change.  The colors remind me of grapes, they ripen from the color of green grapes to something that reminds me of concords.  I just learned from my friend Janice this summer that you can make jelly out of these tiny little berries which surprises me because I’ve never seen a bird or squirrel on ours in the 10 years since we’ve had it.  So beautiful.

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Good Morning

MorningBeautiful morning glories from our tiny back yard flower garden.

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How I Spent My Summer

Cukes3Cukes4PickleWhen we first started gardening here, I got just enough cucumbers to make one jar of dill pickles at a time.  Now, I make pickles every 2-3 days.  Just this week I put up 16 quarts on Wednesday then was back in the kitchen with canning gear on Saturday. I’ve been through 12 gallons of vinegar or more.   I pick every single cuke on pickling day then find enough to make another quart or two the very next morning.  I’ve run through every interesting recipe in my canning books and tried a few online.  I really wish we had a root cellar.

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A First

Melon1 For the first time ever, we have watermelons in our garden.  We must have started them late because it’s the third week of August and they aren’t near ripe yet.  We think.   We may need to sacrifice one soon to find out.  I threw out the empty seed packet so have no clue how big they will get or days to maturity.  Honestly, I didn’t think we’d get a single melon. Growing new vegetables causes some head scratching at harvest time.

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Where’s Jack?

Jack LockedJack went missing this morning which is happening more and more frequently lately.  He’s decided he’d rather stay near me during morning garden chores and chase bunnies in the woods and play in the pond instead of going to the pasture with Brian.  We figured he’d show up eventually like he always does until we realized (much later) he’d been hiding in the garden and got locked inside.  In related news, does anyone need a seven year old border collie who no longer wants to herd sheep?

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Summer Dinner

BLTBLTs featuring our heirloom tomatoes heading to the back porch for dinner.  This is one of my favorite meals ever.

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