Sunday, August 31, 2008

We dug potatoes and picked peppers, tomatoes, and raspberries today.
Some of the potatoes were huge. Bill and Lauren and her friend, Bree, were the potato diggers. The girls had a blast. It is amazing how excited kids get about the garden. They were hunting furiously for the next potato. After they found them, they would say what it looked like. We had a V, a gun, and minuscule potatoes (one held by Lauren). I love to see kids getting dirty in the garden! All in all, we got a 5 gallon bucket plus close to another half of one from the garden this year. The potatoes did not do very well in the beginning of the year, so we were very happy with what we got.
I picked peppers to make some mild pepper rings for Bill. They are one of his favorites. Lots of tomatoes coming too. We will need to can again...
The fall crop of raspberries is well on its way. The bees really like them also. With all of the talk about Colony Collapse Disorder, it is good to see so many. However, I must admit that we see more bumblebee types than honeybees on these. The honeybees like the blooms on the pumpkins and cucumbers better.
The girls were then playing pilgrims and "gathering crops for winter". They had a great time with some of the large zucchini, old lettuces and radishes, a couple baby pumpkins, and too large green and wax beans. Soon, we had a number of neighborhood kids over all playing with the vegetables. Bill built a fire and they "cooked" their recipes and concoctions. They played well past dark... Great fun!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Back from surgery

Well, I came back from the hospital on Friday. The last days are just a blur. Bill has been so good to can and pick the garden. He has canned green and wax beans and tomatoes. The tomatoes are finally starting to really turn red.
Today I was putzing in the yard and saw what looked like a black shiny mud dauber attack a big katydid. I am used to seeing the big cicada killers around, but not this insect. He crawled up the fence with his catch and flew off. I figured he needed the height to get going. We have quite a few of these mud dauber looking bugs around. They swarm the ground around our Green Ash tree at various times of the day.
The weather is nice and cool again. Low 50's for tonight and low 80's tomorrow. I love it!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Peaches...the canning continues

Well, I am home with a sick daughter on the first day of school. However, the silver lining to that cloud is that I can finish the peaches. We have 28 quarts as of last night. I have about 3/4 of a bushel to can this morning. I do think that we will have to get some more though. This does not seem like quite enough. My surgery is tomorrow though, so I will have to see how I am doing and feeling.
I will post a picture later of the quarts. They look so pretty in the jars!

Monday, August 18, 2008


We bought 2 bushels of Michigan Redhaven peaches from Tanner's last week for canning. The price went up like everthing else these days. $5 more a half bushel than 2 years ago. Still cheaper than my neighbor who bought hers through the local farm bureau. I canned 14 quarts yesterday and 7 more today. That was one bushel worth. If I get 21 quarts from a bushel, that will give me approximately 40 quarts total. I am hoping to have more than that. May have to make another trip to Tanner's if the supply holds out.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The end result...

Here is the end result of my pickles. I ended up with 8 pints. One pint would not fit in my canner, so it went straight to the refrigerator (after I tried them, of course!). They have good flavor.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Bread and butter pickles

I am trying to make bread and butter pickles for the first time today. I found a recipe on the internet that looked good. We will see.

I am showing them here covered with ice.

Here is the recipe:
Categories: Pickles, Vegetables
Yield: 8 Servings
4 qt Thinly Sliced Cucumbers
8 ea Med. White Onions
1/2 c Pickling Salt
5 c Sugar
1 1/2 ts Tumeric
1 ts Celery Seed
2 tb Mustard Seed
5 c Cider Vinegar
* Onions should be peeled and thinly sliced.
Mix the cucumbers and onions with the salt and 2 quarts of cracked ice and let them stand, covered with a weighted lid, for 3 hours. Drain thoroughly and put the vegetables in a large kettle. Add the sugar, spices and vinegar and bring almost to a boil, stirring often with a wooden spoon, but do not boil. Pack the pickles into hot jars and seal. Makes 7 - 8 pints.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Cherry tomatoes

Finally...I ate my first cherry tomato from our garden today! It tasted so good. Now I have to wait for more!
I received a call yesterday stating that my peaches will be in Monday. I'm so glad that they will be ready before I have my surgery! I was afraid of not being able to help with them. This should be a busy week.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Green beans

We were able to can 17 quarts of green bean today. This was the result of a grocery bag full to start. I was pretty impressed since this was our first picking from a 4x8 foot bed. Our wax beans should be ready to pick now. I never knew until now that wax beans start out yellow. I thought that I had the wrong seed when they started out green!