Sunday, August 21, 2011

Preservation day

Today has been a very productive day in terms of preserving our garden's bounty.  Today's totals included:
  • 34 one cup bags of shredded zucchini in the freezer
  • 13 pints of canned carrots
  • 14 cups of peach freezer jam
  • 17 cups of frozen peaches
  • 4 pints of peach butter
Thanks to Bill for being such a great helper.  I had already shredded the zucchini and cut the tops off of the carrots and washed them, but he helped with carrot peeling, peach peeling and pitting.  Two sets of hands make the job go so much easier.  We still have cucumbers that need to be made into pickles, but they will have to wait.  

Our beagle mix, Riley, at his usual post....not too far from wherever Lauren is.  Lauren really enjoyed helping to pick the peaches off of the trees.  I think that she liked being on the ladder as well.  :)  Our peaches weren't large.  They ranged from the size of apricots to somewhat smaller than a baseball.  They weren't pretty to look at either with black spots on them, but wow, were they ever sweet!  And no bugs or worms!  This was the first year that we have gotten peaches from these trees so we were thrilled.

Lauren with a look of determination.

I had to make sure that Bill got photo credit for all of his help also.  :)

Lauren got a big kick out of this twisted carrot.  We also had one that looked like a pair of pants with legs.  Overall, the carrots did very well.  I also harvested a few peppers, a crookneck squash, some nice slicing tomatoes, many cherry tomatoes, and some okra.  Not enough to put up but plenty to eat fresh. 
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Friday, August 12, 2011

Need help with sick tomatoes

I picked 53 pounds of tomatoes today.  Sounds great, right?  Wrong....  26 pounds of those tomatoes are bad, and I don't know why.  I need the help of my fellow gardeners.  This is a sample of what I am consistently finding.  They are all my Roma tomatoes only and in one particular bed that is not part of my regular garden.  This bed has not been planted with tomatoes previously and is a relatively new bed that has not had the benefit of compost like the beds in my garden.  I know that there is a deficiency in the soil because I have seen a few fruits with blossom end rot as well.  Weird thing is that someof the tomatoes are fine and can be right next to an infected bunch.
 It starts with just a small spot on the skin that spreads... 
Then a fungus type of growth starts.  If there was even a small spot starting on the fruit, I got rid of it.  I didn't want to take a chance. 
 If this is something that I can fix this year, I would like to do that.  I do try to use organic practices for fertilization and control of pests.  I would appreciate any help that you all can give!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bad blogger....

Need. To. Blog.
Yes, that is what I need to do.  I feel that I have been running circles since we came back from vacation.  Where does the time go?  I have great plans for putting all of the flower pictures from our Yellowstone trip on here, but put them together in one folder in Picasa and had well over 200.  How could I have taken so many pictures of flowers?  No wonder my kids were rolling their eyes when I crouched for yet one more photo of a flower that I swear I hadn't seen elsewhere in the park!  I guess I need to take the time and just start putting them on.  One day for yellow flowers, one day for white, etc??  They are too pretty not to share.  Other ideas that I have thought of is to make a big photo poster of the flowers to hang in my potting shed.  I am very excited about this idea as well as making a photo book or scrapbook of just the flowers.  Did I forget to mention that I just seem to not have enough time??  :)