It’s full swing in the garden, and I haven’t written for so long that I really have at least three blogs to write. The last time I wrote it wouldn’t stop raining, but now it seems unable to start again. All that rain was a miracle for the cucumbers, which are normally hard to grow. They usually die of early onset powdery mildew, which comes on in dry seasons, and is partly attributable to my lackadaisical watering habits. But this year!!! This year, I will be making pickles!!!! I have already made cucumber salad (slice half moons of cucumbers, thinly slice some red onion, halve some cherry tomatoes, add salt pepper, a dash of balsamic vinegar, and a little olive oil). So here are the cucumbers I currently have on hand after donating to AFAC.
Some of these are cut up and draining for pickles. The larger ones I peeled, seeded and put in the cucumber salad I mentioned.
The zucchinis are also thriving and I have enough to freeze some for winter breads. The trouble is I don’t usually have the patience to drain it properly after shredding. I’ve been eating a variety of zucchinis and summer squash, as all the seeds I planted survived and appear to be fruiting. With zucchini plants you need to visit and search at least every other day; if it’s raining, every day, or you suffer the consequences of the stuffing-sized zucchini…
View of one of the thriving zucchini plants from the back of the garden.
Tomatoes have yet to come on, except for the salad varieties. But I’m going to have a boatload if birds, rats, squirrels or others don’t eat them. I have lots of green ones now ready to ripen and I’m looking forward to some good tomato eating as well as some sauce canning.
I do have a little bit of blossom rot on some of the San Marzano tomatoes, but not these.
I’ve already made pesto once and am using fresh basil in salads and sauteed vegetables. Today, I’ll be making more pesto in small jars for freezing. What’s better than a fresh sliced tomato on good bread that’s been spread with pesto? Nothing!
Basil lower left, more zucchini and tomato plants center.
I enjoy laboring in the garden. Yesterday I set out in the morning, slathered with sunscreen, and took a quinoa salad and a peach with me for lunch. And lots of water and decaf iced tea…When I was ready for lunch, with soaking wet hair from the heat, I headed for the shade where we have a table, took off my hat…and found I had forgotten the fork. So I washed my hands again and scooped the salad up with my hand of preference. Then along comes our beekeeper with all his wares and there I am, sweaty, with matted hair, sitting on an overturned milk crate, eating with my hands, looking feral. He may not have noticed even, so I headed over to watch him check to see if there was a queen yet in the hive, and he did indeed find her, so with luck there will be eggs and the hive will grow.
So far, the hive is small, but the beekeeper plans to bring more.
I inter-planted my eggplants with marigolds this year and it seemed to help. They are doing well. There are also peppers and okra in this area of the garden and they seem to be doing well, too. I have only one good sized okra plant fruiting because the rabbit seems to find the plants delectable. Pretty soon my garden will be a collection of cages to keep out various types of critters. A fellow gardener gave me two more plants, but they are small yet, and under cover of the chicken wire cloche. I’m not sure how big they have to be before the rabbit loses interest.
I think I’ll be planting marigolds again. With luck, I’ll get some nice eggplants.
I’ve also had lots of flowers again this year, but not so many as last when they took over and smothered my vegetables! This photo, earlier in the season, shows an Eastern Tailed Blue butterfly camouflaged by the yarrow it’s landed on.
Oddly, it was the orange mark that caught my attention. It never did open its wings to show the blue while I was watching.
And…some of you may remember my kitchen remodeling saga last year and that Kelly over at Boomdeeadda offered to make me a window treatment. I took her up on it! Several people had asked what I was going to do with the curtains there and I had always liked those curtains (hand-blocked with fruits) and hadn’t realized how… tired … they looked. I found fabric on Spoonflower, which has more designs than you can even look through and prints the fabric to order. I bought some fabric for the bathroom window, where I had been using a pareo for a curtain for years. I’m thinking of sprucing the bathroom up and thought that a Roman shade there would be just the ticket. Kelly offered to do that one too!! Anyhow, trips to New Zealand and Australia and access delays to a superdooper serger sewing machine later, I got the shades in the mail!!! So I had a little work to do with sewing on the rings for the cording and fixing the hardware. I also wound up a little frustrated with my power screwdriver, which seems to be designed to work primarily with drywall, certainly not wood.
Are these not beautiful? I have yet to get the curtain rod hardware taken down, but will…sometime.
I hung them on July 3rd and was mightily pleased. You aren’t getting a picture of the bathroom one because Kelly is not happy with it, and craftspeople do not want work they are unhappy with shown around (though I like it). Kudos and many thanks to Boomdee for labor and craftsmanship. Now nobody’s going to ask what I’m going to do about that kitchen window.
And here they are raised!! They’re such a nice finishing touch for the kitchen.
So, I said at least three blogs, and I think you got that! I thought I might show how the Roman blinds get fixed and mounted, but there are lots of demonstrations of that on YouTube and frankly, it’s a blog for the winter! And of course, I could show you my pickling, but that can wait for another blog! It’s good to be back.
One okra plant is not nearly enough. When I don’t have enough pods, I just throw them in with whatever other vegetable I’m cooking. Enjoy the week!