Sunday, July 12, 2015
Now We're Gardening!
The peas are finally ready to be picked. And eaten. I eat them raw. Never have bothered to cook any of them, and then the pods are returned to the compost heap. My chard is ready but has yellow stems. I was given six little broccoli seedlings for "fall planting" (which is now) and I also have bean seeds waiting for the peas to finish up. I'll leave the pea roots in the soil to provide nitrogen to the beans. My lettuce is still doing great. The rocket (arugula) has gone to seed. It bolts so quickly. The beets are doing fine and the 8 (yes, only 8) carrots are looking very fine, indeed. I need to try and reseed carrots for a late crop. This will be the THIRD attempt on carrots.
My tiny cucumber plants are just beginning to make those curly tendrils--reaching out to grab hold of anything nearby. I gave them a few bamboo sticks to hold on to until they get tall enough to grab onto the trellis. I also tucked a few more cucumber seeds into the ground--for later.
My yellow and zucchini squashes are growing--too slowly for my impatient gardening--- but there are flowers (mostly male) and I continue to water and feed. All the bell pepper plants have made at least one bell pepper each. They are so reliable. The jalapeño plants have fewer baby peppers but I have high hopes this year. I want lots of zucchini and jalapeño for my bread and butter pickles. We are officially OUT of canned pickles.
I have set out a total of 18 Hungarian Wax Pepper plants (I am crazy). I think (???) I will be pickling them. I remember my grandmother pickling these yellow peppers and serving them with sliced ham and rye bread for delicious fall and winter sandwiches. All the plants have yellow peppers on them--growing upright, over the top of the leaves. I need to do research on when to pick them. I read a seed packet and the peppers are actually ripe when they turn golden or orange, so I may wait for that color change.
As you can tell, I am planning on preserving and pickling this year without much TRUST in the freezer. All the blueberries will be made into jam. If I want blueberries with yogurt--well, it will be blueberry jam. I will make jars and jars of pickles to restock my pantry. I think this year's raspberries will also be processed into jam. Unless I have a new fridge by the time they ripen in late September.
The blackberry bushes (thicket) looked promising when all the flowers were out but now--G reports that he thinks it's all the tiny, ratty wild berries and not the large ones I planted alongside the wild ones. I prefer the large ones. If---the second year in a row--I only get the small wild ones---then we will be mowing the thicket down. No reason to have it.
The fridge has now lost any ability to cool. It's averaging 60 degrees. Good temp for growing bacteria. The freezer is 60 degrees as well. But the fan we had replaced last summer is still working. We are waiting to hear from Whirlpool. Best case--they will send us a check which we can use to buy a new fridge. I asked G to turn it off/pull the plug but he doesn't want to (restaurant background) as it will then begin to create mold and bacteria. And smell. And the doors would have to be kept open wide. And neither of us is strong enough to move the thing. And where would we move it???? It's all very sad. The inability to "do anything" about any of it. We feel defeated and just want to be able to move on. Or to even know when we will be able to move on. If....
So, I will take my broccoli seedlings, my carrot seeds, basil seeds and positive thoughts out to the garden. Leave the negative thoughts here in the house with the fridge.
The sun is shining here in Maine and it is 82 but feels like 90 degrees. HOT. Riley is spread out flat on the wood floor next to my computer desk. Under the ceiling fan. Recovering from his walk. Dog Days of Summer.