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right now

Jul 21, 2009

Sloooowww Garden!

Who else is bewildered by the summer weather across the nation this year? I know I am not alone, thanks to Kelly and Mama Pea's updates from MA and MN. Who else wants to chime in? Don't get me wrong, I am loving the cool, dry weather for myself (I can't shake that part of the MN girl out no matter how many years I spend in VA!), but my tomatoes don't like it a'tall! I still have yet to obtain an edible heirloom tomato out of my garden, and it's the end of July!! I have oodles of green ones out there but they don't seem to be in any hurry. The 2 that I have picked were split so badly they were inedible. We have been dry, and then when it does rain it rains 2 inches at a time so they swell up and self-destruct! In normal years, I would pick them prior to a rainstorm and let them finish ripening for a day on the counter, but in normal years they wouldn't be completely green!

Here's a pic of a True Black Brandywine that seems to be approaching 1.75 lbs this morning and isn't even faintly pink:

These are Black Pearl Hybrids...no cracking problems here, although slow, at least I am getting a handful daily now.

Heirloom Hokkaido Squash are coming along quickly, although I am not sure what I am going to do with all the squash yet!

Cucumbers look awesome, although it takes a good amount of hunting for them since they are mixed in with the squash!
Here's a rare sighting around the homestead: who is this creature? Why, it's sailor/farmer/husband! And he's actually sitting in our house! Since he's leaving again in a couple of days, it's more like a mirage!

Yesterday's Harvest. The 2 small Heirloom tomatoes were useless, had holes in them and cracks...and maybe someone living inside, lol?! They were tossed. I have let my jalapenos go to red and they look great this way, think I will do that to all since I am tired of the grocery-store green!

Wasn't sure what to do with this particular bunch of produce, so I made refrigerator pickles. This time sweet Red Popper peppers went in with the cukes and one jalapeno and garlic clove and some fresh dill added to each jar along with a fresh grape leaf to keep everything crisp. Thinking the jalapeno might give it an interesting kick. And why not? It's not like there is ever a shortage of cucumbers!!

Lastly, I have a bit of news I have been keeping to myself trying not to get my hopes up...NO, I'M NOT PREGNANT!....
I was accepted to the Master Gardener program in the fall! I attended orientation in May, but out of about 90 applicants I think, there are only 30 slots, so I was quietly keeping my fingers crossed! The other day I recieved a letter from Virginia Tech University Extension Service and was pretty excited since it appeared to be thicker than a standard "are you crazy?" response, lol! I start the VaTech based classroom training in the fall and then start the intern phase. I know I'll be busy since Charlie will be on deployment, but am excited nonetheless!


  1. Congrats on the master gardener program!!! A friend of ours who lives in Gloucester Point,VA is a master gardener.
    I agree on the slooow garden. I'm still harvesting spring stuff and my summer things are barely moving. I've had ONE ripe cherry tomato so far, no cucumbers, beans or eggplant at all. I've got hot peppers galore but the bells- NADA. I tell you- it's that darned global weirding.

  2. Perfection! They would be fools NOT to take you. You are a natural, what you could accomplish.

  3. I wish I could say the same about the weather, unfortunately July in Phoenix is its normal 110+! Can't wait til we're there next month to enjoy the cool(er) weather, fresh harvest, and homebrew!! Congrats on the Master Gardener it sounds really cool (even though I must admit I don't really know what it is...) Does this mean I get to call you daily when I attempt to plant my own garden someday? ;)

  4. RuralRose, thanks for your kind words :)
    Judy, it's probably a good thing your garden is slow right now since you have so much going on! And yay! Lauren has finally posted a comment! (my hubby's sister) We can't wait til you guys get here and we made extra homebrew to get us through the week, lol! And since you are family, I would give you advice even w/o the Master Gardener Certification...but with it, I think I am now obligated to give GOOD advice, lol, and not steer you astray just for the fun of it!

  5. Hmm, I thought I posted a comment yesterday, but I guess not! Congrats on being excepted, that says a lot to be one of thew few applicants to be given a 'yes'!

    SLOOOW should be the official garden buzzword for 2009 don't ya think?

  6. Everything I have is dead, so I'd take slow over dead anyday.

    CONGRAT'S on the Master Gardener program! I can't wait to hear about it on your blog!! How exciting!!!

  7. Gardening is very slow here in Northern Indiana too. The spring lettuces are just about to quit on me, but we've had all we can eat until now. Our tomatoes are the same as yours, just hanging there, waiting for things to warm up. Our blueberries are just beginning to ripen, almost a month late.

    We're building a greenhouse onto the house to help extend the season. Might just have to move those tomatoes inside to get them to ripen up this fall!

    I'm signed up to take the Master Gardener course here this fall too, and can hardly wait.

  8. I am envious of your produce harvest! As you saw in my humble garden, we only have nasturtium flowers and the odd strawberry to eat right now though I'm hoping all those tomatoes will eventually come around. Congrats on the master gardener program -- now I know who to come to when I need help with those tricky carrot seedlings :)

  9. Fiona, don't be envious...believe me, my garden is a nightmare this year, and has been wearing on me so that I am dreading days of canning, etc. Right now I have 150 jalapenos on my counter that I just feel like throwing at cars on the street, lol! Maybe it's just an off month for me, but lately I have been thinking I went a little overboard this year...