right now

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!

Summer Camp

We picked up Lochlann from summer camp! He had a great time, as we knew he would! I promised him I would put the pictures up "TODAY, MOM!"...so here they are. None of it garden-related, by the way...but all our family lives at least 1000 miles from us, so the blog is the easiest way to communicate our events! Some of the pics Loch took while he was there, and the end-of-camp ceremony pics I took. Enjoy!

Loch's Bunkmate
Loch showing us one of the Animal Science class animals
This boy turned out to be Loch's first "camp-best-friend", and the little boy was teary eyed saying goodbye when I took this. All us parents were a little choked up by it too!
View outside the bunkhouse
Last Day Ceremonies
The lake
Counselors performing skits
The Council Ring/Campfire Area
Loch with the canoes
Entire 5-8 year old camp with their counselors
Yay! My kid is the only one not holding his certificate in front of his face, LOL!
Go 4-H Cloverbuds!! Can't wait until next year when both my kids can go!