Jul 7, 2011
I woke up this morning to NO WATER! That is one thing that will send me over the edge. Hubby looked at the well pump and he thinks the motor is toast, so it looks like we'll be out until the pump guy can come later today, and hopefully he'll have what he needs to get us up and running again. This happening in the country with a hand pump I'd be able to deal with, but these suburban shallow wells are usually located under the crawl space of the house with no hand pump and no way of manually getting water. Over the years I have figured out what my limits are - I could get by with no electricity as long as I didn't live where it's hot, but I MUST have running water, I don't think there is any negotiation on this one!
With no water I can't can my tomatoes or get any kitchen related chores done, so I figure I'd take the opportunity to post some of the random photos that were on my computer desktop, completely unrelated stuff that I was saving to try and integrate into a relevant post, but who am I kidding? Everything is random some days :)
Ever wanted to know what a cotton plant looks like? I grow them to show the kids in the 'Ready-Set-Grow' program in the schools every spring. Most kids have no clue that their clothes came from the dried stick of fluff I pass around :)
Cotton plant flower - the white flowers turn pink after a couple of days which is what you see above. It is a relative of the Mallow plant, you may notice the resemblance of the blooms and leaves.
Each boll contains about 30 seeds, and up to 500 000 fibres of cotton. Each fibre grows its full length in 3 weeks and for the following 4-7 weeks each fiber gets thicker as layers of cellulose build up the cell walls. While this is happening the boll matures and in about 10 weeks after flowering it splits open. The raw cotton fibres burst out to dry in the sun. As they lose water and die, each fibre collapses into what looks like a twisted ribbon. Now is time for harvesting. Most cotton is hand-picked. This is the best method of obtaining fully grown cotton because unwanted material, called "trash", like leaves and the remains of the boll are left behind. Also the cotton that is too young to harvest is left for a second and third picking. A crop can be picked over a period of two months as the bolls ripen."
Yesterday harvested more tomatoes & eggplant
If you are looking for a game that both kids and adults will enjoy, I highly recommend this one, "Camp". The questions are all educational about plants, animals, geology, "outdoor stuff", and have different levels so it remains interesting for everyone. For instance, Finn will take Level 1, Loch Level 2, and hubby and I will take Level 4 questions if we are feeling particularly knowledgeable LOL. Beats the heck out of CandyLand anyways!
Some of you "far North-ers" might want to know exactly what that darn Squash Vine Borer (SVB) looks like:
When you see the frass, dig into the stem of the squash vine, and you are likely to find the culprit, the larvae of the Squash Vine Borer moth, pale with a brown head. They normally lay the eggs at the base of the squash vine where they hatch, burrow into the plant and commence mass destruction. So now you know :)
Found a new way to keep kids occupied while I'm canning - clipping coupons! Now I'm not really a fan of coupons mostly because they are all for highly processed junk that we don't eat anyways, and although I watch "Extreme Couponers" on TLC with fascination, it's usually with mouth agape from shock LOL. Coupon cutting, however, seems to be extremely exciting for kids, they stayed busy for over an hour! They asked which ones to cut, and I said ALL of them - bad mommy, maybe, but it was an hour of peace and quiet!
The weather has been just ridiculous, the thunderstorms have been continual for several days now, no sun, and temps in the upper 90's. Mosquitoes are terrible, and I think the garden is going to be showing signs of problems soon from it. We have sand for soil so it drains well, but the constant wind, wet leaves and heat is going to be bad. The plants never have time to dry off since the storms are coming several times a day.
I'm itchy just thinking about going out there to harvest today!