Jul 5, 2012
Now where's that towel I was going to throw in?
I'll have a couple of posts to catch up today. After the storms and temps consistently above 101º for the past week, I'm suffering a bit of a funk and actually contemplating ripping out the whole garden, even though I am harvesting! I just don't want to go out there. At all. I consider myself lucky though, because as of this morning there are still 199,000 folks in Virginia still without power. For days... I really feel for them. I still suffer PTSD from one year of over a week without power or water in 90 degree temps, I wouldn't wish that on anyone, ever.
I managed to harvest a few armfuls of things over the past week, I know it's not ideal but I was picking at about 9 pm instead of first thing in the morning.
Tomato Lineup: Brandywine, Brandywine, Hillbilly, Old Virginia, Orange Wellington, Orange Wellington, Virginia Roma, in the center are "Currant Tomatoes".
If you have room to grow just one of the Currant Tomatoes I HIGHLY recommend it - they are really tasty, tiny and well behaved in a pot even though they are indeterminate. They are perfect for snacking and salads and if you get a bunch just pinch each one between your fingers to get out the excess water and dry for excellent sun dried tomatoes in no time. They are really tiny, about the size of your thumbnail or smaller.
Another day saw more tomatoes, cukes, zucchini, squash and the last of the pole beans. I will start another crop in a few weeks hopefully. These just fried in the sun the past week.
Brandywine Tomato, last of the lettuce (bitter!), and some refrigerator pickles for veggie burgers one night. I did not touch up the color at all - Brandywines continue to amaze me every year and are probably the only thing that keeps me peeking into the garden in the evenings during this heat!
The rest of the tomatoes were made into fresh salsa with bell peppers, jalapeños, onions and cilantro from the garden, these jars went into the freezer for yummy salsa this winter. It's the one reliable way to get fresh tomato taste onto burgers in the off season.
Tuesday I woke the kids up super early to hit the blueberry farm for some berry picking before the heat got too intense. This year is the earliest crop our area has seen since 1980, and the 6-8 ft tall blueberry bushes are bending nearly halfway to the ground loaded with berries. The farm we normally go to was closed so we found another I didn't know about before and picked about 4 lbs before it became insane, 93 degrees by 9:30 am no thank you. This place was awesome, the berries had a taste that was more like the northern berries which I like best :). The stand was run by a handsome young man in his early 20's and while we were chatting a lady drove up (maybe mom?) and told us that he tended to those bushes like they were his babies LOL... it shows, they are delicious! So nice to see part of the younger generation passionate about food & farming and actually doing it. He also gave us several ears of corn that is starting to come in at no charge while we were there, thank you to the folks at Beatson's Blueberry Farm, your berries were even better than the farm we used to go to and we will be back and tell everyone we know about you! Bonus is that this farm looks like a smaller operation than what we used to go to so I am happy to help support them.
Even I can't reach the tops of many Southern Highbush Blueberries, but Loch was giving it his best shot despite me telling him the best ones are underneath it all.
On the way home we also stopped by another stand to get some local peaches.
The photo doesn't do justice to the size of the sweet potato below, but trust me it was jaw dropping!
Home to freeze the blueberries and prepare treats for the 4th of July...
I'll put the rest in a 4th of July post and am still promising Loch I will get his camp photos up soon... this heat has just sucked the wind right out of my sails and I am in desperate need of motivation and energy, as I am sure you all are right now!
...just ran out and got the mail, it was too hot to touch! I also want to apologize for being so bad about catching up on my blog reading this week, I am scheduling time this evening to sit down with a cold drink and catch up on how this heat wave is affecting the rest of you and find out how you are staying sane!