right now

right now

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 101┬║ 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, jalape├▒os, 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...

Muffins!



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!

18 comments:

  1. I almost forgot! My apologies to any of you whom I communicate with via email, and you received spam mail the other day, I was hacked! It was definitely not from me :)

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  2. This heat wave is just sucking the will to live out of everyone....and everything including the gardens. But I do admit jealousy on my part after seeing your tomatoes.

    What a great blueberry find! Great to be able to support a local farm and to know that the next generation is already excited about farming.

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    1. CR, the will to live... LOL you nailed it! it's AWFUL!

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  3. Don't forget to make a pan of Mama Pea's famous Blueberry Buckle. We've already had a pan of it and are ready for another one. I just have to get some blueberries.
    Wow! Those blueberry bushes are loaded with big berries. Our bushes only have a few this year and they are still green.

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    1. Thanks for calling my Blueberry Buckle famous, Sparkless! Our blueberries are still green but when they ripen, I know I'll be baking some Blueberry Buckle (IF this blasted heat calms down enough for me to be brave enough to light the oven) because it's one of Papa Pea's favorites.

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    2. Sparkless, it's on the list of things to do! Our area here has acres and acres of these blueberry bushes! That's what our big cash crop is here, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries so there's always a good show :)

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  4. This heat is just awful! I go to the garden very early in the AM or at 7:30 at night. There were two days I didn't even go outside except to water the home garden at 6AM. There's nothing like getting cabin fever in the summer. I don't even want to do much inside. I think it's due to sleeping in the AC. I really don't sleep well with the AC on.

    The thing that's keeping me sane is homemade ice cream!!

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    1. Robin, I'm glad I'm not the only one picking at night, sometimes I go outside even in the morning and the wet, dewy humid air and wet grass is just icky feeling LOL. Of course we DO need rain and I won't complain about that kind of wet! I just got some cream from my milkman this morning so I will definitely join you in that ice cream coping method!

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  5. You've got the awful heat worse than we do, Erin, that's for sure. The thing is you're still getting yummy looking produce from your garden. Don't pull it all out, dear girl! Just stay out of it (who cares if it gets ratty and wild looking) during the worst heat of the day and harvest what you can, when you can.

    Hooray for that new, small blueberry farm you found. And those peaches? OMG, I do love peaches but they never seem to make it up this far north . . . without costing about two bucks a piece anyway!

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    1. We just had the Peach Festival out here last weekend so this is definitely the time. I wish I had more motivation right now so I could can a bunch but honestly I don't even care LOL! We'll just eat them fresh for as long as they last, maybe I'll freeze some for smoothies, nah... maybe not LOL

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  6. I am ready for fall. Beautiful, cool, rainy, fall. At least your getting something from the garden :)

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    1. Jane, gosh I hope you get some rain and get at least a few things from all your hard work! I hope you are taking advantage of your sleeping porch and are at least getting some middle of the night breezes :)

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  7. Contact me in a week or so, and I'll let you know how I'm withstanding the heat. So far our weather has been beautiful, but we're expecting triple digits real soon. I have visions of replacing the potato/onion bed with a lovely fall garden, but when it reaches 105 or so, I'll probably change my mind :-)

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    1. Gran, your garden is looking spectacular this year, I sure hope those temps don't hit you too hard. We have to have at least one of us bloggers who we can live vicariously through!!!

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  8. Oooh, that heat is awful! I don't think I would ever go outdoors. It's so nice to find a small enterprise that is run with such passion. I love all things fruit, but especially blueberries and peaches. I will try one of those tiny tomato plants next year. I have yet to see one ripe, but it's still early. I am just impatient. And really looking forward to Loch's camp pix!

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    1. Susan, I grew those from seed from Southern Exposure I believe. I will try and see who wants some seeds later in the year since I learned that I only really need 1 plant of that variety LOL

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  9. It has been in the 100's for days now and to top it all of we are no longer allowed to water! It's a gardener's nightmare and we're all praying for rain now...

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    1. Anke, can you believe I haven't watered this year? It's dry here too but I thought I'd run a "lazy gardener experiment" LOL... so far they are hanging on and seem to be producing earlier, I think it's the same as not giving too much nitrogen, the plant thinks it's near death so fruits in an attempt to go to seed LOL!!! That's what I'm going with anyway :) Normally in other years I water every day in the morning

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