It’s that time of the summer, when the harvest threatens to overwhelm. And since I’m not going in to the office, I have no one to share with.
I stopped weeding a few weeks ago, because once the weeds start going gangbusters, there’s really no point. They flower or do whatever they do to seed, then die. It’s just really messy-looking. Here’s a shot of our lovely giant ragweed in the raspberry patch.
Here you can see the marigolds are blooming now, along with the dill and cilantro (white flowers). The pumpkin covers its corner of the garden and is creeping along the edges.
Hubs cut down the foxtail grass that was challenging the tomatoes to see who could grow taller. Looks good, except now I can see how the tomatoes are bending under the weight of their fruit. And the blight is attacking them. Crossing my fingers I get lots of red tomatoes before the plants succumb completely.
First, pick the cucumbers. When you have enough to fill seven quart jars (because that’s what fits in the canner), it’s time. Wash the cukes, gather dill, and ready the “secret ingredient” — jalepeno peppers. I like to add a half (or 2 halves) to each jar for a little kick. Load the canner, mix up the brine, and away we go!
What follows is a marathon of jamming as many cucumbers into each jar as possible, adding brine, and processing. One seven-quart batch usually takes me a couple hours from washing cukes to processing. The last round I did I managed to process twice, so a dozen quarts (because I had enough cucumbers for that many quarts).
I’ve done 4 batches of pickles, and two batches of pickled green beans (because I can only eat so many and our freezer is, well, not exactly empty).
Ugh. Note to self: no pickling next year. Do NOT plant pickling cucumbers. Repeat, do NOT plant pickling cukes. Just plant those nice snacking cucumbers.
This week we also kicked off our first tomato harvest with BLTs. I love BLTs! Unfortunately, the bacon runs out, but thinly-sliced and crisp-fried Spam is a nice substitute. When we get enough tomatoes I’ll make some pico de gallo, cuz that’s what you do with garden-grown tomatoes, cilantro, peppers, and onions.
Now, if I can get some writing done amid all this garden stuff, I’ll be doing well 😀