Wednesday, July 06, 2011


cans a'plenty
I felt like a farm wife today. Or should I say Home Farm Wife? Whatever. In my efforts to find new and exciting ways to use up the endless zucchini bounty, I dug out my canner and my canning book, and proceeded to "put up" 5 jars of zucchini relish. As long as I had the thing out and filled, I got 6 pints of blueberries from Johnson's Farm, down the street, and went crazy. Five jars of blueberry syrup and 5 jars of blueberry butter later, I decided to go out and see what the home farm had to offer me today.
Today's bounty
How about a pound of green beans and another zucchini? (I also got 2 heads of lettuce, but forgot to take a picture of them before washing them and putting them away.) You know, I think there may be a reason why they call New Jersey the Garden State....

We have reached the point in the summer where the garden is really starting to do its part, paying us back for all the watering and weeding we have done. The green beans have already supplied 4 or 5 dinners worth of veggies, not counting today's haul, and I have 6 zucchini in the refrigerator right now, even though I used 4 to make zucchini relish this morning. And there are several more on the vines that are nearly ready.
Thank goodness I only planted 2 zucchini plants this spring!

The kohlrabi should be ready soon, and the broccoli are almost big enough to pick. I've already made a huge batch of basil pesto, and a "huger" batch of kale pesto. And I sent dd out to pick the 2 biggest peppers she could find this morning, so I could cut them up for the relish I was making.

(By the way, can I say how COOL it feels to send your kid out to the garden to bring back food? I am not sure why, but it's just great. Here, hon, go out to the garden and fill this basket with basil. Awesome. I am such a weirdo.)

The acorn squash plants are like giant mutant bushes. We have 5, and each of them has 4 or 5 sqaushes that look like they could be ready to pick very soon. But I don't know what to do with so many acorn squashes already! It's only July! I expected to be harvesting them at the end of August, and stashing them in a crate in the basement for several weeks, or something like that. Isn't that what Ma and Laura and Mary did? (Except I do have an extra mini-fridge down there--ah, the benefits of modern life.)

We are doing our best to protect the plants from the varmints. Rich's fence goes all the way around, and the pretty wooden gates go all the way down to the ground. But there are these super-teeny-weeny bunnies that have no problem getting through the fence, and apparently they have a taste for edamame, of all things. I planted 8 edamame bushes this spring. They are down to sticks now. The amazing thing is that they are in the middle of the garden--row 3 out of 8. These bunnies bypass the tomatoes, turn their cute little noses up at the lettuce, snub the kale and the broccoli, and head for the edamame. But I worry what these tiny Asian-peapod-lovers will start to go after once the edamame are all gone.

garden 3
Right now, the garden is a study in contrasts. I planted the veggies in rows in the back half. Rich is sculpting the front half to be more of a decorative garden. The veggies have grown to monster sizes in the back. Rich's front part is still barren, but he is making definite progress.
garden 2

In the fall, I look forward to posting a picture that would show some of the late season veggie crops still going in the back of the garden, along with Rich's flowers blooming in the front. It will look great!

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