Monthly Archives: September 2010

Sept 30 – Tomatoes

We had a bumper crop of tomatoes and I canned and canned but the family is still lamenting the fact that there are only 3 tomatoes left in my old wooden bowl and all that left is on the vine are green.
I know I have spoken here about being a tomato snob and I will not retract, but I was both saddened and justified when I recently passed the tomato from my Wnedy’s Jr Bacon Cheeseburger on to Logan and he complained that it had no flavor.  While I triumphantly rejoiced that my children now had taste buds, I realized I would have to start ordering without – and the kids would then get less empty fiber… Can’t try to feel like a good mom getting in the veggies anymore!
On another note, I will be working on my repetoire of green tomato recipes – seems I found a good one last fall involving Panko. Will have to find that soon and we can make it through October. By then, it will be chili season and we can survive on my canned babies…

Sep 28 – Rain

We finally got some today. Not sure how much – think the rain gauges are too full with dust to accurately measure well.
We are expecting some more – 70% over night. I really don’t recall a drier summer in my garderning career, and it has not been pretty.
In fact, some local areas have had wildfires – again, something I have never heard of here. Since we are big bonfirers (is that really a noun?), we have been pretty sure the fall would be lacking in this tradition.  Our fire pit is behind Big Garden so well away from the house but too close to dried cornstalks  and a barn filled with various combustibles, to even consider a little family time roasting marshmellows.
I will have to do a little research on how much rain is needed to recover from a 6" deficit – would never want to do anything unsafe! Remind me to tell the tale of how we cleaned up these 2 acres…

Sep 26 – Camping

In the time that I have had children, we have never, as a complete family, gone camping.
Why is this so funny?
  1. Donny and I went camping (ie. backpacks, tents, cold, dirt, rock climbing, build a fire stuff) before we had kids – at least 4x together and certainly more before that – we own great gear (LOL)
  2. We bought a 4-man tent on sale (to replace our smaller 2-man) while I was 9 months pregnant and set it up in the family room the night I went into labor – just to see… We still fit – but not for too long 🙂
  3. My non-camping-like parents took me camping (tent-campers and/or RVs) 5 times before I discoverered boys (although I did kinda find a bear once…) – my kids could figure out girls at any moment – the girls have figured them out…
  4. The above-mentioned tent has been used 10+ times under our big Oak (but never out of the yard) by the boys (with occasional adult slumbervison) – but with Walkie-Talkies begging popcorn and a long orange cord connected to the portable DVD player…

Something is VERY wrong with these pictures – it’s something I plan to fix this weekend – stay tuned!

Sep 21 – Indian Summer

This has been a hot and dry summer, and despite the Autumnal Equinox on Thursday, we still have little feeling of Fall here. Just draught… think we are down 3.5+".  Finally tossed out the last of the hanging baskets – just too tired of watering them when we only see them on the weekends due to sports practices every night of the week.
Temperatures are to reach 90 again tomorrow and that might set a record. Not that I rejoice at the end of warm weather; it is just not the same when everything looks tan instead of green.
I did plant some more mesclun and arugula a few weeks ago, but watering it became a pain and not much has germinated. Need to eat what there is tomorrow so it won’t have been a complete waste of my time.

Sep 13 – Plant A Row For The Hungry

Several years ago, when my boys were very young in daycare (and before I started volunteering so actively for their school), I came across a great program that I really tried to promote to the daycare and its families. Unfortunately, I took a bigger bite than I could chew considering I had two small boys (2 years and 10 months) as well as a garden at home. I also didn’t get the support from other families as I had hoped. I had envisioned a learning garden for the children and then parents helping keep it going and delivering the veggies to a local food bank.  I failed, and have been sad about it ever since.
I do think the experience is what has drive my involvement with their school – this program inspired a need to make a difference – even if it was with other endeavors.
Still, I think about Plant A Row more and more at this time of year when I have more watermelon than one family can eat while ripe and not rotten, or more tomatoes than I can can in a reasonable amount of time. Now that I am blogging and trying to improve my own gardening habits, perhaps I can take on this challenge again or at least make sure my own goodies don’t go to waste when there are people hungry for them.

Sep 7 -Promises, Promises

I started it today – the dreaded Fall Clean Up that I am notoriously bad at.
It was really a fairly small gesture condisering the size of the project – why I never do it; it’s daunting and shows no reward in the way that Spring Clean Up does.
When I am done, I will still have a dead garden… 
But, I am trying to think long term – PERHAPS, I will be able to get the lovely newbies in earlier next spring and thus, extend the season I adore. Because, I HATE the time between Summer and Fall – more than Winter!  Once the leaves really turn and we are full go with Fall, I will like it again.
So, what did I do:
  • dumped pots I am tired of watering to no benefit – it is frightfully dry here
  • cut back those that can stay so they look better and don’t need as much water
  • cut cosmos and sunflowers for vases
  • watered the mesclun seeds – I really want some more arugula before the season is over
  • took pix with my new phone – still don’t know how to share them on the blog but I have Winter to learn that
  • harvested MORE tomatoes – will be making salsa very soon
  • picked pumpkins – not a banner year (Note to self: check seeds and get fresh ones next spring)
  • cleaned up after the racoons – actually Donny did this:  they rampaged the corn the last 2 nights and I have only 5 ears left to make relish
  • cut cornstalks for my Fall/Halloween display

There is so much yet to be done, but putting accomplishments in writing should keep me motivated, right?!

Sep 3 – Burpee’s Early Girl Tomatoes

I have never grown this variety before and I am pleasantly surprised! Being a self-admitted organic, heirloom snob, I have passed it by for years. But, when soccer took over my spring and I did not have enough time to start ALL my plants from seed, I wound up buying a plant at Lowe’s – also, not my usual place to acquire veggies…
I don’t know that it was a lot earlier than my other plants (and, despite what I say above, I have been a fan of Burpee’s Better Boy for years), it was earlier than the BBB.  It has also produced better than the  Black Russian heirloom I found at Meijer’s.
What I really like is the interior texture for slicing compared to the Better Boy – it holds together very well and if you feel the need to seed, there is still a lot of tomato left behind.  In taste comparision, it is not as acidic as the BB so if you are making a sliced salad with basil and mozzarella, toss a dash of white wine vinegar in along with the EVOO. Garlic, salt and pepper complete the mix. My family could eat 6-8 tomatoes like this for dinner. And, sometimes, we have to in order to keep up.