Monday was a trip to the big garden at the farm........early. Stopped off for a donut to go with our coffee at a newer place we hadn't tried yet. Delicious sour cream donuts, my fav! When we went to leave there was a line at the drive through and a woman driver in the car closest to us. Boy did she give us a good laugh to start out our day on. We started backing out and she started blaring her horn over and over. I read lips. And she needs help or maybe some new glasses. We were nowhere close to her car but she was yelling that we were "GOING TO HIT HER CAR" The hubby gave one little tap on his horn and my girls started giggling. My husband is military and he has been employed as a 'driver' for many many years, he can use a side view mirror. Soooooo........that was an interesting start to the day.
There sure was plenty of work to be done in the garden. We started out with a nice chat on the porch though. Nice morning watching the horse in the pasture. Veggie picking was first on the list. Squash, cucumbers, okra, peppers and rattlesnake pole beans. We peaked under a potato plant on the end of a row and there are potatoes. They just need to be left for awhile so they can fatten up. The potato beetles damaged about 50% of the plants. I don't know if it would be worth it to even attempt to plant again. So far everything I have tried to control them with has failed. The Contender bush beans that were on the plants were worthless, spongy things. We pulled up some of them. They will be tilled in now so we can replant with something else when we want to. The tomatoes didn't have a cage for every plant. We had run out and we have all been so busy we just hadn't gotten around to it. The guys decided to use the bamboo that they had cut early this spring. Its the big kind. They used an electric skill saw to angle the cut for the bottom so it could be driven into the ground by a post driver. Now thats hard work! And in the sun too. We used baling twine to tie the branches up and then the tomato patch looked so much better.
We have a 10 day forecast that looks good for gardening right now. Scattered showers for every day. I really hope we get a few inches because the garden needs it.
While the guys were cutting up the bamboo I took a slow walk over to where the horse was grazing in the pasture. He is a shy guy but he has slowly gotten used to seeing us around. My oldest told me he was eating hay out of her hand. So I decided to give it a try. A bale of hay had broken right there by the pasture so there was plenty to pick up for him. He ate readily from my hand but wouldn't let me pet him until I had ahold of his bridle. After a couple of minutes he have a big sigh and relaxed and just stood and enjoyed a good petting all along his side.
We had another porch chat while everyone cooled off and then took veggies in the house that were going to stay. We had plenty to bring home. And the pickling cucumbers.........wow. We still had a few leftover here at the house, so we knew we were in for a job. Stopped to get an icecream and some more quart jars then came home.
We made pickles folks! I had to rest for a bit, but my husband started working on the prep right away. When he started the slicing I could smell it clear in the bedroom! And let me just say that if you have lots of pickles to do, a Mandolin is INVALUABLE!!! The slicing just goes go nice and quick. Just be sure you don't slice those fingertips ;) We did slices, spears, small whole and even a jar of relish. The relish we made out of the cucumbers that were BIG and starting to yellow. They were peeled, de-seeded, sliced on the mandolin......then they were put through another gadget that we have that chops veggies in a small uniform manner. It comes out in perfect little tiny squares. The best way we have found to do this amount of boiling water canning is on a propane burner with a large 'crawfish pot'. The insert works perfectly for holding the jars. By the time we were done we had 24 jars. 6 pints and the rest Quarts. It was most certainly a team effort, our eldest even made us sandwiches and drinks to keep us going. Wow! Good thing they aren't just for us......thats seriously alot of pickles!
We get to go to the FARM! Yay! Hubby got off work early and we are going out to check on the big garden. Maybe weed or plant something. I think the garden is about 1/2 an acre. Its like a shared garden with a co-worker of my husbands. We have lots of things planted so far. His friend is new-ish to gardening. Its good fun to share with him. There are potatoes (we are having trouble with the colorado potato beetle), bush beans, 3 kinds of cucumbers, okra(not doing great, going to reseed), few kinds of squash, tomatoes, peppers, going to plant corn, sweet peas(yes, I know its too hot. But he didn't know that when he planted the seeds) and more. There are also dogs out there that are BIG! So sometimes they have damaged plants......and rabbits. We have harvested string beans, grey zucchini, black beauty zucchini, yellow squash and cucumbers so far. Our kids love going out to the farm :)
This is a pic from last week when we picked beans.