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Gardeny Goodness

With all the rain, the biggest things I did this weekend were fixing the plumbing, (a far more involved task than I thought it would be) and harvesting things from my garden. I planted a bunch more pepper plants so now I have almost 60 in my own garden and a hundred or more in Robbie's garden in town. They all need fertilizer so I'll have to get down there and do that later in the week. I made a decision to pull all the root veggies because we've gotten so much rain these last few weeks that the ground is getting saturated and stuff like onions will just rot in the ground this week with 90+ degree temps. So I pulled the last 800 or so radishes. About 300 red and vidallia onions as well. I left the beets in becuase given a few more days, they will get really big. I've got a couple pumpkins on the vines that are in excess of 20 pounds already and they are just loving this water. I need to put some straw underneath them and turn them so they don't get flat on one side and rot as well. I got about 2 dozen ears of sweet corn (peaches and cream) from the early crop of corn. The second crop is about knee high right now so I should have a good late crop as well. I got several cucumbers as long as my forearm so I'll be spearing them and dipping them in ranch dressing tonight for a snack. The ones to come will be made into pickles. I helped Robbie make sweet zucchini relish. Oh my but it's good this year. Plus I have another crop of zukes to come. The squash is starting to pop out, the carrots and second crop of radishes are up. The sunflowers are doing well if the rabbits will stay away from them. The 8 tomato plants I have needed tieing up and de-suckering again but they all have 30 or more tomatoes on them which should redden this week. I've got a hankering for fried green tomates though so some might not make it that far.

I pickled 9 pints of green beans Saturday and picked a peck of apricots. I'm going to try and get some starts from the seeds and replant to replace the five or so trees I've lost to lightning over the years. Due to all the rain, the mulberry trees are producing record numbers of berries. So I might have to make a couple gallons of wine in addition to the jelly. Blackberries should be ripe soon. Hopefully a good crop of those this year as well.

The grapes are looking good on the vine if I can keep the birds away from them.

Saturday night as I was going out for a bit, I turned the truck around in the barnyard. Behind the barn where I burn paper trash and boxes, I saw two little black shapes waddling along. I revved the truck engine to get their attention thinking they were barn cats but saw the tell-tale white striped tails go up. SKUNKS! They didn't spray though. They were enjoying their meals of fallen mulberries. Probably getting drunk from the over ripe fruit. I leaned out and asked them their business and they chirped a bit and raised their tails again paying me no mind. Eventually they ambled back into the weeds at the edge of the barnyard.

Note to self - Don't let Jake the Wonder Dog run back there.

This morning while leaving, I stopped by Gwen and Rob's to deliver some vidalias. Rob is working night shift this week down in Effingham, patching some road on I-57 I think. Anyway he doesn't leave until this afternoon. Just to get my goat, he says, "Too bad you can't stay around...we could go fishing!" "You suck!" I say and he just laughs as I get back in the truck to drive the 90 miles to work with Jake sticking his big fuzzy nose in my ear the whole way.




( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 12th, 2004 11:31 am (UTC)
Wow, you are making me wish I had a green thumb! :) I guess if I tried, I might be ok- but I always seem to get busy and forget to water any plants I get...

Sounds like you have quite the harvest though!

Just out of curiosity, what are vidalias???

Jul. 12th, 2004 12:38 pm (UTC)
They are the worlds most wonderful yellow onions. Originally cultivated down south in Georgia and the Carolinas. Nice and sweet and great for throwing in with red potatoes on the grill. Or in a nice cool vinegarette with some sliced tomatoes. They also make a good relish.

I don't really have so much of a green thumb. I've been doing the garden for about 8 years now and I've had just as much stuff not come up or I kill it with too much water. Luckily, Illinois has been blessed with wet Springs and early summers the last few years so I don't have to do much but throw things in the ground and pull weeds every now and then.

Jul. 12th, 2004 11:48 am (UTC)
ilove skunks!

...hey, you *knew* i was odd...

you're making me hungry
Jul. 12th, 2004 12:45 pm (UTC)
I was trying to make you hungry. Maybe one of these days you will be hungry enough to make your way out here. Hey, I can box these skunks up and mail them to you if you like. My grandma who used to live at the farm for several years before me became famous for taking in wounded or orphaned animals. One year she showed up at the county fair with a live skunk riding her shoulder. It never sprayed anyone and she kept it until it was an adult and then one day it started gradually staying away for longer until it left altogether. Could be the descendants of that one I guess. I'll see if I can get some pics for you.

Strawberry jam going out to your dad this week. I'm a little behind in canning.

Jul. 12th, 2004 12:56 pm (UTC)
have i mentioned this week that you rock?

i don't think the world's largest dog would be suitably imprssed with me having a skunk for a pet. as much as it would amuse me....

one of these days i'll end up in the flyover states again and there you'll find me, sitting on your doorstep...
Jul. 12th, 2004 01:02 pm (UTC)
Show up on my doorstep and I might be tempted to keep you, world's largest dog and all.

You are making me blush with the other comment.

Jul. 12th, 2004 01:14 pm (UTC)
careful, i'm not very useful, you know...

as far as the worl'd largest dog goes, i don't think ronnie fits in my poor little car... we're just fostering him anyay...
Jul. 12th, 2004 01:22 pm (UTC)
Aw, he's a sweetie, he'd make a great companion for Jake the Wonderdog.

And yes you are useful. You could find everything I lose and that alone is worth room and board. Plus I'd throw in a good back rub or foot massage every now and then.

Jul. 12th, 2004 01:42 pm (UTC)
evil tempter!

careful, or i will end up on your doorstep and you'll have to explain to deb where your new houseguest came from ;-)
Jul. 12th, 2004 01:45 pm (UTC)
Hey she loses stuff as much as I do. I think she'd be greatful. remember, it was her engagement ring you found in the first place.

Jul. 12th, 2004 01:49 pm (UTC)

maybe after burning man i'll go on walkabout again for a bit... we'll see how the $ is doing and such... i may need a larger car than my current one tho...
Jul. 12th, 2004 01:58 pm (UTC)
Well anytime you could get out here, it would be nice to see you. But don't put yourself out. I know how it is. We'll meet up sometime on the path. For now I'll just tempt you a lot. I've thought that if i had more vacation time, I'd just jump in my old Jetta and head out that way. If it broke down somewhere, I could jsut take the plates off, call the nearest junkyard and take a bus back home again. I'm headed to NM in early August. I really miss the open road.

Jul. 12th, 2004 06:03 pm (UTC)
Holy cats! Is that a St. Bernard?
Jul. 12th, 2004 06:30 pm (UTC)
he's an english mastiff, the breed from which most of those other large breeds stem
Jul. 13th, 2004 12:53 pm (UTC)
Wow. I didn't know mastiffs got that big. He's very pretty, and friendly looking, too.
Jul. 13th, 2004 05:26 pm (UTC)
Beautiful dog!
Jul. 12th, 2004 06:05 pm (UTC)
You made me hungry. I have to go to work in 45 minutes and now I'm hungry again. Vile tempter.
Jul. 12th, 2004 08:53 pm (UTC)
I've been called that a lot today.

Wander the vile tempter
Jul. 13th, 2004 12:58 pm (UTC)
You just wait until I get my pico de gallo garden started next year. My tomatoes will be lusted after by all who hear of them.
Jul. 13th, 2004 05:25 pm (UTC)
You've made another one very hungry...*eyes you salavating*

Jake is a beautiful dog!
Jul. 14th, 2004 07:47 am (UTC)
Yeah he's my buddy. He doesn't know he's a dog. he thinks he's a circus performer.

Jul. 15th, 2004 09:24 pm (UTC)
Hm I don't really like zucchini but I think my mom made zucchini bread once or twice when I was a kid, and I think I liked it, though it's hard to remember.
And blackberries! *salivates* We used to have the most lovely wild blackberry bushes along the road up at the lake...I think they got cut back awhile ago.

And I don't think cats waddle. That would have been my first clue. Glad they didn't spray though.

How is Jake the Wonder Dog? Wasn't he sick for awhile?
Jul. 15th, 2004 09:40 pm (UTC)
He had cancer but the surgery went well and it's not returned. He is in great shape. You like blackberries but you are moving to a state where it's too cold for them to grow.



Jul. 16th, 2004 06:13 am (UTC)
Hey now! Don't remind me. ;)
Jul. 16th, 2004 09:08 am (UTC)
I'll have to unfairly tempt you every year with blackberry preserves. They do grow a berry up there that is very good for jams and wine called a crowberry. I think elderberries also grow up there.

( 25 comments — Leave a comment )