Outdoor work is difficult these days.
The heat is oppressive, the humidity high.
I spend my early mornings getting the animal chores done.
My evenings are spent in the garden.
By seven, the sun is behind the woods and the garden is in shade.
Watering and weeding are the nightly routine.
But added in of late is quite a bit of harvesting,
followed by replanting.
The onions that are drying in the greenhouse
have been replaced by tiny beet seedlings.
And it's a good thing, too.
Last evening I was cooking the first crop of beets to pickle,
and got involved in an activity with Tyler....
needless to say, those beets turned into charcoal.
I harvested half of the red potatoes this weekend.
The plants are starting to wilt...so harvest time is nigh.
I will plant a fall crop in this box next week.
The rest I will harvest in the next week or two.
I am going to store them like I stored last year's sweet potatoes...
in a tote filled with pine shavings.
The tote has several layers like this one.
Each layer is separated by shavings so that no potatoes touch
and none are exposed to the open air.
But air can still circulate through the shavings.
Last year's sweet potatoes lasted the entire year in that tote...
kept cool in the cellar pantry.
This year's sweet potatoes are still in this box,
beneath these lush green vines.
I will harvest them in early autumn.
Then into the cellar in another tote they go for use throughout the winter.
I am going to try storing my winter squash this way also.
My pumpkin babes are ripening...
I see pie making in my future!
No gardening is complete without a visit from Tom, Chuck and Edith!
And Sammy keeps a watchful eye over me.
In this weather, I keep extra water containers around for the birds
Hubbs and I spent a bit of time on Sunday picking wild blackberries,
dressed in boots and long pants to deter the chiggers.
The berries went into a batch of mixed berry jam.
I also made seven pints of hot pepper relish.
Coughing, sneezing, crying, (yes, and almost peeing myself!)
I cleaned and chopped several quarts of hot peppers.
Although there is a good deal of work involved in food preservation,
there is nothing more comforting to me than to enter autumn
with the freezer and pantry fully stocked with homegrown goodness!
Can you see why zinnias are my favorite garden flower?
They are just so cheerful!
And a haven for butterflies...
such vibrant color!
A morning glory vine winds its way around the zinnias.
Soon to bloom, it will add a "pop" of blue to the mix.
Vines are taking over the fence around the garden...
just as I had hoped!
German strawberry tomatoes... just one of many heirlooms starting to ripen.
Cabbage patch babies....
I will have to find some creative ways to use these.
PS....our little Donald (O'Malley's bucking who is polled [hornless],
has not sold. It looks like he will remain with the family.
But for the present time, will have to live with the other bucks.
(At least until he is neutered.)
We caught him showing just a little too much interest in his Mama,
and bucklings are fertile at a very young age.
|Red O'Malley and her handsome son, T. Donald.|
Rain is predicted for today.
Let's hope some temperature and humidity relief come along with it!