Wednesday, July 30, 2008

simple living not simple or for everyone

Everything we do to grow, preserve, and make ends meet comes by way of necessity and conviction. Knowing we are responsible for making sure we get by and that we have enough without being at the mercy of corporate profiteering leads us to learning and doing, taking us further on the path of sustainability. Along with necessity resides a true pleasure derived from creating from one’s hand the ingredients necessary to sustain life. I believe that the greatest gift we are capable of is to be able to provide for ourselves and each other.

It helps a lot that we're not completely new to this lifestyle. I inherited a lot of “can do” attitude and know-how from my parents. I have also learned much on my own out of desire and necessity. We grew up on fresh veggies form the garden and home canned foods. A meal of fresh green beans and potatoes cooked with a little bacon or ham hock was a much welcome treat after the winter months. As long as I can remember I have regularly yearned for the taste of a fresh garden tomato throughout the months prior to their planting and ripening. I guess you could say that living simply and in a back to basics way is in my blood. It just feels right in every way; monetarily, environmentally and spiritually.

There is no great mystery in the ability to raise and preserve ones own food. People have been doing it for centuries. It is simple a matter of whether one feels this responsibility and has the time, space and inclination to do so. In these essential elements I am very fortunate. But in truth it is also necessary that we live this way. If we were dependent on purchasing all our food from the store we would have far less quality to our meals and far less food. Realistically, in order for us to live as well as we do, especially now with increasing costs we must be as self sufficient as possible. It makes no sense to be otherwise and lessen the quality of our lives.

I am aware of those who at times think ours is a life of leisure, one in which we have nothing more pressing to do than to tinker in the garden or craft and putter about, enjoying ourselves in whatever ways we choose. I would like to take the opportunity here to say yes, we have freedom. That freedom is not one away from work and responsibility. It is the freedom to do the work and live the life of our choosing and believe me it involves plenty of hard work. The garden, the ground, the preserves, the full freezer, the meals from scratch, etc., do not happen miraculously by themselves. Our lives are dedicated to making it work. From the dried herbs to the hand cut tomato stakes, from the spaghetti sauce to the fresh fruit, from the laundry soap to the hand made wash cloths and dinner napkins, it comes from time and effort specifically dedicated to making it work. And if I enjoy these things in the process, it doesn’t detract from the fact that it does require the majority of my time and effort. This is the choice I make as opposed to working outside the home for money that would be spent on these very items via someone else’s labor. The fact that I find satisfaction through my efforts and in needing less by way of commercially manufactured goods and food does not mean I work less than anyone else or that my work is less relevant than another’s. It simply means I enjoy it more and don’t consider all of it labor as opposed to other types of work or employment. The truth is I put more hours and energy into this job than I have any other.

We are fully employed here at home on a daily basis. We don’t get the weekends off, and often not the holidays. It is ongoing. Our jobs are our life, a life that many I know would not want to fully participate in. In truth, although it may sound simple and good (and it is), when confronted with the reality of what it takes to really live it, many would likely decline. I know this life is not for everyone. It would not be convenient to some to be self supporting, to not run out to the store when the need arose to pick up this or that. It takes dedication, foresight, planning and plenty of effort to live this simple lifestyle.

A simple life doesn’t mean an easy life. I think it is better described as being a less complicated, richer, more rewarding life. It is one in which we find the greatest pleasure and value in our own creativity and accomplishments. It is a life in which one is not searching outside themselves for satisfaction or meaning. It is a very full and rewarding life, one I hope we can continue living for a long time to come.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

all in one catching up post

Just for pretty, the Morning Glories in quite naturally all their morning glory!

I miss coming to my computer and posting on a more daily basis but life has a way of keeping us busy, especially now. The garden is coming along quite beautifully. Cherokee Purple tomatoes as well as the Amish Paste are just beginning to ripen. The Hungarian hot peppers are coming along well and we have been enjoying the zucchini nearly every day as well as giving some away to family and friends. These along with green beans and peas are all part of our daily fare right now. I do love shopping from my garden!

Zucchini, peppers, Amish paste tomatoes and those lovely Cherokee Purple tomatoes take center stage on my kitchen table until I prepare them fro eating. The summer squash are from my daughters garden!

Even the ground cherries are ripening.

Today the laundry has been caught up, the makings of yogurt are under way, the cream turned into butter, spaghetti sauce has been cooked for tonights dinner...
and fresh zucchini sliced and under salt water for pickle making this afternoon.
With the garden producing and vegetables in abundance it' has been days since I have taken any meat from the freezer to include with a meal.

Coop has been working on repairing the side wall to our outside cellar steps. This is an old, old house with a stone wall cellar. The years we were away it was left in neglect for a good part. The outside cellar steps had been unused for the most part and had become overgrown with vegetation. DH cleaned them up and made them usable again. The newly repaired side wall he is constructing with concrete will help keep things out such as vegetation and snakes making me feel a little better about using the stairway when I haul the laundry out to the line. No more hauling heavy wash loads upstairs and through the kitchen, the garage and around back to the clothesline. Yippee! What on earth would I do without that guy? I know I'd work a whole lot harden than I do, that's what!

Last week I made 3 quarts of refrigerator pickles. (I will be sharing that recipe with you very soon.) This has been a tradition with me for a good many years. Although I do canned pickles, also, these are so nice and easy to make and are such a great accompaniment to summer time meals, not to mention a handy and very tasty take along for picnicking. They always get rave reviews and eaten up.

And last of all for those who, like me wash and reuse plastic bags, a simple but effective solution to drying. Mind you, I had been eyeballing those ready made bag drying racks but who wants to spend $12 - $15 on one when a quart jar and few dowel rods work equally as well. Same principal!

Have a great remainder of your week. I will get back with that pickle recipe and a follow up to the tale of two tanks very soon.

Peace, love and homegrown veggies! :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

simplicity - I couldn't have said it any better

To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter... to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring - these are some of the rewards of the simple life. ~John Burroughs

Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants. ~Epicurus

Life is so simple, but we insist on making it complicated. ~Confucius

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction. ~E.F. Schumacker

The trouble with simple living is that, though it can be joyful, rich, and creative, it isn't simple. ~Doris Janzen Longacre

The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

Maybe a person's time would be as well spent raising food as raising money to buy food. ~Frank A. Clark

As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness. ~Henry David Thoreau

How many things are there which I do not want. ~Socrates

Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. ~Lao Tzu

The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest. ~Thomas More.

People say "I want peace." If you remove I (ego), and your
want (desire), you are left with peace. ~ Satya Sai Baba

Manifest plainness,
Embrace simplicity,
Reduce selfishness,
Have few desires.
~ Lao-Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Too many people spend money they haven't earned,
to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like. ~Will Rogers

Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English
language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and
enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in
having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.
~Elise Boulding

Simplicity is the essence of happiness. ~ Cedric Bledsoe

To know you have enough is to be rich. ~Lao-Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Voluntary simplicity means going fewer places in one day
rather than more, seeing less so I can see more, doing less
so I can do more, acquiring less so I can have more.
~John Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go There You Are

We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy,
even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry. ~ E.B. White

My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions but in the fewness of my wants.
~J. Botherton

You can never get enough of what you don't need to make you happy. ~Eric Hoffer

It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all. ~Laura IngallsWilder

To live content with small means, to seek elegance rather
than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion, to be worthy,
not respectable, and wealthy, not rich, to study hard, think
quietly, talk gently, act frankly, to listen to stars and birds,
to babes and sages, with open heart, to bear all cheerfully,
do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never, in a word to
let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up
through the common, this is to be my symphony.
~William Henry Channing

The simplest things are often the truest. ~Richard Bach

The art of contentment is the recognition that the most satisfying and the most dependably refreshing experiences of life lie not in great things but in little. The rarity of happiness among those who achieved much is evidence that achievement is not in itself the assurance of a happy life. The great, like the humble, may have to find their satisfaction in the same plain things. ~Edgar A. Collard

It all depends on whether you have things, or they have you.
~Robert A. Cook

If one's life is simple, contentment has to come. Simplicity is extremely important for happiness. Having few desires, feeling satisfied with what you have, is very vital: satisfaction with just enough food, clothing, and shelter to protect yourself from the elements. And finally, there is an intense delight in abandoning faulty states of mind and in cultivating helpful ones in meditation. ~The Dalai Lama

For fast acting relief; try slowing down. ~Lily Tomlin

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tale of Two Tanks part 1

Less than 1/4 mile from our house stands two oil tanks.

A local energy company owns the mineral rights on this land and has for many, many years although I just heard through the grapevine they have sold to a larger company. I also heard said that with their technology they can drill sideways into the ground and make the wells in this area as productive as they were thirty years ago and in the process making lots of money for the landowners (and I might add, least of all the company).

We seldom travel our road in an easterly direction past those tanks, but on Tuesday afternoon of last week we decided to do just that as we headed over my our niece's house. As we passed the ugly blue tanks Coop and I both noticed that the ground had been freshly dug and piled higher than normal around the pit. This pit exists in case of a spill when draining the tanks and to contain the accidental release of toxic liquids such as brine, oil or a mixture of the two.

Anyhow...we didn't think too terribly much about it and kept on driving. On Saturday we learned from our neighbor M that the energy company employee had definitely had a spill of said brine the week before at the tanks and obviously a pretty hefty spill. M said he had spoken with the employee and threatened to call the EPA about it. The employee urged him not to and reassured they'd get it cleaned up.

On that same Saturday after learning of the situation, out of concern and curiosity I decided to take a walk to the site with camera in hand.

I climbed up on the mound of dirt to get a look at the pit. I knew the liquid in the pit is rain water because we'd had heavy rain just prior and any brine would by now have been absorbed into the ground...somewhere.

I took a walk behind the tanks and saw this nifty little drain tube sticking out of the ground from the pit wall...hmmm

And I saw this. (The area to the far right edge of pic is where that orange drain pipe is.)

This last pic is to give you an overall idea of the distance from the tanks the trench had been dug.

Obviously the spill was substantial or why else would they have stuck that drain tube into the wall of the pit and dug this trench? I estimate the trench was about 100' in length. Fortunately they blocked it at that distance preventing anything traveling further west. Beyond there lay the woods and the creek bed. If poisonous brine was drained out of that pit and had made its way to the creek it would have been disastrous.

I spoke with the land owner that same day and relayed my feelings about the oil company's disregard for the environment and the private property of others. I also told him rather matter of factly that if he didn't want to call the EPA I would. He shook his head affirmatively, letting me know it was literally my call.

to be continued...

my first time (using a pressure canner)

Over the years I’ve done quite a lot of canning. However I never owned anything but a regular water bath canner. Years ago I canned everything in a hot water bath. That included green beans and other things now considered unsafe to process that way.

Later I quit gardening and canning for a number of years because I was busy working and raising a family and food was fairly cheap, not to mention I didn’t question the quality and safety of commercially grown and packaged food back then.

When I returned to gardening and preserving my own food I continued to use my old water bath canner and for safety sake I resorted to freezing beans, beets, and any and all low acid foods. Freezing foods is fine and good if you have dependable power and adequate insurance to cover your loss in the event of a power outage. Here in our area the electric is far more dependable that it used to be, but there are still times when the power goes out. I like the idea of having my preserved goods canned…safe and sealed and being in no harm of losing them over an energy outage. I put a lot of energy and love into growing my own food so I sure don’t want to lose it or have to replace it which, in the truest sense would be impossible to do. So for that reason and safety of course, I had a strong desire for a pressure canner despite my slight fear of them.

Over the 2007 holidays I was thrilled (to the point of tears) when my dear son gifted me with a pressure canner.

I knew when the beets were coming on I would have to get that baby out and examine it and study the booklet. On Monday after pulling the majority of our beets, I followed the directions methodically and carefully and successfully canned them. Yay!

Now when I do the beans I won’t be quite so nervous. : )

Friday, July 18, 2008

6 things

Granny Sue has tagged me to write six things about myself that others may not know. I'm not that interesting, so this may be tough but here goes...

  1. As an animal lover I always thought I'd like to work as a veterinarian's assistant or in some animal care position. Although I never so did professionally I have ended up taking in and caring for many animals in my lifetime. Among other things I have even sat up in the wee hours of morning with a distressed dog or cat, helping them deliver their young, breaking amniotic sacks and encouraging their nurturing instincts when they were at a loss as to what to do naturally.
  2. I worked for eleven years in an auto body supply business and am trained and certified in auto body paint, materials and safety and I know how to handle a paint gun…woo hoo! (And I'm glad to be out of that line of work!)
  3. I left school in the tenth grade and since then have never resumed any formal education although academic tests have revealed my equivalence to one who is college educated. I was never ambitious about having a career so a diploma never felt necessary. I consider life experience the best teacher. Aside from the previously mentioned interest in animal care and despite having various jobs through the years I have never wanted more than to be a stay at home woman tending to domestic duties and being creative.
  4. In my late 40's I decided to get a tattoo of a blue phoenix on my inner left lower arm. I love it. At nearly 50 on a whim I decided to get my right eyebrow pierced...just because I could. : ) Silliness maybe, but I don't regret either decision.
  5. I've always had an interest in natural methods of healing and well being. This led me to consider studying Reiki, an ancient mode of energy healing. Just last year I took my interest further and went from level two Reiki to being certified as a Reiki master.
  6. For me, having order in my life is necessary. On those rare occasions when I feel I have it all together within and without I feel wonderful sense of serenity. As noted, these occasions are rare since more often than not I find it difficult to quell my thoughts, imagination, creativity...not that I'd ever want to completely or permanently, but I think it would be nice if I had a little kill switch to use when plagued with excessive thinking

Thursday, July 17, 2008

my most essential cookware

I don’t know why I felt compelled to post about this, but the other day while puttering around in my kitchen I got to thinking about those items I use most. It was probably when I was putting them away that it occurred to me how often I'm putting them away.

Now I have a lot of things I use quite often because I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Aside from an assortment of various sized strainers, (which I kind of have a thing for) and my crockpots, the two items I use most often are pictured here.

Yep, a good old cast iron skillet and a stoneware (clay) baker, both of which have been in use in my kitchen for years. I have a few other type of skillets, but none serve me as well as the cast iron. I have vowed that once my others are worn out (which is in the very near future) I will not purchase any other nonstick cookware but instead cook only on my cast iron.

Now if you want to know about seasoning cast iron, there’s lots of info out there including here at the Barber Bunch blog. Carolyn also mentions how to clean your cast iron as well as some no-nos such as not using steel wool or soap. Here are a few other tips from yours truly…

  • I use a nylon scraper made for cleaning stoneware and cast iron to take off stuck on food while washing as well as a Chore Boy Golden Fleece scrubbing cloth. These seem to clean best for me.

  • Never soak your cast iron for a lengthy time, like overnight. It’s iron and it will rust.

  • One way to clean off really stuck on food is to add water to the skillet, heat on burner and cook it off for a few minutes, then wash as normal.

  • Never put cast iron in a dishwasher.

  • After rinsing, always dry cast iron with a towel or heat on stove top to dry.

A lot of the same principles of care that apply to cast iron apply to stoneware as well. By stoneware I mean the unglazed clay kind.

  • Season if or when necessary by wiping interior lightly with oil. Wipe out excess with a clean, soft cloth or paper towel.
  • You’ll find that just like cast iron, the more high fat or greasy food you cook in clay the better seasoned it becomes. This is especially true when you are breaking in new stoneware. The darker your stoneware gets the better it gets. Don’t even be concerned about appearance. :)

  • Do not put in dishwasher.
  • Like cast iron, hand wash in warm water without the use of soap. Stoneware is porous so not only will you remove the season with soap, you’ll imbue the flavor of soap into it. Yum. A nylon scraper will be your stoneware’s best friend.
  • Do not soak stoneware for long. Soaking it will weaken it making it more prone to breakage.
  • You can leave clay stoneware in the oven while baking other items to help hold and distribute the heat.

The things I love about cast iron and stoneware are that both cook evenly and well, plus keep food warm longer. Plus cast iron can be used on the stove or in the oven. With proper use and care both will develop a smooth, stick resistant cooking surface and will work as well as any Teflon type skillet or bake pan. Not to mention they won’t warp or wear out but instead will serve you well for many, many years.

Purchasing quality cast iron or stoneware can be costly, but I consider it a long term investment well worth the money spent.

Monday, July 14, 2008

My Monday

The beets we pulled last night are cooked, sliced and pickling. I’ll be adding eggs to the jar soon. A variety of veggies are coming on, but not a lot of any one thing just yet. So I cleaned a few snow peas, a few beans, some green onions and zucchini. They will be put together for a veggie stir fry this evening.

I strained and bottled the calendula oil that has been infusing on my windowsill for the past two and a half weeks. Calendula is very good for soothing and healing the skin. I have skin problems so I’ve been meaning to try it for some time. Most calendula preparations are pricey, so that was a deterrent. Naturally I decided to make my own.

Here’s how.

I filled a sterile pint jar with dried calendula flowers. Next, fill jar with high quality oil. I used apricot kernel oil, because it’s less greasy than some. Almond oil is good, too. I set it on my windowsill for 2-3 weeks, shaking the jar at least once or twice per day. Some say to set the jar in a sunny window, others say not to, some say infuse it for a longer time, also. Some say heat the oil slightly before adding it to the jar. My thoughts are that heat and sunlight destroy essential oils so I opted for my kitchen window which is on the north side, so it gets light but no direct sun. After said duration, strain oil through a couple layers of cheesecloth and bottle in dark colored bottle(s). I recommend storing excess in the fridge. Tah dah! I may add some pure essential oil to it such as lavender for its therapeutic value and the added antibacterial/preservative properties of essential oil.

On a sad note, my twin sister’s beautiful color point kitty “Sky” died unexpectedly the other day. He had eaten a ribbon off a balloon and required emergency surgery to remove it. He came through the operation perfectly the vet said, but upon checking him the next morning, the vet was shocked to find him expired. He thinks a blood clot may have formed and caused his death. My sister is just heartbroken over the loss of her best friend and kitty boy. When I learned of this, all I could do besides cry for my sister was to gather my kitty boy Arther up in my arms and be thankful for his presence. Please dear readers, take good care and cherish your pets. You never know when something tragic may happen to them and they can be gone from your life in a heartbeat.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

weekly round-up & product review

Well, despite my recent posts about cats, turkeys and puffballs, life has been busy here at Keepsake Acres...

More raspberries were picked by Coop this week. Some frozen, some made into cobbler and some into jam. I also made my first trial batch of homemade castile soap and it seems to have come out right. I am letting it cure now. I have city mouse to thank for inspiring me because it was his homemade soap that impressed me. I added oatmeal and patchouli essential oil to it and am definitely anxious to try it.

Some of our Detroit Red beets were ready for pulling and were they ever tasty!

I love beets, no matter how you cook em’! Friday’s lunch was hot buttered beets! We finished them up as a cold side at dinner time. All gone! Did you know you can eat them raw, also? It never occurred to me until our Amish friend Fanny mentioned it. Not quite as tasty in my opinion, but an option.

Friday I ended the week by having canned another 10 half pints of raspberry jam. I now have 19 half pints of black raspberry jam put up. If you’re wondering what the two of us will do with all the jams I’ve made this summer, the plan is to use many of these jars as gifts later in the year at holiday time. Part of being frugal minded requires thinking and planning ahead! Plus, as is typical, more than one person has walked out of my kitchen already with a jar of jam in hand.

This jam and the batch prior were made with Pomona’s Universal Pectin.

I purchased this product at my local bulk/health food store. I will never go back to any other brand of pectin.

What I absolutely love about Pomona’s is that you can cut way back on the amount of sugar in a recipe and make just about any size recipe you like. Other pectin requires that you make jam or jelly in small batches and using a lot of sugar is essential to the pectin working correctly…trust me on that one. With Pomona’s you can adjust ingredients for the amount you want to make and you can adjust the amount of sugar used. Or you can use honey in place of sugar.

This last batch of jam I made yesterday morning has 12 cups of fruit and only 3 ½ cups of sugar. I use raw or organic sugar which a lot more costly than refined sugar so I have a significant savings in cost using Pomona brand. Not to mention that sometimes jam can be just too darn sweet for my taste. With the sweetness of the fruit, who needs so much added sugar? I am in love with this product and will never use Sure Jell or Ball brand again!

Pomona’s Universal Pectin goes further than other pectin, too. With brands like Ball or Sure Jell you use an entire package for one recipe of jam or jelly. With Pomona’s you get 2-4 normal batches. So, despite Pomona brand pectin being a little costlier on the “per box” basis it’s really a lot less costly. When I factor in the decrease in sugar necessary to make jam, the savings is huge! Btw, I am not being compensated for recommending this product (I wish), just telling it like it is.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

puffballs & wild turkeys

Here in the country one never knows what they might see walking up the road. Could be a deer, a fox, a pheasant, a coyote or maybe wild turkeys. These two turkey hens had youngsters hiding in the ditch across the road, some of which flew off when they saw me step out to get photos. I tried getting a shot of one or two in flight and didn't realize I had until I uploaded them.

Now, about puffballs. They are very fascinating things. I had never actually see one before, let alone tasted one...well, that is until the other day when Coop came up from the old barn bank with this one.

That baby was freakin' huge!

When I cut into it it was the texture and consistency of angel food cake, but... still tasted like a mushroom.

mewest addition at the homestead

No, the title isn't a typo. Jerry the cat is our newest addition here at the homestead. He just appeared one day scared and starving for both food and attention. He's young, nearly a kitten still. A drop off I'm sure. We get those out here from time to time. Once it was two beagles in the middle of winter. People can be heartless.

Jerry and Molly reluctantly meet

"She is scary so I will stay out of her way for now. This is a good spot where I can observe yet not be observed so well."

"nah nah nah nah nah nah, she can't see me!"
"aw sh@$!"

Monday, July 7, 2008

weekend recap

Friday was like any other day as we had made no plans for the holiday itself, other than to travel to our daughter’s house on Sat. Since the weather was finally cooperative with no rain and little wind, I suggested a camp fire for the evening. Nothing special, just the two of us and maybe a few marshmallows. My twin sis called later and mentioned that she and her husband might be stopping out later in the evening. I mentioned a camp fire. She mentioned leftover potato salad. I mentioned baked beans and the next thing you know the four of us had a somewhat impromptu but very enjoyable evening together around the fire.

Saturday morning found me cleaning about three quarts of raspberries Coop had picked the day before.

These went into the freezer. Saturday afternoon we went to our daughters for a cookout and fireworks. It’s a long drive for us, one we seldom make these days because of the fuel price, but I was anxious to see my children and grandchildren and spend a leisurely day with family and friends. And that is exactly what we did. Coop decided to pick sour cherries while there, which I turned into pies on Sunday morning while Coop was out gathering more raspberries.

These I cleaned and put in the fridge to keep until this morning when I turned them into nine beautiful jars of jam. I believe I’m about jammed out now having made cherry, raspberry, strawberry, banana, and strawberry-banana.

Now that we have gone through strawberry season and most of the cherry season we are now into full blown raspberry season with black berry season soon to follow. After that, elderberries will be ready in August. Another week or two and zucchinis should be coming on strong. We picked our first one today, a nice 8” squash.

The tomato plants appear to be producing a good yield and I can hardly wait for a fully ripe home grown tomato!

All is in perfect order and the summer is already keeping me busy.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

cat tale

It began when he was just a wee one.

continued into his 'tweens

and further,

onto bigger and better baskets

I guess he just can't help himself.

p.s. Molly said she was tired of him getting the spotlight.

very cherry week

Monday began with this,
Then Tuesday came this...

After which came this...

then this,

oh yeah, and this.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

How Our Garden Grows

Looking down the length of our main garden

Hungarian Hot Pepper

Cherokee Purple Tomato

South end of main garden - Cherokee Purple tomatoes, green beans (minus what the deer ate), peas, acorn squash, spinach, snow peas, Brandywine tomatoes. A little section on the far right of the brandywines is home to green onions, ground cherries and sunflowers. On the north end (sorry no pic) we have zucchini, golden peppers, green peppers, Hungarian hots, jalapeƱos, hot block peppers and Amish paste tomatoes.

Ground Cherries