Saturday, September 7, 2013

Late Summer Storm and Late Summer Sadness

The day before yesterday brought us a thunderstorm with hail!  Last year we had a heavy hail in June, so it's apparently going to be a regular summer thing.  It was a nice break in the heat, and my son and I ran out into the backyard to enjoy it!  Boo was in heaven!  Rain gushing down the downspouts, hail plummeting from the sky... he ran open mouthed to and fro, coughing and choking in glee.  He loves his water weather!

Boo's favorite "gutter game" location

A few of the tomatoes suffered some damage, each losing several branches with fruit.  It wasn't nearly as bad as last year, when the hail was larger, and punched holes in leaves, and tattered pepper plants. 

Sadness?  Well, nothing is sadder in the garden than late summer dying back.  I pulled the rest of my pole and bush beans.  There were quite a few pods on the pole beans, but they were empty.  They pods grew to a few inches long, with not a single bean inside! 

empty bean pods
The cucumbers are slowing down, and the bases of the plants are yellowing.  Medford and Oregon Spring tomatoes have a second growth with a few new flowers.  I discarded Super Sweet, which really wasn't (sweet or super), and Tumbler, which was just a very ugly plant!

On a positive note,  the registration information came for November's Winter Dreams/Summer Gardens symposium!  More about that later... so many session choices.  "Caneberries in the Backyard" or "Create a Rock Garden?"  Would I benefit more from "Tree Care: The Necessary Skills" or "Soil Identification: What Do I Do with It?" 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Harvest Time

There have been some nice harvests lately!  Besides the tomatoes I mean...

tomato harvest August 30
I have some of the compost heap volunteer acorn squash. I found a nice fat hidden one after this photo was taken.  They'll be turned into "pumpkin!"

acorn squash - August 30
Lots of green beans, pole and bush.

green beans - August 25
Lots of lemon cucumbers, three or four average a day.

lemon cucumbers - August 26
I've had quite a few nice green peppers, small but tasty.  The Fajita Bell was a bit too spicy (actually it burnt my son's throat for quite a long time), so I pulled it out.

There are a handful of adorable decorative gourds and mini pumpkins.  Where the Baby Boo's came from I don't know, they suddenly appeared in the compost heap!

Winged Decorative Gourd

                          Decorative Gourd

  Turban Gourd                Baby Boo

What have I been doing with it all?  Well, we eat the cucumbers and peppers right away.  I have yet to cook the squash into "pumpkin."  (I use winter squash in any recipe calling for pumpkin.  The taste is identical.)  I have canned more tomatoes.

I dehydrated another tomato batch too.  After running out of canning jars, with several pounds of tomatoes left, I offered them free on Craigslist.  The man who committed to taking them didn't show, and I ended up throwing them out.  What an unnecessary waste. 

Unfortunately, I discovered just in time that I can't safely water can green beans.  My grandmother always did, and no one got sick, but it is advised to only use a pressure canner for beans.  I had the jars all ready to go too.  So, I had to freeze them instead.

green beans I had to de-jar and freeze