After my week off I got back to work and was absolutely clobbered with a bunch of stuff, so I am just now getting back into the blogosphere. The week off was good, although it could have been more relaxing. I also had to lay down some ground rules for the anklebiters of our neighborhood. All of a sudden our house is THE house to be at, which I'm fine with - but seriously, apparently no one teaches their kids manners anymore, whatsoever. Among the standout quotes:
"I'm hungry. What do you have to eat?"
"Ewww, I don't like that. What else do you have?"
"I forgot my towel, on purpose. I'll just use one of yours"
"Where's my lunch?"
I swear to god. I started out nice and my the end of the day I was stomping around with a war face on, and all the kids were scared, which I was fine with. If it keeps them from running through my house dripping wet because "I was hot!" then so be it. And seriously, our pool is a crappy rinky-dink plastic pool I got for about $15 at KMart, not a freakin in-ground monstrosity with built-in jacuzzi, and they still flock over. Whatever.
Soooo ... I had this fear of making pickles. It just seemed super complicated and like you had to have 2 uninterrupted hours to make it come out right. I planted our one little cucumber plant thinking I'd have enough for salads etc, but not excess.
Zac chased a rabbit into our garden last week and trampled two of my zucchini plants (they are fine, though). After he squashed them I discovered this :
About 8 full grown cucumbers, just hanging out. I had already collected a basketful 2 days earlier and was kind of wondering what to do with those - it was PICKLE OR DIE time.
And I did it!!
3 jars of dill hamburger chips, 3 jars of sandwich slices, and I had 1/2 jar leftover that became refrigerator pickles. And the big, beautiful (seriously if I get married again I would carry them down the aisle) dill seed heads came right out of the garden.
Here's the perpetrators of my insanity. Sure, they LOOK cute ...
Don't be fooled.
Our little mystery vine has fruited. Did I say little? This sucker has snaked it's way through my neighbors fence, and because she's a cool lady she's fine with it. When I saw the fruit I told her it is shaped kind of like a butternut squash - she said the ones on her side are definitely pumpkin-shaped. So mystery vine may be TWO mystery vines!
Here's whats happening on my side of the fence:
And next to it, something else that I didn't plant - some sunflowers coming up below our feeder
I had this idea to grow sweet potatoes, but I got discouraged because everything I read said they spread like crazy. So I found an article about growing sweet potatoes in a barrel - all I needed was a sweet potato slip. So I suspended one on toothpicks over a jar of water and put it in the sun, just like suggested - it rotted. And the next one, and the next one. I gave up. Butterbean is my sweet potato queen, and I had picked her up some at the Co-op and had them in our pantry. I reached by them one day and yes - one great big tendril, about 8" long, had sprung out of that thing!
I ran to Home Despot and got a cheap ($12) black plastic trash can and some organic potting soil. I used a very sharp knife and cut out semicircles all over it, so the potatoes would get good sun and drainage. I put about 4 inches of soil in the bottom, dropped the potato in, and covered it with more soil. The conventional wisdom is that you add more soil anytime the sprout is 6" above the soil - obviously I need to go pick up more!
So excited for this. When you are ready to harvest you just dump the barrel out, how easy is that? Our family loves sweet potatoes!
Peas are gone. I pulled them out and harvested what was left as starters for next year. In their place went a cantaloupe plant generously donated by a neighbor, 3 rescued pepper plants, and some heirloom lettuce. I want to find some little corner to put in more radishes. (Pickled radishes!!)
One of our dumpster-rescued pepper plants is going ca-raaaaazy. I have no idea how hot these are, the Mister will be recruited as taste tester/guinea pig. I can make some salsa with them and THESE
Holy effing hell, I am going to have a buttload of tomatoes. Most of the time this makes me want to dance, and then sometimes I wake up in a cold sweat wondering what the hell I'm going to do with a ton or two of tomatoes. Speaking of which ..
This lil heirloom tomato plant has no home :-( He is an orphan. Once he had a name (Blondkopfchen? Black Tula? Peacevine Cherry? Green Zebra??) He now has no name, and no home, because some fool forgot that her little garden could not possible handle 80 gazillion tomato plants. I swear every time I walk by him he looks at me with this pathetic little look, waving his sad lil leaves like, "Whyyy?? Why don't you love meeeee??" I think I'll kick my now-done bean plant out of it's big roomy planter, and move Lil Dude in. I can't take his complaining anymore.
So what did I miss? Who's pregnant? Who fell off the wagon, and who climbed back on? Who was forced into a psychiatric facility? Catch me up!