Pickles and other chemistry experiments…

The first year garden crop is starting to produce. Got the ground tilled a bit late due to life’s challenges and unforeseen detours. But it still did surprisingly well.2015-08-16_1439695274

Lettuce and spinach etc was last to go in and now looks like this:

The lettuce patch....
          The lettuce patch?

I KNOW, did that backwards like many things this year.

Oh well!

The sunflowers (both varieties) were a bit of a surprise. All were MUCH taller than the seed packets predicted. And the “apricot” variety certainly did not turn out at all apricot. Dark yellow instead. But pretty… and the sunflower seeds are developing nicely.

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Planted two varieties of heirloom corn. All rows were completely horizontal on the muddy ground after a mid summer storm. Amazing recovery, they actually are sort of standing up now. However, L’s decorative Wyandotte chickens made a feast out of the westernmost variety last week.

They enjoyed them a great deal and left almost nothing for the human tenants of the farm.

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Cucumbers soaking in Trader Joe’s produce wash….

First try at preserving was traditional pickles.

The grandkids and our daughter came out and helped pick. The plan was for very small whole pickles. Well, it is certainly interesting to see how many larger cukes were hiding out in the little patch. I swear, one day all are faithfully picked, and the next morning several monsters have appeared. They can blow up into mutants in less than 8 hours.

This is the first year in almost 20 that we’ve had a food garden so it’s been awhile since I got the canning equipment out…Hey! It was still there!

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Found some fun uses for a few thrift store finds…

Vintage train cases come in handy in such unexpected places....
Vintage train case

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And snagged this cute metal cart a couple weeks ago…..functions great as a temporary canning station. Nice to be able to move it around while I’m working! Love that it’s yellow…

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Fresh dill and freshly picked cucumbers…..granddaughters packing and brining and screwing on lids. Really fun day. Looking forward to sampling these to see how our first run turned out.

Not too many things as pretty as home preserved food in clean quart jars.

Special thanks to the mama toad who guards our cucumber patch and keeps me company while I pick and weed. She is so polite…..moving onto the wood chip path while I work and then tucking herself in among the vines as soon I am finished.

Next on the list are dilled green beans, salsa, plum jam and who knows what…

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