I'd love to tell you that I've been writing every free minute, however, if that was true I'd have nothing to report here other than "I edited a few pages today" which is a tad boring even by the standards of my frequent entries entailing domestic mayhem and bliss. While I am actually doing that, most of my mornings are beginning before seven AM in the garden, watering, weeding, and harvesting the results. Today I canned some of them.
This was a painstaking experience for someone who doesn't consider herself much of a cook. Canning is about planning, measuring, and timing, and patience. Lots of patience. Which flies in the face of my usual habit of skimming directions, rushing, guessing, substituting for the ingredient I forgot while at the store, crossing my fingers, and hoping I got it right.
It's a small batch this time, but the vines promise a lot more.
Gratuitous cute kid standing the shade of the sunflowers shot:
These plants are now eight feet tall.
I think I've already quoted this once (some old back to earther whose name I can't recall said it): "The more involved you are with that which keeps you alive, the better off you are", but I feel the need to repeat it because I'm finding it to be so very true. It's funny how quickly you become aware of waste and resource management when you're hand-carrying water to half your plants every day, how every lost plant means lost fruit, and every lost fruit is wasted effort. My decision to "first do no harm" as a gardener is tested by occasional pests, but I feel far better about the food I'm bringing into the house knowing they've not been treated with pesticide or steroids. On a more personal note: I feel better physically too (more on that later).
If I can keep the tomato blight at bay there will eventually be pictures of a big batch of spaghetti sauce. (By the way, early Blight is a rotten, rotten disease to inflict on a control freak--there's no cure, only the hope that the plants will live long enough to bear fruit. Not funny. Not funny at all). Happily, it turns out I can freeze and can the New Zealand Spinach too (Thanks Scotty for the advice and the links to the recipes). I must say the Aussies have it all over us with this crop. What a great mix of heartiness and taste. Imagine! a spinach that actually likes hot weather! Next year I will plant a lot more of it and a lot less of something else. If you guys have any other plants like this, I'm interested.