Sunday, July 5, 2009

Garden Happenings

It has been dry. Super dry. I am trying to keep the plants alive without running up the water bill. We've used every single bucket of rain water that we collected, and now I'm having to drag the hose out. Not what I wanted to do. But I decided that I've worked too hard on the garden this year to let it go to waste. Later I realized that the pond we have was built in order to irrigate the crops, so why in the world aren't we using it??? Probably because it would be quite a task to haul water up from the pond. But that might save us a lot of money on the water bill. If the bill is insane next month, I might just do it.

Everything is growing pretty well since I'm keeping up with it. The only problem is I tend to wait for the vegetables to grow too long. I'm expecting to see veggies the size of the ones I buy in the grocery store- but that's just not the case unless I'm using some crazy hormone stuff I guess. We haven't even used any fertilizer yet this year- except for cow dung. Does that make our garden organic? I guess so! Not totally sure tho!
I've also kind of hit a panic. While calculating the garden and examining the size of the vegetables, plus the amount- I'm going to be stuck in the kitchen canning for DAYS!!! I was pretty worried that everything would be ready for harvest all at once. Then I read that the best thing to do is to blanche (cook the veggies and cool them quickly to stop the enzymes that would promote growth.) This enables them to be put in the freezer until it is time to can. So I will more than likely end up blanching the beans until they're all ready to go.

I'm going to make an attempt at counter pickles, which requires no canning, which in turn, means no hot/sweet-smelling bread and butter in the house. Blech. I hated when my mom canned pickles when I was younger! I think that is actually the reason I don't like pickles! I do, however like dill pickles with a sandwich.
The other reason for panic is the fact that I don't want to have my first try at canning to be a huge failure. That would mean that the garden that I've spent many back-breaking hours in, would go to waste. I think I'm going to do a trial run and make some apple sauce instead. I'll have to check the price of cooking apples at the store and see if I think it is worth it. I chose to do applesauce because my mom's was so incredible growing up. And also, I don't have an apple-peeler, but I do have a food mill, which will remove the seeds, stem, and peel for me to make an applesauce. If you want to make apple pie in a jar, or something like that, you'd need peeled apple slices instead of apple mush.
I really hope this works. I'm tired of reading about it and researching it. Its time to do it!!!

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