Pickling factory

Marathon pickling session: complete.

Pickles in progress

 

I got 36 pints of dills done today from this batch of cukes. I do believe it’s almost time to call an end to cuke season. I’ll move on to the next kitchen season: salsa, sauce, curing peanuts, and harvesting and processing the sorghum, assuming the press arrives at some point in my lifetime.

 

Dill pickles July 2013

 

The carrots I pulled were sent to others for fresh eating, and mom shredded the rest and packaged it in two cup quantities for using in carrot cake, soups (like my potato leek soup), and other cooking that doesn’t require fresh carrots. The limas and pinto beans are starting to flower, and the black eyed peas are not far behind. We managed, between my sister and I, to salvage a number of the tomato plants that were flattened by our mini tornado, although there are some that I’ll probably need to pull since they’re not readapting well to being upright/being alive. That’s ok: I started three more flats with tomatoes, peppers, and basils (sweet, lemon, and lime) and put them in the barn under the lights.

I’m hoping there is enough time left in our long season here to get another round in, with the lessons I’ve learned about how to keep them upright, gracefully, against the inevitable storms – we are in fact in another period of hard downpours with windy conditions every day once more, that look to last about five days give or take. I’m concerned about getting the potatoes hilled up (covered with more dirt at the bottoms) as I’m worried the constant rains may be bad news for the tubers I see readying to form, or cause those more fragile stems to rot away before anything comes of them. My plan for today is to hustle some soil and poo to them after I return from a followup visit to the docs who cut open my face to allow me to open my mouth. That’s if the rains hold off for a bit longer tomorrow than they did today, as otherwise it will be a wash and I”ll have to wait until Wednesday.

Next weekend I’ll probably start in flats the things that can handle the slightly cooler temps as we head into what passes for winter here: cauliflowers of various colors, broccoli, brussels sprouts (another nod to my mom there). This week, in the breaks between the rains, I’ll be direct sowing things that can be sown directly: the next succession planting of carrots, and the first sow of leeks, something I completely neglected to begin earlier in the season, and more onions.

The garlic is not thriving, and as I was weeding today, I found that quite a number of them had rotted themselves in the ground: the earlier storms we’ve had with the inches of rain, plus the too-fast-move-from “spring”-to the furnace of summer were not kind in that regard. The next attempt at getting a good garlic crop will involve ordering only one variety (the one that looks heartier from the two varieties I put in this year) and will involve that planting being in a frame where we’ve put in some of the good dirt and poop from the mountains we have here. Since this year’s garlic went in at the end of last year, before the great dirt haul, the soil they’re in is not as ideal as it has been for everything else that’s gone into it.

Also on the agenda: another checkin with the bees: the three new packages to make sure they’re moving along as they should, and to see if they’re ready for a second brood box, and the established hives to see if there is more honey that needs to be pulled.

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