Humming along

Whew, things have been busy here at Henbogle! Last Saturday, Dan finished his grad school class and was finally free for the summer, yee hah! Since then, we’ve been tackling projects from the never-ending list of projects. Damp, humid weather has ruled for the past week and a half, slowing our barn painting project to a halt. Gardening has continued in the early mornings, before the humidity and heat sap my will to work.

Yesterday, we trellised the tomatoes at last. Earlier this year, we had decided we would have a tomato growing contest, but since we are reserving space for a hoop-house, we just didn’t have enough space in the garden for two plots of tomatoes. Thus, our tomatoes are planted in a not very space efficient way, but they are planted and trellised (I have some more seedlings waiting for the hoop house). The amazing wonder Dan found by the side of the road some welded wire fencing, stakes and all, and we used this for the trellis. I at one point thought I would build a wooden trellis I saw in Cottage Living Magazine, but this was easier and free. Under the fencing you can see my new weed-prevention strategy for along the garden fence– cardboard slipped under the fence. Once we had the trellis in place, we tied up the tomatoes with some nice soft strips of old flannel sheets, then did a bit of pruning. Several plants have tiny green tomatoes on them…. I can hardly wait!

I set out some more basil plants in raised bed #1 formerly home to the spinach. As it was so hot, I set milk crates over the plants to shade them. I’ve found milk crates to be one of the most useful and versatile garden tools. Seating, a stool, shade, toting things about, marking out square foot blocks, using them to space seeds — I be hard pressed to give one up.

We have also been busy preparing to and picking strawberries for freezing. This morning we picked 34 lbs., and plan to pick another 36 tomorrow. Last year we froze 70 lbs., and we just used the last bag last week for smoothies, so that amount was perfect.

I harvested my first broccoli yesterday. I let it go a little long to give it time to recover from the vicious groundhog mauling, but it was getting ready to flower so time to get et. I steamed it lightly and it was fabulous. I don’t know if these plants will produce side shoots or not, most of the side leaves were eaten. I’ll let it go a few days then pull it of nothing appears to be developing. Damn rodent.

The pear tree has recovered nicely from its pruning, and is loaded with pears. It is a good thing we pruned it. We could never reach the highest pears, so they would fall and Fishy would get them –he LOVED pear season. Without ol’ Fishy cleaning up the pears will be a new task, I hope there won’t be too many!

The blueberry bushes are loaded, as are the blackberries this year, and the elderberries are covered with flowers. Fortunately, I just purchased Mes Confitures: The Jams and Jellies of Christine Ferber which has some very intriguing recipes featuring these and more fruits.

A quiet time in the garden, just a few seedlings to start,for fall brassicas, and new heat tolerant lettuce seeds to plant. Time for kayaking and house projects, and eating the fruits and vegetables of my labors.


4 Responses to “Humming along”

  1. Twinville2 Says:

    Ok, so did I miss something? Who is Fishy?

    Everything looks so amazing and you two have been working hard processing and enjoying the ‘fruits’ of your labor. Yum!

    Gotta get me some of the milk crates. They sounds so versatile.
    I like the idea of a mobile stool, especially as my bones don’t like to squat and bend down like they used to. ;o)

  2. sjones71 Says:

    Great use of cardboard… i’m definitely doing that. The weeds (grass) that grow underneath the fence are a pain. Smother it out with cardboard! Perfect idea and I can just let the cardboard compost itself, turn it in next spring.

  3. Ali Says:

    Tville, Fishy was our Golden Retriever, aka Fisher, who died last month at age 11. He loved the pears, and pea shoots, abd kale and broccoli… and some gross stuff, too.

  4. Kathryn and Ari Says:

    Wow: busy is right! We’re in the midst of strawberry central here, too. No broccoli yet, but we’re still enjoying the last asparagas of the season. I’ll be so sad to see it go.

    PS- I wish I had read this before I posted today: Fishy sounds like he and Ari would have been great dining companions.

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