Sunday, June 26, 2011

We Have Food!


That's what I hope to say when our economy goes belly-up, the America dollar plunges to worthless and no one can afford food anymore. Or maybe I was listening to a doomsday prophet again. I shouldn't do that.

Anyway, I've been working pretty hard on the pantry and emergency food storage. I'm kinda proud! I think right now, we could probably live for a week on what's in our pantry. It will be better after this growing season. Now what we really, really need is a chest freezer. Everyone in my family had one. It's a critical piece of food storage equipment and we really need to make the investment.

I cored and sliced 8 flippin' quarts of strawberries! Good Lord, when that was over, my hands were frozen, numb and stained red, but I have 2 big bags in the freezer and one in the fridge. (One that is now half empty because I used half of it to bake a pie tonight.

I bought 3 pounds of rhubarb at the market last week, and also used about half of it to bake pie tonight. The other half I sliced up and stuck in the freezer. Vegetarian Times had a 5 recipes to try with rhubarb in the May/June issue. There has to be a use for it besides pie! Alex won't touch it of course, so it will be up to me to give the ol' college try.

Tonight I choked down a pork chop, again, and decided that I am probably heading back to my vegetarian diet. It's hard to eat in my house. Alex, my sweet hubs, is deathly allergic to poultry, so we never eat chicken or turkey. Unfortunately, he is also a picky eater, so he won't touch a veggie with a ten foot pole. (Pretty sure I've mentioned this predicament once or twice before.) But he will willingly eat carrots, when prepared right, corn, potatoes, bell peppers when served with stir fry, and celery (but only raw with peanut butter). He has occasionally been willing to try other things, but by and large, he turns up his nose and frowns at my kitchen adventures when asked to taste-test. I'm not really sure if I am craving my vegetarian ways again because the garden has been so mouth watering, or if I am truly tired of eating meat, but either way, I'm collecting my vegger recipes together and getting ready to plunge into meatlessness soon.

A few updates from the garden:

The corn is almost waist high due to more excessive rainfall. (My waist, not a normal human's waist. So the corn is about 2 and a half feet tall.) I've only actually watered my garden once this year. The rest of the time, it has rained and then I have been sure to mulch with grass clippings to keep the moisture in.

I am going to go out and dig for a few new potatoes tomorrow. No, I really just cannot wait, its THAT urgent. :) I will leave the rest for a main crop, but I think since I have 7 plants and all will produce about 10 pounds of potatoes, we'll be okay this winter minus a few.

It's been chilly again all week. The summer solstice seemed to mock us here in Northern Indiana. My tomatoes, while flowering, have stalled in their growth again. I really need four or five good hot, humid days in a row to get the growth restarted and the fruiting process going.

Got the opportunity to hand-pollinate the zucchini this morning. Hooray for plant sex! (ROFLOL) 3 zucchini plants, all flowering, only one with actual fruit, but that fruit looks like they will be real winners.

I planted a new variety of cucumber a few days ago - a pickling gherkin. I have never liked dill pickles in my life, but strangely, I will eat sweet gherkins, so that's what I'm going to go with. I also planted some large-podded shelling peas, and I planted a LOT of them. I am really hoping for several pounds of shelled peas in the freezer for the winter.

The green beans are still small and weak. This is so strange to me because beans are supposed to be so simple to grow! I have successfully grown amazing things in this garden and the easiest veggie of all is giving me trouble?? Where is the justice?

The garden will eventually be completely overtaken with several kinds of squash vines. Yes, I am aware that I 'could' go and pull them out and I will do so eventually. But right now seeing the gorgeous green leaves makes me smile. I simply cannot bring myself to pulling them out. I purposely planted the zucchini and the pattypan squash. But the pumpkins and the gourds were not intentional and they are getting quite out of hand.

I am experimenting with a type of melon. I planted the seeds - quite late I might add - and I am more or less hoping for the best. If our growing season extends into October, as it sometimes does, I will probably have a few melons. But I am not wagering any money on having prize winning melons this summer. But wait until next year....

I will have a handful of ripe red raspberries in about a week.

My sunflowers are being devoured by earwigs. Time to break out the diazanon - which is a repulsive, but effective way to get rid of them.

I pulled a carrot out of the dirt two days ago. It was still a little short, but a perfect shade of orange and quite sweet, with just the right amount of bite.

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