Sunday, September 09, 2007

How does your garden grow?

The September edition. Things are really taking off in the garden. Or taking over in the case of the squash. That mound below is squash. And it is about 6 feet high. My mother and I put a cage of sorts under it so that it would have somewhere to go. It climbed the cage, and went through the peppers and into the row of basil.
Within this mass are two types of squash. First up is Akehime. It is a baby sized Japan winter squash. They are about the size of a small cantaloupe. Very cute. I keep peeking in and testing the skin to see if they are ready.
Next is the Fairy squash. The maturity of these says 90 days and I hope that they make it before the frost. We had a rather cold night earlier in the week with temperatures hovering just above freezing. And then yesterday was way up in the 30's ( that would be 90's for all you south of the border). The weather has become rather unpredictable. Both of these squash came from David who didn't get a chance to harvest his garden this year because of a sudden move to Scotland!
And here we have one of the 4 rows of tomatoes. Or maybe it was 5 rows. In any case, the tomatoes are so loaded with fruit that they have knocked over their cages. I hauled up the cages and pounded stakes in about a month ago, but they fell over again. Good enough, says I, stay where you want. So now in order to pick some tomatoes, I have to haul up the cages and pluck the ripe ones from underneath. And there are A LOT of tomatoes coming on. In fact, when I was out there last Thursday, I had and old Eagles song running through my head. Does anyone remember "Hotel California"? That part when the word say "And I was thinking to myself, this could be heaven or this could be hell". I guess that it is all just a matter of perspective. When I was pregnant with Mira 13 summers ago, we planted many, many tomato plants. 40 some I think. Among them were some cherry tomatoes. That grew and grew and grew until they were taller than I was. And they grew out and out and out until that one section of the garden was one mass of tomatoes. I dubbed it "tomato hell" and refused to go in. I would pick from around the edges but not venture in to the heart of tomato hell. 7 months pregnant and a wee bit tippy, I was afraid that I would go in, fall over and not be found until the frost killed the plants. Bill, tomato lover that he is, thought that it was heaven. Except that he was working in another city and had over an hours commute each way. Which left him little time to be in the garden. Needless to say, many tomatoes died in tomato hell that fall.
Thursday I picked about a bushel of tomatoes and I didn't even make a dent.

I also have been dealing with cucumbers in the usual way. Almost every meal has is accompanied by a plate of sliced, lightly salted cucumbers. A few jars of dills have been made but due to having 38 jars leftover from last year, only a few. For some reason, the kids have seriously slowed down in their dill eating. Even though they were given free rein on the pickle shelf. This year, I decided to try something new. Well, old, but new to me. I have only made bread and butter pickles once before and didn't really care for them. I have a mustard allergy and so had to modify the recipe a bit but I still didn't like the Zesty Bread and Butter Pickles from the Bernardin cookbook. Utter failure. So I never made them again. Until this year when I found this recipe on Kansasa's blog. She claims that they are the best bread and butter pickles ever. And I would have to agree. I just left out the mustard seed and they turned out fine. Better than fine. One of my original jars didn't seal and quickly got snacked away. So I made another 8 pints. Kansasa also has tutorials for various good ol' down home cooking goodness. And access to a neighbours fruit orchard that makes me green with envy. Especially the apricots that she makes into Apricot Brandy! Not to mention the slickest way to clean a fish.

I think that I have to go eat some tomatoes now.


Christine said...

Can I just say I LOVE bread and butter pickles. I am just so jealous of your garden! Mine is utter crap this year -- expect for the cucumbers, beans and grapes. My tomatoes didn't do much but get blossom rot. :(

DaviMack said...

Yay! SOO glad that they're producing for you! We'll have to get after our relatives in the states & see how the ones we left behind are doing.

Kansas A said...

Thanks for the link Jackie, and I'm so glad you like the B&B pickles! I could use some of your tomatoes, for the amount I planted I haven't really got a lot... and a darn calf in my garden yesterday didn't help matters! He even squashed (no pun intended) some of my squash :)

Erin said...

It certainly is that time of year when all the gardens are full! My roommate's coworker is giving us tons of veggies because she doesn't know what to do with them all!

Teyani said...

your garden looks amazing! we didn't really have very much 'summer' here this year, all of July and Aug. only went up to about 70(instead of 95), thus the veggies were kinda not there.
I'm such a pickle lover!! thanks for the link to the fabulous recipe and tutorial - it's great!