I would like to tell you that we have been so busy in the garden that I haven’t had a minute to post. The truth of the matter is, I have time to post at least one evening a week but then I get distracted by something else – American Pickers or True Blood on t.v., usually. Sometimes I’m busy baking or pickling. Such sorry excuses for why the blog has been dormant for a whole month, right at our busiest time of year.
And boy, have we been busy. Right after we got home from our recent trip, the garden started exploding. One Friday afternoon, J picked all this:
Which I immediately divided up and shuttled out to the neighbors:
Two days later we had an equal amount. I am so happy that the local food pantry where I volunteer takes fresh produce to distribute to clients. Otherwise my life would be a never ending series of canning adventures.
Speaking of canning, I did take a huge bunch of our pickling cucumbers over to my cousin J’s house (she of the three children) about two weeks ago to make dill pickles. The recipe has been in the family for three generations (if you count us) and the pickles need to ferment for about two to four months. I made 5 quarts of dill pickles. Well, I helped make 5 quarts of dill pickles – J did a lot of measuring for the spices and the more dangerous part of sterilizing the jars and then boiling them to seal them up. Really, I am not sure how it could have been any easier for me, except if maybe I didn’t have to cut up the cucumbers. I didn’t take photos of the process because I forgot my camera. But she’s at it on a regular basis, so I hope to get some photos in the next few weeks.
One of our experiments this year has been growing peas. We chose a variety called “Mr. Big Pea” which is an English pea. (The name also reminded me of Sex in the City‘s Mr. Big. I am sure people have stranger reasons to pick a variety of something, but those people don’t blog.) We put them directly into the ground Memorial Day weekend with no expectations. When they bloomed, we were pleasantly surprised. And then we got peapods:
Which turned into actual peas:
The peas are enormous – the size of my pinky fingernail, at least. We’ve gotten two meals out of the pods we’ve picked (we have 26 plants) and plan to at least double the amount we plant next year, in addition to planting in two batches to extend the harvest.
The only drawback is that this is not a sweet pea, so the pods are tough and can’t be used in things like stir fries. But we might try a second variety next year that has edible pods.
Last night I said to my NY cousins that although the title of the blog is “Cocktail Farmers” I had been posting very little in the way of drink recipes. I will have to remedy that, although mixed drinks are more of a fall/winter/spring thing around our house. Usually if we have a drink in the summer, we just open up some wine.
Perhaps we should plant grapevines?