Saturday, August 8, 2009

The heat is on

Not the literal heat. In fact, it's cooled off quite a bit. A thunderstorm that rolled in a few days ago brought the temperature right back down to comfortable. We all stood out by the field and watched it light up the sky. So much sheet lightning and then a frog strangler of a rainstorm followed. Lazlo kept us up most of the night barking at thunder.

video

The storm knocked down some of our popcorn, which is just starting to come on, so we pounded some T-posts and strung up some supports for it. We don't want to lose the popcorn!

The heat that's on now is the harvest/processing heat. Knowing that our weekends are soon going to be consumed with putting up food for the winter.

Keith made pickles earlier this week with cucumbers from our garden and a 5-star recipe from allrecipes.com.
And today we (the family) put up 15 doz. ears of corn from a farmer that lives across the highway. Now that's local.

Since we trimmed the tomato plants back the tomatoes are starting to turn, which means we'll shortly have one billion of those to deal with. We have a few monsters out there---check out this one!


After a recent conversation with Nat @ NativesWest (our local organic nursery, about 1/2 mile from here), we might try to dehydrate some tomatoes. Slice them or put them through the food processor, dehydrate them, and then run that through the food processor and you end up with tomato powder that can be added to soups or whatever, in the concentration of your choosing. Would also be great for backpacking/camping. Other than that we're going to be doing salsa, tomato sauce, tomato soup...?

Our garden is getting more and more bare as the summer wears on. We pulled all of the squash plants, because, really, you can only eat so much zucchini. We're making mental notes on how to improve the efficiency of the garden layout/crop choice for next year.

We've been invaded by flea beetles and the broccoflower and orange cheddar cauliflower took hard hits for a couple days, but I think we contained the outbreak. We tried spraying the plants with nicotine after soap didn't seem to work too well and the nicotine may or may not have worked. Their numbers are smaller, but the weather has changed, too. Just to be safe we ordered some Neem oil from a company in Bozeman, Mont. and we'll douse everything with that.

We think we had flea beetles all along and they were just munching on the wheat and weeds. But when Keith's OCD kicked in and he cleaned up everything that wasn't planted by us, their food supply dried up and they moved on to our crops... A couple of other people in the area said they've had problems with them this year, too.

In non-garden news:
  • Keith lost and found his wedding ring in a weeded lot this week (Whew. Note to self: cancel divorce proceedings).
  • And I've compiled a set of photos that can be purchased as prints or cards for those interested (HERE)... I've had some interest lately. I've also offered to photograph some weddings this next month (a gift to them, portfolio fodder for me), so we'll see how that pans out.
  • And I received an email from the people who published the Mercedes coffee table book, offering to pay me for my photo (oversight on their part) one year later. 100€ = $141.87. Not too shabby.

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