I know, I know. I've been a bad blogger again. Last week was pretty much lost to me being sick so not much go done. I am feeling slightly better so I've been out in the gardens and getting more done around the house.
What's been going on? Well, Aidan officially graduated from Kindergarten. We spent the day at Knoebel's and had way to much fun. Grandma showed up and surprised Aidan and then spent the day tagging around with us. We will be planning another trip there soon with Brian hopefully. It's such a neat old fashioned park in the middle of the woods.
Aidan with his diploma.
After Knoebel's I got some sort of stomach flu and was pretty much out of it the week following. I was trying to keep up with things around the house and did alright, but then I was bummed out because it was like a week lost and not one of my goals was touched. I finally felt better this Sunday and was able to get a lot around the house.
Today I was able to get the grass cut and three loads of laundry done. Laundry. I am so very proud of myself. I have hung out all of our laundry for two months so far with only the very occasional dryer usage (like today when a surprise thunderstorm flew in right after I had hung a load of towels out). It saved us 24 dollars on our power bill last month. Our power bill is neat because it compares our power usage to other homes in our neighborhood and we were waaaaay over on the green side using a LOT less power than other homes around us. That made me smile. We are doing something right.
Ok, let's get to the gardens. Drama. Tomato drama. Let's recount our tomato story. Last year I purchased a couple of heirloom tomatoes to eat at the store. They were delish. I looked up online to see if we could save the seeds and then plant them this year. I did everything that it said to do. I planted the seeds early this year and I was delighted to see them sprout and grow. We planted them outside when the temps warmed up and we've been waiting. We have 26 plants growing between the two separate spots. We've given extra ones away because we had a lot left over and we couldn't let them just die. Here comes the drama part. There are no tomatoes yet. Most of the plants are covered with blossoms. But no tomatoes yet. Some of the blossoms have dropped off. Some of the stems that are holding the blossoms seem weak and kind of bend. Nancy and I were looking at them last week and she said that it didn't look like they were going to produce. Damn. We made a plan to go shopping for tomato plants to replace them and then when we got to the nursery, their tomato blossoms looked just like ours do. Huh...maybe ther's nothing wrong with ours. I spent yesterday online looking at what might be wrong. Pollination? I don't know. I read somewhere to shake the plant to help with the pollination. I must have looked like a fool out there, but at this point I will do anything to save these babies. Today I think I saw one teeny tiny little green ball on the side of a blossom. I will be watching it like a hawk over the next few days to see if it grows.
Tomato patch number 2.
Lots of these, but no tomatoes yet.
The rest of the garden is doing great. We harvested a bunch of Swiss chard last week and I sauteed them up and oh my...we were fighting over it, it was so tasty. We've also harvested a couple of heads of buttercrunch lettuce. Yum.
Bed number one. Red leaf lettuce, broccoli, kohlrabi, zucchini, lemon balm and marjoram.
The pepper patch. They are getting big and the California Wonder peppers have blossoms on them already. Something is eating the leaves on one of them though. Must research that.
We have two zucchini and one yellow squash growing. All are covered with blossoms and the starting of fruits.
Cucumbers. We are going to have a ton of cukes. I didn't think my seedlings were going to take and grow so I bought some more. Mine did take and are growing well, and now we have double what we planned on. I see pickles in the future.
I also have beets growing (which I think Patchy got into today because I found some pulled out today...bad dog) and I planted a bunch of onions today. I'll try and post some pics of those tomorrow.
I've been a maniac making jam lately. I took my canning class and have been cranking out strawberry jam like crazy. I hope to have enough to get us through the winter. I just need to get the boys to stop eating it all.
Patchy is waiting for his ball to be tossed to him. I don't know how I managed to get a shot of him while he was licking his lips. The kids were laughing pretty hard at this last night. The picture right after this was of him in the same position but his tongue wasn't out. So I was flipping between the pics really fast for a good giggle.
Connor sailed through third grade and is moving onto 4th. His final report card was all A's and his teacher said he is "very creative and enthusiastic". I don't know how she can nail him like that by just talking to him on the phone every two weeks and "seeing" him on live lessons. I guess his powerpoints and his stories must have left a good impression on her.
We've been doing a lot of this lately. Sadly, we are almost out of our grass fed beef. I have an email to our supplier and I'm hoping we can get some more soon.
Last, but not least, a friendly little helper on my lettuce. This little guy was very content crawling all over the leaves.
I hope everyone is doing great and enjoying their summer and their gardens. More to come soon!