Wednesday, July 28, 2010

ode to vegetables

gateway to my garden

bean patch
I love my vegetable garden.  We always plant tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, potatoes, carrots and beans.  I have 5 rows of beans this years and right now they are producing beautifully.  Every other day I go out and pick all the beans that are mature.  This amounts to about 2 ice cream buckets of beans.  The next hour is spent sitting on my back deck snapping beans.  From there it is into the kitchen for washing, blanching and freezing. So far I have 12 bags of beans in the freezer waiting for winter.  One year I tried pressure canning my beans.  It is a lot more work and I haven't decided if it is worth it except for the fact that they can sit on a shelf and not worry if the power goes off.

Last night Tucker was with me in the garden. He usually follows me everywhere I go.  Anyway, he was slinking between rows and I wondered what he was up to.  I discovered he had a branch from one of the bean plants in his mouth and a few beans hanging from it.  It turns out he likes to eat raw beans.  Now there is a dog with good taste!

We have also enjoyed fresh peas from the garden this year.  They were planted by the previous owners and ready when we moved in.  I have tried growing peas every year but for some reason I never have enough plants to provide more than a taste.

The zucchinis are starting to produce and hopefully the cucumbers and squash are not far behind.  There are lots of flowers on the plants but on closer examination I find more males than females.  Where have all the females gone?!?  The best squash plant growing is one I didn't plant.  It is in the compost pile and I think it is time to harvest a few squash.

yellow tomato
My tomato plants are quite short this year.  They have tomatoes on them and lots of blossoms but the actual plant is not more than 2 feet high.  I remember a few years in Indiana where the plants were almost as tall as I was.  I am looking forward to eating my first tomatoes of the season.  I have 2 yellow tomatoes sitting in the windowsill waiting to ripen just a bit more.  If you have never had the yellow tomatoes you should try them.  The flavor is almost the same but the acidity is less.  I like to serve both red and yellow together.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Take time to laugh

I think sometimes life gets so busy and serious that we forget to laugh.

So the other night I got together with two of my girlfriends and watched (again) Momma Mia. We had the sing along version on blue ray so no more wondering what the words to the songs were. We sang and we laughed and had a wonderful time.

It has been a long time since I have laughed so hard. Thanks for a wonderful evening girls.

I love you berry much

Our garden has blessed us with a great crop of berries. A one hundred foot row of raspberries can produce a lot of berries. Every other evening can find me out in the garden picking raspberries for freezing. The black currants are also loaded and in need of picking and now the gooseberries are on. I need more hours in the evening in which to take care of my garden.

The other night I was out in the berry patch picking away. It was just me and the dog and not another sole around. Rod and Zach were in town using the internet. Talia is off to Alberta visiting family.

I started feeling like the Ant in the story of the Ant and the Grasshopper. Everyone I knew was off having fun and here I was working away getting ready for the winter. My friends and family all talk about the vacations they have had or are planning for the summer. What am I doing? Picking berries and freezing them. But I love berries and it will be great to have raspberries and strawberries to eat in the winter.

I guess since we don't have internet at the house I could pretend I am at the cottage. They say a change is as good as a holiday and this is a change from the work at the office. I guess I will just have to learn to love my "stay-cation" until next year when I have actually earned enough vacation time to run away like everyone else.

Life on the farm is kind of laid back ....

This is my first attempt at joining the blogging world. There have been some changes in our life and I thought this might help my friends keep up with what is happening.

So after 27 years of marriage and living in the city my husband and I purchased a "farm". It is 20 acres of "life in the country". The previous owners were elderly and moving to the city. They had been renting out about 8 acres of the land to a church for farming. Rod isn't sure he wants to be a real farmer so we hired a neighbour to put the 8 acres into pasture grass. Talia is counting down the months (yes months) until there is a home for a few horses.

We love our new place. It is very quiet and peaceful. We have close neighbours on one side but the others are about 1/2 mile away. I wake up every morning to the sound of birds singing and not just noisy crows. When I look up in the sky at night I can actually see stars. Zach was excited to finally be able to identify the big dipper. Living in the city all these years he has never had a good view of the night sky.

Rod has had the month of July off so he has been busy bringing the property into the new millenium. The cover over the walk-up is now properly framed and has a real roof on in. The storage barn has a concrete floor and as soon as Talia gets home from Alberta she can start cleaning up the chicken pens.

The garden is in and growing. I swear the garden is almost as big as the house. It has worked out well because there is plenty of space between rows to run the rototiller. Can't wait to enjoy meals from the garden.

So those are the highlights of our new life. Here's to country life!!!