Sunday, June 30, 2013

And so it begins...

The garden is starting to produce.
Note: denial does not work with zucchini. If you pretend you didn't see them, they just get bigger.

Friday, June 28, 2013


On Wednesday, in a fit of greed, I picked 20 pounds of ollaliberries and boysenberries (that's on top of the 12 lbs I picked the week before). Those first 12 lbs went into the freezer in six-cup increments for making pie filling during the winter. That pretty much took up all the freezer space, so I had to do something else useful with this batch.

I gave some to a friend. 

That left 17 lbs.

I made my husband and child eat enormous quantities of them raw.

That left about 14 lbs.

I used some for cobbler and some more for pie. 

That still left about 8 lbs of olallies which I was going to turn into jam. Then, on Thursday the temperature spiked into the 90s, beginning what was promised to be a week-long heat wave. Running the stove in my non-airconditioned house during the day was not going to happen, so jam-making started at 10 in the evening, once the house cooled off a little.

The stage is set.

I was following the Blue Chair Jam cookbook, which says you should always make jam in small batches and never ever double the recipe. 

Here's the first batch going. The color is awesome.

Two batches later, the processed result!

Maybe I should go pick more berries now. Or maybe not...

Monday, June 24, 2013


Released from their flowery home three days later, we now have Russian style lightly salted cucumbers.
They go well with vodka....

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Friday, June 21, 2013


I suppose I could claim that a vase of pickling cucumbers is the traditional Russian table decoration, but in truth I just didn't have a big enough container and had to improvise.

FarmVille 2013

This is our "baby" fig tree. Not a baby any more.
Soon there will be figs. Many, many figs.
Tomatoes. There used to be other things in that planter too, but the tomatoes killed them. Sometimes I see a little wisp of basil or squash poke through the jungle and croak "save meeee!" before being engulfed again.
Almost ready
Peas and carrots
European strawberries (and a random squash)These belong to Nick. He comes out every day and picks all the red ones. 
Blackberries. They are not allowed to expand past the two fence posts. Otherwise they take over the world.
This year we also released FarmVille 2.0, the new planter in the front yard. Currently it's the site of a fierce battle between the resident cucumbers and tomatoes. Other things that were there are casualties of war.
The cucumbers are winning 
Somewhere in there I had some pepper plants too, but they are being used as climbing posts by the cucumbers.
And on the back lawn we have.... A PVC pipe forest. Complete with dog who won't do her weave poles.
She wants some of those tomatoes first!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Berry picking

Our annual pilgrimage to Gizditch Ranch for ollaliberries.

It only looks like he is putting them in his bucket...
Actually he is doing this:
Berry eating is hard work. Time for lunch!
Three hours later, fifteen pounds in the bag, and about a pound in the belly!
Now it's pie and jam time! To be continued...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013