August 20, 2009

Maine Seacoast

This may have been the worst, or best, thing to do with the garden under attack from blight. I took a little road trip. I felt that I could do no more to protect my tomatoes and decided to let nature take its course.

So on Monday I drove to Vermont to pick up my daughter who bussed it from Montreal. And headed for the Maine coast for 2 days. What better to do than head for the ocean during a heat wave of stifling, humid days. The sea breeze was just what the doctor might suggest when the air is so thick. I love how it cools as you approach the beach from the parking lot - the return trip at the end of the day when you are salty and sandy, not so much.

We drove Route 1 from Kittery (outlet shops galore) through York, Ogunquit, Wells and Kennebunk. Antique shops, thrift stores and consignment were EVERYWHERE and it killed me to drive by but we were only there for 2 days and with the weather what it was, the beach was more important. We did do the outlets (yuck!) because my daughter hadn't been before. It's close enough that I can take a day trip any time.....probably September or October.

August 16, 2009

Potato, Pa-tot-ow

As one of my experiments this year, I grew potatoes for the 1st time. Not only that but instead of planting them directly in the ground I bought some "Smart Pots" and gave those a whirl. All were planted in pure homemade compost. So yesterday I pulled the potatoes from 2 of the 3 sacks. Success? Failure? Somewhere in between. Most of the few potatoes that I did get were small but they were nice and firm with no rot. This is a good thing cuz this summer's weather was not co-operative. A resounding success? No. But everything is relevant isn't it...

August 10, 2009

Tomato Blight Rampage

It's for real now. In the 10 years that I have lived in my town there is a tomato garden that I have always admired. It is a beautiful little garden on a corner lot and always perfectly maintained. Nothing out of control. Several rows that probably add up to 100+ tomato plants. Just yesterday I drove by and saw that things were looking dry and the leaves were curled and dried out - late blight. On one hand I feel comforted to know that I am not alone. On the other hand, I feel for the tomato grower. Mother Nature can be a......bitch.

August 9, 2009

To Compost or Not to Compost...That is the Question

Any gardener who has jumped on the composting bandwagon knows that it is awesome stuff. When it is ready...mmmm.....the earthy smell. For weenies like me, getting there is a little more challenging. But I did it. And if I can do it, anyone can.

In case you're on the fence about it. Check out your options on the Compost Guy. There has never been an issue with odor or critters. The only critters I encounter are those wild wiggling worms. And that's a good thing.

2008 "Newborn" picture

August 7, 2009

Just Peachy

In my quest to support local farms, I took a little trip to a farm in the next town Cook's Valley Farm. I try to make the rounds of local farms to "share the wealth". This farm has been worked for over 300 years!

While there I bought peaches. In my absolute ignorance I was unaware that peaches grew in this neck of the country. Who knew! These peaches had major fuzzies - very very hairy. They need a shave! The mottled colors are beautiful.

So time to make some peach preserves. I was flying by the seat of my pants because I am not the "preserving" kind of gal. I have issues with sterilization. Not sure why but it freaks me out. Sooo...I found some plastic "Ball" jars that do not require sterilization! Woo-hoo! I'm in.

So I chopped up my bounty of peaches and threw them in a pot just long enough to break the chunks down a little. Added a little sugar and freezer jam pectin. Voila! Lovely topping for cottage cheese, waffles, etc. And not too sweet! Mmmmmmm!

Then into the handy dandy little Ball containers and then into the freezer. What's not to love?

Beautiful Butterfly

No words...just a pic of a "purty" butterfly.

August 6, 2009

Pretty Blooms - Peegees?

Picked some pretty blooms in the field at Tangerini's again. They have cut flowers in the farm stand but I just love wandering around the fields and cutting my own flowers or picking my own fruits and veggies.

This is what they looked like when I brought them home......awesome!

Outside bunch

Inside bunch

Rain - Proof!

No doubt about it, rain has been an issue this summer and I have proof. This is a picture from this past weekend.

August 2, 2009

Today's Babble - Zucchini

It appears that I have time on my hands 'cuz there's nothing doin' in the garden. Time to blog but nothing to blog about! A double edged sword.

Sooo I thought I would highlight a post by someone who does have things to talk about and I wanted to share it. I can't quite remember how I found it. It would be safe to say that I took the usual route....the circuitous one. Basically sheer luck. It's about life on the other side of the pond. You can find it here Thyme for Cooking.

Here she offers some solutions for "that" time of year. When people become zucchiniphobic. Neighbors hide when they see you coming. They run away screaming when you round the corner with an armful of green baseball bats...... "Noooooooo mooooore!" Ya, that's not going to happen to me this year but just in case......I will be ready. There's always next year. But for those of you with a bountiful harvest, here are some ideas in her blog.

August 1, 2009

Random Nonsense

I don't like posts without pictures. This is one.

I hadn't realized how long it's been since I checked in. I wish I could say it was due to my whirlwind lifestyle but alas that would be a bold-faced lie. I also wish it was because my prolific garden and the harvest thereof was taking up all of my time but that would be another lie. Not! Not! Not! I don't want to sound like a broken record so I will only say one word. Rain.

No pictures in this post. Because, well, everything is ugly. I went out to do some gardening a couple of days ago and it turned into a rodeo. Tomato wrangling. A horse and lasso would have been helpful. Some tomato plants are 7' tall with the beginnings of flower clusters and a few microscopic tomatoes. Not good. I am pondering the possibility that my greatest hope now for garden fresh tomatoes this year is my good old local farm. Being more of a "half full" kind of girl, I am OK with that. Mother Nature is a powerful chick, huh!

Oh, and P.S. It's August!