Monday, September 7, 2015

It's still coming in!

So with the kids and grandkids back home for Labor Day, it was time for Gramma and Papa to get hot on catching up on the garden chores.  'Hot' is really the operative word here.  Like some of the rest you we have had unseasonably warm temperatures with what I can only describe as brutally high humidity.  While it makes the trip to the garden a bit less pleasant than it might have been, the tropical-feeling combination has done wonders for turning my green tomatoes into red ones, keeping the pole bean plants cranking out beans, growing my late-planted beets, and coercing my one decent bell pepper plant to produce.  (Odd thing is, the jalapenos and banana peppers in the very same bed, are doing great.  Happens pretty much every year.  Strange...)

De had tomatoes and cabbage from a  previous garden visit to work up, and my job for the day was to collect up the next round.  So off to the garden I went.  Or perhaps I should say "we went".  Regular readers will know I never go the garden alone.  I have a constant cadre of helpers that always are right there with me whenever I'm outside, even if I'm not really in the garden.

The "Team" wanting to help me work on the truck.

Whoops! There are some limits to the kind of help I allow.  This 'help' was short lived.

 So back to the garden.  As I mentioned before, the brutal weather is helping to get the tomatoes finished up.  We're at the stage where some of the plants are 'giving their all for the cause', but I ended up with 1-1/2 five gallon buckets full.  This year we tried "sausage" tomatoes instead of "Roma" tomatoes for sauce and like them a lot better.  They are bigger, 'beefier', and equally prolific.

The tomatoes are still producing...

...and the helpers are still a bit miffed the don't get to help with the harvest.
They do get anything that is not up to 'human consumption' as a reward for their efforts on bug patrol.

The green beans are still going well.
 The green beans are still producing quite well for being this late in our season.  The question is "What does one do when you really don't need anymore?"  That little leading questions leads me to an aside, which will likely not get mentioned very often here.  I've started another blog called "Hoosier Country Christian".  I'm currently intending it to be a source of encouragement for Christians using examples from rural living as illustration points, but (literally) God only knows what it will end up being.  I just know I feel called to write it.  I'm going to address the "having more than I need" question in the new blog and will have that post up before bedtime tonight.  I'll get a link to the new blog from this one up, too.

Fred, my poor hen-pecked rooster, is there to supervise the harvest.

As are a couple of the hens.
The chickens get to come...

... and go through the middle of the trellises.  Other than snitching the occasional blossom, they seem to be focused on the bugs.
 There were also some potatoes to dig.  I had essentially given up on them assuming they had gotten choked out by weeds.  I mowed over the area where they were planted and wrote them off.  This morning I got the urge to take the potato fork and just 'go check'.  Sure enough, there were a few potatoes.  Not a lot, but enough to take the time to dig out of the ground.  There is another illustration here for the other blog.

There is ALWAYS a 'helper' around when there worms involved.
There are more to dig, but with the heat index approaching 100F, I decided they would be fine for a cooler day.  I'm past the point in my life where I'm ready to 'go to the mat' for a few potatoes I didn't even know were there.

All in all, we got a pretty decent harvest on this hot, humid day.

Canned tomato sauce with more in the slow cooker.  Freezer slaw ready for the freezer.

Green beans, banana peppers, and a few 'bonus' potatoes.
There is more increase to come from my weedy garden.  We are blessed!!

Col. 1:9-12,



  1. I love all your little helpers dont think mine would be so well behaved :-)

    1. Welcome, Dawn!! They are a hoot to have around and are always there when I am doing something outside. They have been pretty good in the garden with a few exceptions. We've had to put netting up to keep them from digging and (and eating) seeds and potatoes that were just planted, we've had to pen them completely out of the tomatoes, and they are not above nibbling the blossoms off of a green bean plant.

  2. It's funny (not) how all the stuff is ready to be processed right at the hottest point of the summer. Bleh!
    Always enjoy seeing your helpers. Happy chickens are a delight.

    1. Sue - Tomatoes especially seem to fall into that category. At least around here its that hot, humid weather that finishes them and that when they need to be processed. It's just easier going in with your 'head right' and knowing you're going to be heating up the kitchen in the hottest part of the year.

      They are fun, especially when they are cackling back and forth to each other while they are hanging around while you work.

  3. When our gardens get weedy (for one reason or another), we should never give up on them. Or fail to appreciate the harvest, big or small, they give us. I could lament that my shell peas were not as abundant as usual this year, but we do have many, many servings in the freezer! Yayyyyy!

    1. Amen, Mama Pea!! I'm definitely getting a harvest that exceeds expectations this year and am both very surprised and very grateful to get it!

  4. I've never heard of sausage tomatoes. Off to Google I go!

    1. Hi Hoosier Girl! They are shaped like Romas but bigger. Our local nursery carries them. We were there for some things the local farm store doesn't carry and just decided to get everything there. They had Sausage instead of Romas and we went it. Next year we'll be going back specifically for Sausage tomatoes.

  5. Your garden is producing really well still. That's a blessing!

    I was especially interested in how you trellised your tomatoes. Dan was just talking about trying something like that next year. Are the panels tied together at the top?

  6. Hi Leigh! The trellises are tied together at the top with plastic "zip" wire ties. You'll want to get the outdoor ones (they are usually black) because UV from the sun make the "indoor" kind brittle pretty quickly. For what it worth, the pole bean trellises are the same thing with the panel set on end rather than lengthwise.

    1. Thanks Mark! For a couple of years we left t-posts in the ground and then tied the panels to those. But the t-post sites were perfect for wire grass to cluster and spread. In a fit of frustration I pulled all the t-posts. I don't necessarily regret that, although it was a good system. We just have to find another good system.