Today was a mixture of little things. I moved my green beans up to bigger pots. They seemed to grow to be huge overnight. I soaked the beans the other day and they are big enough to transplant less than a week later.
My husband hung up my garden sign on the shed today. I have had this sign for years, coming with me from house to house and it’s finally in it’s place. I love it. Today’s harvest was just what I have been craving, salsa. It’s so good when it’s right out of the garden! Also from the garden, a new Dahlia variety bloomed today and it is beautiful.
I also went to a couple garage sales and found some treasures. I bought an air plant at Skagit Valley Gardens a couple weeks ago and found the cutest little holder for it. I love how it turned out. Air plants are so easy to maintain, just soak it in water for 5-10 minutes every one to two weeks. Another great find was a pair of wooden lawn chairs, only $10 for the set! I see lots of nights by the fire in those🔥 The last little thing I found was a cute poem. I think I’ll make some flower art with my son and display this poem next to it 🌼
Well it took 2 days but I’m finally done making apple pie filling. My mom helped me the other day and today I finished up. Total of 7 batches or 24 quarts, at 5 pounds a batch. And that is only HALF of my apple harvest! I gave about 30 pounds of apples away to friends. And I still have a drawer full in the fridge. I think I’ve processed about 75 pounds of apples between the apple pie filling and applesauce I’ve canned. I can’t imagine having more than 2 apple trees. But it’s been fun and it’s actually relaxing now that I have the rhythm down of how to can.
I also made some spicy dill pickles out of a couple cucumbers I harvested. I just added some garlic cloves and a jalapeno to the mix. Easy peasy 🥒
Yesterday I harvested our potatoes. I waited as long as I could, and it was set to rain so it was time. I guess that I harvested about 25 pounds. I made mashed potatoes last night with the yukon golds, so yummy! Now I just have to wait for them to cure before I store them for the winter.
Today we went out to the church park and picked more blackberries. This time I brought berry pickers with me! My husband and brother in law both picked massive bowls of berries. I had enough to make a double batch of blackberry jalapeno jam and a blackberry cobbler. I used jalapenos from the garden. Can’t wait to try the jam with some creamy brie on crackers tomorrow. Yum!
My rhubarb was getting quite large so I thought I would make some jam. I bought a flat of strawberries at Snow Goose produce stand and cut off 6 of my biggest stalks of rhubarb. I’ve never made jam before so I wasn’t sure what to expect but it turned out really good. I was able to can about a dozen jars. I had some fruit leftover so I made sauce with them. Going to top my ice cream with it tonight. Oh yeah, I also pulled up my first carrot to see how big they are…looking good so far!
Now that we took down two trees we have a couple stumps to kill. I found a way on Pinterest with something we already had in the garage, rock salt. I drilled a bunch of large holes in the stump and filled up the holes with salt. I’m not sure how long it takes to dry out the stump but fingers crossed it works. I’m open to suggestions though 😊
Today we had two large Juniper trees cut down on the side front yard. They were just too big and took up the whole side of the house. After they cut down the trees I went in and took down all these shrubs that were hidden under the trees. I still need to figure out how to kill the stumps…another day. Next year we are going to make this space into an English cottage garden with lots of flowers. I have always loved those. It will be fun to grow flowers from seed too 🌼🌺🏵️
My husband made my day today. He made me a mini greenhouse in our shed. I bought the light years ago and used it at our last house. But it’s just been in storage waiting to be used again. I planted a few seeds for our fall garden, dill, cilantro, lettuce, and green onions. I ordered the rest of the seeds from Seed Savers Exchange. I ordered bok choy, green beans, dragon carrots (they are red), and some more lettuce. Another simple garden task we did today was add on/off switches for the drip lines to each bed. I will need water to my hoop house but not the others once summer is over so this will give us control over what gets watered.
I have been saving all the fallen apples the last week in two crisper drawers. They were packed and I had my harvest basket full so I needed to do something with them. Last week I made a jar of applesauce to keep in the fridge, to test the method and the recipe. For that jar I left the skins on and it left a little bit of a gritty texture so this time around I knew I needed to peel the apples.
I finally got to use my KitchenAid attachment to peel. It worked great. Then I added 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 TBS cinnamon to the apples and cooked them in the instapot for 8 minutes. This was my first time canning all by myself so I was a little nervous. But it was actually really simple. I blended the cooked apples and added them to the hot jars. Then canned the jars in a water bath for 10 minutes. I repeated that process for 3 batches. I ended up with a dozen jars. And they all popped! I love that sound, it is so satisfying.
Today was a fun one in the garden. First I got the score of the summer at a garage sale, a big screen to cure my onions and garlic on. Best $3 spent! Once they cure I’m going to braid them.
After that I built a hoop house so I can garden in the fall and winter, something I’ve never done before. The hoop house was pretty easy to build. I bought 5 10ft 1/2in PVC pipes, a pack of tube straps, 10 clamps, zip ties, and a 10x25ft plastic sheeting to cover the hoop house with. I screwed the tube straps on the inside of the beds and stuck the PVC pipes in. I attached the final pipe with zip ties to the top for stability. Then I covered it, cut off the excess, and clamped it down. It only took about a half hour to build. Now I just need to figure out what I want to plant 🙂
Update: I braided the garlic and onions. It took about three weeks to fully cure the onions, only two weeks for the garlic.