Our kitchen has been under renovation this summer so we were doing minimal cooking in August. Thankfully, by the time tomatoes were overrunning the kitchen there was enough back in working order to make salsa. Our favorite recipe (Annie’s Salsa) didn’t disappoint. It’s been a few years since I’ve done much canning, but it feels nice to be able to do it again. Since my first batch, I’ve made two more batches of salsa (one tomato, one green tomatillo), tomato vegetable soup, and a batch of our favorite plum cardamom jam. The new kitchen space is working out well and one benefit of our soapstone counters is that I can just set the hot pot directly on the counter to ladle into the jars. There’s more jam, applesauce, and maybe salsa in the plans.
We have some touch up painting to do and curtains to make, and then maybe I’ll share before & after photos of the kitchen.
I wanted to knit this Norwegian style sweater for myself, but before I tried the new-to-me technique of steeking (cutting into the sweater and then knitting up from there), I thought it would be better to knit something in a smaller size that used the technique. The pattern I selected (Geilo Child by Dale of Norway) ended up becoming more complicated than I originally planned, but I’m happy with the results. I knit the 2T size, and since it’s quite oversize now, there will likely be at least two or three winters of wear out of it.
We’re happy to have the juliet and cherry tomatoes coming in and the large tomatoes just starting. My garden helper sometimes picks the green ones instead of the orange or red.
We’ve been enjoying lots of yellow zucchini. I gave away 3 before I took this photo. I thought I planted 2 varieties of green zucchini, one patty pan and one yellow zucchini, but I seem to have 2 hills of yellow zucchini. I guess my garden helper distracted me when I was planting the seeds.
We enjoyed the first new potatoes, the leeks and swiss chard in a quiche. The next night we had beef stir fry with the zucchini and broccoli.
I’ve had two cherry tomatoes ripen already. The tomatoes are doing very well this year after two miserable years so I’m really looking forward to good tomatoes in August.
We even have a few melons set.
My plastic mulch is working well. There are so many fewer weeds and though we haven’t been heavy with rain, I’ve not needed to water since May. The plants are looking great too.
Empty spot where I harvested the garlic this week.
Of course the weeds got away from me in the lettuce row where I didn’t use the plastic mulch, and everything went to seed. I’m working on pulling it out and getting it ready for fall planting. It’s nice however, that I’ve only got one row of crab grass to deal with, not 11.
Yesterday we added four new chickens to our flock. They are 10 weeks old, 2 Easter Eggers & a silver-laced Wyandotte & a gold-laced Wyandotte. While we have 5 other chickens, only one is laying regularly, and two others sporadically. We’ll be glad when these girls start laying.
The garden is growing well with the rain we’ve had in June after a dry May. Squash plants are starting to take off, the broccoli, kale & cabbages are getting big. We’ve had a few early strawberries.
First planting of peas didn’t germinate well, so the rest were started much later. Corn is about a foot tall. The lettuce row in the back is a bit out of control as the cold frame greens go to seed. I’ll need to get in there soon and clear out and do another planting.
Pototoes have been hilled up. I have melons under the hoop frame and sweet potato slips under the other row cover.
My early started tomatoes are blooming and setting fruit. The later planting are starting to get more established.
Some peppers actually set fruit before I transplanted them out this year. We may have some hot peppers soon.
So far I’m liking the results of my experiment with plastic mulch and straw in the paths. Everything is growing well and seems to be much more weed-free.