Monday, September 8, 2008

Crops 28, 29, 30 and #31 and Musings

I've got lots of pictures attached so I won't need many words - One easy crop and crop 28, is Dill. We use it in our crunchy dill pickles and my friend and sister-in-law, Marianne, taught me that the furry little green things on the stalk are dill weed so I quickly cut some off, put it in the dehydrator and bottled the lovely green herb for use in our dill dip recipe. Crop 29 is cauliflower. I love it raw or steamed. The heads came along a little late this year but they are pudgy and beautiful. It's a member of the cabbage family and so very good for you. Crop 30 is one of our most prolific - pickling cucumbers. A lot of them go to our local food pantry because we can't use them all. We eat a lot of deli style dill pickles and what we call "cukes". Crop 31 is one of my very favorite foods - the tomato. We aren't too good at growing tomatoes but the ones that make it are delicious. We try every way we can to combat the disease in our ground that wilts our tomato plants. We try all different varieties but never have gotten a true abundance of the lovely orbs. The picture with the tomato plants shows how the plant turns brown and dies after yielding some nice tomatoes. We'll try again next year. And speaking of next year, we got a grim reminder yesterday that winter is not too far off up here in the land of the snowball. We were watching my favorite new team, The New York Jets, and it started to pour and then hail. Bing took a picture that nicely juxtaposes the summer swing and the winter foreboding. The other two pictures show our latest bonanza - an unlimited amount of wood chips - wow - I've always coveted wood chips for spreading between flowers and impeding the dastardly weeds that poke their noses wherever they please. I've never considered buying them because one would just need too many to make it fiscally feasible. But, hooray and halleluia for my enterprising and sociable husband. Our neighbor down the hill who hails from Rockford, Illinois whenever he can make it up here, had a professional tree cutter remove some trees that were threatening his house and they left the wood and a humongous pile of wood chips down next to his driveway. Bing offered the use of our wood splitter so that Ron could split some of the wood for campfires and then Ron offered wood and chips to us. Oh Boy, I took our handy ATV and our faitful hauling wagon and started "chipping" away at the pile today. It'll take me several more days to gather and spread them all but I love it and foresee so much less weeding in the future.

The flower picture shows where the chips have been spread and how nice they look.