Monday, July 22, 2013

Gardens, cars, weather, a people-sheep, and guilt.

But no pictures.  It's been too hot.  That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.  And with all the humidity we've had, I've been sticking to everything.  There is NOTHING worse than trying to peel off your t-shirt when you can't stand it on for one nanosecond longer.  Ask me how I know.

Let's see ... in order:

Garden - Besides being terribly dry, the garden is way ahead of its time.  My onions are flopped over and growing out of the soil.  They are at least a month ahead of schedule.  Unfortunately, having no root cellar, they are putting me in a bind.  I've decided to try and let them dry in the ground as long as possible, before pulling them up and letting them cure.

I have picked a bushel and a half of beans, and they are still coming.  Thanks to Jane (from the late and lamented Hard Work Homestead - she's still there, it's still there), I now have a wonderful new recipe to deal with the bean overload:  3-Bean Salad!  LOVE IT!  I canned up 12 pints and will work on the next new-to-me recipe from the same source - Mustard Beans.  I am plain-canning the really large beans that somehow got overlooked... for use in soups and such.

The chiogga beets are far ahead of the goldens and reds.  I've had them raw, roasted and boiled.  Yum.  I am up to my elbows in kale and Swiss chard.  The tomatoes are just starting to ripen and I can.not.wait for my first Black Cherry tomato.  Thanks to my friend, Marianne, I will have tons.  My summer squash is great this year, except that I found I have put the squeeze on my new zucchini plants and the fruits are not happy.  I've been trying to give them more room to grow, but it's not going all that well.  I am typing this without my notes, so I don't have the actual names.  Time will tell with the potatoes - the plants were doing well - but I'm not holding out much hope for the sweet potatoes. 

I am going to give up trying to grow eggplant.  Remind me next year.  The peppers are slowly coming along and I am going to have a bumper crop of cucumbers, if the flowers on the plants are any indications.  Hundreds of them!  The bees are happy and so am I.  After putting a low fence around the strawberry raised bed, I was able to salvage some berries from the grasp of the countless rabbits that inhabit LLF.  I walked out one morning and there were six of them!  Good gawd.

Cars - Bought one.  I found a 1999 Subaru Forester in excellent condition, with reasonable mileage, within my budget.  Of course, two-thirds of the way to work, right after I picked it up, the Check Engine light went on.  Of course, I repeat.  It's an emissions issue, so doesn't hurt the engine's performance, but it's annoying.  The dealer is working on it, so I will just be patient.  After all, for a 14-year-old car, it's in better shape than most of the younger cars I looked at.

Weather - Hot. Dry. Humid. Hot.  Honestly?  If I wanted to live in this kind of weather, I would have moved to Mississippi.

Norman - Mr. Personality has passed the Llama Nose Test, Juno is only giving him a butt every now and then, Linden loves him - except at meal time, and he just loves people.  He followed the Lawn Guy all around the perimeter of their fence as he was scything the underbrush.  Of course, it could have been that he was getting morsels from said LG on a regular basis.  He is a totally different sheep than I'm used to.  He's great.

Guilt - Okay, I had decided, then undecided, then decided again, then undecided to get replacement turkey poults.  I was driven by a sense that I had paid a lot for these poults and wanted my money's worth.  Then I thought - do I need four?  No.  But the guilt kicked in because the woman who breeds them is a friend and has been screwed countless times by people who special order poultry then change their minds.  This leaves her with an overload that she has to feed, raise and then try to sell.  I ended up with four Ameracauna chicks.  Which I did.not.need.  To add insult to injury, this morning when I was changing their waterer, one of them popped straight up and over and behind the dryer.  I don't know about the rest of you, but I haven't seen the back of my dryer since it was installed - seven years ago.  I had to drag out the stool, climb on top, and try to fish him/her out with my handy butterfly net.  After four tries, I snagged him/her, and brought it up, covered in lint.  I also found out where my sprayer attachment had gone (since bought another...), a poultry waterer and my fertilizer mixing bottle.  So, it wasn't a total loss.

All in all, it's been a busy time at the LLF.  Pictures to come.  Honest.


Florida Farm Girl said...

Hang tight, girlfriend. Glad you got a new wheels and hope the bugs are worked out real soon. Now, as for that humidity, now you know why we skeedaddle out of Florida for the summer. Sounds like the garden is doing very well. Good for you.

Susan said...

FFG - With my fingernails! Looks like you'll have to go WAY north to outrun the humidity! Yes - I am really surprised that it's doing so well, after all this heat and no rain. With a low well, I can't water too often - although my rain barrel system has been worth its weight in gold this year. Where do you skeedaddle to?

Tombstone Livestock said...

So glad you found a way to retreive him/her from behind dryer and found a few other things to boot. Congrats on the car. I have same problem with check engine light, usually just pull over and turn off the ignition or open and close the gas cap works too.

Janice Grinyer said...

LOL thats the problem - the more "rural/farm/animal husbandry people you meet and get to know, the more you know what they have to do in order to have animals to sell...critter buyer guilt is the worse kind...

and remember, THERES NO SUCH THING AS A *FREE* ANIMAL! since the pony's demise, I have been offered all kinds - the worse was a jack donkey offer - one who was violent "but only around girls"... uh, gee thanks, but no thanks?


Unknown said...

Good for you on your buying a Subaru! We bought a used 2001 outback years ago, with 40,000 miles on it. Best car we ever had, super reliable. Our mechanic told us they're 200,000-300,000 mile cars, if they're maintained. When it dies we'll get another. We're just getting our first tomatoes finally!

Susan said...

TL - I tried both and no go. Looks like this car is stubborn. We should get along fine!

Susan said...

GWFW - Ain't that the truth! Oh, I loved that - only violent around girls? WTH? Best to just be your baby's best friend until the perfect four-hooved companion comes along!

Susan said...

LHB - Tomatoes! I have been watching my cherry, grape and pear tomatoes like a hawk. We are closing in on ripe. And congrats on being up and walking! I am hoping to squeeze another 100,000 miles out of her. I had over 217,000 on my Focus.

Candy C. said...

Congrats on the 'new' car! My check engine light has been on for over a year now but the dealer said it's no big deal. It always shocks me when it's NOT on! LOL!!
After reading about all the treasures you found behind your dryer I'm thinking I should go see what's hiding behind mine. I'm pretty sure there are no baby chicks though!
I'm soooo jealous of your garden! I sure wish I had planted one this year...

Susan said...

Candy - Yes, I LOVE my 'new' car! But that light is always there just within the edges of my sight line. Drives me nuts.
Now I have to remember that those things ARE there. I've already replaced one - and cleaning out behind the dryer is about #500 on my to-do list. Maybe I should just send down some more chicks and use them as dust mops!
I am surprised the garden has done as well as it has (so far). This has been a rough year, weather wise.