I will wait a moment while you recover from laughing yourself silly.
I was reminded of how much there is involved in growing your own food when I read Jenyfer's post this morning. This time of year, I find myself facing the bean jungle with trepidation. I try to get out there once a day to pick beans and check the overall progress of the garden. I am not a measurer, weigher or keeper-tracker of these things. Let's just say I'm getting a WHOLE lot of beans this year.
After wingeing and whining over the slow development of my cucumbers, upon closer inspection I discovered two the size of clubs. Sigh. This always reminds me of a conversation I had with a strawberry grower south of me. He runs a pick-your-own farm and is located near a main artery that draws Cityfolks up to the country. After getting lots of complaints that there were no strawberries (when he knew there were), he went out and asked this young couple with a child to show him. They stood over the berry plants, looking down in dismay. "See?" they mewled. "There aren't any." He then bent down with their little girl and lifted a few leaves. Tons. They were shocked that they had to bend down or, gasp, actually touch the dirt with their knees, to find ripe berries. I digress.
I do need to remember to dive into the morass which is my cucumber vines on a more regular basis. I also harvested my first Ronde de Nice zucchini (thank you, Candy, for the inspiration) and cannot wait to stuff the little bugger. Of course, it's not as little as it should be (see Cucumbers...)
I am throwing in the gloves and pulling my onions this weekend - probably tonight, as it's supposed to rain this weekend. They are pulling themselves out of the ground as it is. I don't want to be accused of onion neglect. My cherry tomatoes are starting to ripen and I got another handful of black cherry tomatoes (OMG are they good!) I also pulled a few more of the golden beets - the reds are running in last place. My peppers are sad and my eggplant are downright woeful. Still. Pep talks don't seem to be having any effect.
My original point (waaay back there at the beginning) was that, not only do I have to go out every day and pick what's ripe, I have to bring it in, wash it, sort it, package it for the fridge, or process it if I'm not using it right away, and then I have to plan my meals accordingly. Gardening is like commiting to a relationship. It's like a whirlwind romance in the spring and summer, nice and comfortable like an old shoe during the fall, then bundled up and sent to bed for the winter. I am not complaining, nope, not a whit. There is nothing more satisfying to me than sitting down to every meal, knowing that I have grown most of it. I know exactly where my food comes from.
I didn't laugh; I had to read on to find out the meaning of this "spare time." Ha! (Actually, I use too much of my time spinning these days, after the bad influence of the Tour de Fleece.) This week I harvested two baseball-bat zucchini, my first overgrown ones in years. I knew I'd get some because of being gone most of last week. Never heard of black cherry tomatoes; I WANT SOME! And the relationship analogy? Perfect!
You can always take the overgrown ones and feed to critters of use for seed saving for next years garden.
My neighbor keeps my cows in Zuchinni and Cucumbers in the baseball bat size several times a week.
Oh believe me, Janice and I feel your pain, or relief or hurriedness (is that a word) any way that is the essence of this time of year that's for sure.
Michelle, yes, what IS the meaning of spare time? It must be something pretty precious because there is so very little of it around! I highly recommend the black cherry - prolific and tasty!
TL - I used to save my really big zucchinis for my friend, Kay. I imagine that the chickens will appreciate them - I wonder if the sheep and goats would like them...
DH - Yes, all that planting and watching in the spring and BAM! It all grows wild at once. What a nice mess to be in, no?
Free...time? What is that? If I have any, I'm on the computer researching something I need to know. I'm not sure that's free time though. Wait...does crocheting on the couch for the 1/2 hour I have before bed (and I collapse) count?
And yes, I agree. Gardening is more than planting and picking. I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen as well, processing. It'll all be worth it, though!
I say what spare time??? I'm lucky I can remind myself to go to the restroom, lol......
I'm with Sandy some days!! LOL!!
Glad you got the Ronde de Nice to grow for you. I love, love those little (well most of the time) beauties! Gardening does feel a bit overwhelming when everything starts coming in! :)
I'd say that I have no spare time, but alas, I spend an inordinate amount of it online. But it's cheaper than a shrink.
I have no spare time. But, that's what I LOVE about this life.
I love the fact that every morning, at the crack of dawn, I'm out there in that garden with a cup of coffee, communing with the birds. After that, it's pick whats ready, head to the kitchen-prep it/freeze it---all within an hour. Can't get fresher and healthier than that. The rest of the day is a blur, and I'm exhausted at night but I know I've been lucky enough to spend the whole day outside in the fresh air and sunshine. Life is good!
Obviously I'm a wimp - I mean, I don't even have any chickens to tend to!
And I don't think that I planted enough of anything to get much of a harvest - except for tomatoes. Those I'll have coming out of my ears shortly...
I'm buried in apples today, from an emergency tree trim. It's time to make applesauce and can! Oh fun, in 100 degrees outside.
I have an apple tree too! Not sure if any of the apples are edible...
We have such a painfully short season here! I have a hard time keeping up once things FINALLY start to produce. Cows and sheep are just over the fence so they are the beneficiaries of lots of extra I haven't time to deal with. That said, there is mostly weeds out there this summer and I am waiting impatiently for some kind of payback from my squash and tomatoes, but it's usually August here before anything starts to ripen...end of August, actually. It's a fall thing for me. Then BAM! Hard freeze.
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