Monday, July 23, 2012

July 23, 2012

7-pound cantaloupes/muskmelons are coming 5 per day. 
It's not hard to tell what the kids have been into when their hands are sticky and they come with sweet juice dribbling down their chins.  This week we harvested 8 of the first melons coming this season.  With all the rain we have received (not complaining), we were afraid they might be bland and watery; the smaller melons aren't quite as sweet as the thick big ones, but they all win taste tests compared to supermarket produce!
Jars of tomato halves canned for spaghetti and goulash.

We've wiped our hands of corn for a while, though what we have stocked in the fridge should hold out until our second crop ripens by August 4.  We've done more tomato canning, halves and juice.  Onions are curing well in the barn, and green beans have revived after their mid-summer slump and are producing enough to keep a daily helping on our dinner plates.  We're picking fresh carrots and cucumbers as needed to go with  tomato slices.

On our "to-do" list this weekend was, gather brown and air dried dill seed and save it in an envelope to plant next year.

Onions curing in an airy dry shelf in the barn.
We're having more fun hand-pollinating and watching pumpkins of all sorts, shapes, and sizes grow daily; some of the 'New England Pie' variety are even starting to turn orange; we've picked a few 'Jack-Be-Little'.  Our hopes are high that a 'Prizewinner' which set last week and that grew the size of a melon in just 7 days will end up being a show-stopper to display in the front yard this autumn.  "If you grow pumpkins, you will be happy when you pick them.  Savor what you feel, in addition to what you taste.  Enjoy the blossoms - if pumpkins were rare, gardeners would pamper them in greenhouses just for their extraordinary flowers."  --J. L. Hudson as quoted in The Perfect Pumpkin, by Gail Damerow
This 'Prizewinner' pumpkin grew to the size of a melon in just 7 days.

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Dedicated to the responsible production and preservation of healthy home-grown food to the glory of God. Isaiah 55:10 The rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater. Organic, or not? We try to raise vegetables organically, using compost and manure. The addition of chickens to our hobby farm means plenty of organic nitrogen to compost! This site gives credible reference to planting information contained in the Farmer's Almanac (