Friday, August 15, 2008


It's been raining on and off today and it's cool. What a relief. I get really tense when it's been dry and the garden begins to shrivel.

I sold four bushels of peaches between yesterday and today and used up all the appearance challenged fruit. I made a dozen fresh peach cakes today for tomorrow's farmers' market. Peach jam, peach pie filling and peach chutney are in jars in the basement. Diced peaches are in the freezer and there's some peach wine just beginning to ferment.

The last bushel of peaches was picked last night, as I dodged honey bees gorging on the ripest ones. Some of the fruit looked like bee balls, that's how many were busy in the trees. Since the honey bees were responsible for polinating the trees so competently, I think they deserve the fruit that is left.

Immediately, I found that the apples are ready to pick. I also found, to my amazement, some ripe purple grapes on a vine growing up the porch of the old house along with various plants and weeds. In the past ten years, I wasn't aware that there was a domesticated grapevine, let alone one capable of bearing such nice clusters of grapes.

Tomatoes are ripening with a little more alacrity -- especially the cherry tomatoes. Blackberries are almost done. Pole beans are still bearing and the newly planted ones have flowers already. Lovely types of basil are doing well. There are a couple of types of sweet basil, cinnamon basil, lime basil and one I haven't yet pinned down. It's definitely a different scent than any of the others.

It's a busy, busy time and I'm feeling tired.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Attack of the Killer Peaches

The quality of the light has changed and today it is a little cooler. The sun isn't coming up until nearly 6 a.m. We're crawling through hot August, looking forward to Fall.

Insects are mean and irritable. I've been stung on three occasions by yellow jackets in ground nests this summer. The good news is that the first incident seems to have given me some immunity from the BIG REACTION. Subsequent stings were painful, but mercifully that lasted only a day or two.

I'm still picking some blackberries in certain spots, but most have shriveled up and are resting up after record production. Wine bubbles in carboys in the basement.

Peaches are weighing down the branches of the trees. They are ripe and blushing with pride at their accomplishment. Big baskets full of peaches are on the kitchen counter, awaiting processing. There are baskets more to pick. I'm running out of canning jars.

Apples are ripening and will soon flood the kitchen, too. White apricots are getting that look...

Heritage tomatoes have started ripening. There is an interesting mix out there, which includes the most perfect looking cherry tomatoes and the most gnarly looking large, bulbous types. I've re-planted beans and winter squashes and they look all right. The late season greens have not yet emerged, but there is a spot prepared for re-planting some beets. Many cabbages are going to the chickens due to bug damage, but, hey, at least they won't go to waste.

There is a tiny new calf in the pasture.

Hay is being cut and baled again. We need rain badly, but I know it will come eventually.

'Signing off. Over and out.