Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June 30th Update

Click on the photos for a larger view.

We do have quite a few tomatoes growing, lot of varieties and because I am so lazy, none of them are labeled. So, we should have some nice surprises this year!

Here is one of the few strawberries that I have growing right now, not sure what kind of strawberry grows this late. This plant was given to me last year and was half dead with no identity... so another surprise as to what type it is!

Here is my first yellow squash of the season. I think I will save this for squash bread, if I am motivated, I will make that tomorrow night.

The beautiful squash blossoms, they look very Hawaiian.

This is a group of Montgomery False Spirea (Astible japonica 'Montgomery') that borders my swamp.

We are trying peppers again this year, this is a sweet bell pepper.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dilly Beans & such

So, we bought a water bath canner this year. Jason wanted dilly beans and I want spaghetti sauce & we both want pickles. We took a ride down to Carmody Farm Stand and bought some green beans and I took out my book, The Busy Person's Guide to Preserving Food (which I believe is now out of print.), and found a recipe for dilly beans and we went to work. Jason ended up going back out to the store because we needed pickling salt, who knew? Anyway, the canning went slowly, but I did check the seals today and they all sealed properly, so it was worth the effort. Hopefully, they will taste good too!

While I was separating the tomatoes to try to clear up the early blight that nicely showed up, Jason found this guy, luckily before he ran him over with the lawn mower. Never a dull moment!
We took a ride over to Wild Carrot Farm and picked up some Native Strawberries (if I can get Kelso to leave the seeds alone, I will try to save them.), lavender, dill, and a black cherry tomato. If you are in their area, they do sell Organic Seeds from Seeds of Change.

Friday, June 26, 2009


I started some Broccoli seeds for the fall. Now that they are growing, I have to figure out where the heck I am going to put them! A friend of mine has agreed to take half for her garden, so I really just need room for 6 of them.
I have been picking a few peas and beans this past week! I have also been busy pollinating some squash and cucumbers, and I am really looking forward to eating those. The tomatoes and peppers seem to hate the weather we have been having in Connecticut lately. I have flowers, but no tomatoes as of yet. My project for today is to move them around and create more space between each plant.
This weekend, I am hoping to teach myself to can. There is a farmers market in Berlin tomorrow, and I am hoping to pick up some green beans to make Dilly Beans. YUM!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tuesday, June 23rd


Male cucumber flower

Female Cucumber Flower (notice the mini cucumber attached to the flower - click on the photo for a larger view)

Here are my squash blossoms, the two females are on the left and the male is on the right. The females have a mini squash attached to their flower. If you do not have bees, you need to hand pollinate the flowers. You should use a male from a separate plant to pollinate the female. The same would be true for a cucumber. (click on the photo to see a larger view! - sorry it is blurry!)

Kelso's Cherries

Two Female Summer Squash Blossoms

Strawberry Blossom

Bush Green Beans

Monday, June 22, 2009

Saturday, June 20th

Landscaping project is done for this year!

This could be zucchini or yellow squash... time will tell!

Our Ostrich Fern for Fiddleheads!

Our Blackberry set some fruit

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday Photo Update

Brandywine Tomato, grown from seed.

Cucumber Blossom - male


Green Bean Blossom

Watermelon, finally growing!

Strawberry rhubarb jam

I really want to try this!

This from the Jam & Jelly Times from Sure Jell, Spring 1995 issue: 4 cups prepared fruit (about 1 quart fully ripe strawberries, 1-1/2 lbs. fully ripe rhubarb and 1/2 cup water) 6 cups sugar 1 box Sure Jell Fruit Pectin 1/2 tsp. margarine or butter

Stem and thoroughly crush strawberries, 1 layer at a time. Measure 2-1/4 cups into 6- or 8-quart saucepot. Finely chop rhubarb; do not peel. Place in 2-quart saucepan; add 1/2 cup water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 2 minutes or until rhubarb is soft. Measure 1-3/4 cups into strawberries in saucepot.

Measure sugar into separate bowl. (Scrape excess sugar from cup with spatula to level for exact measure.) Stir fruit pectin into fruit in saucepot. Add margarine. Bring to full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Quickly stir in all sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.
Ladle quickly into hot sterilized jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Invert jars 5 minutes, then turn upright. (Or follow water bath method recommended by USDA). After jars are cool, check seals.

Makes about 7 (1 cup) jars.

Here is my rhubarb, this is the first year for this plant and I hope to harvest some of it next year!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


This morning I sowed some Calabrese Broccoli for the fall and some Nasturtium Dwarf Single Mix Flowers (16") for my all of my extra pots. The Nasturtium is edible, so I may try them in my salads :-)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Landscaping Project

Here is the landscaping project update. We got some more mulch tonight and I will add that tomorrow. The hostas and mondo grass are flowering, I think that it is going to be pretty next year.


Here are my pea blossoms:

Carnival Squash

I picked up 2 pots at the nursery today, I think they may be 10 gallons each. I thought that these would be perfect for my winter squash experiment. My cousin, Hugh, sent down some seeds from a carnival squash. I kept 2 seedlings for myself and passed the remaining to my friend, Iwona.


So, today I had to buy a Bloody Butcher tomato. I didn't have a choice, honest to God.

Isn't it cute!!!

I am also going to try to root a German Queen and a Yellow Pear, they are in the window now so we'll see what happens.

Here is my super fantastic Mr. Stripey:

I am going to have to get some more cages this weekend...

Summer Squash

I have some zucchini and Yellow Crookneck Squash starting to grow. I am going to transplant two of them this weekend to give everyone more room to grow. We'll see if they survive the transplant!


The cucumbers are starting to vine, one even has a flower, male of course... but still! I plan on putting one of the x-pens out there for them to climb on. We are growing Lemon Cucumbers and green slicing cucumbers.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Here is a view of Miss Kelso through the tomatoes. I have to try to keep her from picking them this year. Little sneak!


Here are my pea blossoms. I believe these are Sugar Snaps. They are very tall, so when I grow these later this year, I need to remember to put up some taller fencing.

Edging our swamp

In an attempt to make our backyard look nice, I have decided to landscape. Due to the cost of plants and the amount of labor it takes, I am only doing 13' at a time. Here is what I started:
Black Mondograss
Variegated redtwig dogwood
Astilble (fanal)
Francis William Hosta
Siebold Hosta
Halcyon Hosta
Ostrich Fern
and Impatients (I still have to plant).
I still have some landscaping cloth to lay down and I plan on mulching it with black mulch.


I planted some Lupines in the front yard to brighted up our fence... I did run out of mulch though, so poor me will have to go back to Home Depot on Tuesday before the movies :-)


I dug up a spot in the yard for the watermelon (Sugar Baby) seedlings that we picked up in Vermont. The seedlings in the tray are going in the front yard next weekend and they are Lupines.


I just finished transplanting some more rhubarb today. The big plant in the back was done last year, so next year I am hoping to have a small harvest! The last plant we took from my grandfather's was big enough to split into 6 plants, so I was able to share some with the neighbors.


Here is the Strawberry plant that one of my customers gave to me. The leaves are huge!! I am planning on transplanting these to the side yard. It is already sending out runners...

Tomatoes and such...

Here are my 31 Tomatoes along with the cucumbers and squash. For Tomatoes we planted: Bonny Best (red), Brandywine Pink (pink), Golden Sunburst (yellow), Black Krim (purple), Evergreen (green), and Djena Lee’s Golden Girl (orange). I also found a Mr. Stripey and we got a free Better Boy. We planted cucumbers which included Lemon Cucumbers. I also planted some Summer Squash Saffron and Zucchini. I am still trying to get some more Tomato cages, then I need to stake them all down so they don't get pulled up like last year.

Jason's Square Foot Garden

Jason made a square foot garden box this weekend - 8' x 4'. We (meaning me) bought some bell peppers to try this year and those are on the extreme right side of the box. In the extreme left are some green beans that I started in March. Finishing off the row of boxes in row 2 are Tendergrean Improved Green Beans and Royal Purple Bush Type Beans. In row 3 (from the left) are some Nantes Coreless Carrots - for Larry and Bright Lights Swiss Chard. Row 4 is Ruby Queen Beets. Row 5 is Bloomsdale Long-Standing Spinch (savoy leaf). Row 6 is Mesclun Zesty Salad Mixture. And, row 7 is Progress No. 9 Peas.