While I’ve been sewing, and puttering about in my garden, Destin tackled a huge project. When we moved in, there was a huge amount of blackberry bushes growing around a cluster of trees in our yard… and up the trees and back down again… hiding mounds of dirt, garbage, and (as it turns out) an ant hill. The photo above was taken shortly after we moved in, and the blackberries actually were a little taller than what you see in that photo when Destin started.
Over the last month or so, Destin has managed to cut out all of the blackberry bushes, and haul those off to the dump, to expose the mounds of dirt and whatnot underneath. This past weekend, he borrowed a tractor from a coworker, and got nearly all of the excess dirt dug out and hauled off – thankfully both the coworker and one of our neighbors had low spots on their properties that they needed filled in and weren’t picky as to the quality of the dirt! I wish I had a in-between photo – sans blackberry bushes but with the heaps of dirt still present. The angle between the two photos is a little different, but I can’t believe the difference, and how much more open that area is now that it is all cleared out! Destin’s estimating he hauled out about 30 yards of dirt – thank heavens for dump trailers and coworkers with tractors! I even got to play on the tractor, and after a few issues, was able to run it semi-decently. (read: I didn’t kill anybody or break anything, and I actually got some dirt from the pile into the trailer!)
While Destin played in the dirt on Saturday, I turned a pile of tomatoes fresh from my garden into about a pint of tomato sauce… and then because it seemed like a complete waste to can a single jar of tomato sauce, I made spaghetti. Both on Saturday and Sunday, I also worked on slicing up the Walla Walla sweet onions that I’ve already harvested, freezing them on a cookie sheet, and transferring them to ziplock Food Saver bags to freeze and enjoy in the months to come. Sweet onions do not store well and are prone to rotting, so they store best frozen. I’ve still got a few left to chop up, and those are gallon size bags in the photo!
In the last week or so, the tops of my potato plants have begun to die back – which is actually a good thing when it comes to potatoes! – so I’ve stopped watering them this week. Tonight, I got nosy and started poking about in the dirt a little bit to see if I could find any treasures, and I found a couple of little red potatoes! I planted Red Chieftain potatoes this year, and I’m excited to find out how many I’ve ended up with! I have plants in four 5 gallon buckets, which will make harvesting easy – simply up-end over a tarp, and sort out the taters! I may harvest a bucket or two this week, and then we can take potatoes with us as well! I love small red potatoes 🙂
I’ve got a lot of tomatoes getting ready to ripen – hopefully they won’t all ripen when we leave town! It looks like corn may be on the menu this weekend, straight from the garden! I sure hope it’s good… and not buggy! That part grosses me out about growing my own food… although I’ve also come across a big fat grub (I think it was a silkworm) in an ear of corn at the supermarket once, too. If nothing else, at least the corn stalks will make a cute fall decoration!
Last but not least… my small patch of flowers! Can you tell where my interests/priorities lie for my garden? That’s pumpkins and cherry tomatoes in the upper left of the photo. The pumpkins are in what used to be a flowerbed of pansies! Last year I’d planted a ton of marigolds and cosmos daisies (which have somewhat similar looking foliage to me). Evidently both plants will re-seed themselves, but with how much I stirred up the dirt this year adding tagro and more potting soil, I really didn’t expect any “volunteer” plants. Last month I was looking at my garden, impressed that I had a bunch of marigold plants volunteering… and then they bloomed! It turns out I had one marigold plant volunteer, and half a dozen “Diablo” cosmos daisies volunteer! That works for me – I like them better, and it was such a nice surprise since I’d planted all of the seeds I had last year! The plant you see behind the cosmos daisies is “Chocolate Snakeroot”… it doesn’t have spectacular blossoms when it does bloom, but it sure has pretty foliage from spring through fall.
In other news, Monkey managed to get herself shut in one of the neighbor’s outbuildings. Again. This time she was only missing two days – since Saturday night. Last night we strongly suspected that’s where she was, but it was too late to go pounding on their door last night once we decided she wasn’t coming home. She got rescued this evening after I got home from work… Since then, she’s eaten enough to keep her going for the next week, and seemed to hold both me and the neighbor responsible for her imprisonment. She’s cute, but not big on brains… it’s the same outbuilding she got shut in back in May when she went missing for three days. At least we know where to start looking, now!