This past week we've been getting some storms roll through but here on the side of our hill we have missed most of the violent stuff. We were blessed with a few inches of good rain overall though. I sure was glad to see it. The amaranth was glad to see it too! I think its probably grown about a half a foot in the past few days. It really got off to a slow start but I'm sure some of that was my being on a learning curve with growing it. Of course it doesn't help that to get water to it I have to hook together about three hundred foot of hose since it isn't irrigated. Anyway, it seems the bugs are leaving it alone now and have stopped eating all the leaves. It's finally putting out new growth and starting to get the pretty reddish pink seed heads that it is famous for. They are only about an inch long now but are supposed to get to over a foot long. Guess we'll see....
The gardens doing pretty well so far. Well, most of it anyway. I don't know how long I'll be able to keep the bugs off the squash before they totally take over but I'm trying. Anyone have any suggestions on how to effectively and safely get rid of the dang squash bugs??? I've been lucky enough so far to get some squash out of it but the dang buggers are definitely winning the battle. I've got a nice amount of yellow squash from it so far but I'm afraid it's not going to end well. I'm also trying to grow a new one this year. It's called Lebanese squash. It is supposed to produce a nice sweet squash that gets to about 6-7 lbs each. I've never seen such a HUGE plant! We still haven't eaten any yet but hopefully (if the bugs don't get it first) we will soon.
I've been pretty busy with canning and preserving stuff too. All the beans are starting to produce now, some better than others but all in all it's looking good so far. The purple hull peas are starting to come on so I'm beginning to see some evenings shelling peas in my very near future. I've been able to put up 21 quarts of beans so far this year and it looks like much more is on the way.
Most of the pepper plants are starting to produce. The first jalapeno, banana and bell peppers are starting to come on pretty strong and I've been drying them as they do. I've still got to make some (ok alot) pickled peppers for the year but as long as they keep producing like they are that shouldn't be a problem. Anyone have a favorite pickled pepper recipe they would like to share?
I was able to dry a nice bunch of cilantro to put up as well as some dill, parsley and basil. I'm thinking I might need to start some more cilantro since what I have planted is already seeding. The timing kinda sucked for making salsa using cilantro since the tomato's are just now putting out nice green tomato's. So maybe if I start some more now it will be ready in time to make fresh Pico de Gallo (sp) and salsa.
We had planted another garden area on the upper side of the hill with two 85 ft rows of pinto beans awhile back and unfortunately none of them came up. Not one stinking sprout! So I guess this week we are going to try again with some different beans. The main reason for even putting them in is to help the soil but I wouldn't mind having some pinto's to put up! I don't think its too late yet but I guess we shall see. The watermelon, cantaloupe, squash and sweet potato's are all doing ok so far up there though. Everything is green anyway!
I have to admit that its pretty awesome these days to plan meals. There isn't a much cooler thing than to be able to walk out your door and "shop" from your garden. Beans, squash, turnips, peas, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, chard, radishes, spinach....and soon corn, tomato's and okra will be added to the list. Of course the lettuce is starting to bolt and so until the fall planting I guess we won't be having a "proper" salad with tomato's... but shoot!!!!!!! Who cares!! LOL!!
I'm happy to say that so far, even with the temperatures climbing up to the 90 degree mark some days that we haven't turned on the A.C yet. There's plenty of shade and most always a nice breeze so we take advantage of it as much as we can. I'd much rather be outside than holed up in this little RV all summer! Sure does help the pocketbook and I'm hoping that we might even make it through June without firing it up. Now THAT would be a first for this ol Texas Gal!!
P.S. I wish I could take me a Cat Nap!!!