Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It's Wednesday Already

Tomato Hornwork
Yes I've been listening (and reading) the  news.  It matters not what I think about it.  Apparently it matters very little what 91% of Americans think about it either.  This will end badly I fear.  All the more reason to focus on the here and now.  What can I do? (besides scream obscenities)  Prep on folks, prep on.

And so dear friends that brings us back to being in the here and now.  There are a few things I CAN do around here.  I've got mostlyy gardening stuff going on in my life right now. My dehydrators are working 7 days a week. Currently there are peppers in both of them.  I'm out of propane for the canning station and it will have to wait until payday. I've been prepping the peas and beans and either freezing them or at least storing them in the bottom of the fridge for now.  I'll be back to canning soon though. Just in time too as the fridge is overflowing with fresh produce.  This is the one time of year I sure wish we had a second fridge. Hey, things could definitely be worse. 

 I called the local food bank this week.  They were thrilled to take some tomatoes! I was thrilled to get them gone!  LOL I'm so over canning tomatoes for the year. I've been keeping the neighbor supplied with tomatoes, peppers and melons. 

 Of course there are still tomatoes on the vine and the plants look pretty good so they should make it to fall.  Unless the grasshoppers and the hornworms  decimate them.  We've had one heck of a year for grasshoppers this year.  There isn't much you can do about that really.  And then the hornworms just came to the party in the past couple of days. (Cover your ears kymber) I must have killed at least a dozen of the fat green-blooded hungry bast destroyers.   I take a perverted pleasure in ripping them off the stems and crushing them under my heel. Something about the way they "squish" brings a smile to my face. They can take a plant down to nothing in no time at all.  I realized though that this year we've not had much of a problem with bugs.  Well, except those *%#$ squash bugs... but that seems to be it.  Why is it that only the insects you can't do much about seem to make themselves at home this year? 

I was going to go out and pull up those pole beans this week and plant some green peas in their place since they just weren't producing.  Well now they have decided to put on some beans.  Not many, but there are a bunch of tiny baby beans on it now.  I guess if I want to plant green peas I'll have to rig up some sort of "support" for them.  That's why I was wanting to replace the green beans with the peas.  That's the row with the "trellis" down it.  

The mystery plant has produced what turned out to be funny looking cantaloupe.  They aren't very sweet, kind of a boring flavor.  I guess I'll be looking for better seed for next year.  I can't see growing these again.  The Juan Canary melon though?   Yeah, now THAT'S a keeper.  Wonderfully sweet and juicy.  I'll sure be planting those again for years to come. (thanks zztop!!)

It's hard to believe that Summer is almost over.  For the most part we've had a wonderful season weather-wise.  And now all the sudden at the end of August we are going to creep back up into the 100's for a few days.  Go figure.  The Farmer's Almanac is predicting a colder than normal winter for most folks.  Strange year for weather isn't it?  

I want to plant some more lettuce and spinach but I'm thinking it is still a bit errr....warm yet.  My broccoli and cabbage seed didn't come up and the beans I planted in the lower garden were attacked by grasshoppers as quick as they sprouted.  That will make the third time I've planted beans there this year and can't get any of them over six inches high before they become grasshopper appetizers.  Oh well.... I wonder what they want for dessert?  

I'd try talking about something else but it seems my mind is stuck in "garden gear", which is better than having to focus on us teetering on the edge of World War III.  How's your week been so far?


  1. hay Gurl - i covered my ears as you recommended. you need to plant borage all around your tomatoe plants. don't know why, but borage repels the hornworms. and borage flowers are pretty, and one of the few true blue things in nature, and they are delicious!i'm gonna need some of those juan canary melon seeds - i'll send you some gorgeous garlic bulbs in return.

    with what is going in the world these past few weeks, i am glad i only read the news on the internet. that way, if i click on a title and find out very quickly that i don't want to read it, i stop. i've been doing a lot of that lately.

    let's just focus on our gardens, our preps, honing our skills and leave what's going on in the world to the worldly. jam's been out the past few days helping our friends pick blueberries at their blueberry farm. he takes his payment in blueberries so we have blueberries all year long. i've been sorting and bagging seeds for next year. keep the faith Gurl. and do as you have always done.

    your friend,

    1. Now that you mention it, I recall you telling me before about the borage. What I'm not exactly sure of is how to make that happen. Borage is such a BIG plant. Then again I don't plan on planting half as many tomatoes next year at this point. I wonder how close it would have to be? They really are a pretty plant. I'll have to see if I still have some seed for next year. As for the melon betcha I can "hook a sista up". *wink*
      I've truly been trying to focus on the right here right now stuff. The garden helps make that possible. I'm so busy these past few weeks I find I have very little time to stress too much on the "fools on the hill" Even so, it's pretty hard to ignore.
      Blueberries??? Now I'm drooling. The plan here one day is to have a berry fence line. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries... yup... I'm drooling.
      (( Hugs)))

  2. Your garden is about opposite from mine, no tomatoes and lots of pole beans. I planted spinach and lettuce yesterday to catch the rain we got today. Not many grasshoppers here, I would turn the chickens out on them for awhile if I had those bugs, lots of japanese beetles which I fed to the birds.

    1. To bad we don't live a little closer. We could most certainly do a bit of bartering! The grasshoppers are thick here this year. They have planted soy beans in the wheat fields around us here this year and I'm just guessing but I think they don't like gmo soy beans either. Besides,where else can you eat all the tomatoes you could ever want. (for a grasshopper anyway)

  3. Oh, yes, tomato hornworms... We have had plenty of them here. I was picking them off about the size of a grain of rice earlier this summer. But they just keep on coming - nice and big now. Interesting idea about planting borage - we will sure try that. Wonder if the rabbits like it? One of them has taken to hiding out in the tomato vines and has been eating the ripest ones.

    Am getting ready to make a batch of your pepper jelly tonight. Yumm!

    1. 2tramps...a few years ago when i lived in ottawa, all of my neighbours had trouble with hornworms...and even colleagues from work who lived 20kms away. i couldn't understand it because my tomatoes were thriving. then an older lady that i spoke with asked if i had borage growing near my tomatoes. and i did, it was volunteer borage that the previous owner had planted. i thought they were beautiful plants so i just let them be. the older lady told me that borage repels the hornworms. so i was pretty much the only person in the city with tomatoes that year. i don't know the hows and whys but you can be sure that i plant borage all around my tomatoe plants every year. haven't seen a hornworm in about 10yrs now. teehee.

    2. I grew some borage last year for the first time. I fell in love with it. Beautiful flowers and its' tasty too. I don't know about wild rabbits but I know mine liked the leaves. Well, two of them did. The others turned their noses up at it.

  4. F'n war-mongering......hornworms.
    DH just brought up a few of the "issues" and I just want to scream. Going down the road and our "leaders" don't give a flying flip about us, the Constitution, the death, anything except keeping themselves in power. But like you said, although I don't want to bury my head in the sand, the most productive things WE can do is prepare OUR families for war....on the hornworms, squash bugs, grasshoppers and egg-eating black snakes.

    Speaking of hornworms, even my chickens won't touch them! Don't blame them though, they are pretty gross, especially all the green goo that comes out of them under your boots. Squiiiiissshhhhhh.

    1. *snickers* I was turning that one over in my mind. Yup, pretty much interchangeable.... Can you really BLAME the chickens? Those are some creepy a** bugs. And then when you grab them to place them gently ... oh who am I kidding throw them to the ground, they try to reach around and grab you back! Ewwwww Actually I think it's kind of cool to watch the green shoot out! hahahahaha!!!!!!!!

    2. ohhh barf! y'all are really grossing me out! I don't mind picking the bugs off, but something about the squish makes me ill. I'd rather just throw them into something toxic for them. Yeeeck.

  5. Sci,

    I hate that darn hornworms. Won't touch them with my fingers, I use scissors to pull them off my plants and cut them in half. There is something about cutting them in half makes me feel good. Now you have me worried about my beans. There standing about 3 to 4 inches in height. I need to be proactive and make sure they don't eat my beans for dinner.

    I'm not to happy with what's going on and hope this country stays out of that mess. That's my point of view and now I'll shut up and say have a good evening.

    Keep prepping everyone.

    1. Oh Sandy,
      I can just picture you out there with your sxissors, chopping up hornworms into tiny pieces! It DOES feel good though. (Don't ask me how I know about the scissors)
      Like kybmers said so well "let's just focus on our gardens, our preps, honing our skills and leave what's going on in the world to the worldly." Sound advice from a short chick! baahahahahahaaaa!!!!!

  6. Our tomatoes died in the heat. Hubby hasn't let me get a dehydrator yet.
    Could you plant your peas near your beans and let them climb your beans?
    I don't know anything about borage, but I think I need to find some.

    And yes. If Bush were still president, they'd be yelling for impeachment.
    Oh well. Plenty to do to keep busy around here. Payday can't come quickly enough!

    1. I'm sorry about your tomatoes, that sucks! Planting the peas with the beans isn't possible for a couple of reasons. The beans are planted really close to each other to "optimize" space on the trellis row. Then there's the bad part where the wire that's stretched from pole to pole is already sagging a bit from the weight of the beans. Live and learn I guess. we're gonna need something that supports better next year.
      I love borage. It has kind of "hairy" leaves and beautiful little blue flowers. Oh and kymber or myself hasn't said that the leaves taste of cucumber and are edible as are the flowers. Just leave yourself a bunch of room cause they can be monster size plants!

    2. My internet crashed and ate my reply. :-(
      Let me see if I can remember what I wrote.
      Oh yes.

      Thank you. And I agree. We’ve learned a lot this year. Just hoping we can remember it all! Like next year we’ll grow pole beans instead of bush beans. It’s getting hard on old backs to bend over, haha!

      Wow. That is a lot of beans. Let me see… hmm… I found this blog. You may already know it.
      I’m not trying to take any money from him. He’s written a book about how to make these and other things. But I figure if he posts it, and I figure out how to make my own Y thingys, well, that’s his reason for sharing, right?

      So maybe this can help you with your sagging beans next year. :-)
      Thank you for the tips on borage! Not gotten the nerve to try eating flowers like nasturtiums. Not sure if I'd eat borage flowers, but at least now I know I can!

      Have a great weekend!