Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cool Nights

It's hot and sunny outside right now, but it's been cool enough these past few nights to sleep under all the covers, instead of just the sheet and a cotton blanket. Next thing you know I'll be wearing long pajamas and we'll need to close the french doors.

The tomatoes are going nuts, there are more beans than we can eat, and the raspberries are wonderful. I freeze about half of what I pick each morning so I can use them in fruit smoothies or other things later in the year. I bought some frozen chunks of mango, so I've been making mango-banana-raspberry-buttermilk smoothies for breakfast sometimes. Mmmm! Last night we made tomato sauce from the tomatoes that were getting a bit too old to eat. We've been having tomato sandwiches all week.

As you can see, we have a lot of tomatoes sitting around in various stages of ripeness. The big pinky-red ones are Brandy Boy. The light tan areas on the shoulders of a few of them is sunburn. The smaller orangey ones are Gregori's Altai, supposedly an earlier variety. The cool Spring we had this year really messed my tomato timing up. I picked the first Purple Calabash today, but I don't think it's quite ripe. They really are a purplish-red color. It'll be interesting to see if they taste as good as the reviews claim. I'll probably make more sauce and blanch a lot of beans tonight for freezing. We tried canning tomatoes last year but four of our seven jars didn't seal, so this is plan B.

The hard part of this time of year is the weeds. The morning glory is going nuts all over everything. Today hubby and I did a cosmetic clear-away. I hope to get a more detailed weeding job done next weekend. The cedar mulch over the "cottage garden" area has slowed the weeds down, but it certainly hasn't stopped them. The area outside our kitchen window looks more like a jungle than a tended garden. The Knautia had just fallen over and covered all the plants around it, so today I cut it back. I'm thinking seriously of trying the "Chelsea Chop" next May, to see if that slows the mid and late summer perennials down a bit. The Knautia got too tall and leggy for its space.

Only one more week to go before we hit the road for the coast. I'm really looking forward to it. Just hope we can find someone to water the veggie garden while we're gone.

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