Thursday, June 30, 2011

So I Thought THAT Week Was Busy

Well, my last post was after a very busy week.  That's the truth.  But here it is, July Eve, and I haven't written a post since June 13th.  How is that even possible, I wonder?  To say we have been busy would be a gross understatement.  In the two and half weeks since I last posted, we have:

1. Purchased an ancient step van from a local theatre group... yes, to use as MORE storage on the farm.
Step Van, Carpeted and with First Load
2. Moved the remainder of the "stuff" from the pond house, into the "new" step van (how is it possible that, even with my new renters purchasing the majority of the furniture in the house, and despite the fact that we'd moved most of the "stuff" out last July when we listed the house for sale, we STILL moved more than seven van loads out of the house and garage?)
Step Van, Seven van loads later.

3. Completed necessary repairs and final cleaning, and turned the house over to the renters on the 23rd. (Included moving all of the HEAVY exercise equipment from the bonus room above the garage, down into the garage!)
Everyone working out.... NOT!
4. Dealt with trespassing and vandalism at the pond house a few days before we rented it....
Joe secures boats with heavier chain
after vandals cut old one, and took the boats out.
5. Completed the chicken yard,

Chicken Yard for Nine Chickens
6. Tried to keep the weeds at bay.... (right-o!)
Weeding the Gardens
7. Tried to keep the myriad of plant pests at bay ... (another right-o!)
Joe "harvesting" Japanese Beetles....
8. Joe marked another birthday, new glasses and a trip to the oral surgeon (funsville)

Joe, Heading in see the Oral Surgeon
9. And, of course, keeping up with all of the regular stuff.  (I did take another week of vacation so I could get the pond house ready for the renters.....................was actually happy to get back to work this week so I could "relax" a little!)
Our Neighbors stopped by for a short visit...
to see the gardens...
Still, busy or not, we continue to be rewarded with fruits, vegetables, flowers and trees, which, despite the insane attacks by bugs, of the crawling, flying, hopping, and sliming varieties, have been producing sufficiently to fill my freezer before we even reach the REAL summer.  I have put up strawberries, peas, green beans, zucchini, yellow squash in the freezer, ready for meals in the months to come.  Of course we have eaten LOADS of fresh veggies and they just keep on coming.  I am having fun creating meals with the gifts from these gardens.
This evening, with more than four dozen cucumbers available for use, and needing to create a meal that would be a reasonable choice for a guy who'd just had oral surgery yesterday, and needed to be on a soft diet, I decided to experiment.  The result was delicious, and we ate it all.  I'll call it cucumber soup, but here is how I made it.

I boiled two kohlrabies, with their leaves removed, but with their "peel" still on, with one stubby carrot (my first).  While they boiled, I chopped up ten cucumbers, two cloves of garlic, and half an onion, and lightly sauteed the chopped veggies in olive oil.
When the kohlrabi and carrot had boiled about 10 minutes, I removed them from the heat, saved the golden broth, peeled the outer skin off the kohlrabies, cut them in pieces and threw EVERYTHING in the blender. I pureed it into a spring-green pulpy soup, that I then returned to the pan, added a little salt and pepper and a little chicken bouillon, and cooked the soup on a very low heat (just about warm) for about an hour and a half.

When we were ready to eat, I ladled the soup into bowls, added a heaping teaspoon of sour cream in the middle of each, and sprinkled grated mozzarella cheese over the top....  It was, in all honesty, DELICIOUS!  There were no left-overs and I have a sneaking suspicion I will be making this meal again REAL SOON!

The eggplants, bell peppers, watermelon, honeydew melon,and tomatoes, grapes, peaches, and figs are bearing fruit but which are not yet ready to eat.  The cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini, green beans, roma beans, kohlrabi, carrots, strawberries and raspberries are producing right now.  The peas and spinach have completed their season.  The potatoes, onions, corn, cantaloupe, blackberries, and cauliflower have not yet started producing, though the potatoes have been flowering for a couple of weeks now.
While I'm impressed with the amount of fruit and vegetables we have already reaped this season, the MOST impressive producers are the sunflowers.  I did plant some new varieties in the gardens this year, and they are doing very well, but the volunteers, those that grew from seeds that fell from last years crop, are INCREDIBLE!  Those volunteers are about twelve feet tall.  In fact, they are so tall, I will NOT be able to see them when they bloom. This week the sunflowers have started opening, and they are beautiful!
Giant Sunflowers
My morning walks are my favorite part of the day.  I get to see all that is new in the gardens, greet the chickens with the kitchen scraps from yesterday's meal preparations, collect a bucket full of veggies, and enjoy the cool of the morning, before the sun ramps up the heat.  Still, I also love to take another walk at lunchtime, because it  is in the heat of the day that the portulaca opens and those blossoms are simply beautiful.  And after my work day is done, I enjoy heading back out to weed, and work in the gardens...we will never catch up with all of the weeding and such... heck, we still have 660 feet of fence to install, and still more plants to get into the ground... and the old farm house to complete...  and the pool to put up... and.....
Chickens, Hunting Bugs
Sunflower, Irish Grass, and Watermelon "hedge"

Very Tall Volunteer Sunflowers
 Yes, we will BE busy for a good long while, I just have a hunch!


Louise said...

No wonder you haven't been blogging. You have a very busy life, and Summer is often the busiest time of all. I enjoyed your catch-up though, and will hope it's not so long before your next entry.

mixednut555 said...

Everything looks beautiful! Happy Birthday to Joe! Some day I will blog too, am so busy I barely read my email let alone post.

Sharon said...

You are the busiest person that I know! I envy your energy!

Happy Birthday to Joe! I hope the mouth is healing well!

Garden pests. EEEEEEE!

Everything is sure looking good there!

Have a happy 4th!

Gorges Smythe said...

Maybe you need a hobby! :-)