The peek “salads n’ greens” season is petering out but the “heavy weight” crops are starting to take up the slack.
While most of the nation baked, here in So Cal we had a pretty mild (and somewhat cool) July. It was so mild I actually felt we’ve been cheated out of a normal summer and felt sorta guilty.
The cool weather certainly threw things off a bit. The good news was that we were able to grow and sell some salad well into July, The bad news was the summer crops – figs, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers have been slow and about a month behind normal ripening. We knew summer was in season and it has shown up this week with extremely hot weather. Time to water and fill up those ollas!
On the bad bug front. So far, so good on the bagrada bugs; but we do have a serious thrip problem (setting out some “sticky traps”). Also noticed a couple of stink bugs around the yard, which isn’t good news.
On the fruit front, this season we were blessed with boxes and boxes of “u pick” plums. A friend of ours has a huge tree and, as it was a good year, it had loads of plums. She needed to get the plums off the trees before the bears and raccoons got them. Don’t worry– there was plenty of plums left for nighttime foragers.
These last new weeks, we have been quite busy in the kitchen, putting up most of the plums and other fruits and vegetables. Don’t you just love canning season? I certainly do, and have been canning away! Though not as much as these amazing ladies here. But come the end of summer I hope to be pretty durn close.
On Monday, our lil’ Biddy (2007-2011) peacefully passed away. It’s never easy when one of our chickens or ducks dies. She was a certainly a happy chicken, one of our best layers. Never showed any signs of anything being amiss, till Sunday. She seemed a little “off.” On Monday morning, she ate but you could tell she was “tired.” So we brought her in and she feel asleep in Jordie’s arms. Seems the best layers are the ones to “give out” first. With death being so quick, seemed like the cause was something internal… tumor or heart condition. You can never really know unless you do an autopsy. She never displayed any outwardly signs of something being wrong. She was a happy and active chicken to the very end.
Life & death all the part of the ups and downs on any homestead.
Now, to the harvest numbers for July. Justin suggested that I keep track of how many jars we put up. Duh, didn’t know why I didn’t think of that. Anyhow, it’s a good idea so I have added another category.
How’s everyone’s garden and preservation efforts coming along – care to share?
July Harvest Tally
565 lbs Produce (fruits, vegetables, herbs)
Eggs 134 (Duck) 58 (Chicken)
200 Jars “Put Up”
2011 Year to Date
2,641 lbs Produce (fruits, vegetables, herbs)
Eggs 856 (Duck) 372 (Chicken)
330 Jars “Put Up”