Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fly Away

As I told you before, our garden is really producing well this year. While this is a tremendous blessing, there IS one drawback.

Fruit Flies

These little pests are the bane of my existence during the summer months. You may not notice the little creep when he sneaks in on your tomato, but within a few days, you have a whole colony alive and well in your kitchen.

They make me CRAZY!!!

They can hide everywhere. Even in plain sight. I have even found several concealing themselves inside of a medicine dropper for no apparent reason. They are very tricky little buggies.

During the heat of the day, you can often find me stalking them in my kitchen. It's too inefficient to try to squish them all by hand, so, with my vacuum wand in hand, I hunt them down, one by one. A soldier, armed and dangerous. I suck them up as fast as I can find them. I stir them out of their little hideouts and watch them scurry to find a place to land, then I whip around in a very stealthy fashion and POUNCE! HAHAHAHA! Sometimes if you're lucky you can see me trying to catch one while he is careening through the air. I resemble a lunatic waving my magic vacuum wand at an unseen entity.

Maybe I am a lunatic...

There's one thing I know for sure.
If I have to be a lunatic to get rid of these creatures.
So be it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow?

We have been so blessed this year to have a very productive garden! I have had so much fun harvesting everything and learning new ways to can things. Without our garden, I don't know that we would have been able to add to our food storage this summer!!!

Here is Eme picking raspberries. This is the kids' FAVORITE thing to do. We don't get to really make anything with the raspberries, but the kids sure love to munch on them. And the best part is that I don't have to prepare them. The kids just go outside and eat them straight off the canes!

Our little patch of raspberries has been producing since late May, and it is STILL going. Raspberry plants anyone?

This picture is of my little Gabriel holding a couple of beans from our garden. 2 to be exact. They are called rope beans and come from Thailand or something like that. A custodian at Ryan's school gave him some seeds and we planted them this year. They have been FANTASTIC. They taste pretty much like regular green beans, but sweeter. And a great perk is that in a minimal amount of space, these beans can really produce! Just a handful of these beans produces 2 dinners worth of green beans. And you can pick that many every week! Best of all, these seeds are organic, so we can harvest some seeds for next year!

Our tomatoes have SERIOUSLY gone crazy this year. We have an overabundance of these little suckers!

I have canned 24 pints of diced tomatoes and I am about to can at least that many of tomato sauce. This is after we have given away baskets and baskets full of tomatoes to our neighbors!

These are Gabriel's sunflowers! He planted them all by himself and has been so proud to watch them grow!

These are our squash plants. I didn't know these plants could get this big! They were taller than Eme! And did I mention that we had more zuchinni and yellow squash than we could eat? Anyone know any good ideas for canning squash? Pickled zucchini anyone?

This is the very first year that we have had any success with watermelons. Usually the plant rots away before the melons can get very big. So far we have about ten that look promising!!!

So, I thought that I would plant a little jalapeno bush so that I could have one or two jalapenos. Well, instead of a little bush we now have a jalapeno tree! It is as tall as I am!!!!

Needless to say, I will now be canning jalapenos.

So, that's it. Our little garden project that has turned into a mighty undertaking! We are so thankful for this amazing blessing. Our garden is truly a miracle sent from above!