We harvested Lee’s field corn a few weeks ago. I raked up all the corn stalks afterward and made piles for the geese. At the end of every day the geese had devoured almost every bit of it. Next year I want to herd them into the corn patch to make my clean up job easier.
I grew two Marina di Chioggia squash plants this summer and harvested a total of three squash from them. The culinary descriptions of this variety made me want to grow it. Surely there must be more uses for pumpkin flavor than just pies and lattes?
I was shocked by how dense the pulp was from the first “Marina” that I cooked. It’s unlike any pumpkin or squash we’ve tried before. I have plans to make pumpkin soup, gnocchi, cake, and maybe a casserole or two. Is there a must-make pumpkin recipe I should know about? I’ve already tried roasting it and of course pumpkin pie is a given. 🙂
In addition to the pulp, I dug almost two cups of seeds from the guts which we promptly roasted. We always use this recipe from Simply Recipes. Roasted pumpkin seeds never survive more than an hour at our house.
Twenty two half-pints of candied jalapeño peppers later and I’m still not sure we have enough. They are a favorite staple in our pantry. Does anyone have a favorite way to use their jalapeños?
The rotting shed behind our house finally came down. All it took was a chainsaw, a tow cable and a truck to pull it over.
There was so much dry rot that I’m not sure how it lasted this long. We are still working on picking up all the pieces, but we are really liking the new open space in the backyard.
Jasper quietly went to sleep at the vets office on Monday. He was 20 years old.
We adopted him in 2004 at an animal rescue in Phoenix, AZ. We were there to help a friend pick out a cat. I was adamant that we already had one cat at home and didn’t need another, but within minutes of arriving this big orange cat jumped onto my lap and refused to leave. He was the first pet that was truly mine and he took his role seriously. If it was 2AM and he needed to stand on my back and purr in my ear, no amount of setting him on the floor could dissuade him. There will be other pets in my future, but none will be so endlessly and singularly devoted as Jasper.
By the time we moved to Oregon, he had grown from tolerating Robin to liking her, and eventually he loved anybody who came to the house. Life in the country introduced him to the outdoors, but he was much happier sleeping on our bed when he wasn’t sleeping on someone’s lap. He was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2012 and given two months to live. Robin and I talked about how Sidney would never meet him. Instead, for the last year he’s been a model of feline tolerance. Sidney was obsessed with him and no amount of slobbery and often painful toddler love was too much. He had finally met his match and it was the best year of his life.
Jasper, December 2005
I picked a huge bowl full of jalapeño peppers today. There are still more on the plants, which is shocking to me. Over half of our plants were badly stunted by rodent damage, but with all this warm sunny weather most of them rebounded surprisingly well. Our last jar of cowboy candy (from 2 years ago) is in the fridge, so that is the destiny for all these new peppers.
I’ve got some pumpkins turning orange. Woohoo. I think fall is coming.
I love growing amaranth because it’s so big, bold, and eye catching. Lee likes growing it for grain purposes. Right now we have three different varieties in our garden. One is a descendant from the Hartman’s Giant amaranth we grew in 2012. It popped up in the middle of a walk way and for some reason we let it stay.
This volunteer plant has turned into the Eiffel Tower of our garden. We never watered or fertilized it and it’s determined to show off. The main stem is over 3 inches wide at the base!!
As a child I once got a free packet of Love Lies Bleeding amaranth. I remember staring at the picture on the packet and thinking how beautiful it was. I’m not sure why I didn’t try planting the seed.
This year I planted that same variety but somehow it didn’t live up to my childhood fantasy. How could it, when I have Hartman’s showing off its magnificent splendor a few feet away? Lee is pretty impressed with Love Lies Bleeding though. It would be low-yielding for grain, but the drooping heads are neat. The annoying thing about this stand is I had the bright idea to plant it right next to the tomato row. Now my tomatoes are a challenge to pick.
The third variety we have growing is Oeschberg amaranth. Lee and I were disappointed in it because, well….Hartman’s. In the seed catalog it was described as resembling an “octopus waving its tentacles,” and somehow our mental image of that and reality don’t match up. Also, it’s a 3 foot variety and we were expecting another 8 foot variety. It is very pretty but the foliage always seems stressed. This area of the garden has a known symphylan problem so maybe that is affecting it a little. I think the picture below looks like the amaranth is futilely trying to hold back the tide of squash.
Our garden is being besieged by Flea Beetles. It’s been going on for the last two weeks and the Flea Beetles are winning. We always have a problem with them, but this year has been different. They have been draping themselves in many victorious poses that all end with us cursing and them giggling. At least that is what I think is happening. They are very hard to hear.
We have sprinkled D.E. liberally many times and they give us the finger. We Pyrethrum them dead and they are parading in battle formation two days later. I’m not sure what to do next as they are decimating some of our plants. Does anyone have a suggestion for killing tiny beetles?
Lee wanted to leg band our original four geese and their one stupid offspring before the current year’s crop of goslings grew up. You can’t tell who is who when they are adults as Toulouse geese all look alike.
wild domesticated goose chase started with seventeen lumbering angry geese rushing towards me when we cornered them. It was a little intimidating, at least to me, so we decided to divide and conquer. That worked slightly better but the fatties were still too fast. Lee whipped up a makeshift crook from hazelnut limbs and wire. He managed to crook two of them and basically squished the other three on the ground so I could catch them. By the fifth goose I was a little sad we were done, as I was having a lot of fun chasing and holding them.
We used black zip ties to mark the geese because the feed store leg bands were too small. The two males were banded on the right leg and the three females on their left. (We mostly guessed at the gender based on size.) I believe Lee has plans this fall for some goose dinners. At least I hope he does, because seventeen geese is a little much.