August 30, 2008

It ain't easy bein' green (beans)

Next on the "ready to pick" list from the garden....we have green beans. Oh, they have been so good! Again this year we planted the "Empress" variety and she certainly matches her royal name. What a producer! There are abundant 5-6 inch long, straight beans on each plant and since we planted over 350, it's a lot of picking! These also dry well when left on the plant and so seed saving is very simple and easy. We planted a second sowing of beans to be ready about 2 weeks from now, so there should be plenty for fresh eating as well as lots to put into the freezer.

Fair Happenings

The County Fair was wonderful fun, we entered a variety of classes and enjoyed spending some time there watching the judging and looking over the rabbits, chickens, sheep, goats, minis and donkeys that were entered. It's always a good time.

The children entered the open photography division and did a great job winning a number of classes, Em was so thrilled when her action photo was chosen as Best of Show in the color category. She had her picture taken with her winning entry and ribbon, and will be in the fair book next year. Last year J. Keeler won the Best of Show, so they are already excited about next year and will be taking lots of photos throughout the year. Rosie entered the "Still Life" and "Story" categories and won them both. The biggest entertainment is watching the people watching the judging. Judges have a tough row to hoe and I give them full credit for not throwing their hands up in frustration with some of the amusing antics of some of the exhibitors there.

August 10, 2008

Fresh from the... garden!

We're happy to report that there is a lot more going on today in the garden: the peas are ready for picking! We set up the kitchen for processing, which included blanching the peas for 1 and 1/2 minutes then plunging them into cold water to stop the cooking process. They were then placed into freezer bags and popped into the freezer for good eating this winter. The peas were "Green Arrow" and the plants produced very well, including lots of doubles. Most of the pods contained at least 10 good sized peas per pod. We also planted "Tom Thumb", which is a smaller heirloom variety that produces quickly, but the peas are definitely of the dwarf variety.

The raspberries have been simply amazing this year-- our freezer is overflowing and we've been eating them fresh with dinner every couple of days. Delicious eating and delightful summer fun!