Hello, friends. Last week was all about the harvest. Tomatoes were cooked down for paste, which was my first time making it. They simmered most of the day, as we don't grow paste tomatoes. They ended up reducing from 18 pints down to 1 pint, plus a pint of tomato juice. I then canned our carrots, which added six half pints to the pantry. Four pans of figs were halved and frozen, and some were added to a smoothie, with banana and pineapple. With leftover pasta, I made a salad and opened jar of caponata canned last summer. Wheat and GF rolls were warmed for the caponata. I went through Rakuten for 10% back on an order, while the site had a 20% off sale. Swagbucks is usually better, but this time, they were less than Rakuten, at only 6%. I cooked using the toaster oven a couple of times, using solar power instead of propane with the regular oven.
For a dinner, I made a pasta dish that used tromboncino, plus our onion, garlic and oregano. I made a loaf of fig bread for J, using our eggs and figs. Cucumbers were shared with our mail carrier, J's business partner, and friends, and tromboncino with friends. The cantaloupes have started ripening, and the first honeydew was harvested. While he was nearby, I asked J to return books to the library. I dug around the recently planted potatoes to check on them, and found the slightest bit of growth on one, one had rotted, and the others hadn't done a thing. I uncovered most of the soil off them, and as they hopefully grow, I'll replace the soil. It was another very dry week, but thankfully on Saturday night, we got some good rain. So very thankful for it. Warm up water and water from washing lettuce was used to water plants.
I cut up all the apples that had fallen on their own, or with the squirrel's help. Though I have an apple peeler/slicer, it doesn't do well with fruit that isn't round or is soft, and they were pretty small as well, so it was a labor of love. Though I never like to waste anything, it seems especially important this year. I ended up with two gallon bags of slices. Being it was dinnertime when I got to that point, I froze them, and will can them another day. The squirrels have pretty much eaten all the hazelnuts, though the nuts were a long way from being ripe. After an appointment, I found two canisters at a thrift store, of which at least one will be made into a compost crock. The other is a handmade pottery piece, and I may keep it, though I haven't decided yet. I received the 5% senior discount at the grocery store.
A potato and green bean salad was made on a day in the mid-90's with high humidity. Neither of us wanted much more, so I made a green salad using our figs, and sliced some tomatoes to have with it. When I filled up my car, I was very happy to see it had been 20 days since my last fill up. All laundry was dried on the line. I gathered seeds from the mizuna. Though it wasn't my favorite, the chickens liked it just fine. I've also gathered marigold seed heads. The latest pest in the garden are leaf footed bugs on the tomatoes, which mostly just damage them cosmetically, though they can also cause tomatoes to drop. The June bugs are eating a large amount of our figs. Thankfully, there is plenty to go around this year. J has sprayed with pyganic, an organic insecticide, to hopefully, cut down on their numbers next year. Being surrounded by hay fields, their preferred habitat for laying eggs, it's challenging.
J tilled in the patch of buckwheat. We were both sorry to, as there were so many pollinators enjoying it, but the purpose of planting it was to build the soil. We were a little late, as there were already some seeds, so it's possible we'll have another round of it before frost, which will be just fine. We enjoyed a night out with friends, for dinner and a concert. The band are local folks that we've enjoyed seeing several times, pre-Covid, and tickets were reasonably priced. I was excited to find the restaurant, as it was vegan, but found out the following day they were closing. I'm glad I got to enjoy it. A dish was made using our squash, tomatoes and onion. J harvested watermelon, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, Iron & Clay cowpeas and lots of cantaloupes. I planted several more potatoes, in hopes of a harvest before frost. I'll probably leave it at that, as I expect I'm pretty much at the end of my window of opportunity. I hope you're finding ways to put some food by, whether homegrown or purchased.