This is a very busy summer in TN. Joe and his family moved over here the first of June and since then we have been going down there one day a week and they come here one day a week and of course I like to visit with them. It has been several years since they were close enough to visit so I can’t get enough of it and that takes all the free time we can manage. The gardens are taking more and more time. Trying to keep the weeds down and the bugs out and now the vegetables harvested and canned. Nothing is ripening as it should. The weather is very strange so the things that do ripen are about a month behind normal or about 6 weeks behind last year which was ahead of normal. Our peaches still have not ripened enough to eat, nor have the pears. The raspberries were three weeks behinds last year but finally all got ripe and we got the jelly made and traded some for the broccoli. The blue berries which were loaded ripened but only a few at a time so we ate most of those as they ripened and canned only a few for the cereal, so we will have to depend on the dried blue berries from amazon as our daily medicine for Norman’s eyes. They work just fine, he still has not had to have a shot in his eye since Feb.
The potatoes were great and the small ones are almost gone with the larger ones holding fine and keeping us all feed. The zucchini has come and gone and kept us all fed. The green beans are still being harvested and the last planting that we did in the bed where the potatoes came out of and just starting to bloom and it looks like we will have plenty to can. We have started on the tomatoes but even with 110 plants we can see we will not have anywhere near as many was we need to can so we have started to buy some. When we went down to Joe’s house we found a place in Dunlap where we can get beautiful canning tomatoes in 25 pound boxes for only $8 so last week we got 75 pounds and canned those, getting 28 quarts. We lost one when the jar broke in the process of sealing the jars in the pressure cooker. Yesterday we went back and got 75 more pounds and have the first batch in the cooker now with another 7 quarts ready to go in when these cool enough to take out. We will do the other half tomorrow along with what tomatoes are ripe in our garden. We will use our tomatoes mostly for salsa and green fried tomatoes. We go down to Joe’s again on Thursday so will stop and get 75 more pounds to can on Friday and Saturday. If they supply lasts long enough we may just get the 15 cases of spaghetti sauce done that we want to for Christmas presents and for us for the winter.
We have started on the bread and butter pickles. Saturday we had 21 pounds of cucumber from our garden and turned those into pickles and got one case done, about 4 more cases are needed for the family along with a few dill pickles and it looks like we will have the cucumbers. I get my onions in Dunlap also, as they have nice fresh onions at a better price than anywhere else. We have great butternut squash this year. I can count 25 large ones almost ready and other small ones still coming. I even have a good sized water melon finally coming. I’d like another one or two and there are sure enough vines to make that happen. The Brusselsprouts are still trying but the bugs love their leaves and the spraying doesn’t seem to help. I am still hoping for some.
Guess that catches you up on the farm. Patty and family were here for a week. They had a very nice cottage down in Whitwell so we got to visit them while they were here. We all had a great time. We keep busy and are make some progress. Our humming birds have multiplied this year. We have at least a dozen as I have counted that many all at once at the three feeders we have on the front porch. They go through over a quart of the sugar water each day. They are so much fun to watch as they dance around the feeders and the flowers. Have a great day.