Tuesday, August 7, 2012

summer update

It's been a busy summer, but all of our hard work is paying off. We've been getting summer squash and Costata Romanesca zukes in spades. We've frozen several packets for mid-winter zucchini bread and we've made two ratatouilles and one batch of zucchini pancakes. I think I'm making batch no. 2 tonight. 

As for tomatoes, the ones pictured are the Indian tomato, a new variety we tried this year. We learned just yesterday that the tomato leaves we sent to the Ag Extension were infected with Septoria leaf spot and Early Blight so we've been managing with vigilance and a pair of scissors. Heirloom varieties seem much more susceptible to disease, but they are the varieties that we love the best. 

How are your tomatoes fairing this year? I think we'll have enough to make our favorite canned tomato sauce again this year.

Pictured above are our cannellini beans. We're hoping to have a nice crop of dried beans for the winter. We're also growing black turtle beans. No green beans this year though our neighbors have been dropping them off at our house in bags.

Every day we venture down to the field garden in search of tomato hornworms. Can you see the little rascal in this photo? They are masters of disguise but can really take a toll on the plants.

My calendula flowers did very well. I'm drying the flowers for teas and hope to make an infused oil as soon as the blossoms are completely dry. Calendula blossoms hold so much moisture so it's important to allow them to dry completely or you will have problems with mold. 

We've been enjoying blueberries, too, in the hand or baked into a blueberry nutmeg breakfast cake. The fields are teeming with wild blackberries and several pounds are already tucked away in our freezer. My future plans for blackberries include a blackberry vinegar, a minted blackberry cheesecake, and blackberry freezer jam.

Now I see our pumpkins turning orange on the vine and fat apples dangling from the trees. Autumn approaches quietly but steadily.


  1. Fun stuff, Shari. I've been wanting to come up with a zucchini pancake recipe and you've already found one. Cool. Our tomatoes are still green, but we are hopeful. I suppose the climate here is better suited for lettuce, chard, and such. Your blueberry breakfast cake looks superb. Pumpkins and apples on the way--exciting.

  2. I'm so jealous of your tomatoes! Mine were looking absolutely beautiful this year until we had a freak summer storm in the middle of the night with about an hour's worth of heavy hail. Goodbye tomatoes. I'm still hoping I can salvage some of them, but my dreams of purple tomatoes are over. :(