Taming the Wild

After three weeks away, I returned to the wonderous and wild place we call home.

After Vermont I must admit, everything seemed a bit dry and dusty, but thanks to the drip irrigation and caring eye of our house sitter (thanks Dad), the garden has grown and thrived in my absence; becoming a wild place almost beyond my reach.  I have spent the week pruning back those tomatoes, quite contented at the fruit set… My great experiment in tomatoes growing will be if I can grow and can all my family’s tomato needs for the year.  Last year I bought & canned 80lbs of second(mushy) tomatoes from a farmer friend and my hope is this year I will have the 80lbs myself (Yes, that is A LOT of tomatoes!!) but right now I am down to 2 pints of red sauce and 6 half pints of Ketchup from lasts years preserves, so it looks like 80lbs was NOT too much for this family!!

I am also cleaning the garlic I harvested and put to cure before we left..

11lbs of hard neck and 2lbs soft neck, sorting our seed for next year (the biggest and bestest) then the ones to use right away (any damaged, opened, or mushy) then of course the rest for use throughout the year… I will be curious to see, how much garlic this household needs for one year? Will 13lbs be enough (we eat a lot of garlic!)? Then of course peeling and processing that garlic to make Pesto with the 1lb of basil I picked–(which made almost 1 dozen half pints of Frozen Pesto) and that is just the beginning– (PS I will trade Basil for ANYTHING!!)

There is also choke cherries to pick, the plums & apricots to process, herbs to dry, and oh yeah the fall garden to plant.  Maybe I am not Taming the wild at all!! Should be an exciting month as I watch the Cucumbers plump up for pickles and the potatoes swell underground, I am sure glad to be home and unscheduled to reap these bountiful harvests and pray for rain!