Week in Pictures

A whole packet of amaranth seeds = 1 plant. And it’s maybe 6″ tall, unlike the 7′ the packet advertised. Hmm.
Another attempt at photographing bees as they gather pollen from our sunflowers – we call them their little “panniers” 🙂 Something very zen about just standing out there watching them work.
Bee balm still going strong, or “alien flowers” as we affectionately call them.
My gift of love to my husband from the garden? 3 quarts (I ran out of pint jars – d’oh!) of garlic dill pickles (recipe from The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving). I only like sweet pickles and detest the smell of dill so let me tell you, I kinda rock for making these 🙂
Our first habanero just starting to ripen.
So the north side of our house, with the awful beast of the new 3 story “tall skinny” house now jammed up against the fence (collective UGH!), we have been experimenting with different plants as we watched the amount of shade (or light I guess, as we’ve had surprisingly more sun than we’d predicted, since the wood reflects it onto the plants compared to the old laurel which had this side of the property like a dark forest). Fuschias and ferns up against the house? Awesome. Relocated huckleberry bushes? Transplanted successfully but the heat wave arrived just as the berries were forming so we didn’t get any fruit. Clematis? So-so (not dead, not thriving). Sunflowers? Well, I didn’t plant the tall one you see and it’s over 8′ tall (I can see it out my office window and it occasionally freaks me out since it changes direction to follow the sun), and the other one as you can see got so huge it’s become the gatekeeper of sorts. It’s soooo pretty I can’t bear to move it, but I know tonight the squirrels et all will feast on it.
As I like to celebrate a new recruiting contract with a little goodie for myself, I found this Ball FreshTECH Electric Water Bath Canner online for $120 (cheaper than Amazon who I no longer buy from)
As I like to celebrate a new recruiting contract with a little goodie for myself, I found this Ball FreshTECH Electric Water Bath Canner online for $120 (cheaper than Amazon who I no longer buy from). There’s a newer digital fancy pants one that goes for well over $200 but really? Beyond the cost, I don’t need a digital timer built-in or preprogrammed recipes. This thing allows me to do my canning right by the sink and just pull the faucet hose over to fill it, and has a plug where I can drain it at the end (although that’ll be a rarity as I always use the cooled water for plants). But the biggest thing was space, as old fashioned canning pots are just too big for my stove so it was always hard to cook up the foods that went in the cans. Last year I switched to a stockpot and canned outside, but that made quart canning take FOREVER and the overflowing of boiling water due to filling it nearly to the brim (stockpots just aren’t as deep as I thought when you include the rack) was annoying. This one is SO awesome, and…it also doubles as a slow cooker. Aww hell yeah!
Now this made me happy – experimented over by the garage/shed with toad lilies and the first blooms are here – they are teeny tiny (this is about 1 1/2″ wide) but so trippy, don’t you agree?
Striped Roma tomatoes happy as can be. Dealing with some blossom end rot but so far not as bad as last year. This year? Mice and squirrels going after them as they turn red – they take one bite them dump ’em. AAAAH! Anyone got any suggestions beyond netting and traps?

3 thoughts on “Week in Pictures

  1. I will have to check out that canner. Unable to stand at the stove canning is a very dangerous thing for me as it’s so easy to get burned trying to do any big cooking or canning on the stove. This I could set on a table that is low enough to safely use.

    All new construction around here has to be within so many feet of another property’s line which would make that house next to you an illegal build and would never have been approved. I think it’s five feet from the property line. Older homes are grandfathered in but should one be torn down they would have to abide by the new zoning regs. I feel for you having a house so close to you.


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