With Tom’s job (always busy, but more lately it seems, he’s rarely home before 8 in the evening) and my classes this term (which include chemistry and statistics and are, frankly, causing me no small amount of stress), and then of course our lovely Japanese exchange student staying with us for nine days, and the start of school for the kids and all that entails including after school activities, plus the outside-of-school activities beginning again, plus Adam got a job (at a French bakery! making pastries and breads!), plus all the social stuff for both kids…. well, let’s just say it’s been a busy couple of weeks. Tom and I make a list every week of everything that needs doing in the garden; we start recording things Monday, and as the week grows the list grows, and then on the weekends we race to get it all done, and oh yeah, maybe do something fun like take a walk or go to a movie or, like, get some sushi.
Not this weekend. It’s been full-bore from Friday afternoon (I got going early) and will continue into tomorrow. Our bubbler fountain, the water source for thousands of bees and hundreds of birds and who knows what else, started acting weird. About every five years Tom takes it apart, mostly, and makes sure everything is running smoothly. But this time he decided to really take it down to the hole we dug for the pond liner, and found all kinds of things worn out and misshapen and eroded. So, he’s buying a bunch of replacement stuff (it’s lasted 15 years, so not bad) and putting it all back together again, but better. He’s taking lots of pictures and he’ll be writing about it tomorrow I think, because we’ve had so many people ask how we built that thing. Now we’ll have real data to show you so you can build one too, if you like.
Meanwhile I’ve been getting all sorts of things done. I dehydrated Hungarian peppers and made paprika. I dehydrated chili peppers and started the annual jar of chili flakes. I picked every ripe cherry tomato off the vines and Tom made tomato sauce for the freezer, along with our dinner last night. I picked every ripe sweet bell pepper and am roasting them up for the freezer, as well as providing some for our dinner tonight. Tom picked all the ripe cucumbers and made several jars of pickles. I planted more lettuce and planted some snap peas in with the edamame that I planted last week. I planted some perennials in some bare spots in our pollinator gardens - Verbena ‘de la Mina’ and coreopsis and helianthum and salvia. I scattered more annual seed. I potted up all of the seedlings in the greenhouse; they include cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, and beets. I reseeded cilantro for the hundredth time (or maybe it just seems that way). I cleared out a bunch of dead stuff and added it to my compost pile, as well as some leaves my mother was kind enough to collect from her garden and bring over (thanks Mom!). I turned the pile, too. I put a piece of cardboard under every squash and pumpkin so that they won’t get rotten in the dirt, or eaten from below. I fertilized all the container plants. I hacked back the passionflower vine that is taking over our garden, one innocent tendril at a time.
Tomorrow, more of the same. I’m going to rake up magnolia leaves and add them to the compost pile, and save some for next Friday when I pick up more fruit/veg pulp. I’m gonna help Tom get the fountain running again. The kids are going to make whoopie pies (a Boegel favorite). I’d like to cut more herbs for drying and I need to pick beans.
I need to tell you about the Grapefruit Spoon Trick. The other day, I was watching some guy on YouTube getting his peppers ready for stuffing and baking; he was using a grapefruit spoon to take out the seeds and ribs. I immediately paused and went to order grapefruit spoons on Amazon. I’ve never needed one before - I’m the only person in the house who likes grapefruit and I just peel them and eat them like oranges. But lemme tell you - the spoon is PERFECT for the peppers, especially those little hot ones that have a million seeds that I don’t want to touch with my hands. You must try it!
I imagine all of you are having similar busy weekends. Some of you might be changing your gardens over to the winter incarnations. In which case, I salute you, that’s a hard weekend’s work! It’ll be my turn soon enough!
Happy September, everyone!