Monday, June 30, 2008

Working in the garden today

Lots to do in the garden today! Our corn is spent and Ryan got out there and pulled it all up for me (ok, I *bribed* him to do it) so we can plant our pumpkin patch!

We have three varieties of pumpkins to plant this year, Big Max, Prizewinner Hybrid, and Jack-O-Lantern. Danny and JP are so excited to get out there and plant! Prizewinner Hybrid and Big Max are the super huge exhibition variety with fruits getting as big 300 pounds! JP is determined to grow a monster pumpkin this year...we'll see how it goes! I spent the better part of the morning pulling up small weeds and hand tilling the soil to get it ready.
I also pulled up my cucumber plants. They were mostly spent and we were getting some really scrawny cukes. So up they came, trellis and all, and I think I'll make a second planting of them.
Cukes grow super fast during the hot summers, so I think I'll be able to get another harvest by late August.
All this plant debris is going to be great for my compost pile!
By next spring I'll have quite a bit of organic matter to put right back into the garden! It really is amazing how quickly this stuff breaks down!
We also did some harvesting of figs this weekend. My figs are ready and my globe-trotting sister is away in Israel! Who's going to help me process all this fruit?
I didn't quite have enough for strawberry-fig preserves (like my mom used to make!) so I decided to make some fig kolaches instead! We live in a heavily populated Czech community and I absolutely love fruit kolaches! I'm going to have to buddy up with little old ladies from the church so they can show me their secrets! I used this recipe for the dough and then just cooked the figs with a couple of tablespoons of raw sugar and the zest and juice of one lemon.
They turned out really good, even the kids ate them! If you end up using the recipe be sure to flatten out the dough quite a bit, these guys have enormous oven spring!
Then there are the peppers. I have hot peppers coming out my ears so I'm off to Walmart for pickling salts to put up some pints today.
Please, somebody remind me next year that I do not need six jalapeno pepper plants...two will do just fine!
I love working in my garden, I really do! But after all of this I'm kinda looking forward to going to work at the hospital for the next two days....Seriously!

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