We are relieved to be back at the homestead. Mike said he was glad to have rest from his firewood project, and I’m glad to step into peace and quiet once again. As far as the smoke is concerned (rated unhealthy to hazardous), I’m not sure it’s better here than in town. They say it should begin to clear out today (Friday), but as wildfires continue to burn and the air remains still, I wonder what will make that happen.
|Smoke to the north|
I recently read an article about fall gardening. Yes, it can be done, they assure me, and yet, I’ve tried before and failed. As summer comes to a close, signaled by obviously shorter days if not cooler temps, I find myself a bit weary of the water-carrying drill. But – I have a few spinach seeds and a few carrot seeds and maybe I’ll plant them if I can find the space.
|A stray beet in the midst of cherry tomatoes|
And lack of garden space can be the issue if your summer garden is still producing. That’s my dilemma, especially since I’m allowing the two small pumpkins to rest and mature in my big tire. On the other hand, the cherry tomatoes are still setting on and the zucchini I planted early in August is just beginning to bear, so maybe I actually have a fall garden in spite of myself.
And speaking of zucchini, last month I bought three from Albertsons because I was hungry for my zucchini mélange. Boy! That was the bitterest stuff! This happened once before and I blamed it on the green pepper, but this time I researched to find that yes indeed, zucchini can be bitter, just as cucumbers can be bitter. How disappointing! I wonder if that bitterness comes through in zucchini bread.
|Smoke to the south|
As I’ve said before, I’m not a good gardener. To me, gardening is a little about skill and a whole lot about luck, especially in this dry place with deer. And in the fall, there are a lot of variables that affect luck. Will the season be long and hot? Or, will there be a sudden freeze that brings it to a halt? The growing season at Gilbert is longer than in Grandma’s day, when freezes could occur in May and again in August. But she had more summer rain.
Oh! And the pears. Every August I would buy a box of pears for drying at our local produce market, but they closed last year. I suppose I could buy a box at a grocery store – or maybe Costco? -- but we have an old pear tree in the back yard, which Mike encourages me to pick. The challenge is to ripen them successfully. I picked a washtub full on Monday (Labor Day) and left them in the fridge. Again, I’m not a pro, and the ripening process seems to be affected by variables, such as when you pick and the temperature and length of storage. Sister Harriet said she tried only once and was forever through with picking pears.
|Bess awaits the next adventure|
Last Friday (Sept. 1), I took down the hummingbird feeders and put them away. It appeared that we were serving just two hummers, and the storm on Wednesday (Aug. 30) convinced them to move on. KW