Morning progress, and a critter visitor

So, yesterday ended up being quite a bit of a write off for me.

After I finished posting yesterday, I was going to sterilize some jars and make pickles. I was falling asleep at the computer, however, so I decided to take a short nap, first.

I woke up more than 3 hours later, wasting most of my day.

I did get some work done outside, while it was still light enough. This included raking up the nicely dried grass clippings from a few days ago. I was able to finish mulching the popcorn, and start mulching on either side of the sweet corn. The mulch is as much for next year, as it is to help the plants growing now. I was able to give the berry bushes a thorough watering, as well as the nearby trellises, but not much more than that. By the time I went inside, not only was I still frustrated by how far behind I am getting, but was getting a headache and actually felt ready to go back to bed!

So my daughters, sweethearts that they are, headed out at first light to do a few things before heading to bed for the day. Among other things, the Korean Pine got a deep watering. They also got a first coat of paint on the bed frame that my brother left for us when we moved in here.

It was actually built by one of my nephews. It came in very handy as a platform for hardening off our seedlings. I kept it covered with a tarp, but it’s been outside ever since, and I don’t want it to get water damaged. After it’s been painted, it’s going to go back into the basement, where it will be used as a platform for litter boxes, so if the basement ever does get wet like it did this spring again, the cats won’t be stuck using litter boxes in the middle of a damp concrete floor! We’ll put something under the legs to raise it off the floor slightly, to protect the legs from damp beyond what the paint will do.

One of my daughters sent me a picture of something they found when they first came out of the sun room.

Our province has 4 types of snakes.

This isn’t any of them.

Normally, the only snakes we ever see are garter snakes. There are two types that live here, but we tend to see only the red sided garter snake. The other two types look completely different, and I’ve never seen them before. As a child, however, I have seen a brown snake like this, a couple of times. Once, it got into the house and my poor mother flipped right out. They were both very tiny and slender. This one looks absolutely beefy in comparison. It kind of looks like the Red Bellied snake native to another province, except there’s no sign of a red belly that can be seen in the picture.

We like snakes. They eat slugs and other garden pests, so we try to protect them as much as possible. I’ve seen all of 2 garter snakes this year, and they were crossing the road both times. I suspect our horrible did a number of their population. In September, they start going back to their dens for the winter, so I hope we will see more of them.

I harvested from the garden yesterday, but today I grabbed some of the ripest tomatoes.

The under ripe ones we picked before are fully ripe now. There isn’t enough of the Cup of Moldova tomatoes to make yet, though. They will be cooked down to about a quarter of their volume, and with what we have so far, I’d end up with maybe 2 or 3 of my little half-pint jars full.

So I went over all the Cup of Moldova tomatoes we have so far, and put the good ones in the freezer. I’ll keep adding more to the bin they’re in until it’s almost full, and then I’ll have enough to work on making tomato paste and canning it.

It seems like we were growing SO many tomatoes this year, and yet I’m realizing that we actually aren’t growing that much at all! At least not for what we want to use them for. Mind you, the chocolate cherry tomatoes aren’t even ready yet, and the yellow pear tomatoes are still just starting to ripen, but when it comes to canning and preserving enough to supply us until the next harvest, we could easily double how many we plant.

Next year, we’ll be shooting for an even bigger garden! 😄 The good thing is, we do have the luxury of space, even if we do have to do massive reclamation to use it.

Little by little, it’ll get done!

The Re-Farmer

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