Sunday, August 03, 2008

On the Way Out

We are about to head out of town for the mountains of North Carolina. Son is going to spend the week at the same camp he went to last year, where they grow 75% of their own food and where I went when I was a girl. David and I are renting a cabin about a mile away--where we will knit without interruption, read without interruption, and talk without interruption. And anything else we can think of. (Any suggestions?)

* * *

Leaving gardens at the beginning of August is insane. In order to prepare, we did a sweep and picked everything fruiting--whether it was ripe or not.

This photo, taken by our Son, is called "The Back"--in honor of the little postage stamp of native soil you see as well as the view of Papa's bottom:

We picked an enormous amount given how small the plots are. Here is a wee sampling:

The lemon cukes are delicious and beautiful.

* * *

After harvesting, we put up food like we were preparing for the winter in one weekend.

We made 8 half-pints of peach jam, 3 quarts of dried tomatoes, and and 4 pints of bread-and-butter cucumbers from seconds we picked up on the farm tour. We sheared all our basil and made pesto to freeze. We dried our hot peppers (which we will grind later), and put aside another quart of dried mint for tea.

Then this morning's post-garden haul: 10 pints of green tomato pickle, 3 pints of pickled green beans, 4 pints of bread-and-butter zucchini, and 4 pints of pickled lemon cukes (seasoned with lemon verbena).

I'm so sick of that steaming-hot canner--but I love looking at the colorful jars we produced today!

* * *

Local lunch in the midst of all of this preserving, eaten while we were too preoccupied to take pictures:

We sauteed loose sausage from "our" farm with the first of our baby eggplants, some zucchini, and a tomato. Simple--but perfectly sustaining.


Red said...

Due to my back surgery, I was unable to do any garden this year, but I think fixing my back was a wee bit more important. There is always next year.

And my sister did the same thing you are doing. She just dropped off both her girls for camp, but it was the younger ones first time at camp, so she is staying at a campground closeby, so just in case.

Hope you have a good time.

Mouse said...

You have a very pretty back garden! I've never been to NC but I hope you have a lovely time!
I've never seen or eaten lemon cucumbers.. are they different in taste from a 'normal' cuke? just curious.

Francesca said...

My father in law was just talking about his lemon cucumbers, and it was the first time I'd heard of them -- then I see them again here! They look lovely. Are they sweeter than normal cukes?

I hope you have a lovely week.

Carrie K said...

I think knitting, reading and talking without interruption for a week just about covers it.

The garden should be fine. Have anyone watering it?

Have fun! It sounds wonderful.

The Purloined Letter said...

Lemon cukes taste about like other cucumbers--but I would say that the skin doesn't get tough nearly as quickly as many other varieties do. Some people say they are crisper or slightly tart, or fresher and slightly sweet--but it at least isn't a huge difference in taste. I have not done a taste test. When we get back to Takoma Park, I'll test them out!


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