Blackberry Pork Chops

I’ve been helping out our hockey team after work, and let me tell you, it’s kind of amazing.  Not even kind of, it IS amazing.  It’s been incredibly rewarding, and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity.  And the added oomph to my sweet sock line.

It hasn’t been leaving as much time for homesteading, though, as I originally anticipated.  Things are still looking great, thanks in large part to JGL, and we’re still cranking out veggies (there are still tons of green tomatoes hanging out, and we have a small forest of jalapenos just waiting for me to dream up something to do with it).  But unfortunately I don’t have a whole lot of fabulous new updates for you.

BUT, we did have a fabulous dinner tonight–rosemary-pecan encrusted pork chops with a blackberry-vinegar reduction.  And some asparagus.  And some beans that JGL found buried under some of our marigolds.  Not bad for a Monday!

Tomato flowers and beans galore

We just returned from a glorious weekend in Lexington (and a HUGE thanks to the T family for taking us in yet again–we soo love visiting with you all!), and I was thrilled upon our return today to see that not only had our tomato plants up front had started to flower, but our green beans and burgundy beans had long, slender fruit hanging from the plants.  I’m thinking that by the end of the week we’ll be able to have a delicious and fresh beans for dinner.

 

 

Cutting Back: Part 3

Shifting gears when you have a well laid plan is something I admittedly struggle with, especially when I really have a vision of what I want.

And I can vividly see our back forty with the perfectly raised beds, beautiful and healthy plants thriving in the soil, no weeds anywhere, and a beautifully rigged water barrel to keep all those healthy plants watered during the dry patches we’re inevitably going to have this summer.

It’s really quite beautiful up in my head.

What I didn’t foresee was that we’d have a monsoon season this spring rendering our tiller (and the neighbor’s best discing efforts) useless.  It’s a giant mud pile that still needs some desperate crab grass control, and it’s leaving us with two options.  1)  Throw caution to the wind and plant, plant, plant which will mean weeds, weeds, weeds galore come June, or 2)  Shift gears.

We’re choosing the latter.  Until we can get back and do the leg work that we really need to, we’re cutting back on the original gardening plan, and focusing on the side kitchen garden and the front flower beds.  The side garden is going to get re-dedicated to tomatoes and salsa making plants, and then we’re going to incorporate beans, cucumbers, and squashes into the front flower beds.  I’m hoping this edible landscaping will allow us to not only create something beautiful, but also still grow enough produce to can, freeze, and preserve.

State of the Garden

This weekend really only consisted of staking and weeding.  But good golly what a weekend of just those two things can do!

It’s looking good, folks;  I hate to even say it, but the vast majority of the weeds are out, and everything that needs to be staked is up and running.  As we get closer to being out of town, the garden is getting closer to having a neighbor coming in and be able to determine what needs to be picked, and what is ok to stay.

We’re excited, though.  Almost all of the tomato plants have some sort of fruit on them (and those with blossom rot have been picked off), the corn is growing in leaps and bounds, and any of the beans that are left over probably won’t even flower until we get back.

It’s not perfect, by any standards, but I think JGL and I have a whole tickler list of things that we want to note for next year:  what worked well, what didn’t, and things to remember for the next summer.

In the meantime, though, we’re very grateful for what we do have, and for the harvest we’ll have in a few weeks time!