July 5, 2013

first harvest

We've had a somewhat dismal summer in terms of sunshine. I'm not really complaining, I know most of the country is broiling and we are still at the blissful highs mostly in the 70's stage of summer, which is nice but boy is it wet. The lack of sun, the lack of dry days where we can get out and take down the trees that are blocking the little sun we are getting in the garden and the crazy (CRAZY) amounts of rain mean that our garden, instead of providing the vast amounts of vegetables and herbs for eating and preserving that I dreamed about this winter, is waterlogged and looking a little sad. The only thing rocketing along are the potatoes, maybe I should have just planted potatoes.

The rain has also washed away much of the local strawberry harvest. Picking started late and ended abruptly less than two weeks later. My mom and I went out on the (surprisingly sunny) last day that any strawberry farm within driving distance was open for picking and brought home 17 pounds of berries. They aren't as sweet as I'd like, what can you expect when they didn't get much sun, and I had to go with full strength pectin instead of lemon juice or low sugar pectin because I worried about getting it to set, but an evening of topping, chopping, mashing and cooking and we are stocked for the year with 18 jars of ruby red strawberry jam. The jam shelf in my make shift-basement stair landing pantry (it's on the project list to expand the couple of shelves into a much bigger, nicer pantry soon) is half full as the strawberry joined the rest of the marmalade and a few jars of apple butter from the fall. I love seeing bursting with mason jar pantry shelves. I suspect that if I want to keep filling up my shelves with home canned goodies I'll be doing more pick-your-own and farmers market buying instead of picking from my garden, but oh well. All that rain keeps it green here, right?