On Friday, I cut all the broccoli that was ready, blanched it, and quickly strained it out of the hot water and dumped it into ice water. After draining well, I packed it into quart sized freezer bags and put it in the freezer. This batch gave us five quarts of frozen broccoli. I have lots of dehydrated broccoli, but I like frozen broccoli to use as a side dish or in stir-fries and casseroles. The dehydrated broccoli works great in soups and more moist casseroles though.

The tomatoes are coming on nicely now. I’ve already started harvesting some of the best, earliest ones to save seeds from. It’s interesting as Santa Maria paste tomatoes have always been a bit late in maturing. But, this year, they’ve come in very early, just behind Farthest North cherry tomatoes and Katja (the first big slicer). We’ve found that some varieties are great at adapting to suit the climate, becoming earlier here than “normal.” Plants are so smart!

Our tomatoes are coming on nicely now. These Santa Maria paste, Red Zebra, and Farthest North are for seed saving.

Our corn is setting ears happily and our cabbage is doing great. I’m going to have to dust it with pyrethrin as I see a few holes in the leaves, indicating cabbage worms present. I like to get them before they get big and eat big holes. I’m making lots of sauerkraut and Amish coleslaw this year, as well as canning up a bunch of plain cabbage. Although “experts” say you shouldn’t can cabbage as it’s too “strong” tasting, I’ve always done it, just discarding the canning liquid and replacing it with either fresh water or milk when I heat it to serve. Very good!

The cabbages are doing well, as is our several varieties of corn.

I see I have to get out and thin the beets and rutabagas. Even though I used the Earthway seeder, they’re planted way too close. Darn. I have such a hard time getting down there to thin!

Our chokecherries are fantastic this year!

Our chokecherries are fabulous this year. The big bush in the garden has cherries so fat they look like grapes! My Mehu Liisa steam juicer will get a good workout this week! No time to make jelly so I’ll just can it up as juice and make jelly this winter when I have more time. Coming back home, I had to laugh at my little pink flamingo, peeking out through the daylilies by the front walk. He’s so cute!

I think our little flamingo looks cute peeking out of the daylilies.

— Jackie


  1. It has been raining!!! Such a huge blessing. My garden was late due to having to replant several times, so the rains are especially beneficial. I picked green beans, tomatoes and tomatillo’s this week and made salsa, salsa verde and canned a few pints of green beans. I planted mostly pole beans this year and I must say it is much easier to pick them! I’m hoping for a late fall here as a lot of my garden needs quite a bit more time. We will see. I love seeing pictures of your flowers and gardens. Prayers for your knees to continue healing and the pain lessens more each day.

    • Thank you, Marilyn. I’m glad you got some rain. We got a little, but less than a tenth of an inch. We sure could use more. Like you, I had to replant several crops, so we do need a late fall this year. I’m tickled you got to can up some goodies.

      • We get no rain in summer, here in far north California, zone 7 (foothills), and must irrigate. I’ve heard how rain, with static electricity, does absolute wonders for crops in summer. Use of coiled copper next to each plant seems to be successful to draw the static electricity.

  2. I have a kneeler/stool that I use for getting down there to thin or weed. Works good. The “legs” of the stool provide something to push on when getting up if kneeling.

    • I haven’t been able to kneel for years now. It feels like there’s broken glass in there, it hurts so much. I’ve been looking at that kneeler/stool, thinking maybe I could sit on the stool and help myself rise by using the handles on the side. Gotta check that out.

      • I use mine as a seat just fine for the 8” raised beds in the hoop houses or the pots in the green house. I had a lot of weeds in the potatoes and I used the long handle cobra head welder to bunch then and using my back brace belt bent to pinch them up every couple feet. Mostly chick weed and I learned my lesson while I was still working in town and commuting to the homestead and garden on week ends. I just laid them in the middle of the row like I used to do with the red root pig weed but the chick weed re rooted with just a light rain!

      • My youngest son had a really bad skiing fall about a decade ago. More than a dozen surgeries later he says the same thing, that it feels like glass and the knee still doesn’t work right. He had been a competitive, “X Games” kind of skier, won lots of competitions, but that one fall put an end to the whole thing. He can’t even slide gently down ski slopes any more and he’s not old, he’s in his 30’s. :(

      • And you still won’t be able to kneel. My husband’s partial won’t even let him kneel. I couldn’t understand. It’s a fake knee without nerves, for gosh sake. He said, but your skin, nerves, and muscle kneeling on top of the metal sure hurts.

  3. Love the pictures! I’m still trying to catch up after knee replacement. My 2 excellent grandsons are for with state fair and vacation. I find you are right when I over do it I have a painful night. My Flat Dutch cabbages have 10-12 inch heads and soon “kraut” time. I may have to let Father Frost kill some of the weeds. I dug all my garlic and it is bountiful. It’s amazing how much you need 2 good wheels to get things done. Slow and steady wins the race but I’m the impatient kind. Time to listen toy body and the experts. Your sweet aperitif are ripening and a bowl of these on the kitchen counter disappear. Fall is coming but I can wait.

    • It’s coming way too soon to suit us!! I saw your article on cabbage and enjoyed it so much. It made me want to go out and cut cabbage. But, mine is only about a 6″ head so I’m going to wait. We picked apples today, so I get to can them up tomorrow. Hooray.
      I’m impatient, too, which is why I get in so much trouble!! Bad Jackie. Just ask Will.

      • My orchard trees are very late ripening, even with our long summer and temps in the hundreds days in a row, many times. I don’t understand. Toms, cukes, and melons yielding very little action. Too hot for pollination. Do you cover crop during winter? I want to put in a fall garden, but hard to cover crop when still growing produce. Here in far north California, Poison oak is first to turn red, signaling fall, but in early August?! Ridiculous!

  4. What a beautiful garden you’re showing. I can’t imagine what EVERY garden you have would look like. Blessings on you for all of your inspiration. I am trying to improve. I had provider green beans that I bought the seed from you. I have canned some, canned tomatoes and stewed tomatoes, made salsa, bread and butter pickles that were given to me along with kosher dills. Peaches and more green beans were given to us. I bought beets to can and had cabbage from my garden to can coleslaw. Peppers are really doing great. Praying for the apples and pears to hang on and ripen as the spray planes got them last year when the neighbor had his pasture sprayed. God is good always and I thank Him for using you and yours.

    • God IS good! No matter what crop fails us, He never does. It seems like there’s always an abundance of other things that make up for any failures. I love harvest time!! Nothing looks better than jars, right out of the canner, cooling on the kitchen counter.

  5. lol.. the flamingo looks quite sneaky.
    Dug some taters for a friend and the Pontiac Reds are huge this year. Better half did an excellent job of mounding which I think really helped. Tomatoes are ripening one at a time which means soon we’ll have them coming out of our ears.
    Found out the last corn we bought is grown amongst hay fields (large farm – hay is the only crop they grow besides some sweet corn). Hopefully that (and may there be a lot soy bean fields) decreases some of the GMO drift.
    Already scheming next year’s garden (and thinning out the strawberry patch – tis been a fertile year for runners). Will re-home the plants with a neighbor who is working on her patch.
    I know you use lots of “poo” but we have more leaves than “poo”. Thinking about getting a leaf shredder as I think it would be easier to spread in the strawberry patch. Cleaning leaves out of the patch is a pain (and there will still be some in there as I can’t control where they blow).
    Dang, fall is really just around the corner. Has been a beautiful summer here – a short stint of hot weather. Could have used a bit more rain but no where near any type of drought conditions.

    • I bought a Worx leaf shredder in 2012 and I love it! It’s not heavy so I can move it around easily and it does a fabulous job of shredding leaves. We probably do about 40-50 contractor-size black plastic bags of leaf mulch every year and the Worx keeps chugging along. Swapping out the shredding line is quick and easy too and a couple of screws will let the motor drop out for cleaning the dust out at the end of the season. It is a corded electric machine so you’ll need a good extension cord, but I’d highly recommend it.

      We have a gas-powered shredder/chipper we got from my uncle and it’s really powerful, but a little heavy for me to manage. Plus it has one of those pull-cord starts which I always have trouble with.

    • In the past, I used tons of leaves to help improve my garden. They are wonderful. But, here, we have mostly pine so don’t use leaves much any more. The manure does have more nitrogen though. And not as many weed seeds!! You win some; you lose some.

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