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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Friday, June 30, 2006


All last week my gardening was done in fits and snatches with some of the produce getting too mature and having to be tossed. But this week I am pretty much on top of things and have gathered and put up (in the freezer) some squash and okra. I say that I put the stuff up because that is one of my many petty chores around the place. The squash has to be cut up, blanched and put in quart-sized Zip-loc freezer bags before being put in its icy place of waiting for later consumption.

The okra is cut up on oven trays, heated to curb the maturation process, bagged and also put in frozen confinement. So far the tally is 9 quarts of squash and 4 of okra. The prep for freezing is time consuming but worth it at time of consumption later in the year when the garden has long crashed and wilted.

The blueberries are now ripening and I have picked a little over a gallon of those – to be eaten fresh and/or frozen as well. These berries are such a treat, especially in deep winter when the price of most fruit is confiscatory and not very tasty either.

The cucumbers have been producing as well but a problem has developed with one or more deer concerning these. It seems that a certain deer has a real taste for cucumber leaves and munched about a third of them off. Of course this puts somewhat of a dent in the cucumber production of those particular plants. Haven’t seen evidence of missing leaves in about a week, hopefully Bambi found something else to have for a snack.

The animal also munched the leaves off of one okra plant but evidently did not find it to its liking since no more were bothered. Okra contact, when I cut the pods, makes my hands and arms itch, so maybe the deer got an itchy mouth for its trouble – I would consider that poetic justice.

The tomatoes are also giving forth its fruit and these have been used in salads. Several of the plants have been lost to some sort of plant disease – had to pull up three more yesterday. The plants didn’t actually die but were stunted with brown splotches on the leaves and the fruit looks weird – so out they came and were dumped on the burn pile.

The veggie garden is producing very well but am I running slack in the kind of spiritual fruit I should be bearing? Fruit like my character, my conduct, my contributions (to God and others), proper communication and winning converts to Jesus Christ. My spiritual garden probably needs some weeding. ec


Blogger Jayleigh said...

Ohhhhh home grown tomaters!!!!! I miss them so! They won't be around here until August. **sigh**

Enjoy the fruits of your labor.

6/30/2006 11:54:00 PM  
Blogger Granny said...

We used to do so much canning and later freezing when I was a child. Nothing has tasted that good since. There's something about the change of seasons I believe that makes produce taste better (even though we grow far more out here).

My blog, she is fixed.

7/01/2006 12:27:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

jayleigh - Those from the store, especially in the winter, can't even come close to these from my garden. We are enjoying all the veggies - the work is worth it.

granny - I remember my Mom canning when I was a young sprout. The only thing I have ever canned was a few pickles and some preserves. Now I freeze everything. ec

7/01/2006 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger Granny said...

Thanks for the comment and the good wishes.

7/01/2006 01:20:00 PM  
Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I am glad you are basically in control of your garden. My yard is out of my control. With two lawn mowers having been stolen from my garage and no money to replace them, I feel the grass and weeds and volunteer trees are taking over. My #2 son, freshly moved here from New Mexico, was going to use his mom’s lawn mower to cut my grass last weekend; then he found an apartment and the opportunity to escape his mother’s house and spent his time off moving. I do not blame him!

7/01/2006 11:41:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

granny - You are welcome and I appreciate your responses.

SSN - My garden control is a bit loose at times but I muddle through. The lawn is another matter, since I wouldn't care much if it went to the au natural side. But then there are the gentle (?) reminders of the Spice about the grass. :) ec.

7/02/2006 10:10:00 PM  
Blogger Granny said...

Thanks for the comment. Pizza microwaves nicely and they've breakfasted on it more than once.

As fast food goes, it's one of the more nutritious.

7/02/2006 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Thanks for visiting, but we haven't had any red tomatoes yet.

I also didn't know you could freeze squash...Does that go for crooked neck summer squash? How do you prepare it for freezing? I would love to be able to eat it in the winter.

I moved to Kentucky in 1962...we just missed each other.

7/03/2006 12:52:00 AM  
Blogger itsboopchile said...

With so much you do around the home, how do you find so much time to tend to your blog and read so many others!!!
Maybe I'm just slow, but you seem to accomplish so much!!

See you, Betty G

7/03/2006 01:22:00 AM  
Blogger Lis said...

There is nothing like home grown produce. I don't know how many jars of peaches, pickles and strawberry jam I've preserved over the years, but it never seems to be enough!!! And frozen blueberries are one of my favorite snacks!!!
Hope you continue to enjoy the fruits of ALL your labours!

PS. A friend of mine who had trouble with deer invading her garden planted some marigolds around her most treasured crops. Apparently deer are not fond of the smell of that particular flower.Smart animals!

7/03/2006 02:43:00 AM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Mr Eddie ~~ Your garden sounds terrific. Here we are into Winter so I only have a patch of Broad Beans, yum
and some peas just coming up and a few
onions. Will be good to get tomatos,
capsicums (bell peppers) etc in but we
have strong frosts here, so will be
a few months. Always have silver-beet.
Thanks for your concern for Kathy.
Take care, Merle.

7/03/2006 06:47:00 AM  
Blogger Buffy said...

Growing up we had acres and acres of blackberry fields. On toward the end of summer we were sent out with our buckets to collect them. THere were four of us and it would take a good few days...all day.

I hated it. More than anything.

Now I'd give anything to have fields full of berries.

The things you don't appreciate... :)

7/03/2006 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

granny - Don't remember having pizza for breakfast but I have had leftover banana pudding - it's very nutritious as well. :)

AIP - We have been picking a few tomatoes for a couple of weeks. My method of freezing squash is to cut them in slices, put them in boiling water for a couple of minutes, let them drain and cool, bag them up and put them in the freezer. We usually have some all winter. I worked in Kentucky from Nov. 1962 until May 1963.

boopchile - Having a lot to do keeps me out of trouble. :)

lis - The home grown veggies just taste so much better to me. I had some marigolds planted in the next row but they had not started to bloom at that time. They are blooming now, maybe that explains why the deer haven't been back?

merle - We just grow a few types of veggies that we enjoy the most. I haven't grown any in years, but I do like the little snow peas that grow in the cold.

buffy - Blackberries are yummy but I don't like fighting the thorns much. I have planted a couple of the thornless varieties and they do fairly well. ec

7/03/2006 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Tim Rice said...

It sounds like you have quite a garden which means lots of fresh, delicious food. You mentioned blueberries - they are one of my most favorite fruits to eat either with my cereal for breakfast or just by themselves. Blessings.

7/04/2006 05:39:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

tim rice - The blueberries have started getting ripe with a vengence - the tally is now 35 quart Zip-Loc bags in the freezer, 15 of them were placed there on the 4th. I eat them almost every day, mostly in cereal but sometimes with vanilla ice cream. ec

7/05/2006 12:21:00 AM  
Blogger Bonita said...

I would love to see okra growing. However, I've only eaten it once. That was enough...

7/06/2006 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

bonita - Okra grows fairly tall - late in the season it can go over 6 feet. The leaves are large and look similar to those of its cousins, hibiscus and cotton. The flowers are a creamy white and pretty showy but don't last long. The tiny pod follows, pushing the remains of the flower out of the way as it grows. Not everyone likes okra, I just happen to be one of the ones that do - and prepared any way. ec

7/07/2006 11:25:00 AM  
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