I’ve been gone a lot recently. I’ve been down to Ohio to stay with my recovering mother; been to the fair(!) – an all-day event, to watch the Draft Pulls; been to Traverse City for the weekend to cheer on my Honey Pie, his father, sister, friend, and our oldest boy JJ in this year’s Traverse City Triathlon. In the midst of my spate of travels I’ve nervously expected my tomatoes and peppers to rot on the vine, but mercifully they’ve held off.
Slicing vegetables really isn’t on my list of favorite things to do. But I sliced with gleeful, giddy abandon tonight as I put away $15 worth of red peppers in the freezer. They will make bully fajitas and Texas Beef Sandwiches this winter! It makes so much of the frustration of my poor past gardens worth every bit of painful trying.
The weather was 58-degrees as we traveled under overcast skies this afternoon on our way home from grocery shopping in the nearest small city, an hour northwest. We’ve had to cover the tomatoes, melons, and peppers with sheets for the night to keep the cold from stunting their ripening. I believe the hot peppers are ripe enough to pick when we start canning salsa during the remainder of the week.
But there is so much to do, and I am so far behind. I’ve lost half of July and much of August – that couldn’t be helped. And this week we needed to start the new school year. That always takes time to get acclimated to the new schedule, new subjects, heavier course load. But the strawberry beds badly need renovating … and watering. And Danny’s enormous Big Beef tomato plants have taken over the garden like pumpkins or zucchini usually do! That is what we get for starting them in January! But at least we will get oodles of tomatoes this year!
I love the learning each year brings. Yes, there are challenges. There have been so many disappointments, so many startings-over. But it is a lovely thing. I wish you all as happy gardening and happy preserving as I have had this year!