It’s been a busy week, I made it to the farmer’s market but not early enough to get what I wanted. I did meet some new people I will continue to do business with. All the vegetables were sold out by the time I got there with the exception of some mixed salad greens and pickling cucumbers. I did pick up some jack cheese from a local farmer and then splurged on homemade zucchini cookies and maple peanuts.
When approaching Jan from the local Hurry Hill Farm, she immediately offered me some maple cotton candy. I know cotton candy is a favorite of many, but I have always found it to be disgusting in taste and texture. Until this week I have always been able to shift the attention to another person when offered her maple cotton candy. But this week I was out of luck. Imagine my surprise when I found I loved the stuff!
I knew they operated a Maple Museum on the property as well, but didn’t realize how many activities they had in the museum including special ones for young children. Can’t wait to take the grand-kids there.
The woman who sold me the zucchini cookies also has a craft business in which she sells embroidery floss and yarns. She has even found a way to beat Wal-mart’s “low-prices” and those of the larger craft stores, so I have a new business to purchase my craft supplies when needed. In addition her store also has a meeting space where people can gather to visit while working on projects. I love seeing more and more individuals add a social aspect to their business.
There was still an hour left to the market when I finally arrived, but it was late enough that the chicken, berries, and all other produce had been sold out! I will definitely make sure to get there earlier next week.
Arriving home, I shared the zucchini cookies with a couple neighbors, made a salad with the greens and the jack cheese, along with other veggies I had available still in my fridge. Today I shared the cheese with my son and DIL, who helped finish off the block I purchased, so I guess I will need to purchase a larger block next week, or maybe just buy them a block to take home.
Checking out the garden it was time to take action against the worms eating my cabbages. I headed out to the local farm and garden center and purchased lime, I never knew there were so many varieties of lime before. The owner was impressed that I hadn’t come looking for a chemical alternative. He informed me that while he carried the chemicals it was only to stay in business, but that he keeps trying to get people to try the more natural deterrents. He said he is no longer surprised when the customers who have arrived to buy a chemical treatment ask him if the lime is safe to use on plants. Hello, they come to buy chemicals believing they are safe, but question a natural alternative?
More neighbors are coming out to help in the gardens and seating area. One neighbor loaned me a saw to cut down the dead sumac trees, then came over to assist. My grandson who is 3 was also there to help and had a blast sawing and hauling out the dead felled trees and branches.
Another neighbor arrived with a dolly and a large rock that he thought we could use to name our seating area. Names are being discussed and should have a decision soon. Another neighbor has donated paints to use on the rock. I have fallen for a blue hydrangea plant I can’t talk myself out of adding to the seating area, so will be heading out to purchase it soon. So far we have wildflower seeds purchased by one neighbor growing, marigolds from another, and black eyed susans I put in.
After only two days, the lime is working well, I have found no further damage from the worms. Just when I thought I could finally stop wondering if I would ever get my crop, today I spotted workers digging up the area around my garden. Turns out there is a problem with the water lines underground, and need replaced. I asked the plumber if he needed to remove the garden bed, and if so would he give me enough time to remove the plants and try to save them. He informed me he and his wife had a garden as well and he would work around the garden, leaving it undisturbed. I was very relieved to learn he too gardens and understands the importance of homegrown foods.
Any way, we have harvested our first crop of red potatoes, have a few tomatoes nearly ready to pick, the beans and peas are coming along slowly, the carrots are struggling, the cantaloupes want to take over their entire bed, the strawberries are spouting new berries (now that the chipmunks can’t get to them) and a couple of the cabbages are close to enjoying.
How are your gardens coming? Do you have too many tomatoes yet? Here is a recipe from my grandmother to use up green tomatoes if you try it I’d enjoy hearing what you thought of it:
Tomato Mince Pie
- 2 cups green tomatoes, chopped
- 2 cups apples, chopped
- 2 cups raisins, chopped
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Mix all ingredients well, bring to a boil and gently cook for 25 minutes. Pour into a crust and bake at 425 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until done.
If you have a favorite recipe you use with your garden bounty to change things up I’d love it if you would be willing to share it.