Feast Or Famine

If one were to go back a year and read my blogs, one would see me commiserating about the overabundance of rain. This blog will touch on the lack of rain many of us are experiencing and how it is affecting our lives. We haven’t had rain since July 6th and we are feeling the effects of it. I watered once last year and that was right after I planted my garden. I am watering every other day this year and only half of the garden at a time; I know this affects the vegetable production, but we can’t afford to water the entire garden that often. I am sure others are facing the same problem. I washed my car yesterday in the hopes it would rain, and while we did get a few raindrops, it wasn’t enough to make a difference.

Despite the lack of rain, canning is in full swing! We have been making pickles and zucchini relish, canning green beans, drying basil and spinach, and still picking the last of the raspberries. This morning I made Nanking cherry syrup and it turned out really nice. I use less sugar so it’s slightly tart; I also don’t strain it-I like the slushiness of it and feel like it’s more cherry and less sugar or water. We bought some Elberta peaches at the store yesterday, so we will be blanching/freezing them to make my jalapeno-peach jam later on. The corn will be ready on Saturday and that means freezing those as cobs as well. If you do it right, you will have tasty corn on the cob in the middle of winter.  Tomorrow is potato day! My son isn’t looking forward to that, but it has to be done. I’m looking forward to not having to plant eight rows of potatoes next year. We decided to can like crazy this year and next year only plant 1/2 row each of carrots, beans, potatoes, etc. Instead, we will focus on our cash crops of peppers (I never plant enough!) tomatoes, onions, and zucchini. I need to stop trying to grow cauliflower; it never turns out and instead is full of those nasty green worms.

Here’s a pic of our sugar from the North Dakota State Fair. I have already used four bags!