More Juggling (But Not With Fish)

September is shaping up to be a crazy month!  (Lucky I’m crazy enough to deal with it.)  I’m still picking piles of fruit and veggies from the garden, and we’re busily socking it away to enjoy throughout the winter.  The considerable overflow goes to our friends and neighbours as well as the Food Bank.

We might have been just a teeny bit over-enthusiastic when we were planting the garden, but… look at all this glorious food!

(Click on photos to enlarge.)

A single picking of tomatoes. (I pick a couple of times a week.)


Ten gallons of chopped carrots all ready for the freezer.


50 pints of pickles, 22 pints of jam, 7 pints of salsa, 28 pints of beans (another 20 pounds frozen), 24 pints of tomatoes and lots to go, and still a bit of space left for the rest of the beets and tomatoes and pickled hot peppers. YUM!


But our autumn isn’t only about food.  The flowers are still gorgeous, too, and the bees and other wildlife are hard at work stocking their own pantries:

This little black bear has been feasting on the wild cherries only a few hundred feet from our house. Don’t be fooled by his casual pose — he’s actually about 30 feet up a tree. (He’s a little blurry because Hubby took this shot using a LONG zoom — we have a healthy respect even for small bears!)


This little guy has been hard at work snipping off pine cones and stashing them away.


I’m not sure whether it was my camera or the tiny white spider (near the centre of the flower) that chased this bee off the zinnia. Either way, he’s buzzing off.


The snapdragons are still putting on a show.


One of our newest rhododendrons, Medusa, is a bit confused as to whether it’s spring or fall, but she’s beautiful anyway!


We’ll have a couple more rounds of houseguests this month, so maintaining my writing schedule for Book 15 will be a juggling act.  (Fortunately not with fish.)  To salvage some time I’ll dial back my blogging schedule to every second week for the month of September, so my next post will be September 18.

How’s your September shaping up?  Are you harvesting any goodies from your garden?

Book 15 update:  I’m bombing along on Chapter 4!  Hellhound would normally be voted “Most Likely To Get Arrested While On Vacation”, but Aydan’s the one who’s ended up in handcuffs…

Attack Of The Killer T… Oh, Wait; That’s Been Done.

They’re coming. They slowly fill our house like an inexorable tide, backing us into the corners while we battle them with knives and saucepans…

green tomatoes

Okay; so they’re not exactly ‘killer’ tomatoes.

We’re about to get our first hard frost so we brought in most of the garden produce this past weekend. (The snow in August was just a warning. This time they’re serious: Predicting -4C. Brrr.)

We measure the production of our garden in gallons because we transport it all home in 5-gallon pails. Our weekend haul was 10 gallons of green tomatoes (fortunately they ripen easily indoors), 15 gallons of carrots, and 60 gallons of potatoes.  We could probably feed a small town.

But we can’t help ourselves. Every year I say to Hubby, “You know, we’re planting an awful lot of potatoes.”

And he says, “Uh-huh”, and keeps on planting.

I don’t really try to stop him. For a foodie like me, a plethora of potatoes is pretty close to heaven. When we dig them in the fall, Hubby maintains a stoic silence while I exclaim: “Oh, wow, look at this one! Now that’s a potato! Look at the size of this one! Oh, look, look, there are tons of them under here! Woohoo!” On and on I go with boundless enthusiasm until we’ve extracted the last tuber. You’d think I’d never seen a potato before.

It’s the same with the zucchini and tomatoes and beans and everything else throughout the summer. Chortling over the plenitude of produce, I drag Hubby hither and yon in the garden babbling, “Look at this one! And this one! Look how big/shiny/beautiful/(fill in superlative here) this one is!”

It’s not until I’m into the umpteenth hour of standing in the kitchen chopping and blanching and canning that the thrill begins to fade.

Yes, that is a 10-gallon pot full of carrots.

Yes, that is a 10-gallon pot full of carrots.

That’s when I begin to remind myself that there are three supermarkets within a mile of my house. I could just trot over and buy whatever I wanted throughout the winter instead of going to all this trouble. And if I wanted to ogle large quantities of vegetables I could go and stand in the produce department.

But it’s not the same. They’re not my vegetables. Supermarket potatoes are generic. Ours are Norlands and Vikings and Purple Caribes and French Fingerlings and Yukon Gems. We line them up and do taste tests and debate production levels with the seriousness of a UN conference. (Potato taste-test winners thus far are the French Fingerlings and Norlands, but more testing is required.)

And despite my aching back, I know that in a few months I’ll eagerly yield to the seduction of the hortiporn once again.

Hey, if it made sense it wouldn’t be a hobby, right?

* * *

P.S. Just because I know you’ve come to expect dirty jokes on my blog, here you go:

Q: Why do gardeners make excellent gossip columnists?

A: Because they’re always digging up dirt.


Q: Why did the gardeners get kicked out of the church picnic?

A: Because they were telling dirty stories.

And finally:

Did you hear about the 1-900 line for gardeners? When you call in, a happy hoer will talk dirty for you.

I could go on, but I wouldn’t want WordPress to censor me again for all these dirty jokes…