Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Is It Nap Time Yet?--a Trailer Park Homestead update

I am tired.  So much so, I'm starting to look forward to winter, so I can take a bit of a break for a while!  This time of year is insane!  Right now, I still have to maintain the garden that's been there (weeding and watering and such), keep up with fresh plantings of greens, harvest whatever I can, put up whatever I can for the winter, gear up for another year of homeschooling, get the kids registered for their extra curricular activities, plus the regular stuff of dishes, laundry, keeping the house tidy, taking care of the kids, cooking dinner, etc.

The house is not particularly tidy. 

Right now, especially after the anxiety issues I mentioned last week, I need to be focused mainly on getting food for the winter.  With that in mind, in the past week, I've froze a couple baggies each of snap beans and corn, canned a few jars of tomato sauce, a few black bean and corn salsa, and 7 quarts of peaches.  Today, I have a couple good sized boxes of tomatoes from the farmers market to do something with (mostly canning, maybe can some more sauce too), a few more quarts of peaches to do something with, some blueberries I want to make into jam at the kids' request, and some zucchini I want to turn into triple chocolate zucchini muffins for freezing, since I think the finished muffins would freeze better than just shredded zucchini and that's what they'd turn into anyway. 

It is going to be another looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong day.

In the meantime, my garden also looks like crap from all the pests and disease that have been taking over, since I don't know what the heck I'm doing here, but giving it my best effort anyway:

Obviously, the watermelon looks happy, since it is taking over half the front yard, but it doesn't seem to be producing very much, so I don't know what the deal is.  More importantly, I don't know what the deal is with these tomato plants, but they are starting to look half dead!  I originally thought it was the heat reflecting off the patio that was making them look sad, so I moved them to the front of the house, but now they look even sadder!  I don't know if it is a watering issue (even though they get watered as much as my other tomatoes in buckets) or the cold nights we've been having at times or what.
While not technically a pest related picture (although the trailer park manager has had her moments, hasn't she?), I just think it is funny how perfectly some of these calendula flowers coordinate with the bright orange buckets that are officially not being used as pots but really are.
I think I'm losing the battle of the squash vine borer, since this pumpkin plant looks worse daily.  Such a shame too, since that dangling pumpkin is so cool, and I was looking forward to it being joined by more.  I haven't given up the fight yet though!
The large holes in the bean leaves are brought to me courtesy of the Japanese beetles, who seem to like the beans themselves as well.  Fortunately, the children think it is great fun to pluck mostly chewed up leaves full of the dang things while they are sleeping and crushing the heck out of them.  If it wasn't so late in the season, I'd probably start thinking of someplace to hide some of those Japanese beetle hanging bag traps, but I don't have time these days to go looking for a good spot.  The beans plants are kind of being a pest to the corn as well, since they seem to be mobbing just a few stalks rather than spreading out more evenly.  Oops, my bad, I guess!  The corn stalks that have a bunch of bean stalks on them are falling over!


  1. We lost a ton of yellow squash from those damn vine borers. I dont remember them being as bad last year. A friend in Ga. lost all his as well. Not a spectacular season for gardening this year. Hopefully the fall gardens will do better for people.

  2. I do not suggest using the beetle bait traps. While they do, indeed, lure in and trap beetles, they also bring in beetles that otherwise would have left your land alone. It's pheremones, so every beetle in the vicinity makes a bee line for your garden. It works better on very large plots where you're going to have massive populations anyhow. I suggest planting bait plants - pick something they like a lot, and plant it wayyyyy over on the corner of your garden, then let them eat THAT plant. I know a lot of people who've had success with that.

    We make a lot of canned diced tomatoes and stewed tomatoes when we have them. It looks like we might be closing on the house on the 29th, so if we do I'll be hitting the farmer's market to get a bushel or two of tomatoes for canning. I just can't go a whole year without ANY canning, and tomatoes are easiest, and the most used in our house. When I do stewed tomatoes, I put a single bay leaf in each jar then pour in the tomatoes. When they come out later in the year, the flavor has steeped through the whole jar and it's just... muy deliciouso! lol