Friday, July 30, 2010

The South's Summer Treat

I'm finding that if you live in the South you love home-grown summer tomatoes. There really isn't a question about this. While not all people will eat them like apples standing over the sink, people in general take their tomatoes very seriously. I have had the fortunate opportunity the become friend with Reed who manages Brier Creek Farm and his lovely lady, Stacy, who handles sales of their gorgeous heirloom tomatoes.
I had heard thru the grapevine about the 1500 tomatoes plants in Burke County, and then lo-and-behold, come to find out that Stacy is the relative of a dear friend of mine. (I'm finding Augusta works like this far too often:-)
The first time I went over to pick up tomatoes, I walked into a house full of tomatoes - and this is not an exaggeration. The first picture below shows 1 room, only ONE, of the 4 that they have filled with boxes of tomatoes. For the last month or so I've been over every week picking up 100-130 lbs of tomatoes. I sell them thru my CSA and then at the Augusta Saturday Market. all my customers have been very pleased with their taste. Enjoy the pictures below and stop in to pick up some of your own.
Thanks Reed and Stacy, keep up the great growing!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tahoe Time with my Best Friends

This was the best reunion ever. Not only did I get to spend a weekend with my oldest and dearest friends, Lake Tahoe in the summertime is INCREDIBLE. I recommend to everyone that they try and visit sometime. It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been and the people were so nice. I had amazing experiences with nature everywhere I went. It was sunny the whole time but there was snow still covering the mountaintops.
We stayed on the west-side of the lake. Our house was awesome - it even had a green roof!!! The two pictures after the images of the house are our view from the house. We stayed in this valley, and the first afternoon, after we biked to Squaw Valley, I took a walk to the back of the valley and found myself totally alone among the mountains, creeks and wildflowers. It was just me and it was so peaceful. There were flowers in bloom everywhere. The yellow one's are called Muhly Ears. The leaves are soft and looked like donkey ears. There was also lots of wild larkspur and salvia. Later that evening I walked back with some of the girls and we got eaten alive by mosquitoes.
The next afternoon we drove to Emerald Bay. It was about a 45 minute hike down to the beach along a lovely cliff with towering pines. The lake really was emerald green with this cool island out in the middle. We hiked down to the beach and all got in and swam. It was pretty cold but not unbearable. There were these bright-blue birds with black frilly heads and lots of chipmunks everywhere. I'm not sure what kind of bird they are but there were lots of them. I got a good pic of one. Let me know if you know what it is.
I've included two pictures of the flowers that I cut and arranged at the house. The last pics in the slide show are of the 'street' flowers that were all around Tahoe City. Some of my most favorite flowers - peonies, poppies, columbines - just in planters all around town. There are columbines in every color imaginable!
The last night we were in town we went out for a bit. When we got home we looked up to the most beautiful sky. There were more stars than I had ever seen in my life. It was magical and truly AWEsome. The next morning I had a long conversation with a hummingbird that was resting in the tree just off our balcony. As I said before, nature was at her finest these three days in Tahoe.
For being at Lake Tahoe I didn't really get that many pictures of the lake:-) Anyone who knows me won't be surprised that I spent most my time looking at the flowers.
It was a really memorable weekend and I can't wait to did it again. I'm lucky to have such great friends and the opportunity to see them in such a great place. I wonder where we will end up next time........

Thursday, July 1, 2010

So exciting!

I canned for the first time. I am so excited about this. It was pretty easy altho I think I would like to have a pressure cooker. I used the big 'vat' that we use in part of the honey harvesting process to sterilize the jars and then process them. It worked well enough but I think I wasted energy.
I grew the beans, Paige grew the banana peppers and the dill, and Relinda grew the beets and the onions.
I canned dilly beans and banana peppers last night and then beets tonight. Yeah!!

Here are some of the arrangements that I've had at the house lately. The arrangements of Hydrangeas is from weeks ago. If you can believe it I still have two of these flower bunches left - it's been a month!!! The Dahlia Zinnia's are growing like crazy out back, same as the Sunflowers.

I love my Gladiola's:-) This is the most beautiful color. I love Gladiola's and this is my first one ever.