Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Potato and Watermelon Harvesting with Grandpa

You know how much work it is to dig up potatoes, then bend over to pick up the harvest. My DH has solved the problem and made it a lot of fun...Get the grandkids to do the work! Below are photos from harvesting the yellow German and Yukon potatoes and Red Pontiacs. The total on the potato yield is 125 pounds, a record for us. The potatoes are a good size and well-formed thanks to the new compost he has put on the garden the last couple years. Soil really does make a difference!

The watermelons are a favorite of our family. This year they were exceptionally nice and sweet. They ranged in size from 14 lbs - 25 lbs. What a refreshing treat on these hot summer days.

Very proud of his find.

Grandpa let each child pick out his watermelon in the summer, then carved their names in each one. The name became bigger as the watermelon grew.

It's more fun to get on your knees and pick up the dirty potatoes.

Lots of delicious watermelons for seed spittin'....

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fresh Sweet Corn Time is Over for Us

My DH picked all the ears of sweet corn from our patch and pulled up the stalks. The garden looks so different without those stately plantings of tall corn with waving tassels. We froze the last 60 ears. We were pleased with our harvest of tasty corn this year.

If you want to try something different this year when freezing your corn, click here for a recipe.

The powdery mildew is on our squash leaves and cukes. Cukes are about done.

Sad time to see the garden in the end of the season, but already my DH is making plans for next year's garden. New varieties, size adjustments, rotation of crops. I love the gardener's never ending hope for a better garden next year.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Slimy Slugs Update

Yes, we are still battling slugs, those voracious creatures that look like shell-less snails. Read my post  Grudge Against Slugs, June 15.

In that post I reported that my DH sprayed the veggies with a mixture of water and ammonia receiving slight victory. It didn't last.

Last week my brother-in-law was here for a visit. Although he tried to drink all the beer he bought in the 24 case pack while here, he couldn't. I understand that after being cooled, beer is no good if it warms up and then re-cooled. So he left it for us....we, who are not beer drinkers...However, we discovered the slugs love, love, love it!

Ted put it out in the garden and immediately attracted herds of slugs. He is elated with the results.
We will definitely use this weapon next year for battling these disgusting pests.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

County Fair Time

The excitement in the air, the buzz in the fair goers, the delicious aroma of kettle corn and elephant ears...It must be county fair time!

Celebrating their 55th year, there are over 8000 exhibits at our 2010 Newaygo County Fair this year including FFA, 4-H, open youth and adult classes. In 1955 there were 800 exhibits and it was held on the high school grounds. The bus garage was the exhibit hall and the animals were housed in tents located on the football field. They have come a long way from the first fair with ups and downs along the way.

Of course this year I would call it an excellent year because our grandson, Corbin, entered vegetables into the fair. The state does not contribute to the fairs anymore so there are no paid premiums for entries, but it doesn't seem to matter. Kids and adults like earning their ribbons. I am proud to say Corbin won several blue ribbons on his veggies.

Picking out the veggies for the fair

Every year I am amazed at the talent on display in the exhibit barn. I also am thankful that there are volunteers, parents, family, and friends who take the time to work with these kids. A BIG thank you to all who make the County Fair a huge success!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Recipe: Freezing Sweet Corn

Hooray! It's finally that time of year when sweet corn grows abundantly. If you can't eat all your harvest right now, freeze sweet corn for a taste of the garden in the winter. This year has been a fantastic growing season for us. We grew Northern Extra Sweet and How Sweet It Is. Both varieties are filling out the cob well and I can't decide which one I like better.

My girlfriend gave me the following recipe to add to your bags of corn before you freeze them.


9 c. Corn  (I blanch the corn for about 4-6 minutes, cool, and cut kernels off the cob.)
3 c. water
1/4 c. sugar
1 T. salt
Mix the water, sugar and salt together. Add a small amount to each bag, then freeze.

When cooking, dump the contents of the bag into a microwaveable bowl. Depending on your microwave and amount in the bowl, cook for about 3 minutes.
Deliciously sweet, sweet corn!