Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

The Garden Chronicles - First Harvest

Backyard Homesteading, Gardening, Growing Your Own Vegetables

A couple of weekends ago the green beans started coming on-line.  Ohhhhh baby.  Fresh grilled green beans.  I took a big canvas tote filled with fleshly-picked beans to the day job last Monday along with some paper lunch bags.  Sent an email around about that tote sitting in the kitchen.  Those beans were gone by 10 AM.  Who doesn't like fresh green beans.  Especially Blue Lake 274.

This year's gardening experience has been outstanding.  Regular rains have required minimal irrigation.  I've been at the top of my game managing rot, mold, blot, blight, bugs, slugs, and wilt.  The tomato patch is flourishing.  It has actually become a mutant thing.  Best patch in memory.

That plant in the foreground (supported with the bamboo pole tripod) is as tall as my shoulders.

Check-out the pumpkin patch.

This weekend I began picking and processing beans. Freezing them for the coming months when the wind whips the sleet upon the windows and garden green beans, canned tomatoes and maybe salsa and pickles can warm the heart of a Packer fan as the team continues its relentless march to a repeat Super Bowl win. 

Momentum is building on the bean output too because I've been planting successive rows at two week intervals to maximize production. 

Speaking of production my neighbor harvested 80 acres of winter wheat on Friday.

Following  two successive years of corn - last October he planted this field across the road into something different. 

Not so amazingly, he cleared that field (and processed the stubble into straw bales) in the time it took me to prune and reinforce the staking of my tomatoes, pick beans, summer squash, vine-ripened tomatoes and cabbages.

Chop the cabbages and get them in the crock from the Fatherland.  Peel and store the remaining green cabbages.  And process fourteen packages of beans for the freezer.

In modern agriculture big equipment is still more productive.  But high-touch has its place.

 Check out this armful of beautiful cabbages.

Lovingly chopped and salted in the crock to digest into fermented kraut for future casseroles, salads, pork dishes and brats.  

And these amazing summer squash.

Between all of this - fry-up some thick-cut local butcher shop bacon for dinner.  BLTs with garden lettuce and vine-ripened tomatoes.  Yum!

Hint - take some of those freshly-picked summer squash, slice and sauté them in the bacon drippings.  Turn once and serve on a paper towel topped with fresh cracked pepper and sea salt. 

Disappointments are the peas, beets and a couple of spinach replantings.  Probably too hot.  The green peppers are looking mighty fine however.

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