BY THE THE BEGINNING OF AUGUST there is plenty of deadheading to do. As I started this tedious chore I felt inspired to create a bouquet using the more interesting deadheads (August 18th above) and have continued to add to it (as of September 8th below).
The same day that we dug the iris I enlisted the extra hands to help clean the garlic. With three pairs of hands we cleaned four varieties in no time. Yesterday I cleaned the remaining 25 heads. Total garlic harvested: 142 heads.
CANNING began in earnest with cherries, apricots and zucchini in late July.
Since spring-like weather persisted well into June the cherry and strawberry harvests were late. I put up five half pints each of strawberry and cherry preserves in the last week of July. These were modeled on a low sugar preserves recipe from Eugenia Bone’s blog post of July 18th.
PEACHES started showing up in the markets mid-August so I made peach preserves (seven half pints) and froze sliced peaches in half pound bags (5). At the end of the month on our way home from Palmer Lake, I bought more peaches (fifteeen pounds) and about four pounds of the last (!) bing cherries at Lone Pine fruit stand in Wenatchee. The cherries were wonderful and I put up 8 more half-pints of preserves. The lovely looking Glowstar peaches however had a difficult time fully ripening. They became 6 pints of what I am calling Ice Cream Peaches; kind of like a loose, syrupy preserve flavored with vanilla beans and Calvados brandy. They taste yummy!
The bulk of tomatoes remained firmly green even with the red plastic mulch until the last week of the month. And at that, only a handful or two had ripened.
We spent the week of the 22nd happily lazing about at Palmer Lake in northeast Washington. The DNR campground is small and was surprisingly short of visitors for a change. The water was warm, the weather was warm, we paddled around the lake, and I caught up on my travel journal. There is good birdwatching habitat around the lake; cherry and apple orchards to the east and some walnut orchards and open pastures to the north. Tom saw an Indigo Bunting! We have been ‘bunting hunting’ all summer on our trips to eastern Washington–too bad I missed seeing it. We saw a muskrat one morning in Palmer Creek and a beaver in the water at our campground on our last morning.
I LOVE FINDING something new and unknown to me. On one of our walks we spotted a hatching of Box Elder bugs, boisea trivittata. I snapped this photo so I could identify them when we got back home. Apparently they are a nuisance in most areas, but we had never seen them before. According to Wikipedia “They may form large aggregations while sunning themselves in areas near their host plant (e.g. on rocks, shrubs, trees, and man-made structures).” That is just how we saw them.
Time to move on to Septet