I was thinking about Proverbs as I was pulling weeds out of the garden this morning. I always wondered what Solomon was thinking of when he wrote it, “A time to plant, a time to pluck up what’s planted, a time to laugh, a time to cry, a time to live, a time to die……..” You’ll have to look it up if you want the direct quote.
I was thinking of planting by the moon signs. I’ve waited through the last quarter, barren time, to this time now to plant above ground crops and I was wondering why in the world didn’t I use that barren time for what it was intended for – preparing the soil and maintenance of the existing garden??? I should have been out there, ripping out all that nasty Bermuda grass and it’s runners during the last 10 barren days or so. Instead I was busy doing other things and quilting.
Part of the reason I wasn’t preparing the soil is I always have a hard time pulling up the crops that are almost, but not quite, spent so I can put in the fall garden. I started this morning by cutting the tomatoes back for fall. I ripped out some plants that had sprawled all over the place and found the 3 plants I want to keep for fall. I cut off wayward branches as I harvested ripe tomatoes and pull off any green ones off the cut branches …. yummmmm, green tomato relish or green tomato pie (fake apple pie – it’s delicious.)
I picked the sweet banana peppers and trimmed back the cucumbers that want to vine all over the green beans. Found a tender young cucumber hiding in a cut vine. That will make good in the cucumber-onion pickling bowl.
I put all the ripe tomatoes in the crock pot to cook down. Soon as it’s cooled somewhat I’ll run it through the food mill. I may put the results in the dehydrator to make tomato powder for soups this winter. Not sure, it just depends on how thick it is.
Update – I think the tomatoes are thick enough to make a sauce … maybe pizza sauce this time. The skin, seeds and whatever else was left in the food mill went on a dehydrator sheet to dry, then grind later into tomato powder. This is the first time doing this for me but another homesteader said it works great.
The peppers will be cut into rings and pickled. That’s the one thing John asked for this spring as he bought the plants himself – a rarity I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s a memory I’ll treasure for he’s not a garden-lover by nature. God put that in him just for me.
I used my big white dishpan to hold my bounty. I feel so rich and blessed every time I get to use that dishpan. It was one of the first things I bought after we dug out of debt and I wouldn’t trade it for a huge diamond ring or a fancy car. Well, I might. Then I’d sell those silly things (ring and car) and buy a wood burning cook stove and another dishpan!!
I just finished the Singing River Series (again) by Gilbert Morris. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read the four books in that series but I find them so inspiring. The setting is the Arkansas mountains during the Great Depression. Next will be Willow Springs books with Cooper Smith …. set in the Blue Ridge mountains, about the same time period. Both are prime homesteading books. Old Squire’s Farm books are absolutely fantastic for homesteading instruction and encouragement as well. I’m planning those for this winter.
Gideon, in the Old Testament, was a good homesteader. He was determined to harvest his grain so much he went into the vine vat to do it. If his enemies had seen him threshing his wheat they would have stolen it. Gideon found a way as all homesteaders do.
I’m finding my way homesteading here in Texas when I’d rather homestead and garden in a milder, wetter climate. God has blessed my efforts as he did Gideon’s.
But I’m still believing for the future ….. a bigger and better garden … somewhere.