Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mid July catch-up

In the garden, failures and successes:

Remember this?

Earlier this month, my pattypan squash went from this..... to wilted icky mush within days.  I saw the tell-tale signs on some stems, picked them apart, and there were the culprits - squash borer!  The damage was done, they were too far gone, and had to be pulled up. 

My sugar snap peas produced a grand total of 27 pods. I thought I would get more than that from 6 plants.  And my lima beans, for all that fantastic growth earlier, have only produced 4 pods.  4 lousy pods! 

On the successful side, the tomatoes are doing well, and the yellow pear has given me lots of salad tomatoes.  The eggplant has put out new growth and blossoms, since I pruned it back. I hope to harvest basil and make pesto this weekend, and the onions and garlic are booming too.  OK, so my garden leans toward Italian - a good thing!

Speaking of Italian, the name 'Terra' just didn't work out for the newest Mini Rex. It just wasn't her.   She likes it when I speak Italian to her.  If I call her ''la bella bambina," (about the only words I know) she sticks her nose in my face, gets a dreamy look in her eyes, like "more, tell me more...."   So she says she is either Bella or Bambina - take your pick. 

Truffle, who has always been so laid-back and disinterested in anything, (although he learned to like having his head and ears stroked) has really perked up since he discovered FREEDOM ....relatively speaking.  The bedroom hallway has become the designated play area for the buns.  They are all much better about not leaving 'deposits' on the floor, so I let them out (one at a time, of course) from time to time to run and play in the hallway, since there are no dangerous electrical wires there, and I can close the rooms off if I need to.  Truffle was out for the first time a few nights ago, and I'm sure it's the first time in his life he has been out of a cage, except to be groomed.  After a little tentative sniffing and looking around, he started chasing the cats and doing 'binkies' all over.  He loved it, and has been a lot perkier when I come in to the bunny room to feed and water.  Poor thing. 

I went to the auction again last week, and though I spent more money, I still came home with some neat stuff - 2  half-gallon blue (old, pre 1937) Ball canning jars with zinc lids, two old kerosene lamps with blown glass chimneys and sweet little chamber-stick handles, another glass candle holder, and an old Lodge #8 (5 quart) cast iron Dutch oven. 

Mine is just like this, except it has a wire handle.  It's in good shape - just needs a little wire brush taken to the inside of the lid and to be re-seasoned.  A woman at the sale asked me as I was carrying it out, "what are you going to do with that old thing?"   I'm going to cook in it!    Since it's older, it's nice to know it's made in the USA, not one of the chinese-made ones that don't get the 'patina' as well, or so I'm told. 

I am loving my dehydrator.  I've had it going a lot since I bought it.  I've done lots of onions, diced celery and carrots (for making soup mix for this winter when I don't feel like chopping all the veggies), red and green peppers, jalapenos, mushrooms, some of my yellow tomatoes, blueberries, strawberries and a few plums.    Love it, love it!  

Until next time, from Wren Cottage....


  1. I have a made in the USA lodge pot dutch oven that I bought new years ago. Love it!!

  2. Squash bugs....I'm declaring a Jihad! They are from the Devil. We planted nasturtium with our squash plants this year and it helped, but even that didn't eliminate them. Fighting squash bugs is an eternal fight of good versus evil. :-)

  3. I love using cast iron cook wear and believe in using it daily!
    Use white vinegar spray for bug; they don't like it, it's inexpensive and it works.

  4. oops...forgot to say...Thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm. Send me a PM and we'll talk about your kin in Tazewell County. Depending upon their last name, some might still be here.
    Or not, as you prefer -smile-

  5. I noticed some squash bugs on my squash plants this morning. If this heat(100+) don't get the plants those nasty bugs will for sure.

    Love your cast iron pot. Those are the best things to cook in. I wouldn't trade my iron skillets for anything!

    Have a great day.