Summer is hanging on tendentiously at the farm. Some of the earlier days were just too hot and humid to risk field work. We managed to find pastures for the sheep in which they could either find shade and/or cooling breezes. For a time, we ran out of rain, to the point that pastures and lawns were drying up and gardens finally required extensive sprinkling. Toward the later part of August the rains returned (often with a vengeance). Nonetheless the gardens were again happy!
The flowers below the kitchen window have thrived. It is one of the first times that the Phlox, Cone-flowers and Black-eyed Susans all managed to begin blooming together. We also will have an impressive Goldenrod show in their midst (the tall, green plant just below the window). It is a volunteer that fell in love with the location.
The vegetables have also thrived. We are already harvesting and eating artichokes (about a month earlier than normal). The melon patch is also coming along nicely and starting to produce super tasty cantaloupes and honeydews. We planted a couple of extra tomatoes than we normally grow. It is a total of seven varieties a couple of which are new for us. The plants are all huge; with the help of cages, they are all close to five feet tall. For a time I feared that we would get little or no fruit from them. Nothing to worry about, we cannot keep up with them. The photo is of the three new varieties.
The peppers were a week or so behind the tomatoes, but they have now caught up with production. Our jalapenos came on early and strong. We have managed to can a goodly number (a little extra heat for winter!) We still had enough jalapenos left that we decided to make some salsa. The recipe was a combination of three and it turned out well. Two varieties of tomatoes, at least four different sweet peppers, home grown onions and, of course. jalapenos. We were both well satisfied with the result. For Gretchen, the salsa did not exceed her “too hot” level, for me, it was hot enough to make it good (I dare not hope for a bit more “heat”). The final product was good enough that we are going to make more next week, since there will again be more than enough fresh ingredients by then. We have continued to enjoy our B&B guests this summer. Once again Martha and her mother returned for a pleasant stay. Martha brought with her a sweater she had knit using our yarn. It is always exciting to see the product of someone else using wool from our flock.
Adding to that satisfaction is the fact that everyone (guests, shepherds, innkeepers and sheep) get to enjoy the effort. This is Martha with one of her favorites!