Monday, September 23, 2013

Growing Right Along

While most people's gardens are winding down, ours has barely just gotten going. Since we had standing water in the garden areas for so long (like until the middle of June!) and we had to wait for all that to dry out enough to plant, it made for a very late start. I'm sure that many people wouldn't have even bothered at that point. But, being the optimist that I am, I knew that I'd have enough time for at least a small harvest.

I've got green beans in the freezer, canned a few pints and cooked them up right out of the garden! Look how big some of them have been!!

Today we picked 30+ lbs of roma tomatoes. I've been making cultured salsa and also canning them up as diced tomatoes. I've made some spaghetti sauce as well.

I've been drying the surplus sweet peppers in my dehydrator to use this winter. It's wonderful to have garden veggies when it's cold and wintery out. I just add a little water to reconstitute and in a couple of hours I have fresh diced peppers ready to use.

We've harvested several cantaloups from the seeds that I planted last year. Yes, last year. With the drought they just didn't do well. They went from immature to mush in no time flat and the ones we thought were good tasted like mold. Nasty. But the mushy ones sat in the garden and then replanted themselves. So we had volunteer cantaloups that have been heavenly! I can't remember how many varieties I originally planted but at least 4 different kinds have grown. We're loving that!!

Our little pet turtle Squirtle (a Red Eared Slider) has been doing some growing as well.
Here's a picture from last year after we found him. 

And here he is now.  It's been a little over a year now. Quite a difference, huh? :-)

I really have enjoyed having Squirtle as a pet. I'm the one personally responsible for his care. A baby turtle raised in captivity shouldn't be returned to "the wild" as they don't know how to fend for themselves. Since he may live up to 30 years it's quite the commitment!! :-)
He stays in the house with us at this point in a clear plastic bucket with a "pool" of water. I'm planning to set up an outdoor area for him in the future with a nice pond for him to use. He should grow to about 10 inches wide so he will definitely need larger accomodations before long.

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