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Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Farmer In The Dell

Since my Father has passed away, this has been the first year that the family garden was my lone responsibility.  I'd always helped with the garden, mostly in the planting or harvesting, but never really paid attention to the basic principles behind growing things.  This year, I started small, with just a few different types of plants.  Along with the strawberry beds and the blackberry bushes that my Father and I had put in a couple years back, and the apple trees that were here when they purchased the property, I started simple by only trying to grow some tomatoes and peppers.  I've tried to keep my eye on everything and by doing so, at least nothing died because of slip-ups from me.
So, here are some of the things that have been growing in my backyard garden that have been tended with my untrained hand.  Maybe with time, I'll learn what I'm doing!

 This was only the second year after my Father and I put in the strawberry beds, but they produced about a couple gallons worth of berries.  Here's one of the first ones in it's early stages.

 Here is the first batch I picked once they had ripened.  I had plans for these babies!

 And here's what I made with those berries - a Strawberry Pound Cake.

 This was also the second year for the blackberry plants that my Father and I planted.  They produced a few last year, but this year, I got about 2 or 3 gallons.

 Here's one of the gallon-sized freezer bags I put up to save for later.

 When there was enough berries that had ripened to make something with, I made a couple Blackberry Tarts.

And what fresh pastry right out of the oven doesn't taste even better with a dollop of ice cream melted on top?

This year, I sprayed oil on the apples so that they would be free from insect bits.  I really wanted to maximize the usable amount they produced because after all, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and I love fresh apples.  They're getting close to being ready to pick.  A small one had fallen off the tree within the last day or two, so I brought it in this morning, washed it and tasted it.  It had just that right amount of sweetness indicating it was ready.

I planted two kinds of peppers, Bell Peppers and Jalapeno Peppers and this is one of the young Jalapenos still growing.  It's been hot this summer, but these hot peppers seem to like the heat and they're doing real well.

And, lastly, I planted two different kinds of Tomatoes and here are some that are really putting on the blooms.  I can't wait for the fresh tomatoes to start appearing so I can have some for sandwiches and salads.