[gardeners] What I did on my Hiatus (long)

George Shirley (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Mon, 17 Jul 2000 19:23:34 -0500

It's amazing how much extra energy you have when you're not on the internet for
several days. Here's the saga of the netless Shirley family.

July 7, 2000 - Lightwire technologies drops offline due to a T1 access
malfunction. Thought it would be a short time, ended up off line until July 17,

On 7/7 a friend gave me 30 lbs of cukes, ours have not done well this year, his
did great. Immediately I got home with them I sliced 7 lbs and 1 lb of Texas
1015 onions into rounds and put them to soak in a household lime bath for crisp
sweet pickles. Also chopped cukes, green and red sweet peppers, and onions to
make pickle relish. They went into an ice bath and then were covered with a
syrup and into the fridge for 24 hours. Went out to the garden and poked around,
picked a handful of ripe, hot chiles.

7/8 - Rinsed the lime from the sweet pickles and then soaked in fresh water,
changing the water every hour for four hours. Covered them with the syrup and
let them rest overnight. Boiled the sweet pickle relish and put in jars, hot
water bath for 5 minutes. Got 8 pints out the batch.

7/9 - Put up the sweet pickles this morning, ending up with 6.5 quarts, enough
to last Miz Anne and I for a year. Started another batch of sweet pickle relish
and ended up with 9 pints for a total of 17 pints. Can you tell we like pickle
relish on hot dogs and hamburgers?

7/10 to 7/13 - Mostly working all day but picked about a pint of ripe chiles
each day. On the 13th our friends the Hebert's called us to say the pears are
ripe. We picked about 6 gallons of them.

7/14 - Picked 3 each Ichiban and Louisiana Long Green eggplant, several pods of
Burmese okra, several heads of elderberry, and another pint of chiles. Total
eggplant harvested since May 23, 2000 is 66, about 40 lbs, that's a lot for just
6 plants. Best harvest of eggplant we've ever had. Lots of caponata and moussaka
in the freezer and neighbors are starting to hide when they see me coming with a
plastic bag.  Put up 9 pints of cinnamon pears, made with cinnamon red hots
candy. Prepared pears and sugar for Louisiana Conserve (from Putting Food By) to
be made tomorrow.

7/15 - Put up 7 pints of LA pear conserve and 5 pints of creme de menthe pears
(yes, actually made with 1.5 cups of creme de menthe liquor). Picked two pints
of ripe chiles and 1 lonely cuke. Green beans planted two weeks ago are looking
good and are about to bloom. Have 3 zuke plants doing well but brown crowder
plants don't look good. Watered everything with soaker hoses yesterday and
today. Gardens really needed the water.

7/16 - Put up 3.5 quarts of pear sauce today. Took 15 lbs of pears to make, sure
is much easier with the new food mill. Too blamed hot to do much else. Did pick
some chiles though, they love the 100 plus F heat.

7/17 - Picked several Burmese okra pods this morning, some up to 10 or 12 inches
long and still tender. I like this variety of okra. Got another pint of those
dad blasted chiles. Looks like I'll have enough hot sauce to float a boat. Miz
Anne and I both went to the dermatologist this morning. No skin cancer so far
but lots of rashes caused by medication on my old hide. Got a bunch of salve to
put on them. On the way home we stopped at a local indoor flea market and Miz
Anne surprised me with a 14 inch blue gazing ball she had seen there before. I
was surprised at the low (cheap) price of 40 bux as the catalogs all want more
than 100. There goes my birthday present for September. Now I've got to move St.
Fiacre as that's where I want the gazing ball to go.

That's as up to date as my gardening journal goes at the moment. Did miss the
camaraderie of the folks on the lists and sorely missed being able to keep up
with Penny in New York and June in Rhode Island. It's good to be back on line.
That's the longest I've been off line since about 1993.

Ol' Lonesome George