Monday, September 15, 2014

Why Tomatoes Crack

Canning peaches today. Not enjoying the process as I'd rather sit on the couch and watch a movie, still really tired but doing better. When I stare at the mound of work, I mean wonderful food, I am grateful. Grateful that I have two stoves to can on which speeds up the process greatly and grateful that we have peaches and pears to can this year. Last year the orchard we get them from in Colorado had a killing frost. This is not the first time this has happened and so I've learned to have on hand more than a years supply.

Once again we did not get any sweet corn this year. The corn stocks were the tallest we've ever had but the ears had just started to form when the17 inches of snow hit. The corn is now flattened. Oh well, our daughter felt impressed to bring home a large amount of corn last year from Colorado when our garden was hailed out. We froze and froze and froze corn until I began to wonder why oh why we were doing so much of it? I've found out that those little quiet impressions whispered to us are for a reason. A reason that we don't always know until later, sometimes never unless we don't listen and head the warning.

With self-sufficiency on the mind I'm wondering just how many years of food you should have on hand since weather is so uncertain these days like 17 inches of snow in the summer. I'm just glad survival isn't up to me entirely since I'm presently not up to the task.

As for potatoes and carrots, I'm not digging yet until I get the mounds of food in the garage under control. Even though things didn't quite go my way this summer with little time to spend in the garden, weather problems, and poor soil in the old garden, we still will have much to put away for winter.  I've pushed most of my goals to next year, planning this winter to better prepare a course of action.

One disappoint was that the potatoes did not produce any seeds, bummer. That leaves me questioning why not? Why do potato plants sometimes produce seed and not other times? Can't find the answer on the internet so far. The commercial potato farmers have to know. I need to find out.

But for now the order of the day is to deal with what is at hand. This has been a extremely difficult year. We have some dear friends with us right now. They are here to hunt Pronghorn antelope with our son. The plan was for them to stay with our son but his remodeling job had progress much slower than he thought it would. Consequently the house has no working bathroom or shower. It has been a revolving door of company most of the summer and definitely the past few weeks. I'm praying life will calm down and allow us to catch up a bit, if not disasters await us. Our poor goat kids are not weaned yet because we have not had time to build a shed and separate enclosure. We have hay to haul and wood which are essential for winter. The house is not painted and I've 200 bags to get sewn before November. Glug! what a list awaits our attention but I keep reminding myself that the Lord is in charge and so he will make all things imperative possible.

Meanwhile, we are learning and relearning some lessons. Due to the constant travel to the other home and to tend to Kirk's father, our poor garden has been neglected. Our tomatoes cracked or rather part of our tomatoes cracked. Yes, I knew why once upon a time but the files in my memory get lost from time to time. I found this handy site I went looking once more for the cause. Not that I could do anything about it. I've given you a photo of the worst one. Also we have learned that up here near the mountain it is very important to trim back the tomato plants of excess leaves and small tomatoes in August so the plant can put its energies into the larger tomatoes. I had only two done of the twenty plants.

I do have some new projects started too like vinegar. I'll show you next time what is in the works.

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