which starts in the garden. purple podded pole bean flowers:

and another:

and the resulting beans!

corn crowns the farm!

cucumber flower amid the green tumult:

tomatoes in the understory:

volunteer tomatoes, hiding beneath the squashes:

the secretive butternut, climbing up a corn stalk:

a second, better at concealment:

and a third hides amid the watermelon vines:

the wild vining understory, more complex by the day:

two weeks ago, we picked a giant basket or two of green beans, and too many cucumbers to eat, and the combination was too much to resist. pickles! we spent all one saturday boiling things in the 95 degree heat of the July afternoon. yay, harvest!

that recipe book there is Stocking Up, which i heartily reccomend for anyone interested in jam, kraut, pickles, jellies, or dehydrating or freezing food. we used the green bean pickle recipe from that book, with fresh garlic, dill seed from the garden, white vinegar & salt.

we then applied the Joy of Cooking’s dilled pickle recipe to the cucumbers, using the last of the dill sprigs, more garlic (and a fair bit of it), peppercorns, apple cider vinegar, and salt. both batches were boiling-water processed for ten minutes (we are at 5000 ft elevation, which, while making for a better star-viewing experience at night, also increases the time we have to boil things while canning them). the cucumbers were too fat to fit into the jars, so i had to slice them, which i rather regret, as they will be less crispy for it. i am going to cold-process some of them, using Andrew’s recipe for fridge pickles, so that we also have some really crisp ones on hand. the trouble with that method, is that they have to hang out in the fridge, which is generally jammed full. so we can only do a jar or two at a time that way, at present.

here we’re fishing jars out of the boiling water:

in the background, you can see the awesome new redwood pot-rack that Rev put up for us, using wood we were gifted when Scott & Shara moved out of town.

having gotten that accomplished, we canned up a batch of mulberry jam that had been boiling in the big cooker all day. we used about 3 pounds of mulberries and a cup of local honey, and came out with a very mulberry-y jam that we are quite happy with. they were the mulberries from ‘s trees, and San Acacia honey from and , so this jam is 100% local.

here is Alan washing up at day’s end, with the fruits of our labor arrayed on the counter in all their green glory. we put up 8 quarts of green bean pickles, 6 quarts of cucumber pickles, and 12 pints of jam.

this weekend, we are planning to go pick plums at Ironwood. meanwhile, the tomatoes are starting to come in, and more cukes. i sense more canning in the offing this sunday!

and to conclude, a gratuitous kitty pic. my darling Tattersall, asleep on a new rug my aunt Beth sent.