We had a great day today outside enjoying life at home. Wayne got the raised garden beds ready for the tomatoes and mowed while I pruned and trimmed the hedges and shrubs. We had the kind of glorious weather every Mainer dreams about all winter.
For the first time since mid-March I went to a store. I knew it would be different, but it was exceptionally unpleasant even though it was a plant nursery. The locally owned nursery from which we usually buy our vegetable plants and offers home delivery or curbside pickup didn’t have the two tomato varieties that are our favorites–Lemon Boys and Beefsteaks, so I went to Lowe’s. Although the nursery is mostly outdoors they forced people to first walk through the store instead of directly entering. The woman at the register was not distancing from me and they aren’t set up so that you still have to use the gross stylus pen to approve the purchase, something that has grossed me out long before the pandemic. A chipmunk popped out from nowhere as I was paying so that helped me feel more at peace. Also it was very windy so my nose began to run underneath my mask!
OK, enough whining. Here are a few ways I’m reusing some old things laying around for gardening tasks!
Early in July I finally found a charming weathered hand-painted concrete set of the Seven Dwarfs at an antique & collectible shop in Cornish for $45 that costs around $900 new when painted. Those who have been following my blog for a while know I adore vintage kitschy garden statues of animals and gnomes. Since it’s not unusual for people to call me “Snow White” when I tell them about my yard pets I wanted to complete the cast of characters. I also figured they would make terrific props for chipmunk photo sessions. Tailor, however, did not agree! Check out the little linked video for her reaction. A couple of days later, she disappeared!
We’ve been having a record-breaking cold and rainy spring so far but it’s still time to start with gardening prep, both ornamental and vegetable. It might seem strange to those not from Maine to think of people flocking to the plant nurseries in wet and blustery cold weather to buy annuals that will only live for a short season. It makes complete sense, however! Summer in Maine is a Very Special Occasion deserving of festive flowers and the planting beautiful life forms. It’s still too early to plant, but never too soon to buy as long as you can keep the plants warm.
I have extraordinary news! Buster is back!!! After a week’s disappearance he emerged from his burrow, came running to me when I called him and is acting like it’s just another day! Also, one of Chippie’s offspring, Sunny, returned…without a tail! But she is acting like it’s no big deal and she has made her home in our woods. I felt a release after I published yesterday’s post, and now I feel so much gratitude for the gifts in front of me, like our first WATERMELON!
Yes. And just as messy: Home grown tomato and mayo sandwiches! Here’s my recipe:
We’re getting a nasty rain and wind storm tonight and tomorrow. Presently there are still some colored leaves on the trees, tomatoes on the vines and Chippie’s health is stable.
Here’s my first of many batches of homemade sauce using a variety of tomatoes from our garden. There’s something somewhat controversial and extra healthy about it, however: I don’t remove the tomato skins! Most if not all recipes will tell you to remove them, but they break down as they cook so they blend right in with the sauce. More importantly, your body will appreciate it because the skins contain a high concentration of carotenoids and flavonols, both of which are antioxidants.
It’s been a challenging season for growing tomatoes in Maine due to the long, cold rainy spring we had. For a while looked like we might not have any tomatoes at all, and some of our plants were dying, but now we are enjoying a beautiful bounty! I thought it would be fun to show the progress from start to finish:
I took the pic above yesterday after Wayne cut the grass and I trimmed the shrubs. Today has been rainy with intermittent rumbles of thunder. I’m definitely a “homebody” and am enjoying this time to relax indoors after a very full and wonderful summer. Here’s how my day looked: