Schmidt Homestead

Our new home in Woodburn, IL

Monday, August 20, 2007

The chickens escaped from their pen on Saturday. It was quite an ordeal to get them back in their tractor!

We made spaghetti sauce with some of our tomatoes yesterday, and it turned out pretty good. We have lots more tomatoes, and they’re ripening very fast. We tore out and replanted some green beans and pumpkins yesterday. Hopefully we’ll get a second harvest out of them.

It’s cooled off some in the last few days – highs around 90. We got 0.1” of rain Saturday night, and its raining again right now, so the garden should be happier that it’s been for several weeks.

The mammoth sunflowers are really cool. They’re about 10’ tall, with about 2” - 3” diameter stalks at the base. Most of them are drooping from the weight of the flower. I can't believe the hundreds, possibly thousands of seeds in EACH flower! We have about 20 mammoth sunflowers, and a bunch of regular sized ones in different colors. We thought that the birds would steal all our seeds, but they have barely touched them. We’re going to harvest the flower heads as they begin to dry out, and we’ll dry the seeds to use in our bird feeders this winter. We’ll also keep some to plant next year. We’ve actually had sunflowers growing around one of our bird feeders from seeds that the birds dropped on the ground!

We picked our first watermelon. It was very good, but small – only about 10” diameter. Our cantaloupes are larger than that! I ate a half a watermelon for breakfast, and the other half was polished off by Steve and the dogs (they loved it) before lunch. The small ones are kind of nice, because we can finish the whole thing at once and don’t have to put a cut watermelon in the fridge with saran wrap.

We aren’t impressed by the canned green beans. The flavor is good, but they’re very soft and mushy. We decided to stick with freezing them – we like the product better and it’s much easier to do. The dogs went to the vet last week, and they were both up to 80 lbs (we try to keep them at 75). They got put back on the green bean diet, so guess who’s eating the mushy canned green beans! They don’t care that they’re mushy, in fact they try to lick inside the jar when I’m scooping some into their bowls!