Schmidt Homestead

Our new home in Woodburn, IL

Monday, September 24, 2007

We had a good weekend. I got the rest of the sunflowers hung in the barn, and I planted some fall lettuce. Oliver is quite the garden helper – chasing the hoe, attacking weeds and such. He followed us up to the trailer, so we let him in. He was really good, so we decided that he could come in as long as he behaved himself. Later while we watched a movie, we heard him crying outside the door. We let him in, and he made himself comfy under the recliners like our old cat, Peanut, used to do.

Yesterday we spent all day canning tomatoes. We made some more yellow salsa and two batches of spaghetti sauce. The red tomatoes have slowed down a bit, but the little yellow tomatoes have been unbelievable. The bushes/vines are taller than my head, and they’re so big and full that I can’t reach thru one side and get to the center (there are two rows). I can pick yellow tomatoes for over an hour and still not get them all. I’ll think I’m finished, and then I move a branch and there’s more! There are still some near the ground that I can’t reach from any angle… my arms just aren’t long enough! Also, they leave what we call ‘yellow spooge’ all over you when you touch the vines. It’s fluorescent – like it’s radioactive – and I’ve found yellow spooge in my hair, on my legs, on my arms AFTER I’ve taken a shower! Yesterday Oliver was covered in it after walking thru the vines while I was picking.

The salsa recipe is very good – if you can get past the idea of yellow salsa. We eat it with Tostidos and on burritos. It’s easy too – it comes out of a packet from the store. What we really like is the spaghetti sauce. It also comes out of a packet from the store, and it’s excellent. Mrs. Wages makes great seasonings for tomatoes and pickles. We tried making some spaghetti sauce from scratch, but we like the packet kind much better. We’re planning to give away most of what we’ve canned this year. Our rule will be - if you return our jar, we’ll re-fill it for you next year! So far we have blackberry jam, salsa, spaghetti sauce and whole tomatoes.

The dogs learned yesterday that they like little yellow tomatoes. They probably ate more than a dozen each, and Zeus figured out how to pick them directly off the vines!

The dead green beans perked back up last week and we’ve picked several pounds since then. We dug up some carrots, and they were good. The loofas are finally coming around. It looks like we’ll get more than just the three we thought we had.