Zucchini Dreams

After being gifted with quite a few zucchini this past summer by friends and family, I am excited at the prospect of growing my very own next summer. I have heard from nearly everyone who has grown it that I’ll probably get more zucchini than I’ll know what to do with, but somehow I doubt that.

So much potential!

So much potential!

With the new recipe for Shredded Zucchini Faux Pineapple (found on Simply Grateful Canning) that I made this past summer, the Glazed Pineapple-Zucchini Upside Down Cupcakes (recipe found on Simply Grateful Cooking), and the many other recipes I have planned for all the shredded zucchini I froze in my new upright freezer, I can’t imagine having enough let alone too much. I even have two new recipes I’ve made up on my own that I didn’t have enough zucchini to test this year, so those are on my 2016 Canning To Do List — can’t wait.

For now, I’ll be dreaming of zucchini and hoping that growing this is as bountiful as my peppers were this year (912 and counting) and my cucumbers were last year (302 for the season). Just think what I’d be able to do with just a fraction of my cucumber total for 2014 — the possibilities are endless.

Dreaming and planning for the 2016 garden, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.


Garden Update August 1, 2014

It has been a crazy couple of days for me.  The end of the month is the busiest for me because I actually have a job other than housewife that brings in extra income for the household.  I work from home, which at times can be challenging with all the canning, cooking, cleaning, parenting, and other housewife-type duties that hover over me 24/7, but I love the freedom of being able to work when I want.  Plus, I don’t have to get out of my pajamas, comb my hair, or put on make-up when I mosey into the office to sit at the computer.

Being that I’m self-employed and work from home, there are really no set hours that I have to work.  There is always work, but my boss gives me the freedom to work when I want and trusts that I will get done what needs to get done.  Typically I try to work at least an hour a day, a few extra on the weekends, totaling between 30 and 40 hours per month.  This helps me keep up my part of the household bills — the grocery bills.  Of course, with all the canning and gardening I’ve been doing, as of three days ago I had barely 12 hours of work for the month.  This meant a rush to put in some hours and get some work done and by midnight July 31st I had an additional 34 hours bringing my monthly total hours to 46.

Whew!  That was close.  I don’t mind working, the only problem is that I don’t have the time for it.  Once I start working though, it is just as hard for me to stop as it is for me to start.  That’s why today I spent another 9 hours working — a jump-start for August’s bill.  Of course this means that everything else suffers.  Time management is really not that difficult for me, I just don’t like to do it.  When I start working on one thing, be it canning, gardening, or work, I just want to do that.  Splitting my time between activities usually ends up being more counterproductive than productive.

Tomorrow I have my to do list filled with canning, housework, and gardening — no work.  Maybe I’ll put in a few hours on Sunday or maybe I’ll just wait until the first of the week.  See how this procrastinating can just weasel its way into my plans?

In spite of all the work I’ve been doing, I did manage to take an hour yesterday to transplant my beet seedlings into the freshly cleaned out beet portion of the garden.  I think they look pretty good.

The freshly planted beet garden.

The freshly planted beet garden.

The newly transplanted beet seedlings.

The newly transplanted beet seedlings.

These are the beets from the first crop that I replanted because they were mere slivers.

These are the beets from the first crop that I replanted because they were mere slivers.

This morning they hadn’t wilted, and were perky and healthy.  So in 40-50 days I will hopefully be harvesting more beets to can for the pantry and the long winter months ahead.

Besides transplanting the beets, I also picked a few cherry tomatoes.  They are beautiful this year and it looks like we are going to get a lot of them.  Hubby tells me that cherry tomatoes are his favorite.  Good thing, I think we have at least five of those plants.

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A little over a week ago, I finally had a female and a male flower on my zucchini plant blooming at the same time.  For the past several weeks I have had either male or female, but never both at the same time.  When I saw the two open at the same time, I immediately got my paint brush and pollinated.  Waiting to see if a bee found them in time was too risky for my tastes.  I took matters into my own hands.  A week later here is what my one zucchini looks like:


The only other real change in my garden is that the peas are flowering.  I’ve never grown peas, but I’m hopeful I’ll at least get a few pods.  I only planted a few plants because this is a trial to see if I want to do more next year.  I don’t expect much in the way of a harvest, but learning how the plants grow, when they bloom, and what mother nature will throw at me to make this more challenging for next year should be helpful.

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My mind is still racing with thoughts of work, but slowly I am calming down and preparing for a wonderful day of “getting back to what I love.”  The night should clear my head and help me focus on making the most of the upcoming weekend, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.