Zucchini before

Zucchini before

It’s been a quiet week at the So Many Books homestead. We had some hot and steamy weather and then some heavy rain and then more hot and steamy and then more rain and at last, today is cool and sunny. Well, not cool, but a beautifully comfortable 73F/23C with sunshine. There are still plenty of warm days ahead but there is a hint of the seasons about to change. The geese are flocking and moving south. The maple tree across the street is beginning to turn colors. The days are getting shorter.

In the garden the beans are winding down. I am really happy with the production from the pole beans this year. We grew the variety called “rattlesnake.” They get red streaks through the bean pods the longer you leave them but since we like to eat the pods, we pick them before they start to get the red stripes. I have left a number of pods on the plants, however, to produce seeds for next year. The pods get big and they have a satifying substantialness to them that their bush bean cousins lack.

Zucchini after

Zucchini after


The crickets are chirping like crazy at night and the cicadas are buzzing like crazy durning the day. We are picking tomatoes. And zucchini. Lots of zucchini. Today Bookman made relish. He did not use all the zucchini for this. There are more. He is going to make bread and butter refrigerator pickles out of them. And I put in an order for zucchini bread. The Dashwoods were really happy with the zucchini peels and seeds left from the relish making.

Also today we harvested potatoes. We planted Irish cobbler and Adirandak blue. We are quite pleased with the yield. We will be saving some of the larger ones for seed potatoes for spring and are considering expanding the size of the potato patch next year.

Potatoes!

Potatoes!

The pumpkin vines have lots of little pumpkins on them. We were worried for a little while because we only saw one. But looking today there are quite a few hiding under the big leaves. Yay!

The Dashwoods are out free ranging in their garden today. Earlier in the afternoon we heard a chicken cry of distress and Bookman and I crammed on shoes and rushed out. There had been a cat in the garden this morning and we were worried it might have come back to pick on our girls. The Dashwoods are as large as a cat these days and not likely to become a tasty meal. They also have talons and beaks they know how to use (just ask my poor knees about the beaks!). That doesn’t mean a determined cat could not kill one or badly injure one though. So out we rushed. By the time we got out there the distressed calls had stopped. At first I only saw Mrs. Dashwood and she was obviously not in any trouble at all. Then the others came out from behind the compost bin as nonchalant and unconcerned as could be. What the heck Dashwoods? Are you all okay? And they gathered around my feet looking up at me wondering if I had a treat for them.

Zucchini for everyone

Zucchini for everyone


We have no idea who was in distress or why. We suspect one of them must have gotten herself stuck behind the run door or some other location and couldn’t figure out how to extricate herself but them managed before we arrived on the scene. Silly Dashwoods. They really had us worried there!

Biking

It rained off and on all day Saturday, sometimes heavily, with occasional thunder. Saturdays are my long ride days so Astrid and I stayed indoors hooked up to the trainer and riding on a virtual Zwift course. With the goal of the 200-mile/322 km race August 2017, I decided to work on both speed and endurance. I did 75 miles/121 km in a little over 4 hours which puts me on a pace to finish 100 miles/161 km in a little less than six hours. I want to finish the 200 mile race in 13 to 14 hours and the rule of thumb is take your 100 mile time and add two hours. So before I begin adding miles to my training, I am working on being able to ride 100 miles comfortably and without fatigue in 5 1/2 to 6 hours. After yesterday’s trainer ride, I am happily on track!

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