Cucumbers and more cucumbers and rain and more rain

I finish one batch of fermented, quick brined, or canned cucumbers and another basket fills on the kitchen counter. I have had years when to have a cucumber or make a small batch of pickles, I have had to purchase them at the Farmers market for $5 a pint which only makes two pints of pickles. This year is a cucumber year. I have canned 5 3/4 pints of Spicy Bread and Butter, 6 pints of Garlic Dill (though one didn’t seal and is in the refrigerator), a gallon of Quick Brined Dills, 3 quarts of Fermented pickles. I will probably make one more batch of canned pickles. The refrigerator is filling.

Slowly, the tomatoes are ripening, but it doesn’t look like there will be a glut of them to can this year. Lots of greenery and plenty of tomatoes, but not huge quantities. The peppers are beginning to produce, except for the bell peppers that are competing for space with the cucumbers that refused to stay on the fence. I am nearing the point like you do with zucchini where I’m ready to cut the vines and give the other vegetables a better chance. We can only eat so many pickles.

The second planting of bush beans is blooming, so soon there will be fresh beans again, and the third planting germinated nicely. It is now August, and I need to think about how to plant a fall garden. The box has still not been repaired and nor the larger one built. It has either been hot as the gates of hell or pouring rain.

Last week, the department of transportation that maintains our gravel road dumped crusher run gravel on the road and didn’t run a roller over it. Night before last, it rained hard for hours. Yesterday we were going in to the library to return a book and pick up a hold for me and discovered that their efforts all washed downhill and filled the ditch at the top of our culvert to road level, totally blocking our culvert and causing the rain to wash down our driveway, destroying the upper third and causing significant gullies all the way to the bottom near the house. I called VDOT first thing yesterday, but they did not come out yet and it rained again last night and we have heavy rain forecast for tomorrow and Monday. Hubby is supposed to take his motorcycle in to the city on Thursday for inspection, oil change, and to see if the dealer is purchasing used bikes as he can no longer ride but for very short sessions. At this point, he can’t even get out. I will try to use the blade on the tractor to repair the worst of the damage, but there is no point until they open the ditch so rain doesn’t run down our driveway. With only 5 houses on the nearly mile long road and 3 more off the state maintained road that have to use it to get out, they will never Macadam surface it. Since they are unwilling to accept that the ditch is on the wrong side for much of the road and no culverts to direct it where it is a reverse swale, the problem will be ongoing. I don’t know the solution. We have graded, had gravel dumped, graded some more, raised a dam along the top edge of the culvert and a directional hump across the top of the driveway and nothing works when it rains hard enough to wash the road into the ditch. The two cars can bump and bounce over it, but the motorcycle can’t, it is tricky on the gravel even when it is well repaired.

The July spinning challenges are done. To end the month, there was a lottery for 18 spindles and because I completed the Tour de Fleece with all 23 scavenger items found and because I fulfilled the 15 minute challenge every day the next week, I got three entries. The winners will be posted this morning, and today marks the start of the usual monthly challenge to spin at least 25 grams of fiber only on Jenkins spindles during the month. I ordered some dyed Tunis for my rare breed credit, and some dyed Shetland with Mulberry Silk for my main spinning and emptied both spindles before dinner last night. I still had about 20 grams of the blue, yellow, and white Merino with Bamboo left and spun half of it last night on a different spindle and will finish the rest on that spindle today before I start my August Challenge. Most of it is plied on my wheel and as soon as I can finish this fiber, it will be plied to the rest and let to set for a day or two on the bobbin then wound off and washed.

Back to spindle spinning to finish the fiber.

Stay safe everyone.

I would love to hear your comments on this post.

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