Garden enthusiasm

My husband Eric and I love fresh cucumbers, so I plant a few every year. But the tropical weather has the cucumber output exploding a little more then I had planned on. Last night Eric and I picked almost two dozen of the darned things.

Everything in my garden has responded enthusiastically to the hot, moist weather. Whenever I head into the garden I expect to hear the call of tropical birds or see a monkey swing by on a vine. I’m happy to see my veggies growing so well, but when my tomatoes start to turn I’m going to be knee deep in tommies. Luckily my peppers are also growing like gangbusters, so I should have plenty of salsa ingredients.

The biggest problem I’ll have, other than finding the time to make all the salsa, will be finding the jars. Each year, my two kids who have already flown the coop come and grab jars of salsa, spicy tomato sauce, apple sauce and jam. And they never remember to bring the jars back.

I think I’ll start a new rule this year – they don’t get full jars until I get their empty jars. Not a bad deal, really.

I wish I could do all my grocery shopping that way. Just bring in empty boxes, cans, jars and bags, and the store would just swap out new stuff – that would be nice.

I’ve tried to be diligent this year about keeping the weeds in my garden at a minimum, and I was doing well until the last couple of weeks. The water weeds grow up so fast, and finding the time when it isn’t pouring rain was a challenge, until I realized that the weeds pull out easier when the ground is wet, and the rain keeps the mosquitoes down. So now I try to weed in the rain.

Eric and I kind of developed a system. I’d head out to the garden wearing my crocs, but after a while they would get so heavy with mud they would literally be dragged off my feet. Then I would kick them off and do the rest barefoot. Eric would then use the scraper he has taken to leaving on the top of his tool chest for this very reason, and scrape all the thick mud off my shoes. Sometimes he even took them over to the garden hose and really washed the muddy things down. What a guy! He’s in it for the vegetables, I know, but it’s still a nice gesture.

The heat has also been a bit of a problem. Some days I go out there, pick a handful of weeds and then seriously start to melt. I need to get a big, floppy gardening hat like my grandma always wore.

I wonder how she managed to get all of her jars back?