Sunday, August 10, 2014

fun with watermelons


come to the conclusion that there are simply not enough hours in the day to get everything done. I’m not complaining, mind you, I could really just go for a nap right about now.

watermelon jam
We started out the weekend in a nice relaxing fashion, by taking the Suzuki out to Gila Bend where we had breakfast at the Space Age Diner. The place is a hoot, doing its best Roswell impersonation. I’m particularly found of the sparkly stucco the place is covered in.  We ate so much I forgot to eat lunch. Which is just as well, because I made a pretty big dinner.  Some days I’m more domestic than others.

It wasn't all play for us. Brian did some more work on the new veggie patch. (The alpacas are dutifully adding their contribution to the project.) He also turned over what is now being referred to as the “little garden”, where the bulk of the winter vegetables will go.  It saves me a whole lot of time and backache when he turns the soil with the tractor. I love that tractor.

making wine.
For my part, I made watermelon Jam on Saturday, then spent Sunday morning preparing my mix for watermelon wine. I’ll have Brian help me put it in the fermentor after it cools down. Then it’s keep your fingers crossed and hope I get a good fermentation and remember to rack it at the proper time. Basically, hope that I don’t screw up. It’s killing me to know I have to wait six to nine months to find out if I’ve made wine, or three gallons of watermelon vinegar. I don’t think I know what I would do with three gallons of watermelon vinegar…  I wonder if I could use it for dying? Na, let’s think positively and plan on toasting with a refreshing fruit wine come the New Year.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Dog days of summer

We’ve been having a fairly wet monsoon this year. The watermelons are loving it. I’ve been picking melons that are between twenty and thirty pounds! It’s a good thing we like watermelon, though I have to admit, we gave the last one away because, well, we’re getting just a tiny bit tired of watermelon.

The weeds have also been enjoying the rains. We finally fenced off the watermelon patch and safeguarded the pomegranate and sage bushes, and let the alpacas loose in the yard. I figured they could weed just as easily as I could. Though it is just a little disconcerting to see an alpaca walk by the window every so often.
Molly isn’t too thrilled with this set up. She is not a huge fan of the alpacas and spends most of her time up on the porch giving me that accusing look. (You let them out on purpose? What were you thinking???) The feral cats are equally annoyed. Except for Rufus. 

He’s adopted the alpacas, and the alpacas seem to have gotten found of him. During the heat of the day, when the boys all find their favorite spots in front of the cooler, there is Rufus, fast asleep in the middle of them. And I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen Rufus, arched back, rubbing in and out of the alpacas legs. It’s nice to see they’ve all made friends.

Brian and I have been talking about setting up a new vegetable garden in one of the pastures. We figured we could block it off until it’s done producing, then open the gate, and let the alpacas clean up. Win-win. Brian decided to go ahead and get that started. He ripped up the soil and moved our compost pile to the new garden. We’ll keep adding compost and keep the soil somewhat moist so that it is well conditioned for spring when we’ll start planting. In the mean time, we’ll put the winter garden where the old compost pile was.