Welcome to this week’s homestead update.
Last weekend we went camping again. We had a good time, but because we were gone for 4 days I didn’t get a lot done on the homestead.
When we got home from the camping trip, I took my son down to the garden to pick anything that was ready. While I picked some tomatoes, I asked him to check out the zucchini. He looked all over the bed and even lifted the leaves up to look under. He yelled over that there weren’t any ready. So we continued picking tomatoes and okra. I went over to the tomato bed near the zucchini and what do I see? That huge baseball bat sized zucchini. I saw him looking and he did a good job. But these suckers can hide in plain sight.
Since we were away for the weekend, I didn’t pick any tomatoes over the weekend. That meant that during the week we picked all of these. Since we had so many paste tomatoes come ripe this week, I decided to start making some tomato paste. Since I don’t have a lot of time in the evenings for this, I do paste in stages. This week I got the juice and pulp out of these tomatoes. It is cooling in the fridge waiting until I have enough juice and time to make up a batch of paste. It takes hours of cooking to cook the paste down to the right consistency and that means I can’t do that during the week.
I put the juice and pulp in freezer bags and then into the basement fridge. My kids helped carry the bags down to the fridge. My daughter was carrying one of them and dropped it. What a mess. I was furious, but she was trying to help and I was successful in not yelling at her. She felt really bad about it. It took us quite some time to clean that up.
Thursday when I checked out the garden, the zucchini plants looked really bad. I checked the stems and they were soft. A closer look showed me frass on the stem. That’s the classic sign of the squash vine borer larvae. The plants looked great Wednesday, Thursday they were dead. So I pulled the plants and searched out the larvae. I had 6 zucchini plants and I was able to find all 6 SVB larvae. I cut them in half and left them for the birds to eat. That’s what happens to squash in my area. I grow them until the SVB kills them and that’s that. I saw zucchini plants at Home Depot when I was there the other day. I’m thinking of picking up 2 more plants. Since the SVB has already reproduced, the new plants should be good for the rest of the Summer. I’ll let you know if I do.
That’s it for this week. What did you do on your homestead?