I (well, I should say Brett, his parents, and I) did manage to get a TON done around the house. While the guys finished building the new sunscreen for our back porch (which will help shade us from the ridiculous middle Georgia sun), we ladies were busy indoors. My entire kitchen got rearranged, and now I have loads more room for storing all the kitchen items I have. The garage got cleaned out, and I managed to freeze about 8 quart bags of peaches. I learned that instead of using sugar syrup, you can substitute juice. The ascorbic acid in juice helps to prevent the fruit from browning. I bought a jug of organic, non-sugar-added apple juice and used that, so I'm excited to see how it will turn out. I'm betting we won't miss the extra sugar! I also strung several jalapeno peppers to dry in the kitchen for use later.
Today I canned nectarines. Brett was kind enough to pick a huge box of both peaches and nectarines, and although I bagged the peaches and froze them, I wanted to save some room in my freezer by canning the nectarines. I used a medium sugar syrup (1 cup of sugar for every 2 cups of water) and they look great. I can't wait to open a jar this winter and enjoy the taste of summer!
This week is going to be incredibly busy. On Wednesday Brett and I are headed to PA, so I have a lot to do between now and then. Besides working and forcing myself to do schoolwork, I plan on getting my garden ready for late summer/fall crops. I have already ripped out the early beans, many of the cucumbers, some of the butterfly garden flowers, and the zucchini and squash plants that are done producing. Now it's time to plant new beans, winter squash, carrots, lettuce, greens, and onions. I also want to try to find some gourds to try. Is anyone familiar with collecting seeds? I'm planning on doing that as well. Finally, Brett heard from a coworker (an avid gardener) about the process of cutting tomato "runners" and re-rooting and planting them. We decided to try it, and cut two suckers off and placed them in water. Hopefully they will produce as well as the plants we cut them from- those are taller than I am!