I am pushing along on my first block for the CQJP2014 challenge, but am still a ways away from finishing. In the meantime I am keeping up with the garden, and busy preserving the excess.
Back in spring I bought some tadpoles for my pond, and all them are still going strong and seem very happy in their little water hole. Three of my little froglets have become fradpoles - tadpoles with back legs fully developed, kicking around. They are about the size of my thumb, have also got more frog-like heads, and have gone greenish. They also seem to congregate together, but not with the others. The others, however, are over half again the size of the fradpoles, but are all still fully tadpoles, and very dark colour . They were all supposed to be the same type, but I'm pretty sure there are actually two types.
The little fradpoles have also gotten very skittish (where the tadpoles are still fairly laid back), which has made them quite difficult to photograph. After around 3 dozen photos, these two are about the best I could get.
The strawberries are plodding along nicely, producing a handful of strawberries every two days or so - a great breakfast treat on my morning garden rounds.
The sunflowers are putting on a lovely show, and the birds are loving them - which is great, because that's what I grow them for.
The early varieties of pumpkins have been harvested - Gertrude, her two smaller sisters, and two cousins.
In the kitchen, the first jar of dill pickles has been put up - yum! can't wait to get into those!
The excess zucchini is being grated, packed in brine, and put aside to ferment. This is a really fast, easy, and very nutritious way to preserve it. Come winter, it can be eaten straight out of the jar like sauerkraut, used in salads, put in soups and stews, or put in spaghetti sauce. I often do a wonderful Bread & Butter Mustard Pickle with the excess zucchini, but I still have some of that left from last year, so don't need to do any more.
Excess green beans (which includes yellow ones and purple ones), get packed in brine too. Unlike other vegetables though, salting and fermenting makes beans tougher rather than more tender. But the fermenting does add a really nice flavour, and come winter these beans are fantastic in long, slow cooked soups, stews, and casseroles - perfect for anything done in a crockpot. The slow cooking makes them very tender.
And of course, no pantry is complete without home-marinated feta :)