Lots of photos in this post! The tomatoes are looking fantastic. Some of them are actually tipping the stakes right over, and they're starting to sprawl out. I no longer have neat little walking paths between the plants - they're now pretty much one solid block of plant. I'll have to get an updated photo fo the tomato patch tomorrow. Here are a few notable tomatoes. Nicholaevna Pink is one of the largest at this point. This surprises me because I thought for sure Large Barred Boar, or Great White would be bigger.
Another notable variety is Blondkopfchen ("Goldilocks"). In researching this variety I don't recall any posts saying "bring a bucket" or "more tomatoes per plant than any other" - but it is definitely on that list. This is just one "bunch" of tomatoes. The plant has another "bunch" that are smaller, and at least three or four more "bunches" of flowers yet. Yikes! I hope they taste good!
On Tuesday I decided to put together a crockpot dinner. We went to the store and bought a chunk of beef, an onion, a few new red and baby yukon potatoes, celery, carrots, and a zucchini. I added in parsley, kale, collards, beans, and a few mint leaves. We ate the peas fresh.
I put everything in the crock pot with some rosemary and beef broth (or stock?), only to find out that our crock pot no longer works. So I called my Mom up and we ended up hauling it over to her house. I only spilled once during the trip, so that's always a plus. By the time we got everything switched to her crock pot and cooking it was 3:30. So we figured we'd have a late dinner. Set the crockpot for 4 hours on high. Four hours later the potatoes and carrots were still raw, so we set it back to 4 hours on high. By 10pm we decided to order pizza instead. When we left that evening, my Mom set it to 10 hours on low. The next morning, the potatoes were still hard!! So she turned it on 10 hours of low again. We ate it (finally) after it had been cooking for 26-1/2 hours. The potatoes and carrots and beef were great, but the zucchini and greens were pretty much liquefied at that point. On the plus side, between our family of seven, my parents, and my brother - there was only two potatoes left at the bottom of the pot after dinner.... and nobody complained about it. It must not have been too bad. It was a nice sneaky way to get greens into their diet (not that that is a problem for my kids).
The kittens are ever adorable. They've discovered how to escape the box, and we frequently find the same one on the couch, crying because it can't figure out how to get back into the box. The kids have all picked favorites. They're all very cute, and each one definitely has its own unique markings.
Last night we narrowly missed getting hit by a storm that was producing 60-mile-an-hour winds and golf ball sized hail. It split as it came to Brainerd (as many weather patterns do - "the Brainerd Bubble" we like to call it). I snapped a photo of some of the cool clouds that came in just ahead of the storm, then made sure the bunnies were all tucked in safely with food and water under tarps to keep them safe (they all have roofs to prevent hail injuries, the tarps are just to keep the wind and rain from whipping in).
Which brings me to the bunnies. As always, I re-checked genders now that they're 8-weeks old. I got a few wrong initially. It looks like we have three does, five bucks, and two that I'm not certain about but I believe they may actually be bucks. They're now separated by gender. The three confirmed does in one cage, and the 7 others in their own big cage. They're lots of fun. They crowd around the door every time we come to feed and water them, and they nose bump my hand if I stick my fingers in, then run in circles around the cage and get back in line to do it again. I've been giving them big handfuls of grass and dandelions now that they're away from their mom and they love it! Less competition with fewer bunnies in each cage. They're still all available for sale.
Amanda's blog about everything, important and trivial.