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About this time of the year, I am busy helping my vegetable gardens transition into summer.  

That means pulling any remaining leaf lettuce.  Yes, it hurts to know that I now have to buy lettuce until next fall when I can grow it again.

Even though not all of my lettuce had bolted, none of it was edible.  Once the temperatures get up to 90 degrees, the lettuce turns bitter.

vegetable garden transition

vegetable garden transition

For the past 4 months, I have been harvesting a few carrots every few nights to include in salads or soups.

Now that it is getting hotter and some of the carrots are beginning to flower, it was time to harvest the rest of the remaining carrots.

I didn’t use the carrots that had flowered, since they had become woody inside.

vegetable garden transition

vegetable garden transition

You know, one of the things that I like about gardening is how unpredictable it can be.  The two carrots, above, were growing just 1 ft. away from each other.

The garlic was already harvested and I concentrated on pulling out cool-season annuals that were serving as companion plants.

I love my crocs

I love my crocs!

These nasturtiums were still blooming, so I will leave them until they begin to fade.

vegetable garden transition

vegetable garden transition

A quick check of my warm-season vegetables showed that my zucchini plant has its first fruit (yes, zucchini is technically a ‘fruit’).

You really have to check carefully for zucchini because they can be hard to spot.

I will have to get my mother’s famous zucchini bread recipe.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are hanging from the vine and will soon be turning red.

In my side garden, I have two new peach trees growing.

peaches

This one has 18 peaches on it.

I planted this peach tree in January.  Now, normally, you would want to ‘thin’ fruit so that there is only one fruit every 6 inches – this creates larger fruit.  But, I was so happy to see so much fruit on my new tree, that I just left them.

Since I won’t have enough to make peach jam, this year, I will use them to make peach vinegar.

I don’t just have peaches growing in my side garden…

blackberries

My blackberry bush has ripe blackberries!

Originally, I hadn’t planned on growing blackberries in my garden, but my mother had an extra blackberry plant that she gave me last year, so I planted one.

I decided to go ahead and add more this year and planted 5 more bushes.

I only have the original blackberry bush covered in fruit because blackberries form on 1-year old growth.

blackberries

My family wants me to use some of our blackberries to serve over ice cream.

I was thinking of using them for making blackberry vinegar, which I’ll use to make salad dressing.

What do you think?  Ice cream topping or fruit-flavored vinegar?

I am very blessed to have my mother and my sister live very close to me.  However, this was not always so.  Twenty-four years ago, I moved to Arizona from California as a new bride.  The rest of my family remained in California.  Of course, there were many visits back and forth.  But I never really knew how wonderful it could be to have them living close by.  Until about 3 years ago.

My sister and her family along with my mother purchased Double S Farms just over a year ago and so began a weekly tradition of us having dinner over there once a week.  I always look forward to this day because for one, I don’t have to cook dinner – but more importantly, it is a wonderful time of visiting with my mom and sister.

With our beautiful weather, we have recently been eating outside in the backyard, surrounded by their garden full of flowers, the vegetables, the fruit trees and some feathered visitors.

Each week, as soon as we drive up, I love to check to see how the fruit trees are doing in the front garden.  It looks like the peaches will soon be ready…

Double S Farms

My son is always the first to reach the front door and upon entering the house, he is promptly wrestled to the floor by his two little cousins (Little Farmer and Littlest Farmer).

Double S Farms

Each week, my mom (Pastor Farmer) always cooks something new for us to try along with fresh-baked bread.  We love to eat outside and enjoy the sunset and our food.

Beautiful weather

Beautiful weather

Then it is time for the kids to play and the adults to sit back and relax in the garden.

Of course, there are usually new vegetables to check out….

Beautiful weather

As well as seeing how the apples are growing on the trees….

Double S Farms

The kids love to play as well on the cool, green grass.

Beautiful weather

Beautiful weather

About this time, the newest residents of Double S Farms come out of their chicken coop to come and visit.

Double S Farms

Ramona is the first to come out to visit.

Double S Farms

Followed by Flo.

By the way, did you know that chickens like macaroni & cheese?  Well, these chickens do…

Double S Farms

Especially Lucy.

We enjoy watching all of the chickens and their antics.  But, our favorite is Effie. 

Double S Farms

 Now, Effie will not win any chicken beauty contest.  She is decidedly awkward looking and has fluffy cheeks.  But, it is her personality that is so endearing.  She is very friendly and lets us all hold and pet her – even the kids.  

Beautiful weather
Double S Farms

Effie is not camera shy, like Flo can be and the other day, she hopped onto my sister’s (Chicken Farmer), lap and promptly lay her head down and fell asleep.

Double S Farms

Not to be outdone by some chickens, Double S Farm’s resident hummingbird, Jose, makes an appearance as we eat our dinner.

Double S Farms

The sun is setting and it is time to go home.

Double S Farms

I hope you have enjoyed our evening visit to Double S Farms.

Double S Farms

Good Night….