Gardener's Grapevine 2013.07.03

As I sit here writing this, I look out the window across the yard at the neighbors’ cherry tree which is loaded with sour cherries. The birds are having a feast. You would think with all the energy used to gather the fruit that they wouldn’t get a lot of benefit from it.

These cherries make excellent cherry pie and crisp. They are just tangy enough to make it excellent, but definitely need to keep the sweetener available during prep. Cooking with this fruit also requires a pitter. I have a hand pitter, but the neighbors use a tabletop version that makes faster work of the job.

Art put the sweet corn in two weeks ago and it’s already eight inches tall. I think that’s pretty good. It’s probably the rain. We plant our corn in staggers. Every two weeks we plant five more rows. We can't eat it as fast as it comes on and this makes us have it all season long.

The rhubarb is still holding out which is a blessing as I love eating it in many different dishes. My favorite is my mother-in-law's rhubarb cake. It has white cake mix, a bag of marshmallows and rhubarb.

My new dog is really making gardening a challenge this year. She is quite the digger and retriever. If I pull out weeds and throw them in the yard, she will go get them and bring them back. If I dig a hole she goes to town digging her own. This is all well and good unless she decides her hole needs to be where a plant I don’t want removed just happens to be.

She does some incredibly funny things. One example is she ran to get in the house so fast and hard she missed the bottom step flipped herself upside down and flipped backwards up the steps only to turn and run into the house. There was no way Art or I could have stopped it from happening as she moves way faster than we can. I thought she broke her back until she jumped up and ran into the house. I took her to the vet and she sat in the front seat all the way to Hudson. She did great until the air-conditioning turned on. She kept putting her paws on her face like she could rub the wind off of it. She trotted into the vet office and came face to face with an enormous 15 pound cat that did not appreciate the pup's show of affection. Of course, if someone walked in and tackled you, you may not find much humor in it either. She found out the kitty did not play or even act cordial.

I hope she gets better in the gardening area. Kisses was always so good in the garden except for her tomato stealing antics. I do not intend to give Mitzy tomatoes, that way she doesn’t develop a taste for them.

The raspberries are coming on like crazy. I think the rain is really pushing them. Our variety produces twice a year. I lay the washed and drained berries on a cookie sheet and freeze them, then put them in freezer bags. That way if we only need a few, it’s easy enough to take what we need. Raspberries are an easy fruit to grow, but they like to spread. Anyone wanting starts should stop by in the spring and I will gladly give you some.