Thursday, July 25, 2013

Summer's Bounty

My garden got off to a pretty good start this year. But alas, it is not so great now. If it weren't so depressing, I might have posted a picture of it. We have had lots of rain, so we did not have to water much. The problem is, however, that we had a little too much rain, for several weeks, and not enough sun. We did have squash, zucchini, beans, peppers and cucumbers for a few really tasty meals. The over-abundance of rain seems to have encouraged the pesky bugs and worms, which started attacking all the vines and they withered. They look pathetic now. I had planted several varieties of tomatoes and they have done quite well. There are a few tomatoes and peppers still growing. This is a picture of the last of the eggplants and several types of tomatoes I picked a couple of days ago.

In spite of my garden's not doing well, there were some things that benefited from the rain. One of the things in my yard that did well and produced a blockbuster crop this summer were the blueberry bushes. We have two bushes and they have provided a couple of gallons of berries, so far, which is the most we have ever had in a season. Here is a picture of blueberries we picked several days ago:

I poured all of them into my largest wooden bowl to get a picture. There is a gallon of blueberries in this bowl. I flash froze most of them on shallow baking pans and then transferred them to quart freezer bags and placed back into the freezer. These will be good in the fall and winter months for baking.

Yesterday, my husband went to Edgefield, South Carolina to have one of our cars serviced. Funny how he always seems to plan the service for about the second or third week in July, which most people in this area will know, just happens to coincide with peak season for peaches. Georgia is known as the Peach State, but South Carolina is a top producer of peaches in the United States, second only to California, where there is more land on which to grow the fruit. Edgefield, South Carolina and many of the surrounding towns, commonly referred to as the Ridge, are well known for the enormous amounts of peaches they produce each year. You might enjoy an article I found on line by the New York Times at

Since he is crazy about this particular fruit, it came as no surprise when Glenn returned home with some gorgeous peaches. Apparently, the rain has been very good for the peaches, because they are huge this season, as you can see from this photograph:

Peaches from an Edgefield, S.C. Orchard
Since we have both blueberries and peaches, in abundance, I was inspired to have this bowl of blueberries, peaches, a little milk and a sprinkling of sugar for lunch earlier today:

It was delicious!

Figs, one of my favorite fruits, will be maturing soon. There will also be something we folks down south call scuppernong or muscadine grapes. To see what these look like, you can click on this link for Clemson University or this link muscadine‑grapes.jpg I notice that the references I found on the internet refer to this fruit as a grape. However, they are not the kind of grape most people would think of as a grape. They are not fleshy like a standard grape and the skin is not usually chewed and swallowed. They have a pulpy-like sort of sack in the middle, which contains the seeds. This pulpy little sack is surrounded by very sweet y liquid or juice. It is one of those things that most people like just for the juice and some people use the juice to make wine in the same way regular grapes are used.

Now, I have a fig tree, but it never seems to grow and produces only two or three figs a year. I have had it for many years. I have fertilized, mulched, composted, etc. I move it every now and then, to see if it will do anything someplace else, but it never does. The blueberry bushes did the same way until, finally, they came alive and started bearing like crazy. I am hoping the fig tree will do the same. 

My friend, Harriette, has a couple of great fig trees and scuppernong vines and she is kind enough to invite me to pick from hers. She is the best friend, EVER. Those figs are so sweet and good! My husband likes for me to preserve them, whole, and he eats them on toast. I like them that way, too, but I love to eat them raw, right off the tree! The thought of picking these and experiencing their mellow goodness fills me with anticipation.

 After all the summer crops are gone, we will still be able to buy tomatoes and other vegetables and fruits from the supermarket, but they will not taste the same.
 Summer is fleeting and these fresh and delightful offerings will be only a sweet and pleasant memory and something to look forward to when spring planting time arrives and we once again look forward to all the unsurpassed goodness the gardens and orchards will yield.
Until then, let us immerse ourselves in the joys that summer has to offer and delight in-------

----before it slips away and is replaced by the awesome spectacle of fall, with its majestic colors and mouth-watering aromas and flavors.


111 LaLa Lane said...

A girl after my own heart. I love garden fresh vegetables and fruits of all kinds. The peaches are very beautiful. And I could eat that whole gallon of blueberries right by myself. My husband loves muscadines. There is a lady in our town that has a whole grove or orchard, whatever you call it, of grapes and he picks several different varieties each year. I have been wanting to can some tomatoes this year and just kept putting it off for one reason or the other, so I went to Mt. Pleasant yesterday to buy some from Boone Hall Plantation. Theirs is almost finished, but had some from Edisto. So I bought enough to get started. The only problem is that they are not as ripe as I like, so I have them sitting out for another couple of days. Oh the joys of summer, gardens, fresh fruits and veggies. Thanks for sharing your bounty with us.

Suzan Sweatman said...

Those peaches and blueberries look fantastic - sprinkled with sugar and milk that's how we used to eat them as kids here!
What a fun post -
I think summer is going by at a ridiculously fast pace this year - we're heading into August and I really don't know where June and July went!
And winter is not something I'm anticipating this year at all lol
Have a wonderful Sunday

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Oh my son would be in heaven as blueberries are one of his all time favorite foods!

Have a wonderfully lovely day!

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

I wish I could eat all the good looking fruit but it would kill my stomach...
Love your tray!!
Thanks so much for always stopping by and leaving such kind and heart felt comments.
I am so sorry that I have not been by sooner but it seems like I am so busy and with work getting in the way of everything I want to do...LOL!
I am quite happy about how those bird house stands came out. And my Gnome garden too!! I love that bit of whimsy in the garden.
Thanks to for your kind words about Joe's Dad article and I want to thank your Hubby for his service to our country.
We have been getting some much needed rain here. The heat wave that we had dried everything out!! I hope you are having a great weekend, my friend!!


Erika Nittel-Traser said...

It is one of the very good things in life to have a garden and harvest fruit. You have beautiful fruits and I can see that they were sure yummy :)
There is a proverb that says (interpretation of the meaning): Will you be happy for a day, drink wine. Will you be happy for a lifetime, have a garden!
Much love to you - Erika

Holly Lefevre (504 Main) said...

I cannot wait to grow a has been so long. We have so little sun...I have a hard time getting anything to grow. I do hear arugula grows well here...but soon I will be in Texas...with plenty of sunshine!

My mouth is watering with those peaches and blueberries. I LOVE peach season more than anything!

lynn cockrell said...

Laurie, if you get 2 replies to your comment, forgive me. I had almost finished replying and, clumsy as I can sometimes be, my hand went spastic and sent that one to heaven only knows where. I'll bet those Edisto tomatoes are good and you are so smart to can them. I usually make a few jars of pepper jelly, but haven't even done that yet. Maybe, I can put up a few jars of jam before the blueberries are all gone. Thanks for always stopping by, Laurie, and for leaving your kind, encouraging and uplifting comments. It is always great to hear from you and I apologize for being so long in replying. Hope the rest of your weekend will be great!

lynn cockrell said...

I agree, Suzan. It seems like it took forever for summer to get here and now it's almost time for the kids to start back to school down here. I really appreciate your reading my humble blog posts and for taking time to leave a comment. It means so much to me. Have a good evening and weekend!

lynn cockrell said...

It is always great to hear from you, Laura. I apologize for not replying sooner. Bless you for taking time out of your day, which I know is exceptionally busy right now, to leave a comment on my blog. Hope you have a beautiful weekend!

lynn cockrell said...

Debbie, thanks so much for stopping by. I know you are still a very busy girl with your full-time career, not to mention all the projects you have been involved in on the home front. Despite all that, you took the time to leave a comment. I sincerely appreciate it. I often speak of you to my friend, Harriette, and I told her that I feel I know you and that you are a friend of mine, too. She doesn't have a blog, but reads yours and those of others, from time to time. You have been such an encouragement to me and others. Have a beautiful weekend!

lynn cockrell said...

Erika, I appreciate your stopping by and leaving your sweet comments. Thanks ever so much for sharing the proverb with me. It is true, there is something very special about gardening. It is soothing to both soul and mind. May your weekend be blessed and lovely!

lynn cockrell said...

Holly, I know how very busy you are, especially now, with the move to Texas underway. I pray you will find that perfect house very soon. Thanks for taking a moment of your time to leave your sweet comments. I truly appreciate it! God bless you with safe and happy travels and house hunting!

Patty Antle said...

When we lived in Ruston, Louisiana, we enjoyed the peach festival there. Your blueberries, well everything looks so delicious. Figs are a favorite of mine. Love fig bars.

Ivy and Elephants said...

I grew up with muscadines, too! We had them on our property as a girl. Love the summer bounty, too. Nothing like biting into a sweet juicy peach!

lynn cockrell said...

Patti, we usually go to the peach festival in the small town of Gilbert, S.C. It is usually a good one, especially the entertainment. It is always on July 4th, but time got away from us this year and we didn't get to go. I especially like fresh figs and fig bars, too, but I usually make some preserves for my husband. If you can believe it, my blueberry bushes still have some berries. The birds can have those. I appreciate your dropping by and for leaving your nice comments!

lynn cockrell said...

I have some figs in the fridge from my friend's trees. I need to get busy and make preserves. Her muscadines will be ripe soon and I hope to get some of those. Sometimes, I find myself eating as I pick them! They are a real late summer treat for me. It was sweet of you to drop by. It was a real treat reading your post about your new "lady in lace." You have such a gift for making things look beautiful, Patti!

Christine Graves said...

Perfect timing that I read this post....I have to head to the grocery store in a I'm going to need to add peaches and figs to the