An update for the book’s progress this week would consist of: editing is still going strong, a few chapters left to go, and beta readers are still the next step. Rather than leave the post at one sentence, I’m going to share some progress on our garden that I mentioned earlier this year.

I am sad to report, the pickling cucumbers did not make it. My best guess is that they need to go out later in the season or have some sort of greenhouse cover to keep them warmer for longer. Other than that, the plants are doing well. There are some aphid battles being fought over the brussels sprouts, but we believe we have them under control for now.

The tomato and tomatillo plants are growing like crazy, and I will need to set up some support lines for the tallest branches soon. The romas are starting to come in now, and the others are already producing many of the fruits. Off to the left in the picture, you will also see the asparagus in all its tall fluffiness behind the cilantro in bloom and basil filling out nicely. We are letting the cilantro go to seed to plant again for a fall harvest.

These things are still too early to can, but we have done a couple of jams so far this year. Over the last couple of months, I bought rhubarb and mixed it with strawberries. A week or so ago we were also given some sour cherries. We decided to mix those with blackberries to sweeten them up. I prefer some tartness to my jams, so we use low-sugar pectin and only a bit of sugar (much less than the recipes show).

We made the black(berry) cherry jam this morning, and I think it turned out pretty well. We have about a serving or two sitting in the refrigerator that was not enough for another full jar. I have actually found I enjoy using the jams on bagels. I put a thin layer of cream cheese on half and some of our jam on the other half. Now I need to buy some more bagels!

Strawberry-rhubarb in the back right. Black(berry) cherry on the left.

More editing complete, jam jars sealed, and the new job starts Monday! Have a great week everyone!

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