Sow: tree rat vendetta

This is not an ode to the cute, furry and omnipresent squirrel in all its varying colors (ours in North Texas are gray, by the way). If you want that, you’d better go right now to Evil Squirrel’s Nest and have a whirl around that blog. Tons of cartoons and photos. Get your ultra cute tree rat fill. I’m not publicizing those critters here.

No, this is an angry rant. A declaration of war from normally peace-loving me:

“Ok, tree rats, there are now 5 peaches on the huge peach tree. As of Friday, the branches were packed with little developing peaches. Now, there are green peaches all over the yard with one or two bites out of them. If you’re going to steal them and eat them before they’re ripe, you need to finish them. And when you do finish them, you guys keep leaving the pits where Gidget can get them. She’s going to break a tooth just like Guinness did a couple of years ago. We do not need another vet bill for a slab fracture. So as of tonight, every time I see you near the garden, on the fence, in the bird bath, anywhere in the yard, I’m opening the back door and yelling ‘Squirrel!’ Enjoy the exercise, you little bastards.”

I am not kidding.

I am furious there will be no 2014 peach jam. It was going to be the Mortroski Midcentury Urban Farm’s fabulously delicious Christmas gift. And I was so excited about spending an afternoon cleaning and peeling peaches, prepping them for freezing (it is too hot to make jam in North Texas in July), then finally making jam one afternoon in November when it’s cool enough to break out the canner, boiling water, sterilized jars, and cooling racks. It’s a production that I look forward to. It’s two afternoons of fun. And they’ve been stolen away from me. Bastards.

2013 Mortroski Midcentury Urban Farm Precious Peach Jam. Little did I know how precious it would be in 2014.

2013 Mortroski Midcentury Urban Farm Precious Peach Jam. Little did I know how precious it would be in 2014. Luckily we have two big jars left.

After my angry post yesterday, my Facebook friends have made quite an assortment of suggestions about how to ensure we have peach jam in 2015. Better dog training. Crown of thorns attached to tree. Metal object hanging from the tree that you switch up when the squirrels aren’t as afraid. BB guns. BB guns with scopes. Air guns. (Remember, we’re in Texas so firepower solves problems, y’all.)

I have defended the squirrels from the Gs since we’ve moved here. No more. I’m thinking the dogs are finally going to get their wish and taste squirrel for the first time.

Here is the gratuitous blood-thirsty squirrel hunter photo of the day:

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Gidget on Saturday between three dog beds, minus their covers (which were in the dryer). Photo by Bruce

 

 

 

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Sow: peachy

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Yes, of course, tomatoes were harvested today (and were given to the Gs pal Tracy when she came by at lunch to let them out), but I discovered the next big harvest when I was out dumping my poor dead plants garden debris in the composter.

While I was sleeping or at least spending time worrying about the urban farm, the peach tree has gotten busy making peaches. I’m pretty excited about it especially since the plum tree hasn’t produced anything this year.

So tomorrow morning, I’ll start climbing the ladder and plucking down peaches before the birds, squirrels and perhaps even neighbors who know they’re there get them. It’s best to pick them a little green then let them ripen in a paper bag.

I’m hoping to have enough to make jam again. However, my plan is to blanch (skin comes off easier), peel, and cut up the peaches now and freeze them in gallon size ziplock bags. That way I can make jam in the fall, when it’s cooler. Closer to the holidays also.

Truthfully I just don’t have that kind of leisure time right now. It isn’t hard, just time-consuming because there are a lot of steps. But oh so worth it.

Last year I made a ton. In cute little jam pots with a fun label. Gave most of it away and it was a big hit. My grandma who’s 97 said it reminded her of the jam she had as a child.

I can think of no better compliment.