It’s been a while, gardening updates

CSC_0015Time is slipping away as usual. The food is growing fast and furious and we seem to not have enough time to get everything done. The weeds are taking over, it’s their time.  The chickens are surviving without much supervision (thank goodness) and the “list” seems to be growing…we knock one thing off and add two more 🙂 it’s how we roll.

I have a thing for trying (note the “try” part of this) to make things pretty and organized. I braided the 230 bulb garlic harvest…one or two attempts and I’m happy with the results plus  they will dry well and be easy to store. The harvest made 5 large braids that will dry for the next 4-5 weeks, then it’s planting time again.CSC_0013

CSC_0024In the continuing attempt to maintain pretty, I worked all day on weeding the front bed, and W came in to edge the whole thing…a good job done and we don’t look like hicks from the road anymore. Not overly important but it bothered me every time I sat on the couch and looked out, for me personally…you can think I’m  hick any time you wish. We work hard and sometimes pretty gets lost for food and necessity.

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DSC_0078The jelly tree has been harvested, one wind storm too late. It is the jelly tree because it has yet to produce a clean fruit. Two years of trimming and dormant spray for bugs and they are still ugly. I was lucky to get the 4.5 pounds of apples needed for a single batch of apple jelly. They don’t have to be pretty, just not completely bug eaten. Between the tent caterpillars and the rain/wind storm one batch of jelly is what is happening. DSC_0031 DSC_0033Give them a quick chop, boil for an hour and drain the juice, add sugar, lemon juice and boil…apple jelly.

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From here there was also bread and butter pickles to make. The cucumbers finally grew and 28 cups later…we have pickles.

DSC_0093We use our mandolin to slice to 3/16th of an inch , add 3 cups peppers and 9 cups onions, a 1/3 cup course salt, soak for 4 hours in ice, then make the sugary brine and boil.

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This is one of the reasons I truly believe we need to invest in a 6 burner super large stove.  The BBQ works for now but it’s getting silly how many times it gets used.

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The hot mix gets put in sterilized bottles and hot water bathed for 10 minutes. The end result is pickles for us for the year and Christmas giving to those we know in the community that don’t have family.

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Everything we do is to build our food stores, build our seed stores( always let a plant go to seed for next year) and to ensure we have enough to give freely to those who will appreciate our home grown goodness. If you have abundance it is your obligation to share it, whether it be vegetables, love or money. We have two of these and thoroughly enjoy them.

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The vertical  gardening is going well. The sugar pumpkins are coming along well with lots of cucumber blossoms waiting for their special purpose. Mustard pickles are next and pickled beets.

There are herbs drying along with the garlic. We have herbs hanging in doorways, off curtain rods, in the greenhouse, and on the cover deck behind the garage…anyplace in a storm.CSC_0012CSC_0023

There is so much happening every day my cyber life is taking a back seat. Dirty hands equal a happy heart…my heart is happy.CSC_0086

May you be so busy doing what you love that you lose track of time; suspended in joy, it’s a good way to live.

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