Saturday, July 14, 2007

Berries, Beans and Bible School

That pretty much sums up my life this last few days. The blackberries are on full force. They are not as plentiful or as big this year. I think the dry hot spring hurt them. There are still plenty just a little harder to get too and it takes more to fill your basket.

The green beans are also producing like crazy in both gardens. Got to keep them picked if I want them to keep producing. Still waiting for the tomatoes to start getting ripe, but I guess I should be thankful that they aren't ready yet. There are also tons of cucumbers and summer squash!

This week the kids were invited to go to Bible school with a family that is in our homeschool coop. The Bible school was far enough away that it didn't make sense for me to try to come home during it. Since this is a friend that Lydia has been begging to see all summer, I couldn't refuse and ended up sitting there for two hours doing nothing.

With all that going on, this is a snap shot of my days. Thursday I spent all morning picking berries, taking a few hours in the afternoon to make jam and vinegar, and the rest of the afternoon picking green beans. Then sitting for two hours. I did write some letters, but maybe I should have taken the beans with me!

Friday morning I picked a few more beans, and did a little work in the garden. Then I spent the rest of the morning and the better part of the afternoon cleaning beans. I just got one batch processed (seven quarts) in the pressure cooker before shoving some dinner down the kids throats and pushing them out the door for Bible school. Where I sat for two hours.

Today the beans must get finished. I 'm guessing there are about eight more quarts to clean and eleven to can, and only seven fit in the pressure cooker. I forgot how long the pressure cooking process is. If that all gets done, I'd really like to pick some more berries.

Tomorrow the beans will probably need picked again, and we can start the whole process over. Ah, but Bible school is done. . . for now. The kids want to go to another next week. But the good thing about that is it doesn't start until Wednesday, and it is very close. So instead of sitting for two hours I can run home and clean beans or pick berries while the kids are at Bible school.

Lest you think I'm complaining, I really am enjoying this. This is the life we chose when we moved to the 100 Acre Wood. I'm loving it. If my life consists of berries, beans and Bible school (and blogging stuck in here and there) for a few weeks, I am more than happy to have it. It is rewarding work that will seem even more rewarding in the dead of winter while we eat garden green beans.


  1. I'm the same way! It seems like I am complaining about being busy but I really love it. Too bad you couldn't help with the Bible school. Then maybe I would have went faster!

  2. Stephanie,

    I have two raspberry plants, not sure what kind but they have no thorns. I've had them for years, and they never did well, so I moved them from dappled shade to more sun.

    I'm still having problems with the tops dying down and poor growth. Do yours do this? I wonder if it's lack of water? I did manage to get a few berries this year. I mulched them in like crazy, and they did do better until the bad drought hit in part of June and now July.

    I have the hardest time with plants in my backyard! Too many oak trees, not that I'm complaining because trees are good. It's just finding things that grow well that's the challenge. Most of my newer plants are native, or nativized(word?). They seem to do best.

    Sounds like you are a busy bee...I like to keep busy too. I've got something for MIFS...I'll post it later.

  3. I bet the move to the sunny spot will help. You can find wild canes along every trail through our woods, but it only the ones that get significant sun that produce.

    It may be just the move that caused the low production. The canes only live two years. The roots are perennial. Read the explanation on pg 112 of the Steve Brill book. I bet you get more next year!

    Trees are a blessing in the city that is for sure!

  4. ENjoy this time! The summer goes by way too fast, as does the kid raising thing. I envy your bountiful garden - sounds yummy.

  5. My favorite summer treat is fresh blackberries with sugar and milk. I won't tell you what I pay for them at the store (we don't have them). If you could just fedex me a couple quarts of them . . .


  6. Thanks Stephanie...I need to do more research on plants. I've got a few low producers and problem plants this year.

  7. Mmm-- beans. Mine aren't ripe yet, but I can see them getting closer to ready every day. My tomatoes are plentiful, but they're not turning red! I keep reminding myself that patience is a virtue. Anything fresh in the middle of the city is a bonus.

  8. I can't wait to eat the corn and green beans in the winter. I love them fresh, but you can't beat that flavor in the winter.
    We freeze our corn and green beans. I prefer that over canned. It takes a little longer to cook them being frozen rather than processed, but not having to mess with the pressure cooker and jars and having that fresh flavor is worth it to me.

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  10. I just love the fresh fruits of summer, and summer is going so fast.