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Monday, July 11, 2011

Updates from the farm

Dang I sure didn't think it had been that long since I had posted. But any who been preoccupied fora while. Rob came home from Nevada and got here on July 2nd. They drove from Elko Nevada to home here in Ky. A total of 36 hours on the road. Arrived about 7 am on Saturday and spent the week here. Such a short week, seems like I didn't even get to visit with Rob while he was here. But they had to be gone doing various things during the week. We met them in Richmond on Friday night for dinner before they left this past Saturday. I did get a text message that they arrived back in Elko about 8:30 my time on Sunday evening. Just thankful for a safe uneventful trip for them.
Over the weekend we had to get started on the garden stuff. I have canned 19 quarts of green beans so far and that is just picking the ones off that are big enough to encourage the plants to keep blooming and extend the harvest. I had started kraut a week or so ago and it was finished. I did put that in the jars yesterday and sealed up and stored in the cellar. Dang it is good too. I had 21 pints and 7 quarts of kraut. And still got more in the crock working that was started today. Several gallon bags of chopped cabbage in the freezer to use when I make and can veggies soup later on. Also have several quart bags of shredded zucchini in the freezer for zucchini bread when the weather is cooler for baking. I have made about 8 quarts of dill pickle spears so far too. Most likely in the next couple weeks the sweet corn will be in the freezer too. As usual I planted far too much corn, again. The tomatoes are starting to ripen. I am so happy this is the first year in many that we have had potatoes. If they do as well as the ones that we have dug for fresh eating we should have a good supply to store for winter. So far we have been blessed with a really good garden this year.
Our weather has been too hot for man or beast the past few days. The temps were in the low 100's today and for the next few days. We have high humidity this time of year and thru the month of August as well.  I made the mistake of trying to pick green beans yesterday evening around 4 while Rodger ran the weed eater around the watermelon vines and it was far too hot. Had to come back in the house and go back after the sun went down and finish up. I was in the summer kitchen all day today canning the green beans and chopping more cabbage and zucchini. Am thankful now for the AC out there. I will probably end up buying more jars this year to can all the things I want to get canned.  While we were out of town last Friday having dinner with Rob and Amoy we made a stop at Walmart. I looked at canning jars and notice the Main Stays brand that was there. We looked closely at the jars, they are so thin and on the bottom stamped "made in china". NO THANKS I would rather take my chances with the re-used miracle whip jars in the pressure canner than those cheap ones from China. The miracle whip jars are much thicker glass and I would rather trust those. I sure hope folks that are kinda new to canning don't go for the 20cent savings and buy those cheap Chinese made jars. I surely do not think they would last more than 1 or 2 seasons. Now my mission is to buy all the older brands and used canning jars that I can find. Am thinking not long till they will no longer be available. Kinda scary all the things that have been quality staples in our lives are slowly being replaced with cheap foreign made junk. OK enough of my rant for today.
I dang near missed blackberry season here. We have managed to pick about 3 gallon of berries so far. I usually like to have about 5 gallon minimum to make juice, jelly and such from. So probably tomorrow I will be chigger bait again and pick more berries. I think I would like to pick several wild fruits and make some mixed fruit juice to can. We have blackberries, elderberries, passion fruit all growing wild here. And I am inclined to think wild fruit juice would be very nutritious. We shall see how my time goes and how much hot weather I can take to harvest these things.
I still have a lot of herbs to dry between harvesting things from the garden. Kinda nice to have you own herbs to flavor dishes with and not have to buy them and wonder what they have been sprayed with. Not to mention the expense.
This week I will be starting more cabbage plants for the fall crop. Although it is hard to get them started here in summer due to the heat and having to remember to water most time twice a day. I would like to be able to store some cabbage in the cellar for winter use. After the potatoes are out of the garden that lil area will be plowed up and mustard, turnips and rutabagas will be sown in there. All of which do well in cooler weather of fall. So much to do and we are on the tail end of summer here almost.
Enough of my rambling for this post. Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.



The Apple Pie Gal said...

Can't believe summer is getting close to an end either. You have been having a good year while I am still waiting on my first harvest. Not been a good one here!

Glad you got to spend some time with your family!

Yeah for the taters too!

Claygirl said...

Stella, we noticed the Mainstay Jars being made in China too. We instead, bought Ball at Dollar General. Our son also found 200 more used jars in IL at a yard sale and gave us a call. Needless to say, he picked them up for us. I totally agree with you on that one. As long as I'm able to get better jars, I will. Sheri

Claygirl said...

Stella, I totally agree with you on the jars. As long as I can get better ones, I will. We noticed the same thing earlier in the year, and instead purchased more Ball at Dollar General. Our son also found 200 more used jars that he picked up for us in IL at a yard sale.