Monthly Archives: September 2010

An Eventful Weekend

Thursday morning I woke up feeling very tired and with alot of lower back pain. It was packing day and I figured I would feel better by later in the afternoon. However it progressed and I decided to go to the hospital to see if I was in labor, at just 33 1/2 weeks. Long story short, they treated me for pre-term labor and were able to successfully stop it or at least slow it to where they felt comfortable sending me home 2 days later.

So now I am home on bedrest and will hopefully be able to keep this baby happy and healthy in me for another 3 weeks or so, till it is full term. My main jobs now are eating lots (around the clock as my midwife said), drinking lots of water and herbal teas, and resting as much as possible. So I will be taking a break from blogging for awhile while we figure out how our family routine will look over the next couple of weeks.

It was a hard weekend for the children with mommy being gone unexpectedly, then bed and nap times went out the window plus when they would come visit me it was all about being quiet, so they are literally bursting at the seams.

On the positive side our little drama unfolded at about the best time it could, after CSA day and on a weekend we didn’t have to pick for the larger CSA. Plus it is already giving me an opportunity to relax, and plan some homeschool activities. So I will be back probably in a couple weeks. If anything eventful happens I will let you know.

Pears, Baby Clothes, Pumpkins and Bookshelves

These are just a few of the things I have been thinking about lately–a few. Pictures have not been on the list so sorry no pictures for today’s entry.

I am winding down the preserving, calling it quits if you will. Yesterday I canned over 40 pounds of pears, using the same method I did with the peaches except I used a vegetable peeler to remove the skin, didn’t blanch it and added a tsp of vitamin C powder to each jar to stop it from discoloring.

It took me all yesterday afternoon and evening. All the while I was thinking about pulling out my baby clothes and small cloth diaper covers from the attic. Oh and rearranging the children’s room, buying some extra stacking drawers for on top of the dresser that already holds 3 children’s clothes.

My bookshelves need attention again, they seem to gather so much non-book stuff and I really am getting more organized with other non-book shelves so I can free up my devotion to books.

Then today we were at the farm and looking at the field of pumpkins. See even though it sounds like I am so busy I couldn’t possibly be enjoying myself I love the fall. To me fall is all about home. After a busy and adventurous summer the cool weather encourages us to stay home, cook, eat, cuddle and organize for the coming winter. I am so thankful I live somewhere with seasons! By next spring we will have “cabin fever,” but right now I am so thankful for our little “cabin” and the things that are bringing us home.

Labor Day in a picture

Labor day is here and almost gone. The unofficial end of summer. Now my mind is turning to things like canning, homeschooling, sweaters and a new baby.

This weekend we made the trek north again for one of the last times this season, it was good to get in the country where it is so quiet at night that you can hear the raccoons talking at night. There was much to be done to prepare for closing out the summer and planning for hunting season–my husband’s favorite weekend to spend with his brothers and father.

it frosted our first night there. What a change, it seems like last week we had the air conditioning on and it was 80 degrees. I discovered much to my chagrin as I was packing for this trip that Two had outgrown his pants, Mavis her coat and that I had yet to buy enough long sleeved shirts for Mavis. Avril and Two are both in need of “mud” shoes that fit and Mavis boots. I was wholly unprepared for this drastic change in weather. Mom said it looks like time for another trip to the thrift store.

There is still much to do to prepare for the baby and finish up the farming. Honestly at the end of the long weekend this is a bit how I felt. Our nephew Matthew and Hiro catching a quick nap on the way home after and adventure filled weekend.


Monday boxes and boxes of fresh fruit arrived in our living room. We arranged a bulk fruit shipment and had 155 boxes to deal with. Luckily most of them were gone by the end of the day.

7 were mine however–2 peaches, 2 gala apples, 1 nectarine and 2 barlett pears. The pears are holding well and I should have a couple days before I have to can them. The apples are doing better but I put a bunch of them in the frig to try and prolong them a bit, apples are a favorite treat of the children. Maybe next week I’ll try some apple sauce or apple butter.

Last night though it was time to do peaches. Most of them were perfect ripeness of near perfect.

I set up a comfortable work station on the coffee table with a tray of blanched peaches (to remove the skins), hot, just washed jars–though they cooled pretty quickly–a bowl for skins and pits, a cutting board and glass of water to stay hydrated. Then I packed jars and watched, “Camp Rock” with the children. I am not enthused about Avril’s decision to be a rock star when she gets older. She insists that she wants to be married and a rock star, her brother said, “you can’t be married and be a rock star, you won’t have time.” I honestly don’t know where he picks some of this stuff up. Anyway it was more or less relaxing.

Within and hour I had 13 quarts ready to go in the canner.

After pealing, cutting and packing I put 2 TBSP of honey in each jar, boiled a big pot of water and poured the water over the peaches and honey making a kind of syrup. Then on with the lids and into the canner for 25 minutes.

I was planning on canning more but Proeun loves peaches for fresh eating so I had to save some for him. Some of those went in the fridge too. I can’t wait to have a walk-in cooler! We could have fresh fruit most of the winter with proper refrigeration. In any case my goal is completed with peaches. I plan to do up 24 quarts of pears. The nectarines were for fresh eating but I am not keeping up with them so I am looking for a nectarine salsa type recipe today. I did a similar raw pack with the nectarines last year but didn’t like them as well as the peaches. Then I’ll do something with the apples, maybe a little sauce, butter and baking apples.

I still only have 8 quarts of tomato sauce and 18 pints of diced tomatoes, mostly the weather, and plants but also a little bit of my time. Oh well at least we will have some fruit.

Managing Dry Beans

Paula Foreman was the first one to introduce me to the idea of growing dry beans. I love dry beans but being so cheap and nutritous in the stores I never thought I would be growing them. However Foreman convinced me it was easy and fun to grow these beans. Last year I experimented with a few packets of seeds and liked the results but only ended up with a couple quarts of beans. This year we did 3 whole rows, 250 feet long. That should be plenty of beans, but I honestly am kind of regreting it.

The pods dry by themselves on the plant so that is easy enough, however then you have to pick them and get the pods out. Last night Avril and Mavis and I were working on them and it was taking so long. I probably have 7 bushels of beans to work through and a brithday party coming up in a couple weeks. My kitchen is filled with boxes of beans and fruit to preserve. I don’t know what I was thinking.

Well I know what I was thinking of–this

So far this is all I got but from a half bushel. I ordered Hutterite soup beans from Seed Savers Exchange. This is what the catalogue says, “One of the beast heirloom varieties for making soup. Beans soak up water well and cook very quickly. makes a truly excellent creamy white soup. Very productive, greenish yellow seeds with a distinctive dark ring around the eye.”

Proeun said next year he would build me a shucker. I can’t wait.