Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Organic food - full of good nutrition! :}

This morning I put homemade granola on the table for breakfast.  Since our raspberries are still producing, I also put a beautiful bowl of them on the table to eat with our granola.  Whenever Emily eats raspberries, she inspects each one for bugs.  This morning was no exception.  Mike chuckled while he watched her carefully scan each berry as she dropped them into her bowl.  Everyone else just piled them on and chowed down. :)

After breakfast, we were sitting around the table reading and suddenly Emily screamed!  She happened to look at the bowl, which still had some raspberries in it, and to her horror, saw a bug crawling inside a raspberry.  "See...I told you guys they have bugs!"  We all just laughed.  I said, "Emily, think of the added protein and nutrition!"  Everyone else chimed in, "Yaaaaa".  Then just to make my point, I pluck the offensive berry out of the bowl and proudly popped it into my mouth. :)  Emily, with eyes like saucers, let out a scream followed by a questioning laugh.  :)  It was a great joke! ... if I do say so myself! :)

Yes, organic foods do sometimes have's a fact!  But what you have to ask yourself is, "What is more harmful...a bug or chemicals?  We can't see the chemicals, so we like to just convince ourselves that they are not there.  The bugs we can see, unless of course we eat without looking! :)  Don't you wonder how many bugs our family ate for breakfast this morning?  With crunchy granola, who would know?  I guess I would rather feed my family bugs. :)  Really, if the bugs think the food is worth eating, it must be good stuff!  Believe it or not, there are animals that turn their noses up to some of the foods people readily eat.  They are smarter than we are; they know that it really isn't food at all. :)

So next Friday, stop by to pick up some organic produce! :)  When you get home, throw away your vitamins and just enjoy some healthy food knowing you are getting the best nutrition nature can supply! :)

OK....soooo the truth is....I didn't actually swallow the raspberry with the bug in it, but in retrospect I really wish I had had the guts to do it! :)  Maybe next time! :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Mad Rush to Beat the Freeze

Tuesday afternoon we started getting emails from "My-Cast" weather service warning of a FREEZE overnight Wednesday through Thursday morning. Not just a frost, but a freeze. Ug! As low at 25 degrees was the prediction.

We are pretty used to dealing with the frost that usually starts sometime in September for us, but a hard freeze takes things to a different level. We did some double checking and decided that we should pick the apples - depending on the variety, 25 degrees is just too cold. All the other usual victims of frost like peppers, tomatoes, basil, etc. needed to be dealt with too.

Things started kind of slow in the morning as I sorted out onions and garlic that were crated up in the garage so I could free up those crates for potatoes and apples. We picked pumpkins, peppers, a few more cukes, some beans, and lots of lettuce. Then Mindy found out that a freeze this hard could actually damage the potatoes, so we started digging those too. That is when we decided to call in the reinforcements. Our good neighbors the Hendricksons. Barb and the kids came over and helped finish up the potatoes and then we started in on the apples.

Wow, did we have apples. The harvest was so much bigger and better than I expected. We filled up crate after crate with apples. Soon I was dragging out boxes and plastic bins from the garage. And THOSE were filling up. I called my sister and told her to bring boxes. We were still picking apples until at least 7pm best I can recall... it is a just a blur to me now. We didn't weigh anything this year, but based on past experience of what the various containers hold I'm sure we have well over 1000 pounds of apples!

Now we just needed to cover what we could with frost blankets and tarps. We were able to cover most of the lettuce, some peppers, and some beans. The rest we just chose to let it die. Oh well.
After some photo ops with the apples and potatoes we hauled them into the garage and root cellar, out of reach of Jack Frost. We went in the house with our family and friends and had homemade chicken vegatable soup. Then we headed over to the Hendrickson's house around 9pm to help THEM get ready for the freeze. We cut and hauled all the squash into the garage, covered peppers, tomatoes, etc.

We got home some time after 10pm and fell into bed exhausted. The end.

Spud and his potatoesApple picking crew

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Farmwife's Journal - September 13th

When I got the forecast this morning I found out that we are under a FREEZE warning for Wednesday night through Thursday morning.  I had been looking forward to some FROST, but I am not prepared for a freeze! :{

The kids had an etiquette class this morning.  It was their second class, they will have two more.  Their teacher drives out from the cities.  They love the class!  There are 11 students total, and the class is held in our market building.  I'll write more about that later.

After class, we had lunch and then headed outside to try to prepare for the freeze that's coming.  We may end up picking some apples, so I cleaned and organized the root cellar.  That was a job!  It took me about two hours!  Mike and Jonny pulled the onions.  Then when Mike was off getting poultry feed, Jonny and I picked peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, beans, kale and spinach leaves, sage, and some apples.  Can you guess what Ben was doing?  Yep, digging potatoes!! :}

While we were working outside, Emily was busy with her first official babysitting job.  She watched a two-year-old little boy, named Gabe.  She had a blast!  We met his family through our Farmer's Market.  She is hoping she will get to watch him again! :)

Well, I just finished cutting up the spinach and kale leaves, they are in the dehydrator out on the porch.  Most everything else is out there too...I am trying to keep it cold until tomorrow.  I have tomato sauce cooking on the stove.  I need to google for a pizza sauce recipe.  Em and I think the recipe that we used last year needs improving.  I also have a bowl of elderberries in a stainer on my counter.  Once I squeeze the rest of the juice out, I will put it in refrigerator until I get around to making my medicinal syrup....sometime after the freeze! :)

Well, Em wants to trade back rubs (she is still sore from her accidents yesterday :}), so I better get off this computer before she goes to bed! :)

Farmwife's Journal - September 12th

Yesterday after church Mike and the boys went to get a second load of hay.  It was another hot day, so Em and I made sure they were well stocked with bottles of chocolate milk. :)  Once they were finished with that, they went over to Mike's parents house to pick up some logs that his dad had cut.  Whew!  Long day!

This morning, when Mike and I got up, I noticed that the cushion on the couch was lifted up.  Since we were the last two in bed last night, I figured that a child must have been up in the night.  Mike laughed and told me the story.  He had heard Jonny getting up to go to the bathroom, and we know from experience that when Jonny is really tired he's usually not fully awake when he gets up, and we had better hurry and find out where he is and what he is doing.  Sure enough, the two days of throwing bales of hay had caught up with him. :)  He had walked in the living room, lifted the couch cushion, as if it were the toilet seat, and just in the nick of time Mike stopped him and led him to the bathroom.  Whew!  Jonny remembered nothing of it this morning!  We laughed and laughed at the breakfast table remembering all the different places Jonny has gone to the bathroom over the years. :)  Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox. Proverbs 14:4  :)  (This story was shared with permission from Jonny.) :)

Knowing that there may be some pretty cold mornings coming this week, we decided to skip school and work on garden stuff today.  I made a bunch more pesto today, since Basil is one of the first plants to die off from the frost.  We picked more tomatoes and put them in the dehydrator.  Then we ran our larger tomatoes through the food mill in preparation for more BBQ sauce.  Ben, of course, dug potatoes today. :) 

This afternoon I told Em and Jonny to take a break and go out and enjoy the beautiful weather for awhile.  As I was putting the ingredients for pesto in my blender I heard  Emily scream.  I went flying out the door and found Emily on the ground crying and holding her head.  The kids explained the story...all at once!  Jonny had decided to pull Em in the wagon behind the four wheeler, but as he was driving he noticed Ben (who was supposed to be digging potatoes) wanted a ride too.  Seeing the opportunity to leave Ben behind, Jonny hit the throttle while he was rounding a corner and sent Emily sailing through the air.  I scolded Jonny in the most mournful voice I could muster up ...."Jonnyyyyyy, you have to be careful with girls!  They are fragile!"   He said, very sincerely, "Ya, I just thought of that!" :) Then I scolded Emily, "You might have had a little more sense than to get in a wagon that is tied to a four wheeler with baling twine, and pulled by a nine year old!" :)  She assured me that they had done it before and that it was great fun!  So after a hug and an apology from Jonny, she was back in the wagon and off they went! :)  About half an hour later, Emily came in holding her head again.  I had no compassion. :)
(This story was shared with permission from Emily) :)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Farmwife's Journal - September 10th

Today Mike and the boys mowed the fence line and fixed some fencing that was down, so the sheep and goats could graze that area.  After that, Mike and Jonny went to get a load of hay and got that put up in the barn, which took most of the afternoon.  Spud (Ben) worked on digging his potatoes.  His new business venture has been really enjoyable, until now.  Planting the potatoes, hilling them and watching them grow was the easy part. :)  But digging them all up....that's a different story!  It was hot today and he worked really hard and got really dirty (Ben is good at getting dirty).  He didn't have time to finish because we had a party to go to, but all work and no play makes Ben a dull boy...Right?!  He will probably spend a few more days digging before he is done.  The good news is, he has someone waiting to buy his potatoes when they are all dug. :)  In all labor there is profit! :)

I picked 9 lbs of elderberries today.  I got about half of them cooked down, will do the other half tomorrow.  Then I will make some more elderberry syrup.  I also got the tomatoes, beans, and cucumbers picked today.  Em washed and chopped the beans and put them in the dehydrator.  We gave the cucumbers away and the tomatoes will get processed into pizza sauce and barbecue sauce....another day. 

In between all the garden work and the work of keeping everything running smooth around the house, Em and I work at making healthy meals from scratch for our boys.  If a man does not work, he should not eat...right?  Well, our boys work hard, so we feed them good!!  We try to keep some fat on their bones, but as you can see by looking at them, we are not succeeding! :)  But the frost is coming....soon there will be much less to do....maybe then we can fatten them up! :)

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