Sunday I made Phoenix help me get the last of the apples off of our trees. I can't tell you how helpful it is to have a teen who is over six feet tall.
|"Wow, Mom. Are you going to make sure you get my ankles in the photo and show off my too-short pajama pants, too?"|
|Notice the two hands in the picker basket. Pretty sure Turken was whining "I get threeeeee!" at this point.|
|My favorite, "Yes, we want to help. Don't we look contrite and able to get along?" faces.|
We found WAY more apples than I anticipated.
|We stopped picking when this bucket was overflowing.|
At one point, I stupidly asked one of the boys to hold my phone while I helped Phoenix.
|Not bad, but...(pun wasn't intended, but I'm keeping it.)|
As payback for Phoenix...
|That would be me and my behind.|
That afternoon, with Buttercup's and Bryan's help, 14 more quarts of apples were canned.
I then bugged my friend, Kristi. Pretty sure she's regretting the decision to give me her cell phone number. I made her tell me how to make and can applesauce, since we had so many oddly-shaped and overripe apples, too. She graciously answered my questions, and Monday I spent too many hours making applesauce.
When the kids got home, 4 of the 6 commented, "Hey, it looks like real applesauce!" It seems they didn't have much confidence in the ol' Mom making homemade applesauce thing. They thought it would be chunky and brown and inedible.
And with this we come to the end of canning season. All told I have...
21 quarts of sliced apples
6 quarts of applesauce
6 quarts of green beans
12 pints of sauerkraut
14 quarts of tomatoes
7 quarts of potatoes
12 cups of frozen shredded zucchini
I don't know how much frozen mashed potatoes
6 loaves of frozen zucchini bread
giant bag of frozen tomatoes
giant bag of frozen peppers
12 fruit and veggie frozen "pies" for the chickens
I'm happy, considering this was the summer of knee trauma and neglected gardens.
I thought the garden was completely done, but this morning I went out and found these:
There are still a few more that will be picked in a couple of days, and there were some tomatoes about ready, too. Not enough to can, but since a few of the boys like to have omelets with green peppers every morning, we'll go through them with no trouble.
Joining the homemade and grown goodies in the freezer, yesterday I added about 350 pounds of pork.
The hogs made it back from the butcher, all neatly packed in 8 heavy boxes.
I spent Tuesday morning picking it up from the butcher and organizing the freezer. It is glorious.
To celebrate, and because the weather was like this:
we had ham and bean soup with cornbread for dinner.
Lastly, you haven't heard about the chickens in a long time.
We ordered a rainbow mix when we purchased the chicks. That means we didn't specify the breeds of hen we want, but we get a mix, so we have a mix of egg colors. This time we received 5 of a breed we've never had before. These things are growing like they are meat chickens. The size difference is astounding. One of them even got so big, so fast, that we thought she wouldn't survive. She could barely hold herself up to walk. When she tried, she stumbled around like she was drunk, simply trying to keep herself erect. As time has gone on, she has gotten better. Her legs have caught up and she isn't eating as voraciously.
|She sits down a lot. Notice the difference between her and the black one behind her.|
They always like to greet me by pecking my boots. Probably more to get the grass and such off my boots, but we'll say it's their way of saying hi.
Next on the farm chore list is getting the chicken pen fixed so we can let these girls get outside before cold weather settles in. We also have some more work on the inside of the coop to take care of.
A fake farmer's work is never done.
Have a lovely day!