This last week or so has been marked by the bounty of the harvest time.
1. Plant Something - no, got my hands full.
2. Harvest Something: Now we're talking - 2 bushels of green beans, 1/4 bushel yellow wax beans, peppers, the first tomatoes, cucumbers and more cucumbers, a head of broccoli, dill, celery, plumbs, peaches, pears...tried the watermelon but it wasn't quite done. Lord have mercy when the corn and tomatoes come on.
3. Preserve Something: 35 pints and 28 quarts of Dilly beans (1/2 the quarts go to Mrs. Neighbor), 21 half pints of pepper jelly, 1 gallon bag of dried apricots (I think the kids have eaten half already).
The kids are eating fruit by the fist fulls, I actually bought a 1/2 bushel of peaches for canning and the family has eaten half out of the box. Pears are picked green and ripen on their own - this keeps them from getting stringy and grainy so they are ripening in the kitchen. Yellow wax beans are waiting for preserving.
4. Prep. Something We are getting ready to take Nee to high school in the city. We've found a host family in a high tax neighborhood (read more taxes to support better high school). They have an extra room or two and the willingness to take her in so she can take the math and science that is not taught in rural areas. Now what children are being left behind, Mr. Bush? The best students in the nation, all students who are not in wealthy neighborhoods, that's who. I'm dealing with it but I'm sad and angry to see my high school senior have to live hundreds of miles from home. She's gotten her external hardware out of her broken arm but that leaves essentially a new break to deal with.
Bought some extra canning lids while they were on special price.
School shopping out of town.
bought more good salt on sale
5. Manage Reserves I think at this time of the year that focus is on making sure the bounty is not wasted and is properly stored or given away fresh.
Realized that we have used 4 gallons of vinigar in one week and that I'd better have plenty of vinigar in food stores.
Began food storage inventory sheet - more on that later.
6. Cook Something new: No, just focusing on preserving now - though I did have to experiment with the apricots and find a way to preserve them a little in sugar and lemon rather than strait from the tree to the dehydrator (sans pits).
7. Work on local food systems: What a joy it is to can your buns off with someone else. Mrs Neighbor and I canned beans until 1:00 in the morning and quit because the vinegar ran out. She has picked up cloth bags to use at the grocery (yea), and is leaning to can and has plans for a grain mill. I have encouraged her to use mine - that we don't all have to own everything but oh well one more person buying canners and such means one more person who can take care of self and others.
I'm giving 10% of preserved food to land owners and any fresh that they want. Gave a whole grocery store bag (yes they do creep in) full of fresh green beans to the irrigation master as his wife asked for them.
8. Learn something new: I feel as though I am but can't say what exactly.