Friday, August 22, 2008

Independence Days #13

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.


Anonymous said...

Wow! You have done a lot. Where did you find your bushel basket (in the previous post).

It is cool to hear that you are doing things with your neighbor!

Danielle said...

Wow, she has to go live with someone else for high school? Is homeschooling an option?

2 bushels of beans is one heck of a lot of beans. How many lbs in a bushel I wonder?

Verde said...

Hi, I've had those baskets for years - from when they used to sell produce with the basket! I know they are still made but it may be that you have to buy a gross at a time - I don't know.

Verde said...

Danielle, out posts crossed. Homeschooling isn't an option because there is no way we can teach advanced calculus, chemestry, physics (above basic)....

She wants to go to medical school and so her chances of good bachalors degree scholarships will depend on a strong high school finish.

I think there are 52 lbs to a bushel.

Robj98168 said...

" Learn something new: I feel as though I am but can't say what exactly."

I would venture to say that you are learning to work as a community. And don't you have to manage to make sure all get their fair share? Making sure yo u have enough jars and resources to can mondo amounts of green beans?
This is what my mom and aunties did back in the seventies. Oh i remember the wonderful thingds those woman did...and my grandma making hogs head cheese. I remember my dad telling me of the huge potato sausage partieds they had back in North Dakota, neighbors and relatives would gather at my grandma's house and make tons of potato sausage.

okay now I am drooling all over my keyboard.

My mom had to go off to boarding school so she could enter med school. She always saw it as an adventure. That and a way to get away from her 6 sisters and 1 brother!

Verde said...

Rob, wow, what fun stories of your family!

Yes, I'd say I do think about how I want to keep all the relationships in good order. Several people want me to sell at the farmer's market but I feel as if money changed hands everything would be different.

I've had to buy new jars as I've gone right through my old collection for sure.

That's neat your mom went to med school! This kid doesn't even drive so she'll have to really work things out.

LisaZ said...

Verde, I am continually amazed by all you are doing. You are a person whom I would so love to meet in person.

I appreciate your comment to our beloved Mr. Bush. My husband teaches in our small city's school district. We are in a very diverse, not very wealthy (in most areas) city and the inequality among schools in our area b/c of differing tax bases is astounding. And then on top of the tax base issue you have schools being penalized for not meeting testing standards (in large part because their students are poorer, from disadvantaged minority families, etc.). NCLB is so extremely frustrating to us. You are doing a very brave thing sending your daughter off to school so she can get what she needs.

For our part we've decided to homeschool, though our kids are much younger than yours. We love it, but I sure wish we felt we had other options.

Peace, Lisa

Matriarchy said...

We are frustrated with schools, too. We had been homeschooling because our urban schools were so underfunded. They have a 65% drop-out rate. I think a better name for NCLB is "No Child Fully Served."

This year, I reluctantly sent DD11 back to public school, to a new 6th grade "gateway school" for Agriculture, Science, and Ecology. We will see how that goes. She doesn't want me to teach her anymore, and I haven't the energy for that battle right now, with my mother becoming frail. I wish I felt better sending her back.

My DD15 researched and chose her own cyber charter school to finish high school. She likes being home, but wanted more structure in math and science.

This does free me to help my mother, and to get a second PT job.

We need more money for home improvements and energy renovations. As important as canning, for us, much as I like making peach jam and tomato sauce.

I feel kinda left out of the Great Global Bean Canning Days - but most of my family doesn't like green beans! We will just freeze a few bags. But my black-eyed peas are dry and ready to shell - yay!

Anonymous said...

Verde - amazing harvest so far!!
In Bush's home state, we have the opposite problem with needing to send our kids to the rural areas so they can graduate in the top 10% to have a spot in a state school... how warped is that?!

Becca said...

Busy girl! I'm jealous of all your produce! My attempts this year have been pretty dismal, but then I have been using this year as my experimental year. Next year should be better since I"m learning from all my mistakes!!