This morning I went down to the garden to get some onions for my stewed chicken and found the beets down there were in need of pulling. Those beets were planted about three weeks after the ones in the kitchen garden and thinned only when I thinned the others for the third time so I had no idea they were getting to be so much bigger than the first planting. I like to pull them while their greens are still nice so I can have the greens for a second vegetable. Today I have so much left over from yesterday I just can’t cook them today so am going to freeze them. I have washed the beets and cut off the greens leaving about and inch of the stems with the beet and will now put them into the freezer on a cooky sheet to freeze and when they are frozen I then double bag them and take out just as many as I need in the winter. Freezing them this way they do not stick together when frozen. It is true they are not as crisp when we have them in the winter but they are just as sweet and taste the same as when fresh. They are easier to peel if you do that while still frozen a little or cook them just as you do fresh one and peel them after boiling until a little tender. The greens I will blanch as the shrinks them and they take up less room in the freezer. I will save out enough beets to have Thursday. Tomorrow we go to Whitwell to check on the house there and to find out when they expect the canning tomatoes to come in. That means not much time to cook for a noon meal so we always have spaghetti on those days. Patty and Becca will have to eat lots of spaghetti sauce when they come up as we still have 20 quarts on the shelf and it is getting on time to can more. Last year we canned 128 quarts and gave everyone a case or two for Christmas, hope to do the same this year but Becca and Roxanne need more this year as they have run out.
Shanti, Dad got the part for his tractor yesterday in the mail and it was the correct part he needed( he did a lot of praying) and now the tractor steers again and is going fine. He has promised to cut brush with it only going up the hill not down. Everything here is on a hill and when he hits a stump going down hill he can not just back up off of it as the tires spin. If he hits a stump going up hill he can back off and gravity helps get him off the stump. Using the mower is the only way to keep the under growth from taking over all the area we have cleared. When ever there is a little sun coming in a new place the sassafras pop up and quickly grows into a small tree if we don’t cut it down. With the heavy mower he can cut down most of them and we only have to use the loopers to cut the ones around the stumps.
Rosemary- Sounds like your farm is the size I like. I hate being a slave to a place and with too many animals you quickly become one. We had wild house cats here for several years but where we are gone to Florida so long in the winter they all found new homes. We never made pets of them and could only touch them when thy were hurt or in need of extra care, we feed them and they kept the mouse down. Now we have to take care of our own mice as there are no stray cats around this year. One year we had a mother grey fox and her three kits but they left in the fall of that year and never came back. Again we did not make pets of them as the danger of rabies is too great here but they came each afternoon to be fed, they kept their distance until I set the food out then we could sit on the porch and watch them eat. The mother had a crippled paw so had trouble getting the food for her three babies, I a sure that is why she came so close and our house is the only one here in the woods and with no dog I guess she felt safe with us. Have a great day. Lots of love to all.
My husband grew up on the farm and goes there every day. He used to grow Christmas trees which paid our bills but that is almost done. He has his animals, a daughter’s horse, and his barn cats. He spent more of the winter cutting logs and firewood. Today he, our son Stephen and his wife, Cathy were splitting firewood for next winter. He has a kitchen stove and furnace in the Parkdale house, our furnace here, and he has wood for our son’s former wife and daughters so he needs lots of hardwood, He will soon get to the garden! Good night!
We have lived in 13 different homes in the 62 years that we have been married( We do move a lot), I love buying a new place and starting a new way of life. The first six homes were in New Hampshire and two of those houses we heated with wood. We had big wood furnace with central heat. One was a hundred year old house in Peterorough, NH. It was a big beautiful house but we knew we could never retire there it was too expensive to live there so we moved to a new condo. That was no where near the work but no fun either so we moved north to the White Mountains and had a big guest house with four cottages. Norman spent the first 20 years or so working in the Ball Bearing industry and retired from that at age 49 to run the B & B business. I was a stay at home Mom with three little girls for 12 years but when I graduated from college I went to work teaching first in the elementary grades and after I got my Masters Degree I moved to the High School teaching math. This made it easy for us to move, I could get a job anywhere. We heated with wood in the guest house and when we got sick of the cold we moved to Florida. It become the family joke that when the windows needed washing we sold the house and move. I guess ten years was the longest we ever stayed in a house and we really loved all the places we have lived in and they were all very different in their own way. The one constant in all of them was a large garden but none as large as the ones we have now. Norman used to buy a truck load of “logger length” hardwood and then he cut it up and split it himself. That was a lot of work but fun. Here we cut down our own trees to clear the land to make the gardens. I burn in the burn barrels the branches and small wood. We have made crude benches with the largest pieces of the biggest trees – those pieces that are really too big to split. We use some of the wood he splits and stacks to heat my studio where I have a pot belly stove and some for bonne fires when the kids come up to visit and some we have given to the neighbors who do heat with wood. Now we don’t feel we can cut the big trees any more and we have enough land cleared for gardens already so it is time to sell this place (been here 7 years) and try something new. We do have a condo in Florida again where we spend the coldest part of the winter now so we would like to try living part of the year in the Islands, no hurry but looking into it. Life is great as long as you live it to the fullest and have fun as you go. We will never be rich but we are rich in experience and life. Norman calls me “good two shoes” and I guess I am. I never look back or rethink any choices we made- I love taking what ever comes and making it the best- That is why I end each blog with- Have a great day because a person can if he remembers “Happiness is wanting what you get not getting what you want.” I guess it is time to take my two shoes and go to bed. Have a great day.