Yesterday evening the girls and I planted 6 fruit trees. Grace dug every hole. She was very excited about getting fruit trees. As you can see, she has good helpers- the cats and the chickens.
And, of course, our ever faithful Shadow.
We planted an asian pear, bartlett pear, plum tree, golden delicious apple tree, golden transparent apple tree, and a nectarine tree. We hope to get 2 cherry trees in April. While we were working on the trees, Hubby was busy trimming the blackberries.
It was a nice, productive evening. After we finished planting, we went to get the clothes off the line and a huge flock of geese flew directly over our heads to land in the field. Of course, we had already put the camera up so I couldn’t get a picture. It would have made a beautiful picture though.
Today will be school as usual. Hopefully, with more outside work afterward. Enjoy your day and God bless.
Saturday we got the chickens more space in their lot. They really seem to enjoy having more room. We put the additional 5 hens in with our hens. It will take them a while to get used to being in there. You see the coup at the far side of the lot. That is what they have been in since they were bought by the man who gave them to us. They don’t really understand the concept of being able to run about. When we turn them all out in the evening, those 5 don’t really know to go outside. I’m sure they will figure it out pretty soon though. The small coup you see in the front is just for emergency use. In case we need to separate a hen from the rest of them for a short time.
Yesterday, we made salsa. We ended up with 16 pts. The Horn’s came over for a while in the evening. We ate supper, talked, picked a few blackberries and talked some more. It seemed like it had been a long time since they had come over. We had a really nice evening and even got a little rain. God is good! Our temperatures have definitely been cooler this week. This morning it was 60 degrees when we got up. There is a slight feel of fall in the air. Humidity is not near as bad. That always makes it seem cooler.
I thought I would share a few pictures with you all of the picnic and baptism we had Sunday. This is the pond where we do our baptizing. Beautiful! This pond is located on Route 8 here in Floyd close to the Bread Basket.
This is a young man from our church. He and his dad were baptized Sunday. We somehow missed getting the dad’s picture. I have been busy all last week and yesterday helping Hubby with a job. He has been remodeling a bathroom. Today, I picked blackberries, some more green beans and tomatoes while the girls worked on inside house chores. We will be busy working on those today. We also have some peaches to can but they may have to wait until tomorrow.
Here are a few random pictures I took this morning. The blackberries are looking pretty good this year.
A tomato ripening on the vine.
A view of the back side of the house. Temperature here has cooled down a little. Not as humid as last week. Or maybe it just feels that way because I’m not underneath that house running pipe for plumbing. (lol) Well, I better get busy. I hear blackberries calling our names. Enjoy your day and God bless.
So I finally got around to making the blackberry syrup this morning. I used about 3/4 gal. of blackberries and got three pts of syrup. Pretty good. I’m not sure how it will turn out but it tasted really good when I sampled it. I put the blackberries in the steam juicer. This is what it looks like.
This is a very handy piece of equipment. We bought ours at our local Farmers Supply. I’m not sure if they sell them at Wal-Mart or not but I know you can order them online. You might even find them on Ebay. The name brand of ours is “Back to Basics”.
This is the bottom of the juicer. You put 3 qts of water in this.
This fits directly on the water container. This catches the juice as it comes out of the fruit.
You put the fruit or veggies in this basket. It fits directly on top of the other container. Then put the lid on. You see in the first picture the tubing. This is how you drain your juice into jars. Put it on your stove and when it starts to steam, you start timing. Different things need to steam for different times. Blackberries steam for 60 min. You can then use the juice for whatever you want to make. The pulp that remains in the basket from your fruit or veggies is still usable too. I will show you all another time what I do with the leftover pulp.
Here is the recipe I used for making the blackberry syrup. I got it from the internet and it is very simple. I hope it will be good.
4 cups blackberry juice, 4 cups sugar, 1 tsp. lemon peel. Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 min. Fill jars. (I used a strainer here as I did not want the lemon peel in the syrup) Process 10 min. in water bath canner.
We have been working on peaches for a few days. I think I mentioned that we saved the peelings and put them into the steam juicer. Well, the above picture shows the 2 qts of juice we got from the peelings. We had 2 gal. of peelings and got 2 1/2 qts of juice. This will yield over a gal of peach juice. YUM! I definitely will do that again with our next batch of peaches.
I picked about 1 gal. of blackberries this morning. Pretty good for the first picking. I am trying something new for us. I am making blackberry syrup to use with pancakes, french toast, etc. Have any of you ever made this? It sounds good and sometimes I just want something different. I’ll let you know how it turns out. I have the blackberries on in the steam juicer now. Julie and I went up to the cellar this morning and organized it. I think “little green men” come along over the winter and just scatter all my canned goods. Anyway, all is in order now and ready for the new cans to fill it up. Grace worked inside doing household chores while Julie and I worked on the cellar. Hubby worked on mowing the yard. It has been a long time since he mowed. It is just so hot and dry. He thought it was starting to look a little wild.
Well, time to check on the blackberries. Enjoy your day and God bless.
When Dave & Jess were up for the weekend, we all went riding in the “bumpy” truck. This is one of Daniel’s favorite things to do when he comes to our house. It also is one of Grace’s favorite things to do. She took this beautiful picture of the sunset.
Yesterday, we went to a friend’s house. Her sister has thornless blackberries and she had said we could come and pick. We picked about 1 gal. They are very easy to pick. No thorns-I really like that. We then went back to my friend’s house and had a cookout. We had hamburgers, pinto beans, cole slaw and watermelon. It was a really nice day. We got 3 pints of blackberry juice and 4 pts of blackberry jam, plus saved back about a quart to eat.
I have some aprons to deliver today, then we will be going over to the Horn’s for a visit. After that, the girls have piano lessons. I need to get one more apron made before we leave so I guess I better get busy. Enjoy your day and God bless.
So here are the other pictures I could not get to load yesterday.
Today we are getting much needed rain. The fog has already come in so it promises to be a dreary day here in Floyd, a good day for a inside project. Temperature is about 35 degrees. Hopefully, this will all be rain. I am hoping next week to get some outside work done here. All the trees and bushes need trimming, along with the grapevines. We also need to do some cleanup in the blackberries. Not my favorite job. The thorns are hard to work with but it has to be done if we want to enjoy the berries. I love outside work. In my opinion, so much more fun than cleaning house. I am already looking forward to enjoying fresh fruit and veggies.
I added a little bit to my menu last night. One of our favorite things to eat in the spring is wilted lettuce and green onions. Hubby likes pinto beans with his. So I purchased some fresh baby greens at the store, put a little chopped onion on top. Then I heated olive oil (shameful but I did not have bacon grease). Next step is to pour some of the hot oil on top of the greens and onions, then top it off with pinto beans. A big chunk of cornbread finished it up. It was not as good as it would have been fresh from our garden but it definitely was good.
Here on the farm we are blessed to have lots of blackberries. They are not the thornless kind, however, so they can be difficult to pick. They are domestic though and have huge berries on them, so it doesn’t take long to pick a gallon. They looked so pretty with the snow on them. My thanks to Julie for the pictures. We got about 3-5″ of new snow yesterday. More shoveling! My peach pie was very good. I also made homemade rolls. I kinda made up a recipe for supper. We had some chicken left over from Sunday. I sauteed onions, garlic, italian seasoning, and spinach. Added the chicken. Next I added a can of my homemade spaghetti sauce. Then I added cooked whole wheat penne noodles. Mixed it all together, added cheese to the top and baked covered 30 min. at 350 degrees.(cast iron skillet of course) It tasted really good. Well time for school. Take care and God bless.