Today we took one of the farm dogs to the vet. We heard it whimpering in the tractor shed and it wasn’t able to move. It ate and drank, when food and water was provided but had no intention of leaving it’s spot. After lifting it onto the truck and riding it into town, we discovered that it was covered in maggots

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It gets better, I promise.
Apparently (newly discovered to me, this year) one can breed blackberry bushes to be thornless. Congruently, I have grown up in a very mild gardening community, a community full of people who hate to bleed just to reap the benefits of a sweet (or sour) berry. I don’t normally enjoy people messin’ with nature but, these people are the smartest people that I know. Wanna know why? ‘Cause blackberry bushes when allowed to populate as originally intended, have thorns. No. No, don’t give it that look. Stop wincing your eyes unconvincingly and thinking that I’m a wuss. Listen, I’m not talking about the visible, ‘stay clear of those’ type of thorns. I’m talking about microscopic, papercut-partnered-with-lemon-juice kinda thorns. Everywhere. Even on the back of leaves. Tiny thorns that I’m pretty sure crossbreed with porcupines in their spare time, learning the ways of launching spears into unprepared trespassers. Sunday bloody Sunday, indeed.

To add a little more zest to it all, the blackberry bushes weren’t quite ready to steal from. We did get enough for some small tarts. Two weeks and one more good rain, and I’m going to come prepared (read: in overalls and boots, two pairs of gloves and maybe protective eyewear).

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(David foraging)

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(J reaching for the perfect one)
Yes, sometimes you have to be a ninja or yoga master to reach for a ripe berry.

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(Little Owen… still a little unconvinced that we were having a difficult time with the bushes.)

Shh. My local chain grocery store has a secret section where they put perfectly fine slightly damaged food, repackaged and reduced for quick sale. I try to snap up as much produce that J will allow. Normally it’s about two bags, three if I REALLY play up how productive I’m going to feel making things with the produce (it always helps when I name products that I want to make- a “visualization” of sorts). Now, three bags of hot peppers or 4 bags of apples are a little more than I can process in one night. I’ve learned my lesson… sort of. Needless to say when I saw green beans for $.50 per large bag, I had to snatch two bags up. I mean, ONE DOLLAR. It just so happened that on the same night that I needed to process them, I received a new book in the mail. This book, The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz, described “Dilly Beans” and my mind raced to all the summer cookouts that have had pickled beans, I just never knew to call them by such a cute name. I knew then what I had to do… DILLY BEANS…

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These pickled beans are named as thus because of the dill that you put in them. WARNING: do not plan on making these on a rainy afternoon when you just want to stay home and you coincidently happen to be out of dill. You will have to put on a raincoat and whine about it for a while as you take a trip back to the said grocery store in order to purchase some dill- lookin’ like a wet, cranky fool. Whatever. These beans are gonna be worth it!

June 11, 2012 Snapshot

Projects this week:

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Kombucha (strawberry and apple juice second fermentation, green tea first fermentation)

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harvest and drying garlic- to be braided (replanted in the fall)

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Cascadia and Sugar Snap peas drying for seed saving (planning for Spring)

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dried apples (bought in surplus) and drying onions (picked from the garden)

Of course it has come when strawberry season has since come to an end. Regardless, I am one proud mama. Just wait till I can take over the front yard with them. Must.Start.Small

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‘xcuse me for being so tardy. I got over my seasonal blawness and have been stoopid busy. Chicken coop finishin’, soap makin’, embroderin’, sewin’, gardenin’, cookin’, entertainin’, and FINALLY hammock layin’. I found a hammock and stand on super sale and JUST when I was going to give up on it working, J saved the day. Of course. Life is oh so good.

Q: If given the chance to farm-sit, what would you do? A: Give a hearty ‘yes’! Then travel, play with turkeys, goats, baby chicks, go egg hunting, practice your slingshot aim (give up at that and go egg hunting some more), have a hearty breakfast at the Saxapahaw general store, buy ANYTHING you like at the Farmers Alliance (overalls, duh), and relax. Oh, and daydream for the eventual day that you would own a farm.

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It’s the little things that matter. Like an organized tool cabinet. So that when you stop procrastinaing on painting a chicken coop, it’ll be much easier to get supplies. Now onto more projects that don’t involve painting a chicken coop.

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With limited sun and an insatiable desire for veggies, what’s a girl to do? My answer: impulse buy a ton of metal trashcans to paint and plant in. J did the painting while I took photos. Such a trooper.

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We painted the drainage holes to prevent rust. It won’t completely do the job but it’ll slow it down some.

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all my seeds are waitin’.