Friday, August 5, 2011

Squashes, Beans and Bears, Oh My!!!

The past week we have been having a problem with a bear or bears getting into our trash. Now I know the culprit of my missing raspberries! I went out to pick them and they were ALL GONE!!! I couldn't figure it out but now I know!

The only problem is the blackberries are ripening so now I have to beat the bear to get them! My husband and I went on a four wheeler ride two days ago to check on the berries and my goodness there is so much bear sign back there! I thought I could take a nice walk out in the woods and pick berries but I feel much safer riding out on the four wheeler and not getting too far away, just in case the bear/bears happen to be a mama and cubs! With all the bear sign out there it very well could be!

I am overloaded with Coosa squash! No, I'm not complaining at all, I am very thankful! I only have 5 plants and I have over 20 squash total growing! I need to put some in the freezer to enjoy this winter and we have plenty to enjoy fresh and share with friends/family!!! I never knew what a productive squash Coosa is. I think it's fabulous! In fact of the different squashes that I have planted this year Coosa is doing the best by leaps and bounds! My Zucchetta squash from Italy is doing well too but it will be another week or two before we can enjoy the bounty from those vines! I have them trellised but I didn't realize what a huge plant they were so some of the vines are on the ground. At least most of the squash itself is hanging so it will grow straight but I am curious to see what a 3 foot zucchini looks like grown on the ground and curled up!!! Looks like I will have some to share of that too!

My peas are pretty much done producing this summer. Time to till it up and plant something else. I'm thinking I would like another pea crop but since I will be later in pregnancy I'm thinking about doing something easier like beets. I love beets!

My pole beans will be ready to pick again this coming week so I'm hoping to get some canned this time. I did make a batch of dilly beans with some of my pole beans, but I had to do half and half with my Jade bush beans. Jade bush beans fresh incredibly well and hold their color very well! I finished up two quarts of frozen beans this spring that were from 2009 when I had my last garden and the color AND taste were amazing! I am curious to see how they hold up as dilly beans.

My potato vines are starting to die off so I can start harvesting them soon! This year I planted a variety called All Blue. I have planted Peruvian Purple potatoes which were amazing in flavor so I am curious to see how All Blue tastes and grows here!

Since my husband and I have been talking about moving and for a few other reasons of my own I have decided to let my pet chickens go, along with our older laying hens. It was a hard decision but I am hoping to find them (especially my pets) a good home so I can find out how they lay. I have 2 Egyptian Fayumis pullets, 1 Americauna pullet, 1 Partridge Rocks pullet, 1 Golden Laced Wyandotte pullet, 1 Columbian Wyandotte pullet, 1 ISA brown pullet and I think that is it for my pets. Our older 2 year old hens are ISA Browns and a Delaware. I seriously dislike my Delaware hen, she is mean and pecks everything and chases my kids when they are minding their own business. We also have 6 meat birds that are ready to  butcher but we don't want them. I'm not butchering them myself and my husband doesn't want to do it so we just want to give them away to someone who can use them.

I was really looking forward to seeing how my pet chickens lay and what kind of eggs they lay. Those are the breeds I've always wanted, except I also wanted a Cuckoo Maran too so I can get "chocolate eggs"! That would be neat! Oh well, it would be one less thing to worry about this winter if we do move and also with a new baby and 2 kids under 2 underfoot as it is :) I need to simplify my life until the kids are a little older and can help out with chores. Another year or two and our daughter will be old enough to help feed the animals so I guess if we downsize for another year or two and just have my horse and maybe a dairy cow that will just be fine. I mean it's only temporary.

It's always been a dream of mine to have a farm, I loved working on dairy farms when I was in highschool so it's really hard getting animals then having to give them up since that is what I always wanted. But I have other responsibilities like being a mom and a wife that have to come first to my dreams (which being a mom and a wife is a dream come true!) But I have to simplify my priorities. I don't want other dreams to take away my enjoyment of being able to enjoy the very short time of toddlerhood. Before I will know it my kids will be driving around and working their own jobs so I want to take advantage of this very short time I get to take care of my kids.

Well since I have posted last I got a few quarts of beans in the freezer, the last of the peas in the freezer, 3 qts, 2 pints of dilly beans canned, 3 qts of rhubarb sauce and of course lots of baking in between!!!

I've also finished all the motif's for my afghan, I have oer 20 hours into it so far and I start sewing them together a few days ago! I'm like 1/5 done and I need to finish before the fair! I was hoping to get 2 sewing projects finished, my cross stitch finished, my oil painting finished and a few other things finished for the fair but this afghan has taken up more of my time than expected. I will just try to finish the projects I can and enter what I can enter! It would be nice to have all my unfinished projects done before the baby comes/ we move which ever comes first but I think the fair is a nice deadline because then I could have more to enter. But I have to leave a few days ahead of time for baking so I can enter some baked goods too! Can't forget about that!!!

Well I need to sign off for today and do my dishes and continue working on my afghan!

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