Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Week on the Farm

   I was a little optimistic today and hung the clothes out to dry - it's raining on them as I write.  But we did have a small window of dry hours this week and got some weeding done in the garden.  I recall dry years how "clean" the gardens look.  This year, it's more like searching for the produce among the weeds.  By now we're getting a little used to the rain.  That said, Saturday's market downpour was like no market we've ever survived.  Thanks for coming out to support the farmers!  Eric and Nora came home a bit chilled, grateful for the kitchen I'd heated up with canning tomatoes.  It has been a tomato week since then.  On harvest days, Eric will bring in box after tray of them and I'll start the processing line.  Drop them in boiling water to peel for whole tomatoes, slice onto a tray in the oven for roasted tomato sauce, cook down in a pot on the stove for juice.  It was music to my ears the sound of sealing jars on the kitchen table.  We've almost filled our shelves with our needed supply, so now it's your turn to stock up!
  You may know, we are really into taste tests.  While this is quite useful - helps us grow the best tasting varieties - it's also fun to blindfold someone and feed him something.  Trust.  This week it was blueberries.  Now 5 years in the ground, our blueberry planting is starting to amount to something.  Not sure which variety to plant, we planted 19!  You'd think a blueberry is a blueberry, but taken one at a time and really tasted, there are good ones and really, really good ones.  (Of course, it's also nice to have early- and late-yielding varieties to extend the fresh blueberry season.)  Most members of the family chose the same top four varieties, with the overall winner for the Browns this year being a variety named 'Yadkin.'
   New additions always brighten the mood around here and this week we welcomed our third kid, goat kid that is.  All three have been nanny (female) kids this year.  We found the latest kid in the pasture with her mother where she was healthy and had already figured out nursing.  This was a reassuring sight after losing one of our goats about a month ago to late term pregnancy complications.
  It's a delicious time of year outdoors.  We find ourselves grazing around the farm - cherry tomatoes, blueberries, our first little crop of very organic-looking apples, big tame blackberries, raw beans (just Melissa), grapes, figs...

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