Friday, August 23, 2019

Bears Repeating

I just finished putting a Freshy's Blueberry Pie in the refrigerator as a treat later today.

Look good?  If you want to give it a try, I posted the recipe way back in 2009.  (Good grief, was that actually ten years ago already?)

I've been so very pleased to see the amount of blueberries we've been getting this year considering the problem we're facing with the 
Witches' Broom fungus.

There's a lot more of it showing up on our bushes during this growing season and as soon as the berries are done bearing, I'm going to remove every speck of it I see and hope for the best.  

We sure will be sad if we lose any more of the bushes as we both love blueberries and eat them year 'round for the antioxidant properties they have.

In the meantime, I'll keep taking care of the bushes as best I can and today will enjoy one of our favorite pies.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

In The Poultry Yard

Our chickens and ducks can tell time.  Every afternoon they start lining up at the gate waiting for their treats.

"Look, look!  Here he comes."

"Follow that man with the goodies!"
 (Can you spot the three little ones in the foreground?)

"Num-num-num . . . "

These are the three chicks and a duckling with their Muscovy mama who hatched them out a few weeks ago.

They grow so fast.  The chicks are growing a good crop of feathers already.

Our other Muscovy hen hatched out this healthy batch of seven ducklings exactly one week ago today.

The two duck hens have both proven to be consistently broody and wonderful mothers.  So, so much easier (and healthier, we believe) to raise birds this natural way!

Monday, August 19, 2019

A Little Logging Operation

Late last week, the Pea Family did some logging.

Our good neighbor is putting a road in the woods on their property.  He left one birch tree, smack in the middle of the new road, for us thinking we might want it for firewood.  Absolutely!  Never turn down free firewood. 

Despite Papa Pea knowing how to make the cuts for a tree to fall where you want it to fall, this tree refused to come down.  So to be on the safe side, while daughter and I stood watch a safe distance away, he went home to get our tractor to give the stubborn tree a little push. 

That was the prod needed and the tree fell in the planned spot.

Papa Pea then limbed the tree while daughter and I loaded the trimmings into the back of our pickup.

While the man with the chainsaw cut the bigger branches and top portion of the tree into stove lengths, the two gals on the crew drove the truck up onto our ridge where we and our neighbor share a dumping spot for wood debris in a ravine.  Here daughter is demonstrating that the branches come off a lot easier and quicker than they go on!

We loaded the cut pieces into the bucket of the tractor for transporting back home.

Lastly, all that remained to be cut was the main trunk.  We planned to work it up on site.  Cutting a log lying flat on the ground isn't a good idea because the chainsaw inevitably hits the dirt and that dulls the chain right away.  

Daughter said she would lift the end while her dad slipped a piece of wood under the trunk to hold it up off the ground.

Plenty strong gal that she is, she couldn't budge it.  Trees are heavy!  (We agreed this not very flattering shot is graphic proof of how limber she is.)

Bashful Papa Pea didn't want to show his face.

Daughter and I drove the pickup home after unloading the last of the branches in our designated area while Papa Pea hooked the big log to the tractor and pulled it home.  He jury-rigged it to the front of the tractor because he didn't want to pull it behind the tractor thinking it would make a gouge in the ground dragging it all the way. 

It was a hot day and a hot chore, but worth it.  With our crew of three mighty-muscled workers (!), it went well.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Someone Has A Birthday!


He doesn't seem to be getting older,
but he sure is getting better!

Only one candle on his birthday pie
because we thought 78 of them
would be sure to set off
the smoke alarms.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Take THAT!!

We took a couple of small sledge hammers and bonked the wood in the second tier back (it was starting to look like it was going to make a break for it), restacked the outer and last tier that had fallen out making sure to put the wood as far back as we could, and then put that "safety belt" bracing across the whole thing hoping  it would keep the wood from falling out again.

We're keeping our fingers crossed.

P.S.  Many thanks to our dear daughter who helped with the restacking.  The job went lickety-split with the three of us at it.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

The Poltergeist In The Wood Shed

Up until two nights ago, for some time our main wood shed has been full up with this coming winter's wood supply.

Last Tuesday night Papa Pea was in his upstairs office when he heard a strange crashing sound.  He thought about it for a couple of minutes and then, sadly, figured out what it must have been.

The upper middle portion of the last tier of wood we had so carefully stacked had fallen plumb out and down.  It kind of erupted.  Or spewed out.

Ghosties cavorting in the back of the shed?  Determined chipmunks building condos in among the wood?  A small earthquake way up here in northern Minnesota?  Or just faulty stacking by people who shall remain nameless?

We've managed to ignore the situation for a couple of days now, but tonight decided we would deal with it tomorrow.

Just how many times do you have to handle a piece of wood before you burn it?  In this case, too many.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

If Only . . .

If only other garden fruits and vegetables were as abundant and easy to grow  as beans!

I harvested the first of my yellow wax beans and green beans yesterday.  Who knew there were so many of them silently hiding in and among their heavy, lush bushes?

I like to mix the yellow and green beans together because I think it makes a more interesting and colorful veggie on the plate.

Two of five trays in freezer.
(Oh, dear.  When am I going to defrost this freezer?)

I blanch the prepped beans for 3 minutes, cool in cold, cold well water, drain in a colander, wrap them burrito style in a big bath towel to remove as much moisture as possible, then spread them on cookie sheets to freeze (more or less) individually, then package them in gallon freezer bags.  They stay "unclumped" that way and I can easily take any amount I want out of the bags.

The most time consuming task involved with the beans isn't the planting or picking, but rather sitting and snipping off the ends and cutting each bean into bite-sized pieces. By no means hard work (and I get a lot of time listening to audio books) for the dividends received.