Monday, June 28, 2010

They're GOOONNNEEE!!!


Of course, you know I mean the bees...Our field looks wonderfully empty...We are free to move about the acreage! Much, much better...

We're all happy about it, but Audiel, and Daisie are the happiest. For some unknown reason, the bees took a fierce dislike to these two. Randy could work out near the hives, and he got stung once or twice in the course of a week. Audiel went out to work there, and was stung MANY times in the course of an afternoon. Being the kind of good worker he is, he kept at it. Finally, when Randy found out how often he had been stung, and even through the protective clothing he had donned, he moved him to a job far away from the hives...But the damage had been done, and poor Audiel was miserable for several days.

And Daisie was too! She hates the bees, and goes after the ones buzzing around her. They hate her back, and she was stung multiple times. Eventually, we found her rubbing her head and then her back on the ground trying to stop the itch...She didn't know what to do with herself! I called the vet, and Daisie has been much more comfortable after being on Benadryl...Blast those bees!

Tomorrow we are doing a test run, picking our first-year field. There's quite a bit of red in it because baby fields are always early...but probably not enough to make it worthwhile to start up the whole processing plant. We'll see tomorrow just how much, and what quality it is...Sometimes the first fruits are kind of soft because a good percentage are very ripe. Trying it out tomorrow will be very helpful for knowing what the rest of this week will bring.

Hoping those showers stay away...If they do -- we'll be on our way!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Guess what?

I found these out in the field! Actually, in our young field, there are already LOTS of these...and they're big and beautiful, and have that special tastiness that first fruits do.

We had some challenges with last year's planting, so there are "shorty bushes" out there...Bushes that didn't get the benefit of growing strong from the start. These little bushes, "thinking" in the way God made them to think, tend to put out fruit early as they are determined not to die...At least that's what I think they are doing...guaranteeing their survival and that their kind will go on. Go, shorties, go!! I applaud you.

But sadly, a lot of this fruit will go to waste as there is not enough to justify picking the rows by machine. These little beauties have just come on too early...
But not too early for me!! I picked a bucketful yesterday, and will continue to do that each day until I have enough of these beauties put away for next year.
It's not a complicated process, but I thought I would show you what I do.

And, what I don't do...Confessions here: I don't wash them. Nope, I just pick them carefully, and then spread the little lovelies across a large cookie tray.
I know, I know...You're appalled. The way I look at it is this: Every day during harvest, we walk out to the field and pick the sun-warmed berries off the bush and pop them in our mouths...unwashed...everyday...and we think nothing of it. So I leave the ones for the freezer the same, especially as wetting them makes for a less than optimum result for freezing.

The tray spends the night in the freezer...
...While I take care of these, one by one...YUM!
Today they came out of the deep, deep freeze all frosty and pretty.
You could crunch them now...or put them in your lemonade, or pop one in your mouth and thaw it there.
I fill up my trusty ziploc.

And the first fruits of the season are ready for muffins, coffee cake, smoothies, and all other manner of berry goodness all year long!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I'm tired of seeing this...


I'll admit it. The weather is getting me down. Optimism is being eroded by pessimistic thoughts. Thoughts like: "What if the weather STAYS LIKE THIS DURING HARVEST????"

It's starting to look like a possibility...and if it does I can tell you, it won't be pretty.
Ugliness, ugliness will ensue.
 I don't even like to think about it, or talk about it. Therefore, days of blog silence...
as I think about it...
Until recently, the weather has been inconvenient --
 but it now has slipped over into the consequential category.
Those little bees are not flying out there. It's too cold. It's too wet.
And so those raspberry blooms aren't getting pollinated like they should.
But this consequence will seem inconsequential if the cloudy, rainy days continue into harvest time...

I'm borrowing trouble...and I must stop. The sun will come out tomorrow...at least one of the tomorrows.
And I need to go with The Farmer's wisdom: "We just need to take whatever the Lord decides to give us, and trust Him. He knows what we need."

Amen.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Oh! What a beautiful morning!



It's gorgeous out there...and it's been a long time coming.

I'm going to enjoy it as much as responsibility will allow.

I've already been out to help The Farmer, and I can prove it.

I've gone through 2 pairs of shoes between the dirt, and the wet grass.

I went for a walk with Daisie, and bees were out in full force. After colliding with 3 of them, I decided it was the better part of valor to avoid walking in the rows any more. Yeesh! Bee collisions give me the creeps! The Farmer says, "Just stay calm and carefully rake the bee out of your hair..." Raking bees out of one's hair, and calm are not part of the same moment for me...Better to stay out of the rows!

Soon it will be tractor time, mowing more of that grass!

And, by the way, I fixed my grass-getting-in-the house problem.

Yep -- I put down GREEN rugs!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Happy Birthday?

It was Daisie's birthday last Saturday. After losing two boxer pups before they reached their first birthday, Daisie is our "third time's the charm" boxer...And she was instructed from her early days in The Main Rule: Don't die. We reminded her of it daily as we didn't think we could handle another loss -- and we couldn't have, it's true!

Daisie has learned The Main Rule well, and quite a few others too, so I like to celebrate her birthday...And she is up to #5 now!

However, last year I became aware that Daisie hated her birthday, and as I thought about it, maybe my choices for celebrating were not exactly what she was hoping for.

We would put on her party hat...

"Please no! Not the hat!!!"

"And pictures, too? My life is crap..."

We fed her special canned dog food, which tasted SO good...


...and later made her throw up.

We bought her cute clothes...

"Uh, Mom? I HATE CLOTHES!"

So, realizing that maybe this did not make a Happy Birthday for dear Daisie, I refrained from these unwelcomed celebrations. Instead, there were just more treats, including real meat and peanut butter, a new toy, and the kids came over (coincindentally, but don't tell Daisie that!). She was having fun...


...but then, it happened again...I ruined her perfect day by bringing out this:

"Oh, PUH-LEEEZE! A HOOD, NOW YOU'RE GOING TO MAKE ME WEAR A HOOD????"


"BLEH!!" Even with the hood off, her opinion about it was clear...
I'm sorry Daisie...I just couldn't resist. It was such a cute coat, and only $2, and you're so cute in it, and it will keep you dry and...

And I'm getting closer to making it a truly Happy Birthday...I'll do better next year, I promise.

About Me

Needing an outlet for various thoughts rattling in my head, I've created two blogs -- One about my real life (leslieisverbose.blogspot.com) and one where I can vent. (leslievents.blogspot.com)