Sunday, July 15, 2012

Preserving our Harvest

 John has been happily tending his gardens each evening when he comes home from work.  Yes, we are in the middle of a drought here in southwest Missouri. Yes, there isn't much grass for the cows to eat. But he waters the garden at least every other day (the water comes from our own well so we aren't taking it from the town's water supplies). 
The other day he came in with a literal armload of zucchini. I mean there were probably 7 huge, HUGE, squashes in his arms.  Those things were probably 14 inches long and 4 inches in diameter!  So what does any good farmer do?  He preserves them.  This morning he washed them and cut them in thick slices.  The he placed them in batches into boiling water for 3 minutes and transferred them to me where they were placed in cold water to stop the cooking process. 

 I put them into stacks on towels and let them continue to drain. Once they were all done, we put enough for a meal for the two of us into bags and then sealed them. 
  Into the freezer they went.  Now we have 9 quart bags filled with zucchini.  And John says there are many more on the vines that will need to be harvested and processed before the growing season is over.  And don't get me started on the tomato vines and the spaghetti squash...I've said it so many times, that man has got a green thumb all the way to his elbow!

Some of you might ask what is in the red packages in the pictures...that is 450 individual one-pound packages of hamburger from our most recent steer - Pepper.  At least half of that will go out to Utah to the kids. We are spoiled.  And so are John and Jill...they don't like anything that hasn't been grown at Pieceful Harbor.  We have two piglets currently that will be going to Freezer Camp in September. One of them will go to the kids and one will stay here.  When asked what we should name them, C & W decided we should name them Rosie and Batman.  I love letting the grands name the farm animals!

On the knitting front, I'm currently working on socks for my eldest granddaughter.  I finished the ones for the younger 3 and E's are the last of them for a while.  I talked to C the other day and she told me thank you for her socks..."they are great to wear and slide on the wood floors, Nana!" Gulp!   I'm also taking part in a Mystery Shawl Knit-Along (KAL) from Stephen West.  He is a fabulous designer and I've never done one of his KAL's before.  Clue 1 came out on Friday; I've got it half done so far.  Must knit faster to be ready for the next clue.  Here is a picture of my progress - colours are a bit out of my usual range...that's what makes a mystery such a good thing for me. It takes the 'control' out of my hands.

I don't know whether this is the top or the bottom but it's coming out so nice.  And I know from looking at his other designs, it's going to be a knockout!  So far, it's quite easy to knit. Will probably finish the first clue by the end of today.  There are 14 wedges there and I need 32...easy peasy!

Well, I probably ought to get some more knitting done.  Thanks for stopping by.