Thursday, August 6, 2015

Blame It On The Storm!

If you happened to stop by the farm yesterday for a visit,
you may have noticed that I was AWOL!


A storm right after midnight on Monday night rendered me incommunicado for the next
day and a half.
(Did you think that maybe a grand baby was born?...not yet...but any day now!)

Believe me, I missed you way more than you probably missed me!
Blogging is my daily touch with the outside world...
and without our daily chat,
I was feeling a little lonely!


But....life goes on....
with or without blogs, right?
But still, it is a lovely time we spend together each day!


While we are on the subject of lovely....
(with the exception of one hellacious electrical storm that had me awake
trying to soothe trembling dogs, while continual lightening turned the night eerily bright)....
the rest of the week has been exceptionally lovely!


Today's high temps are only in the 70's....heavenly.

So what has been happening around here the past couple of days?


I spent the first part of the week getting caught up in things that were left undone while Tyler visited.
Then I turned my sights to the garden.
I've been weeding and harvesting.


The pumpkin patch is prolific...
pumpkins...


zinnias...


cabbage...


sunflowers...


I'm harvesting 40 plants worth of......TOMATOES!!


I am picking at least 10 lbs. of maters daily....
and turning them into sauce.


I received the question as to how I make my marinara sauce.
We actually prefer a Puttanesca sauce (yes, we love our olives!).
I dice my tomatoes (and I don't bother to remove the skins, or seeds), 
and simmer on the stove top most of the day...
until a lot of the tomato liquid is reduced.
Then I use my immersion blender and blend the skins into the sauce.
To that I add diced onion, peppers, lots and lots of garlic and basil,


 and salt, pepper, thyme and oregano,
as well as chopped green olives and chopped Kalamata olives and capers.
I continue to simmer until it's the exact consistency I like.
Then I pack in canning jars and process, or freeze
(I often freeze in canning jars with quite a bit of headspace.)

Less-than-desirable tomatoes get thrown to these gals...


who are always happy to get a treat!

Look what I found growing on the gourd arbor...
a big ole birdhouse gourd!


The front pasture has turned into a daisy kingdom.


The grass is short, but the weeds are long, so I will be finishing up the mowing of that area today.
It's so lovely, I almost hate to mow!


The animals have had a great summer.


Cooler temperatures makes everyone happier and more active.
(Myself included!)


Blueberry season is coming to a close,
but blackberries are in...
so, I picked the remainder of the blueberries and added to them blackberries from the woods...


and our blackberry patch.


This picking became another batch of Brambleberry Jam.
One thing is certain...
we have enough jam to last the whole year!

As for that storm we had on Monday,
there are a lot of trees down in our woods...
snapped off right through the trunk
(and some are really big trees!).
Luckily, none of the trees in the yard or around the barn were affected...
and the animals all weathered the storm just fine.

Annie's nose is healing nicely...
she now just has a little pink scar.
(We still haven't resumed playing fetch, yet.)

Well...I must get back to work...
there's animals to feed,  a pasture to finish mowing, a garden to weed, and bees to tend.
Have a wonderful day!
And thanks so much for stopping by... it's nice to have someone with whom to chat!

15 comments:

colleen said...

Sure did miss you yesterday. Tomatoes, peaches, berries, relish, marinara sauce ....so much work but so worth every second of it. I got a batch of bread and butter pickles made Tuesday. Going to make a batch of strawberry rhubarb jam and raspberry jelly (take most of the seeds out) today and hope to get for a second picking of blueberries tomorrow. Thanks for the Annie update. Thank goodness the storm spared you from any terrible damage. Will be sitting on the sidelines waiting for news of a new baby.

Candice said...

Pumpkins this year! Besides Mother Nature's glorious spring rains, what did you do differently this year to get this great harvest? I believe it was some kind of insect or something that destroyed last year's crop. Love the orange sunflower photo! Enjoy your cooler weather, it's going to 102 today in Austin.

Anke said...

I'm sorry to hear about the storm, but I'm glad it didn't damage anything close to the house. You have been harvesting and preserving so much! Lucky you!! Our garden has been disappointing this year (heard the same thing from lots of people in our area) so no canning for me so far... :-(

Beverly Frankeny said...

I truly think that what made the difference was using Diatomaceous Earth to combat the insects! I am quite happy with the results.

Beverly Frankeny said...

I would gift you tomatoes if you lived closer!!!

Beverly Frankeny said...

I am soooooooooo excited for the arrival of our precious little Mackenzie!!!

JudiB said...

Hi Bev..great to see you back. I have been reading your posts. that same storm came to Ontario and caused terrible damage after turning into a tornado. We were very lucky to have hit hit south of us. Thankfully your damage did not hit any buildings. My health has suffered with my hip surgery so am still trying to get mobile. In the meantime I can get my farm fix reading your posts. Looking forward to hearing your baby Granddaughter has arrived. How exciting!! It has been awhile since i have written in my Blog but hope to start again soon.

Patsy from Illinois said...

I did miss you yesterday. I thought something must be wrong for you not to visit with us. I read your blog every day. It is at the top of my list.

Jeri Landers said...

Bev, You are such a good farmer! Although our flower gardens are great, I am a failure with edibles..with a few exceptions. I need lessons on successful blueberries. Your vege gardens are an inspiration, I will do better next year. The mice and I are looking forward to meeting you at the Country LIving Fair!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

this is so exciting! a new baby to play with! i hope she arrives soon. your gazebo is just beautiful. i am very disappointed with my tomatoes this year. however, my peppers are the best they've ever been. go figure. we got some rain but now there is none in sight for as long as i can see. back to watering.

Missy George said...

Great pictures..Looks like things weathered the storm...mornings just aren't the same with out a BHA fix..great way to start the day..I got some peaches and tomatoes today...Yay!! We were 88 in the shade yesterday..a little cooler today, I hope...

Kathy said...

I did miss having my BHA fix yesterday, but I'm glad all is well! I'm going to try the Puttanesca sauce. I love hearing all the little tips about how you make things. Everything looks beautiful there!

Anonymous said...

Yes it is lovely reading the blog? every day and when you are not here you are sorely missed. here the tomatoes are still green.

Annie v.

Anonymous said...

hi bev...yes, concerned when no post yesterday, however know your time and attention is needed in so many different directions...glad to hear the animals are all right after the storm and annie is healing...thank you for sharing your puttanesca sauce recipe...my family is not fond of olives, but we like all the other ingredients...take care..sally

nuri said...

What Sally above said: Concerned about your being AWOL (even though I'm not a big worrier) - but all the happier knowing that you and yours are fine. Also, thank you for the marinara recipe! Scrumptious.

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