What I've Been Up To

Seems like this week has been a flurry of activity,
and, gosh, it's only Wednesday.

The bear trap has left us...
the game warden came and picked it up yesterday.
No bear.
Just a silly old coon and a nasty looking 'possum...both of whom
probably still have sick bellies from all those sweets!
So, for now we will try peaceful co-existence with Yogi...
bringing in the bird feeders every night
and keeping a watchful eye on our pups after dark.

The blueberry bushes are loaded with ripe berries.

Yum, our favorite fruit....blueberries.

These are the 100 bushes (freshly mulched by me) we planted four years ago.
This will be our very first year for a large harvest from these bushes.
Each row is a different variety, with a different ripening time.
From left to right is from early to later ripening.
Oh, and by the way, this lovely job of mulching around the bushes,
will be all for nothing in a couple of weeks, as our chickens love to 
scratch in the mulch and send it scattering.

We've been picking daily and will soon have enough for a big batch 
of blueberry lime jam.
Not to mention some fresh baked blueberry buckle.
(I'll post a picture and recipe when I bake it.)

Here is last evening's pick....

picked under threatening skies with thunder rumbling in the distance.

We could use a little rainstorm to help with the watering.

Of course, no chore is ever done without a bit of company.

And nearby....TomTom, who, by the way, recovered from his
polyp removal quite well.
He is breathing easier now and spending his days hunting.

I may have shown you our basement larder some time back.

Here we keep a couple of large freezers filled with local grass fed beef,
and frozen produce from the garden.
Yesterday I picked up 30 large chickens from a local Amish farmer
who raises pastured poultry.
Each year he takes orders and then when the chickens are ready,
butchers them.
With my truck full of coolers of ice, I picked up our 30 birds 
and brought them home to pack and freeze.
Two hours later, our freezer looksed like this...

By the end of the summer we will have the rest of the year's worth of food
stowed away.
With that much in the freezer,
it's good to have a back up, propane-run generator in case the electricity goes out.
(Which is does quite often, living in the country!)

I received a question about the terrain in central PA.
This is the view over our pastures....
rolling hills everywhere.
We have mountains, but none of them are very high...
mostly just rolling hills and valleys with more rolling hills.

We are very lucky to live in a lushly green area,
populated with small farms.
When I talk of our "neighborhood",
well.... this is it.
I wouldn't trade this for any other place in the world!


Debi said…
First, hugs to Tom-Tom and so happy he's okay. The blueberries are gorgeous. How do you keep the birds from taking your harvest? I couldn't tell if there was any netting or not. It looks like your really getting stocked up for the winter. We thankfully had some good rain for the past couple of evenings. Our pastures and ponds are in great need. Beautiful countryside. I enjoy hearing all about your busyiness. Seize the day ~ Debi
Anonymous said…
I can tell you adore being a country girl. Those blueberries look delish and can't wait to see what you make with some of them.

Anke said…
Bev, those blueberries look sooo good! I plan on picking some more this weekend, we just can't get enough of them. Would you mind sharing your recipe for the blueberry lime jam? That sounds delicious!
Lucky you, being able to buy the chickens from a local farmer. We are able to buy local beef and pork, but so far no luck whatsoever finding local chicken.
Junebug said…
Blueberries, YUM! I have three plants and am surprise at the amount I pick. So you will be busy with all your plants. Thank you for the scenery picture, it is nice to see your countryside. I see why you love it. Have a great day!
Unknown said…
It is indeed a beautiful place...your little bit of heaven! You must take a lot of pride in growing and preserving almost all of your food. What a wonderful accomplishment...you are really living the lifestyle of the old west, but with what we call the essentials! Ha!
This N That said…
The blueberries look wonderful..Good job mulching..Your chickens are the farms version of out robbins who scatter mulch all over driveways and sidewalks looking for bugs and worms...Sooo glad TomTom is fine..I was thinking about him this morning.
Kelly said…
I think that feeling is wonderful. Home is the best place in the world. I love the blue berries. I dont think I have ever heard of a buckle? Can't wait for the recipe. We will have to use Maine bluberries. Smaller but pack a powerful punch. Glad Tom Tom is better.
Cindy said…
What a beautiful area you live in! I love those rolling hills.
I had to laugh about the chickens in your mulch. W#hen we let the chickens out, my husband is always ready to shoo them out of the strawberries. They make such a mess of the straw!
countrynmore said…
Blueberry jam-yummy. I made some years ago.
Julie Harward said…
You are going to be up to your elbows in blue berries..how fun! Love that newfie dace there! ;D
Teresa said…
You certainly have been busy! The blueberries look so yummy! You certainly do live in a beautiful area.