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Holy toledo…

I seem to have had another lag in posting. I have to confess, I’d been giving a lot of thought to ending this blog and starting another with a different focus. Well, I actually have registered another but I think this one will suffice for now.

 

For those who don’t know, we’ve sold all of our sheep. All of them. It was a hard decision but one of those ones where everything falls together in the right time, right place etc. I had a friend who wanted to but a flock of Icelandics and decided to sell mine to her. We miss them terribly but it wasn’t working in the way any of us wanted it to. Should the meadow be accessible and we have the will to fence it for sheep I will consider a flock again. Lessons learned though, I won’t breed. I don’t like selling lambs at all. I spent more time talking people out of buying from me when it seemed they weren’t set up for sheep than I ever did selling them. Sales are not for me, it turns out. I do want the fibre but when I expect to spin and felt etc. is beyond me. I can’t see getting more time if I should have sheep again.

 

We’ve been canning like crazy. We – me really. J is lovely but I can’t see him canning. We’re well into the hundreds of jars. I can’t decide if I want to tally them up or not. A part of me is incredibly curious but a larger part thinks it may be better to not know. Of course, this has been what’s taken up a huge amount of my time as of late. 

 

Tonight I’m canning tomato sauce. A friend gave me a HUGE box of tomatoes – never mind that I actually have a good sized crop. My toms are in the dehydrator right now. Later tonight I intend to use some of the cherries we picked this year for a yummy sauce. I’d frozen a few bags because when I hit my 80th jar of canned cherries I couldn’t face them anymore – and I couldn’t toss them. Now I have the will to deal with them again.

 

Tomorrow will be pears. LG loves canned pears. We get them fairly cheap here. We have a few pear trees but they’re too little to give us much. We’re putting another pear tree this year because they are a favourite. Apple trees as well, I suspect. I’d like to be independent that way. With the chickens and garden and bees (more on them in a moment) and fruit bushes/trees we have  a lot of food growing here.

 

The bees. Our colony was killed off by yellow jackets this year. An absolute tragedy. My bee keeping mentor warned of such a thing. His recommendation was to always have at least three. We’ll keep three or even four. I realized that we can move them into one of the old sheep runs which will help prevent the yellow jackets (they tend to be better able to take out the bees in the forest although I don’t know why). Not only will it help the bees but it will help the garden as well. We had better squash and tomatoes than ever before – likely due to the bees. I learned from a friend who is a horticulturalist that the more pollinating going on, the larger the tomatoes will get. I can say that anecdotally that’s been the case here. I have never seen such large tomatoes…

What I loved most about the bees is that they were completely independent and yet they recognized me. Before they died, I could go into the hive without gear or fear of being stung because they were so used to me.  Creeped J out on more than one occasion when I did that. And LG. He saw me getting swarmed once when I was messing with them. He didn’t like that too much. He has his own suit and so can get right up and close to them. There’s something about the bees. I can’t say what but I jut love them and miss them terribly. 

 

There’s your update – I have to return to the canner.

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