The August 2011 edition of Country magazine has on the cover: "Easy Season, Relax and enjoy the dog days". Summer might be the lazy days for air conditioned city folks, but they are not lazy days here on the farm. We have been trying to apply the wisdom of the old proverb: "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man." (Proverbs 6:6-11)
In addition to all our other work, we have been busy canning and freezing as much of our nutrient dense food from the garden that we can so that we have nutritious food to feed our family this winter when all the colds, flu bugs and other sicknesses are going around.
This is a bucket of high brix sweet corn (25 brix) from our garden. Our family loves corn and we grow a large patch of sweet corn. Last year the stink bugs destroyed our last planting of sweet corn. This year Cathy was determined that we would get all our sweet corn. Unlike other bugs that are deterred by high brix plants, stink bugs love sugar. We found a repellent that really works. We used a mixture of liquid laundry soap that we got from a health food store and mixed it with water and sprayed it on the ears as the corn was nearing maturity. We had to spray it twice. It turned some of the outer husks brown, but it didn’t affect the corn. Watering with a sprinkler seems to help reactivate the soap also.You can find more at this link: http://www.ehow.com/info_8607847_stink-bug-repellent-home.html
Cathy and some of the children cutting the corn off the cob. The corn is first husked, then the silk is removed. Then about 100 ears are blanched at a time in a large outdoor cooker/canner. The corn is then cooled in water, cut off the cob and put into freezer boxes. This year we put 98 quarts of corn in the freezer.
Cathy and Kara in the process of canning 41 quarts of beef vegetable stew. In the lower left corner is canned beets. Cathy learned an easy way to wash a large quantity of beets and potatoes. You put them in the washing machine with an old towel and set it on the gentle setting. It works well and takes the work out of washing all those vegetables.
There are also times to sit and relax and learn how to cook under pressure! Here Cathy is reading a new cook book about how to use her new 10 quart pressure cooker. She is waiting while salsa is being canned in the the outdoor canner. She and the girls made and canned 76 pints of delicious salsa that day. Salsa is great on eggs – fried, scrambled, and omelets.
Recently, our son Daniel made an electric spinning wheel using a sewing machine motor and foot control. It is amazingly simple and works well.
Oh the non-lazy days of summer, when we go to bed feeling like we accomplished something and we feel more prepared for winter. This winter we will sit by the wood stove in the evening and enjoy a good book or use that new electric spinning wheel.