Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Green beans picked finally!

What a haul from the garden on Sunday morning and afternoon. 

7:30 a.m.  Up and going.  First item of the day, build a wall to keep the split wood in place and provide something to stack up against.  I am all about repurposing things on the farm.  We had some long round poles that dad used once to try to build a tee pee.  They have been used since then as morning glory climbers, although the morning glories don't seem to understand that is what that pole is there for.  So now they are the upright poles for the wood corral.  4 pieces of old house siding were sized up and screwed to the poles that were secured in stacked cinder blocks filled with excess gravel.  When we got done I thought to myself, that doesn't look half bad!

9:45 a.m.  After we got done building the wall of the wood corral, Jim and I headed to grandma's to do some trimming for her around the cistern and pump.  Then it was off to a spot north of Ludell that Jim and helped take down a couple cedar trees that were dead or near dead and we loaded the pickup up with more big chunks of cedar.  Then we headed home.  Just in time for lunch.

12:30:  After lunch I started what I call the garden round.  I grabbed my $7 cart that I got at an auction a couple months ago and headed for the squash patch.  Let me tell you, those squash must have needed the snot beat out of it because it has grown by at least double in size maybe triple and the leaves are HUGE and standing up nearly 4 feet tall - I will have to remember to get the tape measure when I take a picture next.  Anyway, I picked at least a dozen zucchini, some for grilling or sauteing and some for mock apple crunch. 

Then I headed up north to the west garden and picked about a dozen different cucumbers, and 1 tomato!  I looked at the green beans and told myself just to get a bucket and get busy with it and get them picked.  Some of the plants look just awful but there are blooms all over them and oh my goodness the green beans I was finding.  I took a break after 2 rows, got a 5-gallon bucket and emptied my big bowl into that, 1/3 full already.  I got on the phone and called a neighbor friend because Jim was already in bed asleep and mom and dad were still up at the cabin.  Dude (yes that is her name) came over and helped me picked the last 3 rows and by the time we were done we had filled that 5-gallon bucket to the top.  Then we went to the deck and spread out the newspaper and proceeded to pick through, snap, and prep the green beans for the blanching phase.   Here is what 5-gallons of fresh green beans looks like before they are snapped. 
That little tomato is the one tomato that was safely tucked at the base of one of the plants inside the bucket that protects them when the hail storm moved through.  It was ready to be picked.  Not yet eaten but will be soon.

By the time Dude and I finished snapping all these green beans it was 4 p.m.  Yes I started the garden round just after lunch, about 12:30 p.m.  Those two bowls on the side/back of the picture were full of green beans ready for blanching and freezing.  Called mom to verify what the next steps were, got a couple of towels (should have taken a picture of that), washed the green beans and spread them on the towels to dry.

4:15 p.m.  Next item on the to do list is mowing.  Everything is green, growing and the weeds are winning the growing race.  I started at the squash patch and the area around there and in front of the west windbreak.  Then I did the entire west windbreak, in between and the outer edge.  Then I moved to the south windbreak and just south of the quonset.  Of course, this leads straight to the buffalo grass south of the houses which in turn leads to the road from the highway both sides.  That then leads to the area where the implements are parked.  All this got mowed on Sunday, even around my house where we park and just east between the house and the field.  I decided to stop and check the time -- 6:20 p.m.  Been mowing for over 2 hours. 

I decided to stop, grab a quick bite to eat and take a shower because Red 2 was showing in Atwood and I really wanted to see that movie.  Besides, I worked hard all day!  I deserve a little break and a treat.  So off to the movie I went.

9:45 p.m.  Came home and there were those green beans taking up my entire kitchen counter top.  Guess that is my next job.  Blanch and package.  So that is what I did for the next hour.  When it was all said and done, I keep out about 4 cups for mom and dad to have when they got home and put 9 quart bags in the freezer with each bag holding 4 cups of green beans.

My day is finally over.  It is 11:30 p.m. and if I sat on the couch much more than a minute I would be snoring with a 9-cat cover.  So it is off to bed. 

We started moving the wood from the yard to the corral.  First it was armful at a time, then I got smart and was filling up the wheel barrow and then the wagon, alternating which one we used to transfer the wood from the split pile in the yard to the stacked pile in the corral.  It only took us about an hour and a half.    (see related post)