Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day 48 - What Not to Do . . .

Today's pictures have a series of things considered what not to do when working with raspberries.  You'd think I would remember this from year to year but it seems I need a couple of reminders every now and again!

This morning after doing chores I stopped and picked about a quart of black raspberries in our backyard.  Lush beautiful bushes all in the wrong place due to bird droppings a few years ago.  The problem is I love black raspberries - have ever since I was little girl searching them out around the farmyard; so, it is very hard to pull them up.  I hope to move them this fall and hope that they will be successful in the garden.
Here is a photo showing what not to do with raspberries.  I wanted to show my beautiful selection when I realized I picked them in a plastic tub.  Last year at the berry farm we visit they told us plastic is hard on the berries.  You should use a cardboard box for storage rather than anything plastic.  When processing it should be done in stainless steel. 

We ate quite a few berries with our waffles this morning - the boys gobbled them up.  The rest I decided to freeze since there wasn't enough to process into anything.  Plus, they are great to have around frozen to put on pancakes and waffles throughout the year!  To freeze, wash them and dry them well on paper towels.  Lay them out in single layer on a cookie sheet and find a flat space in the freezer for about 1/2 a day.  What I forgot was to put down wax paper first - makes them so much easier to remove once frozen!  Oh well, still made it in the freezer bag OK.  

Clark and I went out to work in the garden today.  In the picture below he is helping find peas to pick for lunch. I have my peas planted around the outside of my tomato cages.  Also have a few rogue sunflowers from last year coming up around the garden.  I decided to let them grow - we can harvest them for seeds or let the birds have some good eats later this year.

While out the garden I was looking at the monumental task that is weeding.  I have been keeping up better than some years.  But with complete focus on the garden some of my landscaping has fallen behind.  Looking at it this morning I felt bad because there is a crop of thistles that really need taken out.  However, later in the day as I was working at my desk I caught a glimpse of yellow out the window.  I should remember God has a purpose for all things - even thistles.  Right outside the window a male and female goldfinch were busy feeding.  I know they can feed from thistle feeders (which is probably how this crop of mine was started) but actually watching them on the thistle plants was so much more fascinating and just seemed so natural.  I don't know if birds can be happy but I would like think they were as the feasted on my "horrible" weeds.

Really - I could have watched them all afternoon!

After the boys got up from naps (neither of them actually slept though today - not sure what that was about) we changed clothes and headed for Ankeny to eat with Alan at the NLCSO (National Leadership Conference for State Officers) banquet.  Of course this means "official dress" for my little guys.  Yes, little FFA jackets for the two of them.  I designed the pattern and sewed them for my little guys.  Grant is wearing the first one I originally made when Clark was little and Clark's was made especially for National FFA Convention last year.  However, I don't think Clark's will fit again this fall - it was pretty tight today.  Clark is being the good big brother in the photo below helping Grant put his shoe back on.
I just have to say traveling with a newly potty trained child has it's own set of challenges.  Such as "mommy, I have to go potty" as we're on the interstate headed home.  Amazingly he told me this just before the exit for the rest area.  Better than after we went past!  Put the boys to bed and went to lock up the chickens.  Unfortunately one of our neighborhood predators took out my prize rooster.  Granted I would rather have it take a rooster instead of one of my hens but he really was a beautiful rooster.  From the feather trail it looks like he put up a good fight.  My only question is - with all these predators running around (fox, bobcat, etc), WHY do I still have rabbits in my garden?  WHY?  Seriously - they can't catch a few rabbits?

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