I like to write.
Sometimes writing is cathartic. But most of the time it is just a form of camaraderie. It is like having an imaginary friend, but different in that people who read what I write are not imaginary. Also people who read what I write are unique individuals, who are not a projection of my imagination, and I only know that they are there when they choose to interact. I like this about writing online, it is like releasing energy into the wild, who knows where it will go, what will become of it. And I meet the nicest people.
After discovering how difficult it is going to be to obtain enough locally grown strawberries to do my seasonal canning, I am rethinking our garden. I grew up on a farm where I worked as a child labourer at home on acres and acres of tender fruits, including strawberries. Most farm kids worked on the farm with their parents when I was growing up, it was a necessary part of economic survival, and it built relationships and character at the same time. Anyway, those skills I learned, as I spent hours in the sun working alongside my Mom in the strawberry fields, is coming in handy now. Yesterday I took charge of our strawberry plants. They need to be weeded, hoed, watered daily, and mulched. I want to grow my own annual supply of strawberries! They won’t produce much this year, perhaps not even next year, but by gosh I am determined to get a good crop at some point in the future. I was out there bright and early this morning, watering the strawberries.
Attila has been working the night shift. We have been working hard to adjust to this shift, it has not been easy, particularly at our age, our bodies are not as resilient as they once were. But we have been doing very well adapting to this shift work. That all changed this morning. As Attila slept I received a call from his boss, he starts on day shift tomorrow, back to his old job. This is certainly something to celebrate!!
Things change so quickly these days, and some of the changes are for the good. One has to soak up the rays, when the sun does shine in one’s life.
Yesterday Attila thinned the Spinach and Swiss Chard, and I had the greens for breakfast, sauteed with an egg. This morning after he arrived home from work, he thinned a few more rows of Spinach and Swiss Chard, and I got the greens again! What a wonderful breakfast they make. When the hot weather comes later in the month, the Spinach will bolt and I will have to wait until fall for more fresh Spinach. But the Swiss Chard will keep on going, and I love Beet Greens, so I will have those as well during the summer months.
Date: 11:00 AM EDT Tuesday 9 June 2020
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Dew point: 13.6°C
Wind: S 13 km/h
Visibility: 24 km
“Technical term is narcissism. You can’t believe everything is your fault unless you also believe you’re all powerful.”
Dr. House, TV Character and Episode
I look forward to reading about your preserving adventures this summer. I always learn something new from your efforts. This year I am determined to be a better gardener and preserver. Last summer was such a busy one with family visiting that much of the harvest spoiled before we could eat or preserve it. Such a waste. So far so good. I am keeping up with the rhubarb, lettuces, spinach, beet greens, etc. Any ideas for preserving chives?
Sandra, your garden sounds lovely! Those busy summers are not garden friendly, we have had many of those kinds of summer 🙂
We haven’t grown lettuce, Attila doesn’t like leaf lettuces, and head lettuce is on our lets-try-this list for someday.
I would try dehydrating the chives, then putting them in the oven to caramelize under a very watchful eye, these delicate items burn so quickly. You could dehydrate in the oven, and if so I think that would caramelize the sugars in them so you could skip that step.
I almost cried when we burned our dehydrated onions!! They smelled so good just before they smelled so burnt, lol.
I’m so glad Attila will again have the day shift. I had a time of working night shift. Horrid! I felt as if I were in my own solitary time zone. I hope you are able to grow lots of strawberries. We are about to have lunch, pork and green chili tamales, pinto beans, carrots and a bit of tomatoes and olive to go with them. (We get the tamales at Sprouts, “Tucson Tamale” brand. So good!)
Thanks Joan, it is wonderful to have Attila back on the day shift. It will be a wee bit of a challenge as he switches mid-week from sleeping all day to sleeping all night, with no time off in between, but when the adjustment has been made, hopefully we will both slip into comfortable routines again.
Strawberries don’t usually bear much fruit their first year in the ground, so I am aiming for next summer, fingers crossed!
Your lunch sounds amazing! I have not tried tamales yet, one of those foods I need to research so I can make them, I know Attila loves all kinds of foods with beans and chili and olives, right up his alley. Enjoy!
I’m also happy Attila is back on day shift. I worked night shift only once when I was young. It was very disorienting.
Starting your own strawberry supply sounds exciting! Any thoughts on possibly adding a very small greenhouse in the future?
I admire how you and Attila are so self-sufficient!
Have a wonderful evening, my friend!
Thank you Sandy! The night shift is a challenge, turning night into day and day into night, Attila managed and was getting into the swing of it, but I am so glad he is going to be able to go back to being awake when the sun shines!
I am very keen to get a good strawberry patch going. As for a little greenhouse, Attila rigged one up using the third raised bed that he built for me last summer. He built a sloped roof frame for it, covered it with plastic, which is attached to lengths of wood that allow the sides to be lifted up and out of the way during the heat of the day, and down at night. Our nights are still often cool.
We try to do things for ourselves as much as we can, it serves as entertainment, recreation, and helps us to create a more comfortable standard of living than we can actually afford any other way.
Hope you had a lovely evening too my friend!
It made me very nostalgic to read about the work you did on the farm, even as a child. My sisters and I were indispensable helpers on our family farm. We grew almost all of our food. Our diet was organic and very healthy!
Diane, I think for many farm children working on the farm was a labour of love, and children were integral parts of a working whole. I certainly felt wonderful about helping my Mom, and the food, wow, very healthy as you say!