Life is Good

Today we <she> made 9 1/2 pint jars of blackberry jam from berries picked on our land , and canned 4 quarts of home grown green beans . And for dinner we had spaghetti made in part from our tomatoes <last year . frozen> and seasoned in part with our cayenne peppers . In a little while , I'll top the day off with some blackberry cobbler and ice cream .
--
Snag
I'm gonna
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On 7/12/2014 7:23 PM, Terry Coombs wrote:

for the weekend and the dawg and I laid around and read science fiction novels, ate four meals of what we wanted, and watched the news a lot to see how far down this country can go.
Oh yeah, I did turn the soaker hoses on the vegetable gardens for an hour and even hand watered the fig and kumquat trees. I guess that qualifies as work. I think I will have a small bowl of Blue Bell Southern Blackberry Cobbler ice cream in celebration.
I do envy the home grown blackberries, our land is so small we have to go pick at a berry farm and then pay for the privilege. And I am waiting in anticipation for the Hopi Red Limas to make enough beans that I can can in the pressure canner.
George
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George Shirley wrote:

Sounds like you had an enjoyable day ! I never did get that cobbler , I was so full of spaghetti I just couldn't . Today will be a light day for me , I'll probably go out and play with my toys in the machine shop . Got a couple of small projects in mind , like a GPS mount bracket for the bike . I never thought that'd happen , I like paper maps but the machine is so handy ... I usually check the garden when I feed the chickens , noticed today that we have li'l okras and the roma tomatoes are starting to ripen . BTW , I'm not sure how to tell when the corn is ready to pick , I haven't grown any before since I'm the only one that eats it - she's allergic . Some ears have tassels that are turning brown , but they don't really look big enough yet . On the land situation , we have 12 acres , but it's mostly all covered with trees except a patch about the size of an average building lot <and the powerline easements , but I can't cultivat there> . I did clear an area for the orchard too - if my garden is going to get any bigger <currently abt 1000sf> I'll have to cut some more trees down .
--
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On 7/12/2014 8:23 PM, Terry Coombs wrote:

Many years ago, I made 5 gallons of blackberry wine from blackberries that a friend had picked at his farm. I split it with him. I had quit making wine but 20 years later found a bottle lost in a basement cabinet. Color was practically gone and was not intense in the beginning as I diluted with sugar other than that from the pure blackberries but wine was great, even after 20 years.
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On 7/13/2014 7:20 PM, Frank wrote:

had a bumper crop that year. As you did I found a jug of that wine when we were moving house in 1976. When we were settled in the new home we had a taste of the old wine, it was so good we drank it all. There's some magic in uncovering something you made years ago and it is still good or even better.
We have the makings for a dozen blackberry cobblers in the freezer. Picked at a U-pick-em farm, very large berries. Froze them on a bun pan and then put them into vacuum bags and stashed in the freezer for future needs.
Tomorrow we go to another U-pick-em farm to pick fifteen lbs of figs to make fig jam with. We miss our huge fig tree in the old place as our new one has, so far this season, given us less than a quart of figs. Of course the tree is only about four feet tall and not very big. We have to net it when the fruit comes on as the dang blasted mockingbirds peck every fruit.
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Frank wrote:

Oh , there WILL be wine ! Our plants are loaded , I've been picking as they ripen . I expect a big surge next week , we should end up with 2-3 gallons minimum frozen for later use . I gotta replace a lot of my winemaking stuff , gave most all of it away 30 yrs ago when we moved east from Utahahaha . I'm not sure we'll have room for all the produce from the garden plus all the wild fruit <the muscadines are loaded too> in the freezer . And I have no idea where we'll store 'em if the potatoes bear like I suspect they will . I might actually have this growin' thing working !
--
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On Sunday, July 13, 2014 9:06:41 PM UTC-4, Terry Coombs wrote:

When you have those years of abundance be sure to preserve as much as possi ble. There will be years without. Around here the abundance seems to be gen era specific. 3 years ago the chile pepper crop was outstanding & I made lo ads of sweet, hot pepper relish. The last 2 years have been almost 0 crop. This year looks good, thank goodness I'm almost out of relish. Steve
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On 7/13/2014 9:06 PM, Terry Coombs wrote:

At the time, I had 2 peach trees and deluged with them made wine. I quit when the trees died and the area got shaded in. I've still got my equipment in an attic. The work in making blackberry wine is in the picking.
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On 7/13/2014 8:06 PM, Terry Coombs wrote:

make very good jelly. I miss being close to a friend with lots of fruit trees and vines that he never used. Gifted him with jars and jars of good stuff for the picking rights.
Certainly sounds like you've got it wired.
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Steve Peek wrote:

Last year we got tomatoes , zucchini , and jalapenos abundantly enough to preserve some . Looks like this is the year of the fruit ... plus whatever we get from the garden . High hopes , I got hiiiIIiiiiiiiiIIIgh hopes ...
--
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Frank wrote:

Exactly , and I'm gonna be picking them either way . It's going to be a couple more years , but when the orchard starts producing ... apples , pears , peaches , and cherries all make dandy wine . Just got a number from my friend and neighbor Randy for a wine/beer supply store they use . The only thing that's going to be hard/expensive is the glassware - 5 gal carboys are hard to find and often overpriced . I may need to make a run to a bigger city <Little Rock or Memphis> for wine bottles etc .
--
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On 7/14/2014 2:56 PM, Terry Coombs wrote:

I see the carboys are listing for about $30. Would take a visit to hot attic in garage to see what I have but maybe 4-6. Still have 2 20 gal primary plastic garbage type primaries and I keep them full of water in case of power or well failure for flushing toilets. Have a bag of corks and old corker and wonder if only corks available today are the synthetic ones being used. We had a store here called Wine Hobby which is since gone but great source of supplies like this as well as yeasts and concentrates. I also made home brewed beer which was fantastic but fattening so I quit making it. Today, I might consider saving disposable 2 liter soda bottles and smaller water bottles for bottling both beer and wine.
One of my kids bought me a beer kit for Christmas a couple of years that made 2 gallons of so so beer and cost ~$50. Refill supplies were expensive. Ridiculous. To me, a hobby should be fun and save you money.
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On 7/14/2014 1:56 PM, Terry Coombs wrote:

the wine up in one-gallon vinegar jugs, glass back then but sterile plastic later. Made no difference in the taste. I put up lots of pickles for us and the 21 descendants we have so always have vinegar jugs.
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