Tag Archive: garden



Hubby discovered he really likes some types of pickles. Likes them enough, in fact, that he has been learning his way around the hot water bath canner very well!

Today, he made bread and butter pickles and a batch of dilled okra.

You might wonder why he did that?

It is simple, I spent a few days in hospital and have not got back up to par… He had been great about helping slice veggies and pack jars.  The garden hasn’t slowed down one bit. Vegetables  just keep piling up!

Today’s abundance of cucumbers and okra had to be canned up, so he did it! I read the instructions, he made his brines and took right over.

He’s a good man, my pickle packing Papa!

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If you read the recent post, “Green beans in a jar”, you know that I had some great help and fun with canning vegetables this summer.
Grandson Erick entered a jar of green beans and one of tomatoes in his local county fair last week.
I proudly add pictures of his blue ribbon winners.
green beans

Erick ribbon


Three gallons of green beans arrived in the kitchen on Sunrise Ridge.
I shanghaied one of he current resident teenagers this morning and demonstrated the fine art of tips, tails and snapping to a more or less willing apprentice. Before long, aid apprentice got the hang of things and we raced through the last half-gallon to see who was faster. 😉
The next part of the lesson involved jar and canner preparation.
While water was heating in the pressure canner, the assistant finished heating beans and getting them properly into the jars.
Soon we had 7 jars of beans in the canner and a respite of time while they cooked.
I regaled my young helper with tales of long ago July days when canning meant keeping the wood stove going, and how glad we were when another was procured and set outside under a big oak tree. There was still a wood fire to feed, but being out where there was a breeze sure beat doing it inside.
Now, I admit, I am pretty sure my helper still has no idea about the wood stove canning and I hope never as to learn how to do that particular thing.
We got the second canner load ready and all finished by 11:30.
That gave us plenty of time to fix dinner and prepare for the second lesson.
We did tomatoes this afternoon, and assistant was pleasantly surprised to find out by dipping the lovely red orbs in boiling water for a few minutes then into ice water, the skins slip right off.
So, now the pantry shelves are filling. A teenager has learned some new things and I have had a very good day. Yes, a very good day!


jelly 006motto
This little fellow was ‘hiding’ on a corn stalk in the garden.
It led me to wonder first of all how he had gotten 3 feet up on the stalk and then why he chose to do it in the first place.
Sort of like people, who often tend to make me wonder about their antics, ideas and actions.


Growing up, in rural Missouri, a garden was pretty much a necessity for most homes.
Our family of 8, Gram, Mom, Dad and five noisy growing kids was no exception. The boys and dad did most of the growing work, plowing, planting, tilling, hoeing.
When things started coming off, it was up to the females in the family to pick and preserve. Some things went into the freezer but most into jars.
Hot steamy kitchen, washing, cooking, boiling, packing in July and August heat.
That did not matter much, the family had to eat, be it July or January and so it was done.
Now there was the problem of where to store all that food. Our family and any others did not have a big pantry or cellar, so jars went into boxes to be stashed under the beds.
Once the jars were emptied that’s where they went again to rest for the next use.
Yes, friends, I have boxes of jars, full and empty under the bed. It does keep the dust bunnies at bay!


gooseberries, blueberries blooming 003
Today on our walk, Hubby and I came across a troup of ballerinas, pirouetting just for us.
Clad in gossamer, swaying in the slightest breeze, these delicate ballerinas dance.
I look at them and see not only the beauty in these blooms but the promise of ripe gooseberries to come.
Chubby, tart, basketballs of purple and green.
Sturdy enough not to crush when picked and make a jam or jelly with a distinct tangy flavor.
Two patches endure, and have for 30 odd years, over at the ‘old house place’ where my late mother-in-law first started them.


Over the past few days, we realized that the time has come to get a start on the garden. Realization seems to come with the first sprouts of asparagus breaking through the soil and the discovery of blossoms on the strawberry plants. Growing things signal time to get gardens prepared and planted.

I love the plants and seeds going in and even more the products of all the work.

fielld flowers, stoplight 007asparagus

fielld flowers, stoplight 010 strawberries in bloom

Sunday afternoon, Hubby and I planted tomato and cucumber seed so those plants will get the needed head start.

Yesterday, a trip out to the local Feed & Seed was necessary. Along with the hog feed we came home with packets of seed. Ready for the correct weather and some tilling to be done.

A shower or two of rain last night has knocked the petals off the fruit trees, under the plums, it looks like white snow, the peach trees have a carpet of pink.


In spite of all the fuss, false starts and fury of wind and snow, it appears Spring has arrived on Sunrise Ridge.
How do I know? Well of course, I do not, but the peaches have started to bloom.

peach blossom

peach blossom


Although nothing is planted, the greenhouse is started and work preparing the garden has begun.
A little travel shows that fishermen and women are out, enjoying the warmer days and trying to fill stringers.
Let's go fishing

Let’s go fishing


Yet, I have not heard the gobble of wild turkeys early in the mornings, and I wait in expectation for it.
The sounds of evening include peep frogs and owls, I remain still impatient for the return of the whip-poor-wills, but these fulfilled promises encourage me.
They will come!


Hubby and I spent a couple of days this week discussing planting the garden and the timing to do so.
I spent some time going over records and photos from ‘this time last year’ amazed by the way things were ‘bloomed out’ cimpared to what we are seeing this spring.

the bluebirds are hiding out today

the bluebirds are hiding out today


Waking up this morning to look out at a good coating of snow frosting the ground and trees, was a bit of a disappointment.
It isn’t over yet, no matter what, eventually spring will arrive – won’t it?


Missouri weather. You just never know what it will be!

March 1, 2013

March 1, 2013


and just a few days later…
pups and a bone 007
Strength, perseverance, beauty, and hope fulfilled.
What a lesson!