After befriending Johnny, Paul asked him if we could go and pick some blueberries, because we want to freeze them. He swatted the air with an “Aaahhhh”. He said how the season is waning and all that’s left are the small ones. He said we could pick them though so Paul took Oliver two nights ago and picked ten pounds of blueberries while I stayed home with Ike. Last night was my turn. I took Oliver around seven o’clock at night so that it would be doable. It was still in the 90′s and the humidity was in the 50% range. Let me just tell you, I poured buckets and buckets of sweat. I even brought a hankie for my pocket to wipe my face. The only time relief came was when the sun was completely down, it cooled off a few degrees. I didn’t stop picking. I became a machine. Oliver gave up on me as soon as we got there, so I couldn’t stop. When all was said and done after day two of picking I was able to walk away with eight pounds. Last night Paul and I washed them and vacuum sealed them up and put them in the freezer. Thank you to Rocco for randomly sending me this Reynolds Handy-Vac. I honestly thought I’d never use it. But I did, and it works great. Thank you. Also a thank you to Craig, for getting some Handy-Vacs for free so Rocco could mail it. Tonight is another night for berry picking and vacuum sealing, should be exciting!
I dug up the onions and garlic the other day and Paul dug up our potatoes today. Root vegetables are tripping me out. I have this fear of them with good reason. Our soil here has a lot of clay in it, even the topsoil we had brought in, so the root vegetables have a hard time finding room to grow. Last year, our soil was not as nice as it is now and our onions suffered. They were the same size when I dug them up as when I planted them. We didn’t even try potatoes or garlic last year. It’s interesting, because you have to follow the signals above ground in order to judge what’s happening underground. Surprisingly, to me, the garlic did alright. I think I might have waited a bit long to dig it up, but in general for a first timer I think I did alright, it’s learning. As we pulled onions up, I thought it was going to be a repeat of last year. A lot of them, at least half, were small. But as I hoed the patch to get out the weeds, I would turn up all of these monsters. The majority of the bigger ones were white onions. I had a few yellow bombers, but no red ones worth writing about. Now the potatoes were something else. Digging those out today was a trip because this just like the garlic, this is completely foreign to me. I felt like I was watching a baby being born as Paul pulled the plants up. There they were. All of our little red potato babies. We also had Yukon golds and Russets. There was a 15 pound take on the potatoes so far. We still have sweet potatoes growing and another variety of Irish potato, but I cannot recall what kind.
These slide shows are in no particular order. Chin Chin.
So…I’ve tried and tried to get this fandangled contraption to just insert pictures into my blog instead of the routine slide show. I even used various media websites to host my pictures to insert, but alas I failed due to my media retardation. Moving on.
Our neighbor Johnny came over the day after the farmer’s market last week. It made us really happy that he came by to check out our “Op”. Paul led him around and showed him all of our experiments. Johnny was really impressed that we were taking on so much. Aside from his blueberries, he only has a few other things that he’s growing. He couldn’t understand why we were only renting this place and putting so much energy into it, that the “American Dream” is to own something and work it. Paul told him that we were happy renting and doing what we’re dong for experience. Johnny replied “Man this is the basics”. He meant it as everyone should know how to do this. It started the wheels in my head turning. You’re right Johnny. This is the basics. Not too long ago, the general public did know how to grow their own food. I guess when I say not too long ago I mean sixty years ago and earlier, during World War II. Everyone had a victory garden, and had to supply themselves with vegetables and fruit. Please don’t get me wrong, I know that their are still a lot of gardeners out there, but where are we now as the general public? All of you reading right now I ask you to evaluate yourselves. We rely on the grocery store don’t we? THE BASICS! Please, for me…grow something.