Garden Goodness in a jar

I finally managed to get some crushed tomatoes in jars!  Yeah!  We have been so busy that Ive been putting them in the freezer since it quicker, but I really do prefer them canned. I have figured out that I can get much more accomplished if I harvest in the morning before the kids get up, do my prep work mid morning while the kids play and do my actual canning while they nap after lunch.  It goes much quicker and is safer for everyone this way. I worry about having so much hot water around when the little ones are up and about.  I am looking forward to the aroma of chili filling the house on one of those cold winter days we know is coming.  It actually has cooled down here quite a bit in the last few days.  Today is a beautiful sunny day but when we were outside earlier it was only about 70. Just Beautiful. I am planning to try some BBQ sauce this year which is something Ive not tried before.  I found a recipe in You Can Can  that look good. This family can make quick work on a large bottle of Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce.
Its back to school time for Sunshine.  She starting 3rd grade this year.  I continue to struggle with our decision to continue with public schooling but she is thriving academically.  I worry most about the social influences she is exposed to. I do still believe we will move to homeschooling at some point.  Here she is ready for 1st day back.
The last 2 weeks Ive spent a lot of time sorting and organizing the kids clothes as we switched out wardrobes for fall and winter.  Mowgli is now out of his 12 month size clothing.  I normally keep the clothes that are in good shape from the older kids to pass down when we can.  I struggled with the infant clothes, not knowing if or when we might be blessed with another little one.  I finally settled on keeping them.  Most baby clothes don’t go out of style quickly. If we don’t have another one, I can always pass them on to someone else later.  Finally I guess Ill close with a picture of my little man who is sporting a new big boy haircut after his visit to the barber this morning. 

This week on the farm..

This past week has been one of transition in the garden. 
This week we actually did –
* Get the first egg from our one remaining spring check – Yeah!
* Called the hatchery about ordering started pullets in October. (Some Black Star)
* Freeze 1st batch of crushed tomatoes
* Harvested the remaining summer broccoli and cauliflower
*Planted fall broccoli and cauliflower
*Marked out new herb garden with raised beds
* Started Strawberry Patch Overhaul
We didn’t get hardly any berries this year, partly because of the weather, partly because we have neglected to maintain it. So this year we decided it needed a major overhaul. They say berry plants should be rotated out at least every 3 years for optimal production, our have been there for 4 . We moved the patch to a new location, laid landscape cloth and planted our new starts. Id show you our progress so far but I seem to have misplaced the memory card already…jeesh!

Black Star  – At first I thought he said they had “Rockstar” Pullets…I’m new to this chicken thing what can I say?

This week we discussed-
(There is always lots of discussion before anything actually happens)  🙂
* Where to plant new blueberry and raspberry bushes
* Shifting the main garden to make room for the fence to access the back pasture for the sheep.
(You know the ones you don’t yet have but are so looking forward to that you talk about them all the time)

Looking forward to-
Finishing the strawberry patch, figuring out how to make kraut out of all the cabbage I have finishing, canning tomatoes and freezing some peppers and pimentos.

Family Day out..Ohio Bird Santuary and Carrousel Park

Saturday we took the day “off” and headed out for a day of family fun.  In the business of life I know we tend to forget to occasionally put aside the to do list and take the time to just enjoy one another’s company.  This weekend was the first weekend hubby hasn’t had to work either Saturday or Sunday so we decided we would take Saturday off from doing our weekend chores and head out for a day relaxation. I packed a picnic lunch and off we went.
First we visited the Ohio Bird Sanctuary in Mansfield, which is only about 30 minutes from us.  We had never been there and it was just wonderful. They had many birds but also nature trails, a butterfly garden and a songbird aviary.  The girls had so much fun letting the birds eat while sitting on their hands.  Even mom and dad got in on the fun. We had a wonderful picnic in the shade before heading to our next stop.

After our visit to the Bird Sanctuary we went to visit Carrousel Park which is in downtown Mansfield.  The girls had a great time riding the carrousel.   I have always loved carrousel’s, I’m thinking we may have to have an upcoming birthday party there. We have so many great things to do right in our backyard if we just take the time to go and enjoy them.   All in all ..  A Wonderful Day!