The heat wave continues..

At 630 this morning I was laying in bed trying to figure out what appliance was running.  As it turns out it was the air conditoner.  The air conditioner is outside our bedroom and Im not accustomed to hearing it run while Im in there, typically the coolest part of the day. But with temperatures reaching 100 degrees yesterday, at 7am it was already 87.  As it seems the heat wave here in Ohio is supposed to continue for the next 10 days.  It looks like we will be doing morning chores EARLY this week and will be watering the gardens and berry patch since we havent gotten much rain.  Its funny how the heat doesnt seem to bother the kids at all. Yesterday I had to keep reminding them to come in to cool off and get a drink. I have to tell you Im very grateful for the AC.  We never had AC growing up and it never seemed too bad, I guess to some extent its just what you’re used to.  On a positive note, laundry dries really quickly when it 100 degrees with a strong breeze 🙂

I am so grateful we were able to get the larger pasture fenced before this heat started. Now the ladies have a larger pasture and more importantly in this heat a place to get our of the sun.  Our little goat herd has grown quite a bit since we got the first 2 in April.  As of today, we have 3 Nubian does, 4 Boer does and 2 4-H market wethers. We have 3 more Boer does that will be joining our little farm in July.

The Ladies
All of our does were born this spring.  We are planning to breed the ladies later this year and early next year.  Looks like we are in for a busy first kidding season. 

Blueberry Beauties

This year as in years past, moms blueberry patch has blessed us with a bountiful harvest.  Her 36 bushes have produced well more than we can use. Yesterday I made 6 pints of BB syrup, 9 pints of BB jam and 5 pints of reduced sugar BB jam.  The bushes are still loaded with berries and we are hoping to get some rain in the next few days to help the rest of the berries get ripe. I am hoping to make some BB pie filling as well as some fruit leather yet.  I was really surprised how well the fruit leather from last year kept.  The batch mom made last fall (from frozen berries)  was made with just blueberries and stevia.  We stored it in a tupperware container and it is still delicious. If  I hadn’t forgotten about it Im sure it would have been long gone by now.

Because mom and dads farm is on the market, this will likely be the last year we will be able to pick blueberries at home.  So, we finally got motivated and put in our own berry patch this year.  We planted 12 blueberries, 6 blackberries, 6 raspberries, 2 black currants, 2 red currants, 2 gooseberries, 12 grapes and an obscene number of strawberry plants.  Heres a picture of my dear hubby working hard prepping the beds with some beautiful compost!

A love affair begins…

When we built our house in 2004 we purchased all new appliances.  Unfortunately we spent alot of money and they just didnt last.  Last week the last of these appliances, the dishwasher died. (more on this later)  Last fall while I was canning our stove quit working. Well actually the stove top worked but the electronic board on the back of the stove got too hot from the canner and melted, so no oven.  We ended up borrowing an extra stove from my mom since we couldnt decide what we wanted. I knew I wanted a gas stove with knob controls for both burners and oven.  I can alot and didnt want to ruin another electronic panel.  Unfortunately the only stoves I could find meeting that critieria were made with cheap wobbly grates (not so good for canning) or were Way out of my budget, ie. Wolf and Dacor.  Then on a visit to Lehmans Hardware we came across several Unique brand gas stoves.  They have no back electronics, knobs on the front, solid surface heavy duty grates and best off all no plug!  They require no electric, they have 2 9volt batteries to light the burners and thats it.  While we dont loose power that often, this is a big plus in my book.  Here it is, okay, I admit this was before the canning started!  🙂

Ive been using it for about a month now and  love it! It cleans well and heats up fast. I really couldnt be more pleased. (Well maybe if it had 6 burners instead of 4)  We used to have a microwave over the stove but instead decided to opt for a more substantial vent with no microwave.  Yesterday was the first time I canned on it and it was SO nice to have all that extra space for moving pans and jars.  So here’s hoping for a long love affair with my new Unique stove.