July 31, 2013

86

This spring I was too pregnant to oversee our square foot garden.  And to be honest, I've been so discouraged by the stink bugs the last few years, I wasn't sure it was worth the effort.  But, we garden.  In the summer it's like breathing and eating.  Very literally at times because we feed our family from it until the frost and can what's left to enjoy the taste of sunshine throughout the winter.  My big boys took full charge of the vegetable garden this year.  And they have done an amazing job.  They started spring by building 9 new boxes for a total of 25 boxes.  The garden looks better than all the years Allen and I were in charge.  They are experts at rotating crops and getting new seeds going as soon as we harvest a finished crop. 
 And true to who my boys are, they have exhibited adventure and daring in the garden.  When they caught wind of the new designer vegetables, blue potatoes, Swiss chard and purple beans appeared on our table.

Last week the stink bugs appeared in full force.  Oh, boy!  I sure was discouraged at the concept of watching all that hard work go before we had even gotten a single tomato.  But God is so good to give, even in our loss.  Saturday my in laws called to say they had extra produce from their garden.  And they were not kidding!  We took home 2 cabbages, 2 cantaloupes, 100 ears of sweet corn, enough zucchini for 25 jars of pickles.  And then there were the tomatoes.  It was probably about a bushel.  They taste like only summer can taste.  Tomatoes and yogurt has been our primary diet this week.  Not because we don't have a refrigerator full of food, but because it is so delicious no one wants anything more.

And if that wasn't enough, God had to top himself.  Monday a neighbor and nearby farmer blessed us with sweet corn. Sweet corn in Maryland is like no corn you will ever taste anywhere else.  When our corn is ready for harvest, we eat the first batch for breakfast.  Yeah, it is that good.

My kids eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  They eat it cooked.  They eat it raw.  They eat it plain.  They eat it buttered.  Actually, it's the only thing besides tomatoes they've eaten in two days.

So they picked and picked and picked.
In fact, they picked a truck full. 
And a pink pool full.  Twice.  Monday and Tuesday this is what you would see if you dropped by for a visit.
And so the canning season is upon us.  It's hard and hot work.  It's down right exhausting.  And at the end of the day, you ache all over.  And if you are as clumsy as me, you drop a quart of corn on your foot and injure it enough to forgo a week of running.  

But oh how we love it.  And do you know why?  I can spend a good hard day working at cleaning the house or cooking a meal.  But at the end of the day, the place is dirty before I have even washed the dust out of my hair.  But at the end of a good day of canning you have something beautiful to show for it.  There aren't many jobs in homemaking you can say that about.  

This morning we finished putting up the corn.  It felt so wonderful.  This kind of work makes my spirits bright.  Just look how sweet it is!  86 quarts of Glorious beautiful summer goodness.

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