Green Beans and Tomatoes

Thursday morning EJ and I drove to the newest farm store. There are multiple farm stores in our area; we shop at three of them because they each have different benefits, including distance to our house, products, and sales. Tractor Supply is closest to us and has the poultry feed we need, as well as fencing, etc. Another store has their own mixes of native flower seeds and wild bird seeds that are better and cheaper than the name brands at the other stores. We’ve also bought large bags of cat food there. The newer farm store occasionally offers good sales. We always try to watch items we need when they are on sale to help us with our costs.

The newest farm store had sales this week on cat, dog, and chicken food, as well as canning jars. It’s far enough away that we usually order the items on their website. When they notify us that our order is ready, we drive to the store to pick it up. It’s easy–we know before we get there that everything we need is available. We just pull up to their drive-through area, they bring us our items, and we load up and leave.

When we arrived home, EJ unloaded everything while I went in and fixed us lunch.

As soon as EJ was awake and ready on Friday morning (he works second shift so sleeps later than I do), we drove to the local farmers market where we bought a box of tomatoes and a bushel of green beans.

EJ was in charge of canning because he remembers his Mom doing it, and so he has a bit more knowledge about the process than I do. Even so, he’s never done it himself so he has been studying the “how to’s” all week in preparation for this day. It takes concentration to learn a new skill so I left him to it. I figured that once he has perfected the technique, he can teach me and we can work together. It was a lot of work, and there are things he will do differently next time, but all his cans sealed so I considered it a success!

Meanwhile, I set up a small folding table in an out of the way spot in the kitchen, and worked on the green beans, snapping off the ends and breaking them in two. It took me hours and hours to process the beans, then I had to blanch them, and then put them in bags to freeze. I didn’t finish all my work until late. EJ wanted enough beans to last until next year, but I might have bought a wee bit too many. We were concerned that our freezer wouldn’t hold them all, but I said, “where there’s a will, there’s a way!” and I got them all to fit.

I had to chuckle because we each happened to wear shirts that matched our tasks. EJ wore red for tomatoes and I wore green for beans. LOL.

Hannah Joy mostly lay at our feet, but now and then she stood near me and intently watched me as I worked as if she was trying to figure out what I was doing.

We had success and got a lot of accomplished. Yay! But we were exhausted when we finished, and EJ’s back is out this morning. 😦 At least he has two days to deal with his back until he returns to another week of work.

I’ve started turning on the outside light that overlooks the deck at night, and I’ve been observing a raccoon climbing the bird feeder post and eating the sunflower seeds that I put out for the birds. One evening I saw at least three raccoons. The raccoon returned last night as well, as we were relaxing from our day’s work. He was quite bold and didn’t scare easily as we moved away. Raccoons could be a threat to our chickens or garden, but as long as they aren’t troublesome, I enjoy watching them. I think they are quite cute.

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