Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Feeling The Love

We have always had the desire to move to the country, have a farm with animals and productive work for the children. It is a wonderful experience. In my dreams we all worked side by side, laughed, cried, got dirty,  toiled and played together.
I wonder if picking beans is dangerous? They are all wearing helmets. 
Dreams are often not reality. However when they are there is great satisfaction. We pulled the children off their bikes and into the garden to harvest the beans. I love bush beans however, we could get more bounty from the pole beans. We should have harvested sooner and more often. I am giving myself some grace in that we ate from the garden most of the summer (ignore all the lettuce to the right that has gone to seed), and although some of the food wasn't used we definitely got our $1.99 worth from the packet of seeds. I can't wait till all those tomatoes turn red! Salsa and Red Sauce are among the top to process.
In between picking, they found corn to eat fresh from the stalk. 
We picked the bushes clean then Sean ripped them out to feed to the cows, and chickens.
I tend to get into things over my head but I am willing to try. I admit I was nervous about pressure canning the beans by myself. Sean and the boys were going to a Scout camp overnight. I could think of a lot of things that could go wrong. I knew that it need to be done.
Me, Ruby, Granddad, Taylor (taken by Ian(8))
Thankfully, Sean didn't entirely trust me either. So he called his dad and asked him to come help me. My father in law drove 3 hours and was here by the time the girls, Ian and I were done eating breakfast.
Mama's helper Miss Ruby
He brought his pressure canner and set up a second station in the garage. The girls, Ian and I snapped beans and filled jars. Ivan ran the pressure canners. It was super efficient and wonderful to have my Father In Law all to myself (well I had to share with Taylor, Ian, Ruby and Liberty).
I talked his ear off and cherished the time we had together.
Taylor worked on making 4 Manicotti dinners, 1 for Saturday night, and 3 for the freezer. She also made us an apple crisp for dessert.
32 Quarts of Green Beans! Aren't they beautiful? 
Over the last couple of years, Taylor has matured so much and become both capable and competent. I was able to get so much done because she was there to help with the littles both joyfully and willingly.

Ruby, Granddad, and Liberty (in her 27th complete outfit change of the day)
Ivan finally sat down for dinner. As soon has he was no longer vertical the girls moved in for a spot on his lap. They begged him to spend the night. I thanked him profusely and he said he kinda liked it! He also brought us several pints of tuna that he canned. Seriously the best tuna I have ever tasted.
There is some amazing satisfaction going to bed completely exhausted from a long day of productive work. I felt quite content in my farm kitchen, skirt, denim apron, cows mooing in the background, kids riding on the tractor, eating apples straight from the tree, chickens clucking, the gift of time and service from my father in law. Sometimes dreams do come true.