Bearing Fruit (or What I Did on My Summer Vacation)



Our first apple- a Honey Crisp- from our fledgling orchard. And multiple tooth fairy visits as my 'iddle boys get bigger


Amidst the fleeting days of all you can eat corn on the cob (corn cut off the cob for those missing front teeth) and hot, happy hours of putting up all the corn a family of 5 can eat in a year. My helpmate and partner in life didn't realize how appropriate his attire was for the job.


One Freezer Full. 2011 harvest filled up one of our two deep freezers. There are also jars of apricot jam, apricot chutney, pickled beets, tomato sauces, and more in the pantry. This year I did it a bit different... I made a bunch of meals from the harvests and froze the meals instead of the individual ingredients. I.e. tomato sauce and eggplant went into trays of Eggplant Parmesan, green peppers made into stuffed peppers, lasagna, Leek and Potato Soup, and Kale/Lentil Stew. I have about 70 pounds of cabbage in the entryway and a husband who has to leave the house if I even open a can of sauerkraut -- (mores the pity for a German raised person of Scandanavian descent like myself- from the days of cross cultural adoptions)


And having a pause in life to enjoy the fruits of a breakfast that can be counted in "food footsteps" rather than "food miles." I.e. all the ingredients were within walking distance of my kitchen.


And then my friends... the simple and most joyful of pleasure... a gallon of dandelion wine to capture some of the sweetness of early summer and harvesting our "organic" dandelions from the lawn. The bottles are filled and will be uncorked in February or March 2012- at the end of a blizzardy snow day. This was my first adventure in wine making and it was a splendid result. I bought my meager supplies in Ortonville, MN from Big Stone Marine and Wine/Beer Making Supplies. Since it didn't fill all the bottles, I had to make use of the remainder. Even "fresh" this is a wonderful dandelion wine. Although it is the first I've ever tasted and so have no comparison.

My summer vacation wasn't all about food and farm. It was also about climbing new trees, reading good books, and even getting a productive project or two done about the place.


On our way to the grand Cottonwood tree on the north side of our farm fields. My eager boys running ahead down what I hope will become a grassed waterway in the seasons to come. My next entry is how my children take me places I would have never ever gone without them. Blessings each one.


We did get one productive project up and running. About 120 feet up and running whenever the wind is greater than 6 mph-- which is always. Our neighbor to the north is pure Greater Minnesotan Farm Man with a Work Ethic to make you quake. He has 2 little kids, farms (I've seen him taking his toddler in a pink ballerina outfit into his combine), has a full time job, and a runs a business on the side. He came down to the farm, looked at the turbine and said "Well... I'd be afraid to get one of those. I'd be too tempted to just lay around drinking beer and watching it make $$ for me."

More than anything on this vacation (where I almost never left the farm) I needed to retreat from the world.


The boys left me sleeping in the cool grass, with a good book when I awoke. I was reading Hamlets Blackberry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age. My retreat was nearly complete from the digital as well as real world crowds. Hence the long absence from my blog.

Next entry... lessons from an Early Killing Frost and other Earthy Tales


All I can write is wow! You are amazing! How you ever get all this done? God bless you and all the family for all you do for the sustainable farming culture! Just yesterday at a women's event in Waseca, Louanne Kaupa, a local speaker talked about the 'Dirty Dozen'...scary! Her theme was Ag Practices, Food, Nutrition and our Health---Why should we care!
Love to all of you! The kids are growing up tooooo fast.....Aunt Bev

What a gratifying read this is. To live by the seasons is a great thing. Perseverance is an greater thing. Faith is the greatest thing. So glad you have that cottonwood landmark as your sentinel. I also kind of like the idea of drinking beer and watching the blades turn.

Bev... thanks for your note. I used to keep that "Dirty Dozen" list in my wallet for when I went shopping. There is also the "Clean Dozen" which I also carried with me.

Dale- come on out and enjoy some good local beer (Brau Brothers). They now have a brew called the 100 Yard Dash made with fresh hops just outside (100 yards) from their brewery. Good stuff. The bad new is not only have the blades turned- but all the beans are harvested and the corn is not long behind.

Blessing to you both!

Thanks, Kathy. I'm headed "home" this weekend. Maybe I'll stop by and bring some apples (I had a good crop this year) after visiting the duck sloughs with our the new lab Lily.

Great write-up. I'll make certain I stop by another time. Is there a newsletter I am able to sign up to? Thanks

Good points of view here.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Kathryn Draeger published on September 25, 2011 6:01 PM.

An Ode to My Grandmother and Her Farm was the previous entry in this blog.

Farming with Nature-- or-- the Seemingly Senseless Slaughter of Chickens is the next entry in this blog.

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