Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Event Letters

Dear Tyler (consequently Gevan too),

Thank you for getting more pigeons. They are handy to have around. Now I can tie messages to their tiny feet and have them fly to Prince William to inform him of the rendezvous location. It is very Harry Potter-ish. The possibilities are exciting! Wait, what, what is that you say? These pigeons tumble and look like they are dying whilst flying? What else do they do? Have babies. Yes, and? Oh, nothing. Okay. Cool? I am glad we spent $15 on them and $20 in gas to drive to pick up their worthless pooping-in-their-water asses. Sorry Prince William. You will have to wait.

Sincerely, Emily Herold

Dear Stanley,

You are learning the ways of hunting well!

Peace be with you, Sensei

Dear Mom,

I cleaned out my fridge today, this included using soapy water and a rag. I did, however; put back all the moldy food. :)

Love, Emmy

Friday, August 28, 2009

Doing the Can-Can

Garden Dill

One of the reasons I wanted this blog was to keep track of my canning recipes and pictures; however, I don't think I want to write out a new recipe every time I can because that is proving to be a lot. Instead, I will feature some of them and put different recipes of different garden goodies on here from time to time.

Today, I shall explore the canning business. When I was growing up, my family canned peaches we would get from Yakima. I hated canning day. I had to peel peaches. Fun....well, not exactly, especially not for a 10 year old. But like other things my parents forced me to do, it is proving to be beneficial knowledge for my adult life. I like canning.

Canning is a scary thing to do for the first time because you are trying new recipes and trying to figure out the right ratios of ingredients. Right now, I can only really can pickles because we don't have a pressure canner (wedding gift) that you have to have to can low acidic foods in order to kill certain bacteria. Needless to say, I am perfecting my craft....and the first batch of sweet pickles came out a bit vinegary and the first batch of sweet beans came out purse-your-lips vinegary. I guess more sugar is in order, actually, I learned that the ratio of sugar to vinegar is 1:1. Too bad I didn't realize that until about the 5th batch.

Tyler snapping the beans for me. Apparently, he hates that part.

My first batch of sweet and sour pickles. Tyler has been using them on his sandwiches.

My first batch of sweet pickles.

My first batch of sweet beans. Not so sweet. But pretty.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

To Start Things Off....

In a year, my life will be complete. I will be a farmer’s wife. Plain and simple. I will clean the house, do the laundry, do outdoor chores, tend to the animals/kids, and wash the car (a more modern chore). In 2009, Tyler and I bought 5 acres of land (with a house) and are learning how to use it through gardening, mowing (on foot), harvesting, enjoying, and weeding.

Other than work, you may be wondering what really qualifies the Herold/Marrs Family as farmers. I direct you to this here list:


2) We have to develop an income off of our land in order not to pay back taxes of 7 years.

3) We need a pick up truck.

4) We own a tractor….from 1947.

5) We constantly come up with new ideas/food that will be great to sell at the Farmer’s Market.

6) Sometimes I envy people without a yard.

7) We have animals we don't love (right now this includes one single pigeon because the others are dead but we will soon have real farm animals). p.s. I hate birds!

8) Our land is worth more than our house.

9) I have 4 canning books.

10) We put manure in our dirt. (Not our own mind you, wait, does that make me less of a recycler?)

There is one thing that makes us not true straw-sucking-overall-wearing folk, we don't have any meat. Tyler has yet to acquire ducks or cows or sheep or chickens or other nasties. We will get some of these things eventually but I am in no hurry. Because I am a vegetarian/almost vegan, I tend not to be proactive about obtaining these animals. Besides not wanting to eat them, they scare me. Cows are HUGE. Sheep have horns. Chickens and ducks stink and poop in their water. So, we have yet to jump over this farming hurdle and I know it is coming but for now I will enjoy and learn the ways of the veggies and berries. Hell, maybe I will even try a root or tuber.

ANYWAY, we love our house and land. We have no more free time because it is all spent doing chores, fixing tractors, fixing mailboxes, and weeding (blegh). Despite that, I do take pride in our organic earth-friendly "farm". Tyler takes a lot of time researching and tending to our organic food and its awesome.

As for me, I am really enjoying being the "Farmer's Wife". I pretty much do the same things I always did (house chores) but now I get to preserve our harvest and do other dorky 1930's woman things (with a modern twist, of course). This blog is to capture that side of me that I am learning to embrace and enjoy, except of the weeding. Did I mention how I hate that yet?

Here are some pictures to give you an idea of my life. They have no order or theme, unless "a life's sample" is a theme:

My yellow dahlias. My favorite flower.

Picking blackberries for a pie. I decided today that making one pie after just finishing the first probably isn't the best idea. One doesn't need to eat pie every night for two months.

A great kitchen gadget. My plastic bag dryer. I reuse all plastic bags/baggies by washing them and letting them dry. Tyler refuses to reuse them.

I am sorry but I am amazed at how friendly we are to the earth. We have about ten thousand weeds with 60 foot long roots in our lawn taking over and instead of using chemicals, we bought a little tool to individually pull out every weed. It sucks. This is me, I'm probably whining.