I have been busy canning and preserving from the family garden. Totals so far: 6 half-pints gherkins, 6 paty pan squash, 6 broccoli, 6 yellow summer squash, 6 patty pan, 6 zucchini, 16 sweet pickle relish, 2 sun-dried basil tomatoes, 1 dried basil, 10 pints salsa, 3 pints stewed tomatoes, 5 quarts of sweet icicle pickles. And there are lots more to do.
We are, as expected, going to have lots of spaghetti and acorn squash, and a smattering of other more unusual squash, Hubbard, Lakota, and even a Butternut or two. The 'Big Max' pumpkins have set at least four whose proportions should be a good size, although not ginormous.
We will have some fall peas, broccoli, and salad greens. I am not sure what we will do with the cabbage!
The potatoes are okay although probably not the 400 pounds I wanted, but the 250 pounds we need for both families.
The berries and small fruits have established themselves very well. The asparagus is over the top for any of my or my sister-in-law's expectations. And we have melons.
My twin nephews have learned exciting stuff about gardening. The raspberries, ground cherries, and potatoes have been their favorites. They have stared into the face of happy sunflowers and told me they are yellow and patted the pumpkins in greeting each day. They have watched as 'Red Norlands' have popped from the ground like little cats pouncing on mice. We have composed a simple song about sweet corn, "Corn, Corn, Pepper, Yah!"
On top of all this summer harvest goodness, my sister-in-law and brother have shared some exquisite news. My sister-in-law is pregnant. This is no mean feat of fecundity. My nephews both spent some small moments in a a petri dish en route to their delivery 2 1/2 years ago.
My sister-in-law suffers celiac disease. Since diagnosis during attempts at conception, I have learned lots about this disease, and her need to be gluten-free. The upshot of this diagnosis and the fact that time marches on, my brother and sister-in-law felt they could not wait a year of two for her body to recover from the total body effects and how it might be impacting her ability to conceive and carry their child. Since then the need to take chemicals, especially hormone disruptors out of their family's lifestyle has been paramount. It is one of the main thrusts behind the family garden, no pesticides and herbicides.
My brother and my sister-in-law have been rewarded. This was a surprise conception. My brother, who I know wanted more kids, but wasn't sure he could support the medical conception price tag, has a bit of the "deer in the headlights look" these days. My sister-in-law is just worn out all the time and has developed more than a bit of morning sickness, and a lot of the traditional chewing on crackers routines are not an option for her.
So, although I thought the theme of this blog might be nurturing, growth, and the passing of information from generation to generation; it is about something the bees knew about all along.
So raise your glass and celebrate the harvest!