I participated in a Friendship Bag Swap and finally have my package ready to be sent out. It is going all the way to the Netherlands. We are heading into winter so I wanted bright happy colors. I added a few goodies to be sent along with the bag as well.
B.B. made a new friend last weekend (we were dog sitting for a friend). Just had to share cause its so cute!
In other news….We’ve been keeping pretty busy here. The kids are all back to school. We have two seniors in the house (our son & his best friend who lives with us) and our daughter is in 8th grade. It seems like shortly after school began the kids brought home colds (go figure) and now I have it. I told Alan I don’t really have time to be sick–I’m trying to push through though. We are looking to buy a chest freezer. The freezer that’s with the fridge is way too small and is already packed to capacity. We’ve put up applesauce, blueberries, squash, and jam(both raspberry & strawberry).
Here’s the process we used to make the applesauce. We bought a 1/2 bushel of apples from the farmers market.
1. Rinse apples
2. Cut into quarters (no peeling or coring required).
3. Cook in large pan until really soft
4. Scoop out and put in this nifty sieve thingy Use wooden tool to push apples through the itty bitty holes. The good stuff goes into the bowl, the peel and core stay in the sieve–easy peasy.
5. Add sugar to taste
6. Place in freezer safe containers.
7. Let cool then freeze. 100x better than store bought!! We have another bushel of apples that we need to preserve, but have to find a new freezer first.
What have you been harvesting/preserving??
Let me just say that we haven’t gone tent camping in YEARS! I forgot what a pain in the arse it was. Here’s what the van looked like when we finally got it all loaded. Mind you, this is what I considered the bare essentials (tent, bedding, clothing, food/water) and it still took every inch of space we had. This photo was taken BEFORE the bedding was added. Had to wait to close the hatch and load that from the front….
Getting closer to having everything.
Here’s one after I squeezed the kids into the car (the boys wanted nothing to do with having a photo taken, but Emma says hello)–now remember, all the stuff has to be unpacked when we get to the campground and packed back up when we leave 3 days later (oh the agony)
Since we couldn’t get to the ocean this year we stopped at Sea Shell City just south of Mackinaw City to get our sea shell fix.
Emma was feeling pretty punchy and let me take all kinds of goofy photos of her…loved it!
Our destination was Muskallonge State Park–beautiful location along the Lake Superior shoreline.
Have I mentioned that I’m not a huge fan of bridges? The Mac is quite the bridge to drive across. The inside lane is a grate for a majority of the bridge. I hate the grate—Alan took this photo just for me. The green you see is grating. I’m quite convinced my car will fall through that grate if I drive on it. I KNOW, I KNOW completely illogical and it makes no sense whatsoever, but there you have it.
I’ll share a few more photos later this week. I’m still looking through the images…
Do you tent camp??? If so, any tips you want to share to make it a less painful experience.
Saturday morning Em & I got up very early and headed out with our friend Sara to go berry picking. We arrived to the berry patch with the sun still low on the horizon. The crisp morning air, the quite of the country, and the clear blue sky made for an idyllic morning.
Our bucket of berries was a whopping 7 bucks. From that I froze 10 pints of berries. Oh, I forgot to mention. This u-pick berry patch was based on the honor system. You pick your berries and then just leave your money in an unlocked box on the table–amazing (forgot to take a photo to share with you).
After the blueberries it was back in the car and down the road to the raspberry patch. Didn’t take as many photos here–it was a LOT of work to find our 4 quarts of berries…they are just starting to ripen. Lots of green berries on the plants, maybe in another week or so. 3 bucks a quart for raspberries…way cheaper than the grocery store and grown close to home–gotta love it! I’ll be making raspberry jam from these.
This was another honor system farm–does anyone else have honor system farms in your area..I’d be really interested in figuring out if it’s just a northern Michigan thing or if other parts of the country have it as well.
On our drive back home we decided to investigate a sign we’ve often passed “Alpaca Farm & Gift Shop, .07 miles”. Ok, we’ll bite….turned down the road and sure enough after .07 miles we found the Alpaca Farm. I have to say these have to be some of the cutest animals. They have fluffy ears and punk rock hair doos. The owner, Maryjane, took us on a personal tour of the farm. We were able to go right into the barns and enclosures. The farm has 35 Alpacas. They are very docile animals and just went about their business while we were walking around. They are sheared each spring and Mary Jane has their fleece spun into yarn–and mighty fine yarn it is. No, I couldn’t resist buying some skeins…it’s so soft and she has the names of the animals they are from on the label–very cool! I bought the most lovely color of grey that was spun from Carmichael, Diego & Frenchee. It’s going to make a gorgeous scarf. You can check out her farm here.
These are two of the guys…very pretty colors. (Yes, that is a llama in the background. The llama protects the alpaca herd from predators) Lovin’ the punk hair.
This little gal was born on Labor Day…she is soo cute.
You can kind of see the fuzzy ears on this one…some have lots of fur on their ears and some not so much.
I was so busy enjoying the farm that I only grabbed these photos. If you ever come up to northern Michigan make sure you stop by the farm and check them out. She has a very nice shop as well that is stocked with sweaters, socks, bun warmers, yarn, and some other items. Well worth the visit.