Als ich wisse das Morgen der Erde enden wuerde, immernoch wurd ich mein Apfelbaum pflanzen.

Even if I knew the world would perish tomorrow, I would still plant my apple tree. - Martin Luther

"Factory work's easier on the back, and I don't mind it, understand, but a man becomes what he does. Got to watch that. That's why I keep at farmin' although the crops haven't ever throve. It's the doin' that's important." Madison Wheeler in Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Summer Summary

Many of you believe that summer is over when Labor Day arrives.  When you grew up with teacher parents, live with a teacher husband and also teach you know that summer truly ends the day the teacher's go back to school.

In our neck of the woods that was this past Wednesday.  So, in honor of the wonderful summer we've had - here is a summer summary.  Two apologies... this post is long, and there are no pictures.  I'll try to get some up at some point, but since I'm still going full steam with gardening and canning I'm just using my time to write today.

The Garden - a song (with apologies to Guns-N-Roses)

Welcome to the Jungle
More food grows here every day.
Corn and beans and greens and squash
Oh, what will I process today?

It's a jungle.  The garden is a jungle.
Weeding on your knees.
It's time to can and freeze.

Welcome to the Jungle
The tomatoes are out of control.
They've grown out of their cages now.
They're taller than every pole.

It's a Jungle.  The garden is a Jungle.
These things are trees!
Somebody help me please.

Welcome to the Jungle.
The squash have claimed their rights.
They're growing up the fence and out
Getting out there is a fight.

It's a Jungle. The garden is a Jungle.
Getting through it is a squeeze.
It brings you to your knees.

Summer School

The highlight of our summer school time together was definitely poetry writing.  The kids wrote some great poems (I'll probably post some of them later), and I really enjoyed writing with them.  It was especially exciting to see Soccer Boy enjoy writing poems -he's often resistant to writing, so it was great to see him be excited.

We did not spend enough time on science experiments, but I plan to try to do at least one of those a week as we go into the fall. We also didn't do enough with word study/vocabulary.  However, both kids spent lots of time reading, and they maintained their skills and it kept boredom at bay, so overall I was content.  We've given them the last two weeks of August off while they enjoy some grandparent adventure time before they're back in the classroom.


Here's the total so far...


14 quarts peaches
21 quarts nectarines
14 pints strawberry rhubarb jelly
40 pints salsa
48 quarts applesauce
4 pints and 16 quarts tomatoes
12 pints dilly beans
6 pints pickled green tomatoes
6 pints horseradish beets
6 quarts apricots


16 loaves zucchini bread
3 gallons swiss chard
5 gallons corn
3 gallons green beans
6 gallons peaches
6 quarts blackberries
6 quarts blueberries
6 quarts tomato juice
3 quarts peach pie filling

10 gallon bags of premeasured and chopped soup vegies ready for the crockpot
4 pans Chard Enchilladas
4 pans Garden Enchilladas
4 pans mac and cheese
1 pan zucchini Italian casserole
1 peach pie

One side note.... Thanks to Mama Jo over at Mama's Minutia for her idea of an Applesauce Party.  We did the same thing and it was a hit with the kids.  They worked all day, didn't complain and asked when we could do it again.  I'm contemplating how to do a Spaghetti Sauce Party.


We did several trips to PA (visiting with my parents at the farm) and four PA amusement park trips (Hershey, Del Grosso (twice), and Idelwild).  We spent two and a half weeks in Maine and Massachusetts (Acadia, Moosehead, Baxter State Park, Cape Cod and Plymouth).  The kids went to camp (Caroline Furnace)  and loved it.  Then we finished our summer with a week at the beach (Chincoteague).  We had a amazing summmer together.  At some point I'll share pictures and more details - an incredible summer indeed!

An end of summer recipe

Here's my favorite recipe for this time of year.  I hope you have lots of tomatoes so you can try this.  Be sure to use some good cheese.  Yum!

Tomato Pie