Filed under: Backyard Chickens, Canning, Uncategorized | Tags: Blackberry Winter, bread labor, homemade vegetable broth, vegetarian, woodstove
According to Wikipedia, “In the South, Blackberry Winter is referred to as a period of cold weather as low as 20 °F in late spring when the blackberries are in bloom. Prior to technological advances in meteorology, farmers would use such terms to know when to plant certain crops.” According to the wild blackberries that are blooming all around the edges of the woods that surround our cabin, and according to our outdoor thermostat, I’d say “we’re there”.
Sometimes it amazes me how reliable some of the weather terms are in this part of the country! ‘Dogwood Winter’ is another uncannily accurate occurrence, as is “Full Moon, Frost Soon”. I love learning about our region’s sayings, folklore and wive’s tales (or, as a young friend of mine calls them “Wise tales” which is often closer to a truism than the standard ‘wive’s’ tales.) Regardless, it was cold enough to have a farewell fire in the wood stove today. Tomorrow I’ll apply a good coat of stove black to it and clean the glass window so it will be ready for fall’s first frost next October. I decided to take advantage of the unexpected free heat this morning and baked some foil-wrapped potatoes in the coals to go with our supper and simmered 2 gallons of homemade vegetable stock on top of it.
After the broth simmered for hours and hours, I strained and canned it, then fed the warm, soft veggies to the worms and the chickens. ‘The girls’ loved the special treat, and I loved not having any waste!
This unexpected ‘winter’ day offered us plenty of bread labor, as well as personal time-Michael went to the library and the feed store, then made a crock pot of oatmeal and transplanted all the tomato seedlings to larger pots -freebies that a friend that is downsizing her garden gave to us. The tomatoes will go into the main garden around Mother’s Day. I did my canning, wrote some thank you letters and caught up on some other correspondence, mixed up a fresh batch of laundry detergent, and finished the book I’ve been enjoying: “See You In A Hundred Years”- the true story of a modern-day couple and their young son that decided to spend a year living as one would in 1900. The author writes for National Geographic’s “Adventure” magazine, and decided to have an adventure all his own to write about. And boy, did he! It’s in the library if you’re interested. I can honestly say today was busy, but precious. Hope you’re enjoying your Blackberry Winter too!
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