Showing posts with label preserving nature's bounty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label preserving nature's bounty. Show all posts

Monday, September 05, 2022

After Apple Picking: Apple Cider





After Apple-Picking
By Robert Frost 

"My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,

And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three

Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.

Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.

I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass

I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.

It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell

What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.

My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin

The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.

There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
For all

That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap

As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.

Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it's like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.




Phew!  Eight adults. Four grandkids ages 2 to 7 and several granddogs all helping with our continued apple harvesting!

We picked many wheelbarrows of apples from our orchard. Washed them, chunk sliced with knives and cutting boards to make the pieces small enough to fit through the apple grinder one chunk at a time, then pressed them through an apple press to get the juice forced out and reject the mash below.

The juice was funneled into two giant carboys (bottles) with thermal canisters besides for each family to enjoy at home fresh squeezed now. The giant carboy bottles are off with family members to undergo the process of fermentation that will result in home made hard apple cider. 

What a lot of work each year but great, great fun to work together with our 3 grown kids and their partners, 4 little grandkids and all of our apple antics and laughter! 

Another "Autumnal Harvest" family gathering of nature's continuing bounty!




Happy September!
Did you know that September 1st is the official start of our

"Meteorological Autumn"? 




Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting, from my heart and with my hands

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Bread and Jam: The Last Days of August



August:

"When the blackberries hang

swollen in the woods, in the brambles

nobody owns, I spend

all day among the high

branches, reaching

my ripped arms, thinkinof nothing, cramming

the black honey of summer

into my mouth; all day my body

accepts what it is. In the dark

creeks that run by there is

this thick paw of my life darting among

the black bells, the leaves; there is

this happy tongue."

By Mary Oliver




“August,” another wonderful poem from the collection American Primitive (1983), is about a speaker savoring the rich taste of blackberries, in the brambles not owned by anyone.

We love our wild blackberries creeping over the old field fences and even over our own boundaries and into my outdoor laundry drying areas!





"I wish I was a poet like the men that write in books
The poems that we have to learn on valleys, hills an' brooks;

I'd write of things that children like an' know an' understand,
An' when the kids recited them the folks would call them grand.

If I'd been born a Whittier, instead of what I am,
I'd write a poem now about a piece of bread an' jam.

I'd tell how hungry children get all afternoon in school,
An' sittin' at attention just because it is the rule,

An' lookin' every now an' then up to the clock to see
If that big hand an' little hand would ever get to three.

I'd tell how children hurry home an' give the door a slam
An' ask their mothers can they have a piece of bread an' jam.

Some poets write of things to eat an' sing of dinners fine,
An' praise the dishes they enjoy, an' some folks sing of wine,

But they've forgotten, I suppose, the days when they were small
An' hurried home from school to get the finest food of all;

They don't remember any more how good it was to cram
Inside their hungry little selves a piece of bread an' jam.

I wish I was a Whittier, a Stevenson or Burns,
I wouldn't write of hills an' brooks, or mossy banks or ferns,

I wouldn't write of rolling seas or mountains towering high,
But I would sing of chocolate cake an' good old apple pie,

An' best of all the food there is, beyond the slightest doubt,
Is bread an' jam we always get as soon as school is out."

(C) Edgar Albert Guest

04/12/2015




Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting, from my heart and with my hands

Friday, August 19, 2022

Always Jammin'




My husband is a jam making machine. Bowl after bowl of berries are picked off cane berry vines or blueberry bushes from our garden and back shrub row!



 And oh how we love and appreciate it. A batch is usually about four pint jars. If we have enough, he makes 2 batches after work or on a weekend day. After decades of making regular jam we switched to freezer jam.



We gave up most canning long ago except for making and canning applesauce and that is a chore and a half. But our young grandchildren love it so much and frankly the grown-ups too!




Alaskan company came for a visit this August, all four of my grandchildren came to pick berries and apples and now peaches are ripening as well.



Then there's so much berry picking! We grow strawberries, raspberries, logan berries, Marion berries (kind of an Oregon blackberry mix) and blueberries plus lots of wild blackberries!



Batch after batch after batch of jam! Our little grandchildren eat them off the bush faster than we can pick! 


Endless batches of homemade jam by my husband who somehow still works non-stop outside at our home building business,  inside with preserving our fruit from shrubs, trees, and vines!


And now, it's apple picking and apple sauce making and preserving time.

Hard, endless spring spring, summer and fall work but oh how delicious it all is!



2 batches preserved by hot water bath canning and 3 jars left out for fresh eating and sharing! 
 
And we've yet to pick our Gravensteins to make apple cider!








Endless mowing of fields and yards to keep our 2 5 acres habitable. It takes a full day in daytime hours to mow with lawnmowers and tractor! And that's from once a week to once over 2 weeks depending on weather and available chore time.


Summer is such a lovely time but far too busy, as well! Time to enjoy the fruits of our labors!





Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting, from my heart and with my hands