Apples and Horses

Yesterday, while a break from canning, was a whirlwind of activity.  Living in the middle of nowhere means that it takes forever to drive to somewhere!  An hour trip north to the hospital to get my films for Dr. Foote.  A short jaunt over to the library – made much longer by the construction project that took a five-lane road down to two lanes, after which the older of my daughters had an appointment.  Seems like we had another stop in there, too.  Whew!  It was nice to finally get home.

Oh, and I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet that we got two new horses.  Neither came with tack, so we headed back out yesterday afternoon, south an hour this time, to visit the tack store.  We decided that getting everything done in one day would be better than having to go out again today.

NewHorses

The paint is easy to spot – the other horse is just to its left, under the apple tree.  Thanks to the horses, we will only have a half-crop of apples from this tree: the top half.  Horses ate everything they could reach!

Today we’ll pick the rest of the apples.  We also have trees to which the animals don’t have access. The younger kids will get to spend tomorrow peeling apples.  My husband will spend the weekend filling the woodshed, and the older kids will go with him so I’ll lose part of my help.

My freezers (we have three) are full!  We have enough beef to last until spring, a few meals of steelhead, a few meals of chinook salmon, a bit of corn, and tons of zucchini.  My children claim that they never want to see another zucchini!

We usually do plums and peaches, too.  Unfortunately, our plum tree only has two plums this year.  After the apples are all done we’ll buy a few boxes of peaches to can.  I still have a couple dozen jars left from last year, so won’t need to do quite as many as usual.

What’s the Point?

Glad you asked.  The whole point of posting this here:  I’m finding ways to make these huge projects easier on my joints.  Sitting in one place for long periods of time to cut/peel/chop/etc. leads to stiffness and difficulty moving.  So I don’t sit.  Instead of working one particular spot on our assembly-line process of getting food from the garden into the freezer/cellar, I do different tasks for a short time-period, frequently moving from one task to the next.

The kids sit at the table for their tasks (cutting corn off cobs, peeling/slicing apples, slicing/grating zucchini (and the occasional knuckle).  I get the food ready for the kids and carry it to the table.  The kids fill bowls; I fill bags/jars/pans and cart it away.

It’s much easier when I keep moving.

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