Sunday, July 20, 2014

Honey, blueberries, raspberries and more sweet abundance

So we are thinking about getting into honey bees. Both Steve and I have always been fascinated by them, and we know how important bees are for our survival, since they pollinate our food. Have you ever thought about that? If there are no bees to pollinate your food, there won't be any food. Period. And the honeybees are perishing at an alarming rate. I won't go into all the reasons and politics of all this right now, but I do want to show you some images from our friends' recent honey extraction. We watched (and sampled) as our new bee keeper friend Jerry prepared his top-bar hives for honey harvest. What a fascinating process, and what an incredible, golden end result!
My hope is that bees are so much less maintenance than, say, goats. We could do this!

Talking about sweetness: our lives are filled with blueberries and raspberries at the moment. We are blessed to have Cascadian Farm nearby, with acres and acres of these addictive morsels of flavor (certified organic!). We are taking full advantage of that! It helps to have kids that are old enough to help fill the picking buckets, so picking doesn't take hours and hours. I took the kids picking in the evening the other day, and since we've been suffering through a heat wave and it was still hot even later in the day, I bribed them with ice cream (also sold at Cascadian Farm). They picked well.
The next day we went after raspberries. We gathered a bunch of friends, both adult and kid size, and headed for the field, where we picked, chatted, and caught up with each other.

In the meantime, Steve has been cranking on the addition to our house. He starts early in the morning and ends in the evening. Within five days, he got it all framed with a roof on. What a guy! This will be an amazing addition to our lives, and I am especially excited about the extra bathroom and bathtub with a killer view!

The garden is, of course, blooming and growing and feeding us royally. It not only feeds our bodies, but also our senses with all the gorgeous smells, textures, and sights. Eva loves wandering through the rows of vegetables, snacking on kale that's higher than her. I've been making a lot of carrot salad with our crunchy, sweet carrots. And there's cauliflower cheese soup, naturally, since I have lots of pounds of cheese stored away in my cheese cave.

The week ended with a cheese making class I taught. Eight people attended, and five of them were kids or teenagers. What a joy to teach these young people how to make cheese! They were really into it, and I captured a moment of cutting cheese on my camera. This was one of only two classes I will teach this year, so if you are interested in attending my last class in September (September 20th), please let me know so I can put you on my list! You will get to sample a lot of cheese I make.  More info here.

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