Blackberries.

Two things have been thriving in our garden this year: berries and jalapenos. There are strings of peppers drying, others chopped in the freezer, and baskets of some on the counter.

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Ignore the horrible wallpaper and drop ceiling–our house is a work in progress. There are some of these peppers I plan to dry out and crush into a powder. I think everyone is getting homemade chili powder as gifts this year.

When the raspberries were thriving, and I was outside picking several quarts a day, the jalapenos were popping! So of course, I decided to combine the two. And now, with the raspberries done for the season, we’ve moved on the blackberries. But those jalapenos just won’t quit!

So now, more berry jams, with more peppers. I posted a recipe here that you can sub blackberries for.

I have to admit something: I don’t think I’ve even been to a U-Pick! You know, you go to a farm, grab a container, fill it up with berries, they charge you, you walk out with a product. So this was the first year I was in the bushes going for it! And raspberries were so easy! They popped right off when ready, you could maneuver the branches, and walk through it all. So easy.

Not with blackberries. Those thorns are killer! Killer, I say! So now, any time I see blackberries being sold at the Farmer’s Market, I exchange a look with the farmer: “I know your pain. You are strong. You will make it. Those thorns can’t get you any more. You’re safe.”

I wish I was being dramatic. You can’t walk through the bushes of blackberries because they are eight feet high! And now I’m out there every other day, dressed from head to toe, with boots and gloves on, just to pick these itty bitty berries. When I freeze and bag them up, I feel like I have killed a dragon. I’ll freeze it’s head for when winter comes. (Game of Thrones reference? I’ve never seen it. But I think my brother-in-law will either laugh or have to correct me.)

***

It’s now been a couple of weeks. The peppers have almost all turned red. Soon, I’ll be able to take them down and crush them into a powder. Our onions have all been harvested and they are almost done curing.

It’s cold out today. And we are still in August. Our chicks are a couple of weeks old and I have to go in and check on the heat lamp to make sure they are okay. It feels like fall. I know it’s not, but my mind is racing: I haven’t even begun to can tomatoes! What about all those pears! Should I be worrying about Apple season?!

I am shocked at how quickly the season has gone by. This summer has been unique. I am not even sure we hit over 90 degrees on any day! It has rained a lot and this has caused a lot of stress for some with gardens. I used a mound technique for our garden which allowed a lot of water to drain quicker from plants, so I think they has contributed to the success of our garden.

Tomatoes are slowing ripening. Cucumbers are still going strong. Peppers are still being harvested daily. And my mind is on canning corn. I am excited to pop open a can of pear butter in the dead of winter and have all the smells and flavors fill the room!

 

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