A Tale of Two Farms

It was a fairly productive day yesterday. With the guys gone for the weekend, some of this week's CSA produce was piling up, and I needed to deal with it. That meant blanching and freezing some of the greens. I had a bunch of kale and there was also a small bunch of "sprout tops". Our farmers explained that these are the tops of the Brussels sprouts. They can be used much like collards or kale. Indeed, they look a lot like a collard green, but they are about half the size and more tender. (Sorry about the blur in this image.)

These were prepared the same way I would a collard green. I removed the stem in the middle and then sliced them horizontally. Then they were blanched, shocked in cold water, squeezed out, and frozen in zip-lock bags. I predict some delicious and nutritious soups this winter.

Also, I had some radishes piling up in the crisper. Radishes are fine, but we don't eat them much. Usually our eating is limited to me popping a couple in my mouth as I'm unpacking each week's share. The rest sit in the crisper while I wonder what to do with them. Some of my fellow CSAers like them roasted. We tried that, but found them rather disappointing. I decided to try pickling them, and I used this recipe. Look at how pretty these are.

Since I wasn't sure how many jars I would have, I adapted the recipe just a bit. Instead of slicing the garlic, I added a smashed clove to each jar along with 1/4 teaspoon of mustard seeds, 1/4 teaspoon of coriander seeds, and 1/2 teaspoon of black peppercorns. Then, I prepared the hot pickling solution as the recipe instructs. There was only enough liquid for four half-pints, and so I needed to make more before these were ready for processing. Now I need to wait two weeks before opening one of the jars for a taste. That's always the hardest part.

Finally, I had all those tomatoes from our plants to deal with. That gave me another 10 pints of chopped tomatoes. The yield so far is 28 pints to get us through the winter.  That oughta do it.

When the canning was finished, I was ready to get back to work on the H Barn for And On that Farm. Recall that I had the barn finished, but the field still needed the fence and the sheep.

This piece reminded me why the McKenna Ryan patterns are so irresistible. Look at how cute the sheep are. This section of the larger quilt has quite a few cute critters to be made before it's finished.

When that piece was finished, I was ready to fuse the three upper pieces together. These will stretch across the width at the top of this section. (Watch out...there's a photobomber afoot.)

With that finished, I was ready to make the apple orchard located below the E Barn on the left.

These aren't fused together yet, but here's how it will fit with the upper portion.

Today I need to catch up on some housework, but when that's finished, I'll be working on the plowed field and bales of hay below the F Barn on the right side.

Those pieces are fairly large, and so I'm thinking there will probably be time to work on the next barn...I think it's the large one on the left. So, I'm just plugging away at this, and making pretty good progress. I'm hoping to have it finished by mid-week.

Cat Patches

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gpc said...

Love the way your barn quilt is coming along, it's going to be adorable. I didn't know about the brussels sprouts, never entered my mind to eat the leaves, although I often buy them on the stalk. Duh. I'll have to try that since I love greens in my soups. It almost makes cold weather worth having. :)

Kate said...

So much detail, it's a fun quilt. I'm enjoying watching it come together. You make it look easy.

Lesley said...

You may have already said, but do you stitch this type of quilt after fusing?

quiltzyx said...

The barn quilt is coming along quite quickly! That's a bit of a change for a McKenna Ryan pattern.
The canning jars are always so pretty when filled up. Great job!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Oh, this is really coming together so lovely! So many tiny bits, but how it all makes for a beautiful piece.

SJSM said...

McKenna Ryan isn't giving you as much of a challenge as the Wind in the Whiskers quilt. You are doing a beautiful job. Canning radishes is a new one for me. Never even thought to do that.
We are winding up our driving vacation. Tomorrow we cross into Oregon. We will use I-84. It will be my first look at the Columbia Gorge. I'll wave as we approach Portland. We will stay in Corvalis Monday night. Tuesday morning The Rain Shed in Albany will be the fabric store I will see for the first time. Looking forward to seeing the technical fabrics for action wear and outdoor wear. Hubby may find it interesting as most of the time he wants me to sew for him the fabrics he wants are these.
I hope your weekend was pleasurable as well as productive. You accomplished a lot!

Sarah said...

I know you've been showing your blocks on the cutting mat but it wasn't until The Photo-bomber that I realized just small the pieces are. Now I'm doubly impressed with your skill and progress! The barns are coming right along - can't wait to see more of this quilt!

Brown Family said...

You are making great progress!