Thursday, July 31, 2008

Blackberries....yum, yum!!

Well, our little bees have out done themselves already!! Their hives were tucked into what we thought were briers...wrong they were blackberry bushes. Those hard working bees pollinated every single blackberry flower. Then one afternoon while we were checking on our bees, we noticed itty bitty berries EVERYWHERE! Next thing we know there were blackberries popping up like popcorn.

There was no way all that hard work done by our bees should go to waste. So Brint, Mark, Amy, and myself decided to make jam and can it. So we picked, and picked, and picked, AND picked. Our first day was SOOOO HOT! Once that was done we went back to our house to can our crop.

Now, side note, none of us had ever made jam or canned anything before...ever. So we had a chore in front of us. I hit up Martha and Google, while Amy hit up a bunch of other jam making web sites as well. We even borrowed Brint's Nana's Jam/Jelly making book from the 40s. We all agreed to make our jam pectin free, so we could label our jam as 100% organic. And it helped keep the cost down! Did you know that if you add a small handful of unripened berries in with your ripened berries, they have their own natural pectin!?! Pretty cool!

So we stood in my HOT kitchen and washed, mashed, cooked, heated, boiled, and popped our way through our first batch of five shiny jars of Blackberry jam. Man, that was hard hot work! The funny part was the waiting for the "pop" after the boiling bath, it was totally exciting. We all huddled around the five jars and cheered every time the lids popped.

So since then (3 weeks ago), we have been picking and canning nonstop. We've done so much that Amy and I dream about it all the time. As of right now we have canned over 89 pints, and 80 half pints. And the boys are canning again tonight. Wheew! But let me tell you all that work has payed off. Besides selling the jars like hot cakes, the jam is SOOOOO YUMMY!! We have had nothing but rave-reviews. All the money we make from the sells is going back towards our bees, supplies, shed/barn for supplies, etc.

If ya'll want to buy some let me know! $5.00 for a pint, and $4.00 for half a pint. You won't be disappointed!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Black and Yellow...Hello!!

Well we started a new endevor back in May. Brint and our neighbor, Mark, pulled me out to the front porch to ask me if I would be interested with them to raise bees in OUR back yard. I really hesitated, seeing how my parents house were infested with hornets and bees, in two different walls at two different times. I said it would be okay as long as they were way, way in the back yard.

So the day came when the boys went to Mars Hill to go get our bees. They had to transport at night so all the bees were in the hive. When Marks truck pulled up, all of a sudden I got totally excited! It was like Christmas!!

Ever since that day they have been a total joy! I always sing to them, It calms me and the bees down. Their favorite is "Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree" & "I Am a Child of God". Don't laugh it works!! So while all this was going on I was reading the "Secret Lives of Bees" book. It was amazing because, as I was reading she (Lily) was learning about bees at the same time I was learning about bees. The boys (Brint and Mark) thought they were so smart and knew so much about bees. I told them about the Lavender Honey. Where when the weather is so hot and there are no flowers left the bees will get their necter from berries. The boys didn't belive me that it could happen. Well guess what, when we got two more hives, and worked on them a little while, guess what the boys pulled out of that hive?? Lavender honey!!! It's honey with a taste of blackberry to it....Amazing!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ok, so I am sooooooooooo frustrated with this blogging site. Trying to read all the "Help" articles so I can do all the fun things ya'll are able to do on your blog. Either I don't understand or there is a secret link I didn't know about. Heck you all may not be able to get this posting,and I am just writing to myself. How do you subscribe to others blog?? How do you list your subscriptions?? Does anyone have pointers for a new-by.....anyone...anyone...Buehler?!?!?!?!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Gettin' my act together!

Ok, so my friend Cass has re-inspired me to keep up with my blogs. So there will be some new postings soon. I will be letting you know about the birds, and the bees, and the flowers, and the BLACKBERRIES!! Yumm!!