September 22, 2013 – Fillin’ the Freezer

Emma played the good daughter when she said she’d come home from school Sunday afternoon to help us move 40-some chickens from outside to the freezer. It certainly kept the line moving much faster than it otherwise would have. Linda and Emma cut up all but about 10 of them for parts for quicker meals than a whole roasting chicken, but we left a few to roast or BBQ whole.

The plucker does an amazing job of taking the feathers off. A just-plucked chicken must be the model for a rubber chicken!
It’s nice to know where the chicken we eat comes from and have a year’s worth of chicken in the freezer. Especially now that the U.S. made it ok to sell chicken processed in China in the U.S. without having to reveal county-of-origin labeling laws.

September 17, 2013 – When will it ever End?

The food preservation extravaganza continues! This weekend was no exception.

The tomatoes are just beginning. These four baskets are enough to make 14 quarts of canned tomatoes.

Here’s our Sunday afternoon haul. After church, Martin and I started in earnest – 14 quarts of tomatoes, 10 pints of pears, and two batches of blackberry applesauce. We had the tomatoes skinned the day before and the apples were peeled and frozen in the freezer, so we didn’t have all the prep work.

September 14, 2013 – Bluestem Bellow Bands Teaser

Martin had his first gig not playing a piano or trombone. The accordion band he’s part of – the Bluestem Bellows Band had their debut public performance this weekend.

The played at the Green Hills Care Facility in Ames. More next week as they are booked at the Ames Farmer’s Market next Saturday morning. I’ll try to get some video of them at that time.

September 10, 2013 – Dramatic Skies

After the last two days of 101 and 99 degrees (the latest in the year it has been over 100 here), we were treated to some dramatic skies.

The first few little thunderstorms skirted just to our south.

The soybeans provide an interesting striped pattern in the field.

Although it may look like a mushroom cloud over Ames, this was the first of a few small cells that passed over us, leaving us with a bit over a half-inch of rain.

Maybe a sky shot without contrails? A nice sunset.

September 8, 2013 – Trampled By Turtles in Town

It’s not often that bands from my hometown make it this far south – but this weekend Duluth’s Trampled by Turtles found their way to town.

They brought their brand of whatever it is (Ralph Stanley meets Nirvana?) to an outdoor street concert.

Best of all, we are still not lame enough for our daughter not to attend with us!

Here’s a taste…

Trampled by Turtles – Victory