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Jackie Clay answers questions for BHM Subscribers & Customers
on any aspect of low-tech, self-reliant living.

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Jackie Clay

What a nice Mother’s Day!

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Sunday, being Mothers Day, was extra nice.  My sister, Sue, came up from Hermantown, near Duluth, and brought lunch.  She also brought Mom flowers, which she loved.  So we visited awhile.  It had been cloudy, following the TWO INCHES of SNOW that we had the night before.  But when Sue left for home, the sun came out and the snow quickly left too.

David had asked what I wanted for Mothers Day and I told him “help fixing up the new spot on the big garden”.  He smiled and fired up the dozer and down the hill he went.  The week before, he’d roughed in the opening in the brush, on the north side of the big garden, removing stumps, rotted logs and popple tree roots.  (He had cut down the small trees and tossed them over the 6′ fence, into the garden to chip.  We did them and mulched the old asparagus row with them.  No waste here!)

In short order, the 20’x50′ new plot was clear and graded nicely.  What nice soil, too!  I got the 8′ fence posts laid out and David drove the dozer next to the fence line, so he could stand on the track to pound the posts.  It IS hard to pound 8′ posts.  I have to use a ladder, wobbling back and forth.  The dozer track is much nicer.  Real stable.

Today I pulled the old garden fence down and wired it onto the new fence line.  Great!  Just when I was getting worried about where I was going to plant all my stuff.  Wow am I excited.  What a great Mother’s Day present!  And I don’t have to dust it, either.

After the garden area was cleared, David found a frost boil where an old log had laid.  A frost boil is a very wet spot, often only the size of a wash tub, surrounded by normal dry soil.  They occur often where there’s been heavy frost or ice build up in the ground.  And this melts slowly at first then all at once.  It’s strange; kind of like quicksand sometimes.  David bounced up and down on it and the ground around for about five feet quaked and shook like Jello.  The more he bounced, the deeper he sank, until his feet were good and stuck.  How fun!

He leaned over.  And over.  Still, his feet were stuck.  Then finally, plop!  Out one came with a sucking pop.  He fell right on his side with a laugh.  Who needs video games when you have a frost boil????

Readers’ questions:

Canning juice

I just bought a juicer and am looking forward to our crop of apples and pears this fall. Is there a way to safely can apple or pear juice?

Erica Kardelis
Helper, Utah

Oh yes!  All fruit juice is super easy to home can and it tastes great! To can it, simply pour the hot juice into hot, sterilized jars, seal and process for 30 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.  That’s it.  Enjoy. — Jackie

One Response to “What a nice Mother’s Day!”

  1. Elly Phillips Says:

    Sounds like you and your mom had a great Mother’s Day, Jackie! Let’s hope that’s the last snow for you this season!

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