Ashley and Alisha picking pin cherries.

While Will’s geared up haying, Alisha and I have been filling the pantry. The blueberries are ripe and last week Alisha and our friend Kate went out in 95 degree heat and picked buckets full. Alisha’s share was 1½ buckets and we promptly canned them up. We canned some in pints for pies and some in half-pints for muffins, pancakes, and smaller recipes. Then the pin cherries came on! We’ve been waiting for them for weeks, it seems. Sunday, Alisha and Ashley went out on our ridge and picked a bucket and a half. I joined them and showed them how to bend down the slender trunks to get to those abundant, larger bunches up on the tops. We filled that bucket pronto, and today Alisha is out picking more. Yesterday we put a second batch through the Mehu Liisa steam juicer and got two quarts of juice. The first batch yielded two quarts as well and we promptly made it up into delicious cherry jelly. This afternoon, Alisha and I are going to make a batch of my famous Bronco Cherry. (You simply halve a few jalapeño peppers and simmer them in the juice until it’s just as spicy as you want, then remove the peppers and make “cherry jelly” as usual. It’s sweet and fruity with just a tad of a kick. We love it! While picking cherries today, Alisha found a deer antler which had been shed. We were really excited about that!

Look at that day’s harvest!

On Saturday, we picked our first Provider green beans. Wow, that was only 45 days from planting them. Some kind of record, I think. We ate a big batch for supper and marveled at how good those fresh-from-the-garden beans tasted. Then I canned two pints. (Hey, I know 2 pints isn’t much but it’s a start and over time, all those small batches have a way of adding up pretty quickly.

Will’s out in the hay field right now, raking hay and preparing to bale later on today. The hay is so good this year — lots of clover!

We finally bit the bullet and bought a bull. We’d been borrowing bulls and the last two we borrowed simply didn’t get the job done. We had only one calf last year and three this year. Pretty expensive. The bull is a nice, young purebred Gelbvieh who is awesome to look at. He also has a good temperament. So we are waiting anxiously for his arrival.

Alisha is getting ready to head home with two baskets of pigweed.

The garden continues to look great, although some of the weeds look great, too. For instance, in the Central garden, the pigweed is happily thriving where we haven’t gotten it hand-weeded between the corn and bean plants. So before we pull it, we are cutting the tender tops off and putting it into baskets. We gave a basket full to Kate and we ate another basket full for supper the other night. There wasn’t much left over! Yep, it’s a weed and boy, does it taste good. — Jackie


  1. Jackie,
    This is our second year of growing Provider beans from you. Sunday I already canned 12 pints!!
    It lives up to its name for sure!!

  2. Jackie–We just harvested our first Provider beans after 47 days. This is the first time we have grown them and we are very pleased. They are very tasty and tender.

    Have been reading about pigweed quite a bit in our area in the mid-Atlantic. Authorities are warning about pigweed and how photo toxic it can be. Several people have reported getting serious burns from it. Is that the same pigweed?

  3. I also didn’t know pigweed was edible, looked it up to be sure of picking the right thing. I eat dandelion greens and purslane, will try radish tops. Always something to learn here.

    • It’s very edible. I’ve eaten some “edible” wilds which may be edible but sure weren’t good, in my opinion. But red rooted pigweed is excellent!

  4. I always freeze my pigweed. I love the cooked greens with salt and butter and a little vinegar. Is your version of pigweed the same as amaranth? A favourite. of mine is lamb’s quarters. There’s also wild mustard greens which I consider the best AND I’ve discovered that cooked radish greens are just as good as the mustard greens. I often think to can any of the above but I think the water bath will take too long. I guess I could get the canning lifter and pressure can. Do you pressure can or do water bath when you can your greens? Lou

    • Yes, our pigweed is a species of amaranth and the seeds have been harvested by Native Americans for centuries. We love lamb’s quarters too! NEVER waterbath can greens. It’s very dangerous because of the possibility of canning up botulism. Always pressure can greens.

  5. Pigweed. Pigweed ? Holy smokes didn,t know you could eat it. I think we have the worlds supply cornered !!!

    • Heck, in New Mexico, I gardened in the old ranch barnyard and the pigweed grew so big so fast we had to cut it off with a chainsaw. No, I’m NOT exaggerating. I love having “weeds” which grow better than my garden crops. (But somehow that’s just not right!)

  6. Hi Jackie, So how do you cook up pig weed? Have had dandelion and nettle, but pig weed new one on me.

  7. Glad to hear things are going along fine. Can’t wait to see the bull. I know you will take pictures. The tomato war continues here. Canned all l need and now l give the extra to my neighbors and friends. I say l won’t plant that much next year but l know l will.

    • I always say that but I always DO plant more. I guess I’m just an addict! But I always think up new tomato recipes to can….

  8. I’m not sure if this is the place to ask questions or not. But I would like to know how you can a small quantity like your two pints of beans that have to be pressure canned. My canner holds seven quarts so it seems wasteful to use it for that much less than a canner full. Thanks.

    • Pigweed (Red Rooted Pigweed) is a species of wild amaranth. I’ll post photos on my next blog for you.

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