Yesterday morning, we went back to Patterson’s Fruit Farm to pick more peaches.  It was the same set up as last week.


Nick really wanted to wear this long sleeved shirt.  I didn’t think it was worth arguing about it, but I packed a short sleeve shirt just in case he decided he was hot.  Both Sally and Nick enjoyed a couple of peaches right off the trees.


We ran into some friends and they took a group shot of us.


Here’s Maria, Paula and Mandi.  Today was the first day that I met Mandy and Maria, but Paula and I went picking raspberries a few weeks back.  We ended up picking another full bushel of peaches.


I wish that peach season was longer, but I’m so glad that we have pick your own available near by.  Peaches are super easy to pick and Patterson’s is only 20 minutes from our house in Mayfield Heights.  Since I canned some and made jam last week, I think I’ll be able to can this week’s bounty.  I have a peach post planned for this week to help document what I’ve learned about processing my crop.

 Posted by at 9:15 PM  Tagged with:

Yesterday, the kids and I ran a ton of errands.  We went to 8 different places before nap time.  I was glad that myself and the kids were in a great mood all morning.  Toward the end of our trip, we stopped at a friend’s house to pick cucumbers and visit.

I never realized that cucumbers look a lot like squash when they grow.  They also have little prickles on them.  Nick checked out the cucumber patch.


It was fun to find them under the big leaves.


We ended up getting 9 of them.  I think I’m going to make pickles and/or relish even though these aren’t pickling cucumbers.  I read that the texture will be a bit different, but they should work just fine.


Our next public picking was for peaches this morning.  I’ll have more about that tomorrow.


Yesterday, we went tomato picking.  We went back to Rainbow Farms since they were the first ones in the area to open u-pick tomatoes for the 2011 season.  We last visited Rainbow Farms for blackberry picking. Other farms will have tomatoes soon, they are just waiting for more ripening.

We met our friends for picking and it works out well.  One of us stays outside with the kids and the other goes into the market.  That makes for a lot less unloading and reloading of children since we have 5 between us.  For tomatoes, you stop by the shed for 1/2 bushel sized baskets and head to the field.


Since our last visit, everything had great signs.  It was so easy to find.  For future reference, there is a bathroom with running water in this barn.  That turned out to be a good thing for us.


Seems that Nick and Sally liked the dirt more than tomatoes.


At some point, Sally was eating the dirt – yuck!  She also ate a tomato or two.


The tomatoes at Rainbow are field grown on the ground.  It was picked over, but we managed to pick quite a few tomatoes.  I ended up with 2 of the 1/2 bushel baskets – so 1 bushel of tomatoes.


You leave the baskets and transfer the tomatoes to containers that you bring from home or misc. boxes that can be found at the shed.  Since we had just picked peaches on Saturday, I had great boxes to use for bringing home my tomatoes.

Each 1/2 bushel was $9.  So, I paid $18 for the tomatoes.  I’m currently simmering some tomato sauce in the crockpot.  I’m going to can all of them, but I am unsure if it will be crushed tomatoes, sauce, paste or a combo.  This is my first time with tomatoes, so I’m still in the intimidated stage.  It won’t take long to figure out my process.


We’ll probably try out another farm or two for tomatoes while they are still in season.  Hmmm… I think I need to buy more canning jars, lids and rings.  It’s not even apple season yet!



Originally, we were going to be “on vacation” from week 12 of our Fresh Fork CSA.  But, our plans changed and we were able to cancel our vacation and pick up our share.  Next, I’ll need to place an extra order to use the funds from our week 10 vacation.

Here’s what we were expecting to receive this week:

Small CSA:

  • 1 pint blackberries
  • 1 quart yogurt
  • 1 lb. nitrate free bacon from Berkshire hogs
  • Approx. 1.5 lbs.slicing tomatoes
  • 1 head leaf lettuce
  • 3 lbs. new potatoes, red norland or yukon gold variety
  • 1 bunch swiss chard or 1 bunch chiogga beets (candy cane striped beets)
  • 1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes
  • Approx. 1.5 lbs. peaches

Here’s a group shot:


We picked 1 bushel of tomatoes today, so these will get added to that bounty for canning.  This is a “fluffy” variety of lettuce and looks extra fresh.  I can’t wait to have it on a salad tomorrow.


When I left for Mom’s Night Out, Nick was asking for more blackberries.  I haven’t checked the fridge to see if they made it past dinner.  This yogurt is turning into a family favorite.  And, we had been having cottage cheese this week, so it’s nice to have more yogurt in the house.  We’ve been sweetening it up with a bit of homemade jam.  I also use it in my overnight oats.


I just finished processing my peaches from the peck that we picked on Saturday.  I still have to make the jam with the peaches that I skinned this morning.  These peaches will soften up in a day or two and be great as a snack or in my oatmeal.  We are stocked with cherry tomatoes at the moment.  We got a pint at our pick up on Tuesday and it’s one of the items that has survived in our garden.  I’m not a fan of the texture of raw tomatoes, but Nick and my husband both like them.  I just need to remember to serve them!


We haven’t really had potatoes much lately.  I can’t decide between mashed potatoes to go with some Fresh Fork pork that is  thawing in the fridge or German Potato Salad.  We have some other beets in the fridge, so I will combine them and probably make our standard Harvard Beets.  I think there was a choice between beets and Swiss Chard and I asked for beets so we could make a decent amount for a dinner side one night.


Lastly, we got bacon.  So, this week was themed BLTs, but I’m not sure if they will appear on our menu or not.  I did recently read about cooking bacon in the over on a rack and I just might have to try that with this bacon.


I think this is an easy week for us and that the items are easy to use and store.  It’s a good thing because we have a few other items from Tuesday to use up and have a busy weekend coming up.


Through September 11th, there is an interesting exhibit called Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet happening at the Greenspace on Wade Oval.  We travel to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and Cleveland Botanical Gardens frequently and we have enjoyed seeing the different globes.  There are 18 in total and a few of them are pictured below.  If you get a chance to take a walk around Wade Oval, it’s worth looking at the globes.  There’s no admission charge.

Mother Earth Rain Garden
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New Orleans: Toward a New Paradigm Spin Dry: Drawing a Line on Global Warming
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Tall Grass Share a Ride Tree of Life
IMG_3330 IMG_3872 IMG_1931
Recycled Evolution Spread the Word
IMG_3334 IMG_3360
Plant It! Green Roofs Save Energy
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Non-Electric Play A Plant-Based Diet
IMG_3362 IMG_1932

My “little” brother Frank turns 21 today.  Happy Birthday!  You’re an awesome brother and I love you!
Frank was in town to visit over the weekend and we were glad to see him.  Here are a few pictures from the last couple of years.



 Posted by at 9:00 PM  Tagged with:

Today was the 10th pick up for the Geauga Family Farms CSA.  This week’s share was similar to last week’s share.

Here’s what we received:


Let’s take a closer look.

Cherry tomatoes, carrots


Lettuce and more lettuce


Watermelon, cantaloupe


Green bell peppers, broccli


Yellow squash, eggplant


Cucumber, zucchini (yes it looks funny, but it is a variety of zucchini)


HOT peppers, slicing tomatoes


Peaches, green beans


We got 3 different types of fruit.  That is pretty odd for our CSA, but we love fruit.  Most of the items this week will be easy to use.  The fruit will disappear in a couple of days.

One pepper and the cucumber will go into salad along with the lettuce.  We ate the broccoli for dinner tonight.  The beans will make a great side dish to our meal tomorrow.  Carrots, eggplant and squash feel like staples in our house, so we’ll be making a quiche or lasagna to use them up soon.

Then, there are the hot peppers.  If there is one item that I wish we didn’t get, it would be the hot peppers.  I just haven’t found a good use for them yet.  But, I am determined.  I’ll keep you all posted!


I had 2 items on the agenda today.  They included a workout and peach canning.

First up was the workout.  The kids and I headed to the J.  I rode the E Spinner for 15 minutes and worked on triceps.  Then, I foundChaya for and chatted 30 minutes while I did the elliptical.  I ended with some misc. weights for biceps and shoulders.

I feel good about the workout, but I need to write out my workout plan ahead of time.  I feel like I need to push myself more when I have solo workouts.  I was happy with my cardio today.

Next was peaches!  I’ve canned 14 quarts of peaches today.  I still have a few peaches left, but they aren’t quite ripe (soft) enough yet.  I’m also in the process of trying to make peach honey.  More on my canning successes soon!

Next up: Botanical Gardens with friends tomorrow.


Yesterday, we went to Uniontown for Chuck and Sherry’s Summer Bash.  It was a great event complete with grilling, watermelon, great company and a bounce house.  Sherry and I have been friends for more than 20 years and even though we don’t see each other often, we never have any trouble picking up where we left off.


I’m not sure how many people were at the party, but Nick and Sally definitely enjoyed the Bounce House with all of the other kids.  Sally also spent some time playing corn hole.


Sometimes, Sally and Nick needed a break from the action.  They enjoyed this swing.


Even though storms were in the forecast, we had a beautiful night for an outside party.  We can’t wait for next year!

 Posted by at 9:06 PM  Tagged with:

Today, we went back to Patterson Fruit Farm.  Our last trip there was on June 23rd when we picked strawberries for the last time of the 2011 season.  Today’s trip was all about peaches!  Peaches are one of my favorite fruits to eat with my oatmeal.  I could eat them almost everyday.  I have blueberries in the freezer for the other days.

The peach picking is new at Pattersons.  I believe this is the second year.  They only have peach picking for 2 weekends.  So, that’s 4 days of picking.  They are open from 9 AM – 5 PM, but it’s more realistic to say they are open from 9 AM until they are picked out for the day.  The peach picking is at 8765 Mulberry Road.  Pattersons also has a market on Caves Road.  Once you arrive, it’s a simple drive to the peaches by following the arrows.  You park right in front of the peach trees.  There’s not too much walking involved.  We did bring the stroller and we were glad to have it so we could carry the peaches.


We approached the tent and were greeted by a nice gentleman working and this sign.  A 1/2 bushel of peaches is $25 and holds approximately 27 pounds.  You buy the container of choice and head to fill it up.  It was easy.  The trees were full of peaches.  We were instructed to pick only the ones that were “big and plump”.  We walked to the end of the rows of peaches where it wasn’t crowded and didn’t have any trouble filling up our container.


Stephen joined us today, which also made the picking go faster.


Nick and Sally picked a couple of peaches.  Of course, they had to try them out.


While Stephen was busy picking, they were busy eating them.  Sally could live off fruit.


We ran into some friends and were able to get a group shot.  It’s always fun to get a photo of the 4 of us.  That doesn’t happen often enough.


We ended up picking 2 half-bushels of peaches.  We didn’t weigh them, but it’s approximately 54 pounds of peaches for $50.  These containers are cardboard boxes that are approximately 8 inches tall.  I was going to spend the morning canning the peaches, but I don’t think they are quite soft enough for the skins to come off easily when I boil them, so I will probably be canning on Monday and Tuesday.  I’m hoping to can slices, jam, sauce and peach honey.


 Posted by at 9:44 PM  Tagged with: