Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Freezing Green Beans in a few, simple steps


Save seeds from previous year.

Pole beans planted beneath green fencing on right side of photo.
Plant the seeds.

Wait.

These are purple pole beans.  Purple makes them easier to see.
Ends snapped off and broken in two.  The older, more fiberous ones are cut into one inch pieces.
Blanch for five minutes.  They turn green.
The blanching operation is the bottleneck.  The key to good throughput is to service the blanching operation first and then service the other operations in the five minutes the beans are blanching.

That means dumping the finished beans and water into a colander, returning the hot water back to the blanching pan.  Turning the heat back on.  Adding the new batch of beans to the blanching pan....before moving the blanched beans out of the colander and taking them to the next step...the cooling tray.
Spread out on a cookie sheet to drain excess water and to cool off.

Into freezer bags and into the freezer.  God willing, these will go into Minestrone soup this winter.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Unforeseen complications

Picture in your head a two liter bottle of Dr Pepper.  Further, picture that it has been sitting in the sun for several hours.  Finally, have a goofy kid vigorously shake the bottle for thirty minutes. 

How would you finish this story?

Prologue
The garden is in full swing.  We are eating cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans and sweet corn.  We are eating gross-lots of said vegetables.

Vegetables have fiber.  They also have assorted oligosaccharides and higher order alcohols that humans lack enzymes to digest.  Those oligosaccharides and higher order alcohols are a feast for the teeming masses of microfauna that reside in my gut.  They happily live in the constant 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit of my gut and cheerfully metabolize the windfall into biomass, energy, methane and carbon dioxide.

Imagine a fat, old duffer who is getting back into running.  His immediate target is to run for three miles.  Considering ten minute miles to be a decent pace, that means he will be slogging away for, well, about thirty minutes.

Epilogue
Due to unforeseen complications, the running plan will be modified.  Not sure exactly how it will be modified...but something has to change.

Monday, August 14, 2017

ENOUGH! I am a Social Justice Warrior and I will not be bullied...


I love this clip.

Pictures from the middle of August

Looking across the south pasture.  The yellow flowers are Birdsfoot Trefoil
Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) comes in two basic types.  One strain is called "Empire-like" and is short.  Empire-like is very tolerant of grazing.  The other strain is called Norcen-like or hay-type.  It is taller than Empire types.  Both self-seed and are self sustaining in the pasture given a little bit of attention.
I still have some white clover blooming.  The giant form of white clover is called "Ladino" clover.  Standard white clover and Ladino clover both combine well with short forage grasses like Kentucky Blue Grass and Perennial Ryegrass.  White clover is extremely persistent as long as you graze the sward down on a regular basis.
This is Red Clover and it seems to combine well with Tall Fescue.  There are some improved cultivars including some that don't have dusty leaves.  Later this year I plan on frost seeding some Medium Red into the parts of the pasture that are mostly Tall Fescue.
Gray Dogwood (Cornus racemosa).
The birds quickly eat the berries.
It is time to start the "Mast Reports".  This is a branch of English Oak (Quercus robur)
Three month old Maximilian Sunflowers.  Maximilian Sunflower is a perennial with good drought tolerance and has been investigated as a perennial "grain" species.  Supposedly, it can produce up to 250 pounds of seeds (tiny sunflower seeds) per acre.  I was impressed that these plants flowered in their first growing season considering how my weed control failed.

1/3 the way there!

From the Daily Mail Online
Now all I have to do is cardio and lift weights!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Kubota is going camping

Kubota is going camping tomorrow.  He is going with one or two buddies.

They are handling it all.  Menu.  Reservations.  Entertainment.

It is a learning experience to listen to them solve their problems.  The way they go about solving issues is not the way I would attack them.  I suppose it is all good as long as they get a good result and don't hurt themselves or burn down the tent. 

My "help" will be limited to tucking away a few Cliff Bars, a couple of cans of Dinty Moore and some mac-n-cheese into the "kitchen".

Both Kubota and his main buddy are the "babies" of their respective families.  This is another letting-go rite-of-passage.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Charlottesville, Virginia

First Battle of Bull Run:  Spectators came from Washington D.C. with picnic lunches to enjoy the show.
My prayers are with the demonstrators, counter-demonstrators, the police and their families in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Let us hope that the picture shown above is not later referred to as being from "The First American Civil War".

Stay away from crowds
According to Mental Health by the Numbers, one person in every twenty-five: "...experiences (is diagnosed with) a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities."

Professionally, I estimated that one-in-twenty are more than a half bubble off plumb.  Bear in mind that these are people who function well enough (just barely) to hold a job.

The qualifiers, "diagnosed" and "function well enough to hold a job" suggest that the actual percentage is significantly north of 5%.

Also consider that events like "demonstrations" attract the adrenaline junkies.  Expecting "random" sampling at a "demonstration" is as naive as expecting bungee-jumpers to be a representative sample of the US population.

In a crowd of 200 demonstrators you are almost guaranteed to have 20 people who are unable, or totally unwilling to regulate their emotions.

In my humble estimation, going to a "demonstration" as a "counter-demonstrator" is a prudent as going into a honkie-tonk and calling the patrons a bunch of in-bred idiots.  It is not healthy in the long run.

Yes, I know I am perilously close to "blaming the victim."  But would you advise your child (or nephew or a student in the Sociology class you are teaching that they could earn extra credit) to go to a Black Lives Matter demonstration and suggest they call the demonstrators a bunch of n-ggers?  How about going to a La Raza demonstration and hurling slurs at them?

That would be IRRESPONSIBLE.

So why are some parties encouraging young people to counter-demonstrate against alt-Right demonstrations?