Mother Nature Is Playing With Us

Reader Contribution by Ginnie Baker
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Just as I felt spring was here with warm temperatures and a lot of sunshine, Mother Nature played one of her games with us today! The temperature is 50 degrees and it’s 2:30 in the afternoon! When I got up this morning, it was 44 and drizzling! Unbelievably, I have the heat on to take the chill off the house. Mother Nature, it’s June 1st!

I feel so sorry for the birds … they are all nesting and trying to keep their little ones warm. At the same time, they are really competing for bird seed and suet to feed the young! There are major fights between hungry birds. The squirrels and chipmunks are in the same boat as they also compete for food for their young.

The main garden is planted with 40 tomato plants of different varieties, the onions are doing fine, the herb garden has awakened from the long winter and the peppers seem to be OK even with the cool temperatures today.

The June-bearing strawberries are “bearing” so I made a batch of strawberry freezer preserves yesterday.

The rhubarb has been up for some time so next is strawberry-rhubarb jam. I use a good old Amish recipe that is so easy. It’s from “The Amish Cook” by Elizabeth Coblentz.

Here’s the recipe: Mix 5 cups rhubarb, cut fine, and 4 cups of sugar in a large bowl. Let it set overnight. In the morning, boil the mixture for 5 minutes and add 6 ounces of strawberry jello. (Or any other flavor you prefer.) Stir the mixture and put in jars. (I use 1/2-pint jars.) I use a boiling water bath and process for 10 minutes.

It’s really good!

I always get impatient and want things to ripen in the garden faster than they do … it’s a good thing I can a lot of “stuff” each year to take us to the next year!

The bees did a good job! The apple trees are loaded again this year so I’ll be making and canning a lot of applesauce and apple butter.

Samson and Delilah, my miniature donkeys, are really enjoying time outside. There’s just one problem; they don’t eat their pastures down fast enough, they’re small, so the pastures have to be mowed on a regular basis!

Hopefully, the sun will shine tomorrow and the temperatures will be warmer so I can turn the heat off!

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