The Farm Report
Time for some good news! It is cherry picking time, and this year in spite of -28F last winter, late frosts, cold spring, flash burn to 103F and no rain for what seemed like forever - TADA! I have a boat load of cherries. HOOOORAAAYYY!
Each steamer pan held about 15 pounds of cherries. These are Balaton's. I also have North Star and my new favorite - Danube. Danube has been with me for 7 or 8 years now. This is the first year she has decided to cough up any bounty.
Danube is a hybrid cross between a Balaton sour cherry Prunus cerasus and a sweet cherry Prunus avium. (These were found in Hungary by Amy Lezzoni. Dr. Lezzoni is a researcher and plant breeder at Michigan State Univ.) In Hungary, Balaton is named, Újfehértói Fürtös. Lake Balaton isn't far away from where the tree was found, and we can say, 'Balaton' easier than Újfehértói Fürtös, so the North American name is Balaton. Now you know. Dr. Lezzoni is also responsible for bringing us the Danube cherry. In Hungary, it's name is, Erdi Bötermö. I like Danube better, and the Danube river runs through Hungary. All dots connected. Well as they say, 'A rose by any other name....'
All three of my cherries have dark juice, dark flesh, and even though they are actually tart pie cherries, they are nearly sweet enough to eat without any honey or sugar added. Homemade black walnut and cherry ice cream may be in my future!
In the canning kitchen, we clean up with a power washer and floor dry. "Meh" and we go on. In the house, this would have been a nuclear disaster. Oh well.....
Evie loved driving the Ranger around the farm. Around and around and around the farm! She did fine, but of course she needed some Grandpa coaching before leaving port.
Her Dad, my son Jon, also coached her for awhile. She smiled and let it happen. Annie never lets the Ranger out of her site, so Annie rode every trip with Evie, every trip with Evie, every trip with Evie. Around and around and around the farm. You can't see it in this pic, but Annie has her own rear view mirror she's looking into. She actually uses it! Amazing.
Tell me that ain't cute, and tell me which one in this pic is having more fun.
Inside, Annie was still in love with Evie. Like her Ranger, Annie never let Evie out of her site.
Outside, Miles and I made smoked St. Louis style ribs. I'm explaining the fine points - Miles is just hoping I'll stop talking and get the meat into the smoker! Miles and I wear the same shoe size.
A shared family secret for smoking pork. A shared fun family time smoking pork, too.
Part of my insect control program is in that little nest box down there in the distance.
I love barn swallows, and I've decided to put little nest boxes around for them. I have a family in the making in this one already.
Another insect control specialist at Oakdale Farm is this little guy. Tree frogs are fun. They change colors depending on their backgrounds. This little guy just about made me wet my pants the other day.
I didn't know he was around when I grabbed my office door knob to go to work. OOOOOH, that squishy cold feeling in my hand was not nice. Fortunately, this guy was not hurt, but I watch for him carefully now.