Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Last Weekend

It seems to be so difficult for me to spit out a post these days.  I have so much I'd like to say, but I can't seem to keep it simple, and it gets more complicated than I want, and there the photos sit until they hardly seem relevant any more.  Anyway, here goes....

Early morning mist, just to remind us that Fall is on it's way.  

It's got to the time of the year when some days I just want to run screaming off into the hills, shouting 'I don't want to do this anymore! And then I get over it....
Don't get me wrong, I love doing the markets, most of the time, or at least after we get there and are set up and you open up and there is a bit of a lineup and people give you complements....and I love it all.  I mean, who doesn't like to get their ego stroked once in a while.

But right now with so much fruit in season, and the weeds still growing like mad things and only so much time and energy for each day, there are some days I just feel fed up.  I like to keep people happy, and if I'm out of one thing and someone is disappointed that they didn't get it, well I try to have it done for the next week.  But sometimes it is one of the things that is lower down the list of the things (well really we are talking about jam here) that I like to make, so I procrastinate and then am rushing at the last minute to get it done.  As in last minute, midnight on Saturday night kind of rushing.  Silly and stupid I know.  But that seems to be the way I roll.

The start of a bumper crop of figs

Blackberry season got off to an early start, probably the earliest ever that I remember, and we've been picking them since the beginning of July.  We have picked 47 four litre (a bit over an American gallon) buckets for jam and jelly, so far.  Probably half as much again to take to sell at the market.  Right now, our two plum trees are loaded and ripening constantly, the pears are just about ready, and we have apples and figs too.

Having decided to only go to one market this summer hasn't seemed to make things any simpler.  Jam sales are on par or better to the last few years. 

On Saturday morning we went to a few garage sales. Nice to just get out and have a bit of fun.  We were out about three hours, and got some good things.  The best one for me was a heavy duty jam or stock pot for $5.  Nice heavy bottom on it.  I've been wanting another one for a while, and the cheapest I had seen was about $40, so I was really pleased with that.  It didn't even look like it had been used.  

In the afternoon I had to make a Spiced Rhubarb Relish.  An old family (not my family) recipe whose grandma was not around to make it any more.  Not a difficult thing to make, but it takes some babysitting because it has to cook slowly for a couple of hours, so you have to hang around and give it the occasional stir and when you think it has cooked enough, then it has to be jarred and processed.  I thought it was going to be picked up at the market on Sunday, but I was wrong about that.  At least I got it done after procrastinating on it for some months, and arrangements will be made to pick up in the next little while.  And in my quest to make things a bit simpler, I've since informed that family that it is time for one of the younger generation to tackle the relish themselves.  So while I was babysitting the spiced rhubarb, I made these  chalkboard signs.  I've found that signs really need to be in people's faces.  The week before I had a big board at the back with all the different prices listed, and people just didn't seem to see them.   So this week I wanted to put a sign with each item.

I went to Dollarama and tried to find the little cute chalkboard signs I had seen there before.  They were no where to be seen, so I wandered around to see what else I could use.  I bought one piece of black foam board, and three metal paper towel holders.  I cut the foam board into pieces and cut the rounded end off the holder so that the two metal legs were now able to be slid very carefully between the front and back of the foam board, and voila!  I smeared chalk all over the foam board and wiped the excess off, and now it works just like a chalk board.  I was pretty impressed with myself!;-)

I did have someone comment on the 'Naturally Grown', he asked what else would they be, as in what is Unnaturally Grown?  So I explained that I am not allowed to say organic because we are not certified, and that was my way of getting around it, as everything we grow really IS organic.  I suppose Unnaturally Grown would be with sprays and chemical fertilizer, as that wouldn't be how they would grow in nature.

I'm getting a bit sidetracked here.....Anyway, we went to a garage sale less than a mile away from home.  The fellow had sold and was moving from his ten acres.  It was 10 acres of trees with a house in there and an old falling down barn. Nothing to look at. It made our 10 acres look like an estate! Now property in this whole neck of the woods has gone crazy, the trickle down effect from the skyrocketing prices in Vancouver, an hour away.  I asked what his place sold for.  Don't faint.  $1,400,000.00.   Yes that is $1.4 million. If he got that for his, well it just floors me what ours might be worth.  Ours is a prettier piece of property, better situated....it is just mind boggling.

So after the rhubarb stuff was done, we went out to pick plums off both trees.  It's a slow process because they are not all the same degree of ripeness, some are too ripe and rotting, some still hard.  After that we went to pick blackberries.  Time is rolling on and it was dusk when we were done.  I hadn't picked the flowers yet.  As I am wandering around in the dark with a head lamp on, trying to scrounge enough flowers up from my pathetic garden, to make a few bouquets, I think to myself that I must be crazy.  Why am I doing this.  Why aren't we slapping a For Sale sign up, selling as is (as there is sooo much that needs upgrading here, but like I said, our place looks wonderful compared to that other 10 acres)  and moving to a cheaper area and a smaller place.  A hard decision when you have lived in a place for 30 years, and mostly love it there.  But it was definitely a slap upside the head, to tell me that I really don't NEED to do this if I truly don't want to.

  Have no fear, nothing is changing in the near future, but it has certainly given us something to think about.


  1. I should add, that the Vancouver market is being driven by a lot of off shore (Asian) buyers. Vancouverites sell their regular home for astronomical prices and then move out to the valley to buy acreage and often build a mansion there. It is just crazy!

  2. You sound so much like my sister. She always has a pot of jelly cooking and is up until after midnight every Friday night, preparing for the market. She was making fig preserves last time I talked to her. Everything you sell at the market looks so pretty. Yours is probably the best table at the market. Won't be long until fall. Maybe you can get a little break then. It's a lot of work preparing for market. I do still miss being there. It was fun and like you said, the compliments are so nice.

  3. I agree heartily. The way properties are selling is crazy! But I can see why you would entertain the idea of selling. You have your place in Oliver and you could be free of all the work you do now. Just imagine yourself as a lady of leisure.

    1. I can't imagine myself as a lady of leisure! Well for a little while, and then I would need a project to work on, or something to make, or....?

  4. Your prices are real reasonable, I would buy peas and potatoes an greens for sure...oh an a bouquet to set on my table on the patio! So you live on a million dollar estate now!! Good for you, being comfy where you are at is a good thing! Since your Jam sales are the same, either new people have found you or your old customers have found you in one spot!
    You have nice elbow room where you are at now...that is important! :)


I love to get comments, so don't be shy!