53 bottle of beans of the shelf,

53 bottles of beans…


As I write this post, it is 12:30 in the morning, I am in a state of delirium and I am still not finished.  My feet hurt.  My back aches.  My very bones are exhausted.  And, at least partially, it’s Ayn’s fault.

Yesterday, not five minutes after I pulled the last jar of beets out of the canner (that story to come), Ayn called and wanted to come bring some eggs for me to incubate.  Earlier in the year, she had given me hatching eggs, and this was the trade-off.  Regardless, I was happy to do it for her.  While she was here, she wanted to know if I wanted any more snap beans, as she already had four bushels to snap and can.  She still had more at one garden plot, and wanted to pull the plants in this smaller plot to allow her sheep to graze the area.  Hey.  I am always game for freebies.  So, we headed over to her place, pulled up the plants and then dropped them off in my yard.


I am not usually one to put off a job like this, so in spite of the misty rain we were having, I sat outside under the trees and started pulling beans.  By the time it was getting good and dark, the rain started coming down harder, so I called it a day.  This morning, I started snapping what I had, while I waited for yet another shower to pass.  Once it did, the Country Boy headed outside to work on the beans, and a short time later I joined him.  By the time we finished, we had the BIG red bowl lippin’ full of snaps.  He had a couple of things he needed to do, so I worked on snapping these beautiful babies until around 10:30, when I had to quit to get ready to go to Shreveport.  Today was one of his rare weekday’s off (due to the rain we are having – courtesy of Tropical Storm Cindy), so we headed into town to get all our errands run.  Unfortunately for us, we didn’t get back home until 5:30.

Which meant, we still had beans to snap, wash, sort, rewash, jar up and put in the pressure canner.  On top of that, the Country Boy wanted to make some deer jerky.  So, we got the beans going in the canners (yes, we had two going simultaneously), and worked on the jerky while waiting.

As I write this, the jerky is now in the dehydrator, and I am still a few pounds off from pulling the lid on the canner.  By the time it is all said and done, Ayn will have ‘donated’ 41 pints of snap beans, (Thank you, Ayn!!!!)  Combined with the 12 I have already put up, that makes 53.  I think that will give us just enough to cover the year…if my kids don’t swarm the Plantation and haul half of them off.

As farm women, we do what it takes.  Late nights. Early mornings.  We make sure our homes, our family and our farms are well cared for, from the beginning until the last calf is safely here, the last baby chick has hatched and the last jar is sealed.  Sleep is just something we do when there is nothing else expected of us.

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Have I told y’all lately how much I love my life on our small farm?  Well, if I haven’t, just stay tuned – you are probably going to hear it quite a bit.  Now, if you will excuse me, I have got to go get those beans out of the canner.  I can hear my pillow calling me.  (And yes, I will probably be singing this song in my sleep…sigh…)

Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.

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