I joined my husband on his inspections yesterday. He had a busy week doing contract work in Columbus and was scrambling to catch up with his own clients before a new week began.
It was a beautiful day, very hot. We traveled across the southern-most portion of the state. We didn’t lose site of the Ohio river during most of our trip. It was a treat.
As we headed back home we spotted a new Amish produce store.
The children were sitting on the front porch as we drove by. Waves commenced, and my husband honked.
We ended up turning back, visiting the store. What a joy. Not only was the produce beautiful, the family was just as special. The husband was proud of the new kitchen. We could see the wife cooking through the glass paned door. The family was barefoot (our Mennonite neighbors are often barefoot too), except for the men. The kitchen floor was absolutely gorgeous. The gloss on the white oak floor was mirror-like. The husband grinned at us and said, “Well, it is new, it won’t look like that for long!” He was definitely proud of his work.
We headed straight to the tomatoes. They were marked as grown in an area just a short distance from our farm. I looked at my husband and said, “How do they have ripe tomatoes already?” The Amish husband said, ” They are grown by the Mennonites, in their greenhouses. They are not hydroponic though.” Honest. Thank you. The tomatoes are wonderful, by the way.
I moved on to the back shelves that contained jams, fresh bread, and assorted jars of beautiful canned items. I picked up a nice-sized jar of honey. Have you priced honey recently? Goodness! And then the one jar caught my eye, pepper butter.
The wife was heading to the basement as I began asking about the pepper butter. She stopped and talked about the pepper butter being her sister’s recipe, canned by her. It contains peppers, mustard, onions, sugar, salt, and a few spices. I cannot wait to find the perfect use for pepper butter!
And now I am homesick for canning. I still do not have a garden in (except for a small herb and flower garden). My husband taught me how to can about 9 years ago. He was the teacher, based on childhood memories. I fell in love with canning as soon as my nervousness went away. I was sure I was going to poison us somehow! Right now, I would love to hear the pressure cooker doing its thing, canning beautiful green beans.
So…the garden has to happen. No later than next year. I want to move the garden shed, put in a propane tank, move the extra stove to the shed, and begin canning away. Dried herbs, infused herbs, canned and frozen vegetables, and beautiful flowers. And, Omar, our local hay person, is supplying the plans that he used to build his wife’s greenhouse. You ought to see his wife, Naomi’s, begonias. She starts her seeds and plants each spring in her greenhouse. Ask her about her plants, she lights up and forgets her shyness.
I am tired today, after yesterday’s 10 hour drive, but renewed in so many ways. I am going to sit outside with the goats, contemplate a garden spot, contemplate making more farm-house goat milk soap (not today), and thank God for our many blessings. And rest.
Have a beautiful Sunday!