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My phone declined to focus on my beans and instead focused on the brick wall behind them. Twice. That’s off-pissing.

It was a harvest day chez Badgèr. Much of our fruit was lost this year, mostly to bad weather and lazy mustelids, but I reckon I got maybe eight pounds of red currents and a pound of mixed loganberries and gooseberries today. More to come.

The green beans are pick-as-you-go and they’ve done well this year. Onions looking well. Had a couple of artichokes already.

Uncle B is a keen plantsman and fresh fruit and veg from the garden is very welcome. Cracks me up, though, when people seriously think they can “grow their own food” in any significant way without buying a bunch of land and devoting their whole lives to the pursuit of it.

Reminds me of the time I watched my neighbor pick up bits of wood bark out of our drive because “I guess I’ll need to build fires to keep warm.” Lady, you couldn’t light a cigarette off that little pile of wood.


Comment from Mitch
Time: July 22, 2021, 9:06 pm

When I was a teenager we lived in California on an ungodly huge lot and the Parental Units got the gardening bug. I was of course required to help them. Good Lord but that was a huge pain in the butt. I’ve refused to do any yard work ever since. We hauled a LOT of produce out of that thing though. A lot more than we could ever eat. We were begging people to take zucchini off our hands.

Some years ago they got WAAAAYYY too much rain and the entire neighborhood slide right off the side of the hills.

Comment from Mitch
Time: July 22, 2021, 9:16 pm

Oh, and that lady was probably dropping a hint that she needed help, not that she really intended to use the bark to “keep warm”.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: July 22, 2021, 9:48 pm

Since we acquired the jungle in East Texas and I’ve gone camping out there I’ve come to an appreciation of the amount of wood needed for even one season.

A friggin lot of it.

this may explain why once upon a time back even before the day there weren’t a lot of trees left standing in lower New England, and why there are stone walls there today running all round in the middle of the woods.

Old paintings of local areas in libraries reveal the walls once outlined bordered fields, not forests.

Comment from Steve
Time: July 23, 2021, 12:51 pm

In New England, back in colonial times, they burned around 9 cord of wood each season to keep those drafty old buildings warm and keep the cook fires burning.

Forrest got cleared for farmland. Stones got piled up around the perimeter of each field, as the ground was cleared enough to accept a plow blade.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: July 23, 2021, 4:38 pm

@Steve, as a kid I used to wonder who the hell came all the way out into the woods to stack stones to make the walls.

More civilized areas along the coast (Salem, Beverly, Wenham, Peabody, Lynn) one could sort of understand, but even “way out in the country (heh) ” in Bellingham, Fitchburg, Lunenburg, Auburn, same.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 23, 2021, 4:52 pm

Nah, Mitch, we know this woman well. Nice lady but dippy as hell.

Comment from steve
Time: July 23, 2021, 7:02 pm

@Durnedyankee. New England is a peculiar relic of farming. The farms were/are small and irregular. Fields are small and discontinuous. As more modern and mechanized agriculture swept in, particularly after WW 2, these farms became non-economical and impractical.

Over the years, farmers would mow particular fields, maintaining them as Hay fields. But most reverted to second growth forrest due to disuse and neglect.

This is why, when walking in New England forrestland, you often see stone walls. They are each the old boundary fences of the old farm fields.

In many jurisdictions, it is illegal to disturb them, as they are still used as property boundaries.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: July 24, 2021, 4:34 pm

@Steve – thank you, there were a couple local old farms (market stand sorts of things) in Danvers/Beverly we frequented growing up, but I was unaware that it was still even a dying business after WWII.
I always thought of it more as an oddity than a way of life now that I think back on it.
We were a factory worker family.

Comment from Armybrat
Time: July 25, 2021, 1:16 am

When hubby and I were younger, thinking we would have 1/2 dozen kids, we bought a house on 6 acres. We promptly turned a bit over an acre into a garden. Hubby was a police officer working 3rd shift then, so by we I mean I turned a bit over an acre into a garden. And it all ripened about the same time in August when KS is hot as hell. I would spend hours making salsa and marinara and canning it all. I made cucumber pickles, pickled okra and anything else that I could…all while the husband slept. Have I mentioned that I worked full time this whole time? After years of sweating my ass off, spending a fortune on canning jars and giving away almost all of the fruits of MY labors I revolted and told the sleeping “gentleman farmer” that the farming and producing were all on him. We haven’t had a garden since and I don’t miss it one damn bit.

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