Here’s to the end of summer!
Holy end-of-the-summer craziness! Good lord, this past month has been so busy! I know I was not the only one trying to cram all of the summer things into the month of August. It’s just the way it is!
To say I am excited for the fall is an understatement. I cannot wait for the crisp weather, crunchy leaves, and the constant feeling of coziness. I am more excited, though, for life to just slow down a bit. As soon a summer began, it was basically a race to the end, trying to fit in every warm weather activity I could before September. Things are finally starting to slow down, and we have a moment to breath. I have been anticipating that moment since summer began.
Although I have been busy, I have been a little bit less productive with my time. Some of my projects and side hustles, including the blog, have taken the back burner. Rather than getting disappointed in myself and bumming about it, I have given myself grace. Maybe a little bit too much grace, but I am totally okay with it.
End of Summer Haze
My brain has been clogged with the daily to-dos and exhausted with work, and sitting down in front of a computer after a full day of work to write has been quite the struggle. Coming up with blog posts that are going to the most helpful, most viral posts and worrying about what other people think about the blog has been weighing me down, stressing me out, and preventing me from just writing for fun. I created this blog for fun and let ideas of fame and fortune get in the way of the real true purpose of the blog. Sharing my cleaner, healthier lifestyle, and helping my readers make changes to their lifestyles for the better.
So that worrying and stressing stops now. I am not going to worry about the page views and the likes on Instagram anymore! I am just going to create blog posts, recipes, and other content that makes me happy and flows easily. Because in the end, it’s all about me, right? 😉
Story Time: Our Date on the Farm
Okay, so now that I have gotten that out of the way, I want to tell you about the most magical day that Justin and I had last week. A couple weeks ago, we volunteered at a farm that our company owns. It’s up in the quaint little town of Metamora, where fields of green and old barn houses make up the bulk of the landscape.
On this particular morning, it was drizzling and a little chilly, not the best weather for spending your day weeding and digging. But the idea of going into work rather than spending the day in nature was way more dreadful than the weather, so we made the muddy trek to the farm.
The drive up is always so peaceful. It’s a good hour and half, 45% of which is Long-winding, hilly dirt roads. Justin and I will both agree that that is the best part of the whole trip. On the way up, we listened to one of our favorite podcasts, Small Town Murder and we joked about how funny it would be if no one showed up to the farm.
As we pulled up to the farm, there were only two cars. We joked again about being the only ones, but shrugged it off because we were sure that everyone was still on their way there. They probably hit traffic or something. We waltzed into the little barn like building and saw the two farmers, Farmer Jim and Lisa, sitting and chatting. They welcomed us in and said they were glad that someone showed up! Turns out, we really were the only ones who chose a rainy day at the farm rather than a rainy day at the office. And I am so glad that we did.
Chilling and Canning
It was the best day ever! Honestly, we had a really great time and learned a lot, as we always do, about the farming life. Since it was raining pretty hard, weeding and digging was out of the question. Instead, we hung out inside and canned beets! It was seriously such a fun time and we learned the basics of canning, which will come in handy with all of our tomatoes we have from the garden!
I can’t remember all of the exact details of the canning process, but here is the gist of it:
Step One: Trim and Clean
Lisa and I trimmed a table full of beets. We cut the long leafy stems off, leaving about an inch of the stems. We also got rid of any wilted stems. Justin was tasked with cleaning the beets.
Step Two: Cook
Once we cleaned and trimmed all the beets, Farmer Jim set up his turkey fryer outside and we boiled the beets for a little bit until they were mostly cooked. It took about a half hour.
Step Three: Peel and Cut
After the beets boiled and were fork-tender, we drained them, poured them out onto a table, and peeled off the skins. Once they were skinned, we quartered them and placed them into jars.
Step Four: Fill Jars
We filled the jars with the beets, and then poured the pickling mixture into the jar with a little air left at the top. The mixture was vinegar, sugar, cinnamon and cloves, but I’m not sure of the measurements. We carefully placed the lids onto the jars, screwed them loosely, and then placed them back into the turkey fryer pot with water.
Step Five: Seal
All of the jars were placed into a pot of water, enough to cover the jars with one inch of water. The water was at a low boil and after about 30 minutes, we began to here little popping noises, which meant that the can had sealed!The canning process was easy and took up most of the morning. In the downtime, we chatted about life on the farm, camping, hunting, and life in general. It was the best.
After lunch, we headed out to the crops where we had weeded and planted seeds the last time we volunteered. Almost everything was in full bloom. So many tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, kale, broccoli, the list goes on. Basically, we went up and down each isle and picked the veggies right off the vine! We seriously lucked out. We probably grabbed $50 worth of produce. It was INSANE and made us so happy!
After we grabbed a smorgasbord of veggies, we packed up and left for home. What a day! I am so glad no one decided to show up and we were able to hog all of the farmers’ attention! Justin and I were joking with the farmers about how people would have paid to do what we did that day! Throw in a nature walk with a picnic basket with cheese and wine in, and you got yourself a very popular groupon! Something along the lines of “Couples Canning and Farming Retreat”.I don’t know about you, but I would pay $50 for that Groupon. At the end of the day, it was such a great experience and we are so lucky that it turned out like it did! If you ever have the chance to skip work and go to a farm, take it, even when its raining.