Saturday, February 24, 2018

Gardening with Baby

Good Morning.

Yesterday I had to be all day helping my Mother at the hospital. Baby had to go to a babysitter that her dad and mom didn’t know very well. I was very concerned … we all were. Baby’s mom, Tiff, called the sitter six times throughout the day to make sure all was well. I talked to Tiff last night on the phone and she said that Baby didn’t nap all day. I pray to God this never happens again. I don’t want her with strangers that we don’t know. I couldn’t take her with me to the hospital. But the next time, if this happens, I will take her, no matter what.

Well, thank the Lord, this morning her folks will bring her here for me to take care of. I have to work outside sometime today … maybe this morning. Ya know, the old time mothers used to take their babies outside to work in their gardens. I have read stories about Mother putting her little baby in a basket and setting her under a tree while she worked. Or they would lay the baby between the rows of the garden on a blanket as they worked from one row to the next. Often they had mosquito net that they put over the top of their “basket of baby.”

Today I have to cut up rhubarb to store and freeze. I have a big table outside that I can work on. I have a place for Baby to play and she is good about staying around Grandma outside. We have a sandbox for her and other toys to play with outside. I will just take out a big pan of water and my cutting board and cut rhubarb under the plum tree. My rhubarb patch is nearby and I can just pull it and bring it to the table pretty easy.

Baby will help me, I am sure. She will want Peggy Sue to come out, too, but I don’t need Peggy outside. Anyway, I have to plant tomatoes, too, in my kitchen garden. I wouldn’t think it will take me more than two hours. Then we will come in for lunch and naps.

But ya know it’s nice, if you have a lot of garden produce to chop up, if you can work outside. That way if the leaves and dirt fall on the ground, it isn’t like it’s falling on the floor. I try to always have a table to work on right outside my door here in the dining room. I have an old folding table out there now and I will just put a plastic cloth on it today to work on. Early morning is a good time to work outside in the summer. The bugs aren’t as awake then and they don’t bother ya as they would later in the day. Also it’s the cooler part of the day. The table gives the little ones sort of a station to pivot from … kind of a place to direct them to … a place to maybe lay a few of their toys. Of course, make sure you hide your knife so they won’t get to it.

I just pull my rhubarb out. I don’t cut it off at the roots. This way it will grow back.Then I just take my knife and whack off the big leaves. I save the leaves and spread them around the strawberry plants close by to use like a mulch. If I have a pan of flower seeds just planted, I will spread rhubarb leaves over the pot until the seeds sprout, then take the leaves off. (When I say a pan of flowers, I mean it. I find old cooking pots to use for flower pots. That’s the way the hillbillies do it, ya know.)

Anyway, I will just pull my rhubarb and bring it up to the table under the tree and cut it up in one-inch pieces and put it in my big pan of water. When I get all that done, then I will just bring the pan in the house. Later on I will just put the rhubarb in zip lock bags with sugar in it and store it in the freezer.

We love rhubarb pies and cobblers in the cold months of fall and winter. I pull my rhubarb in the early summer, then it grows back and I can use it in the middle of the summer. Then it will grow back again and I use it again in the fall, just before a freeze comes and winter sets in.

We eat rhubarb sauce just like applesauce, too. I have tried making rhubarb wine, too, but I don’t like the taste of it. I mix rhubarb with apples for pies and that way, not so much sugar.

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