Lot of work for so little food…

The agrarian way of life is a whole lot of hard work.  I didn’t just happen to figure this out.  I remember saying something about it the day our milk cow decided she didn’t want to be milked –I immediately thought about how easy picking up a gallon of milk at the store was compared to searching the pasture (and I could just as well add over 3 miles, one way, over hills in the cold rain and snow, but I won’t) for the missing cow and then dragging her 1000 lb self  back to the milking barn.   I will be the first to admit, farm life is hard and producing your own food on your farm is even harder.  Not impossible.  It just isn’t convenient or fast, nor is it work-free. 
I still have apples sitting on my counter waiting to be peeled.  I have now increased my 4 jars of applesauce to a whopping 6 jars of applesauce.  I also have 8 smaller jars of apple butter that I am very proud of even if it does taste like cinnamon applesauce.  I did have a nice stash of dehydrated apple chips, but the kids discovered them and I had to put the rest up in hiding…(the apple chips, not the kids)   Now, if the kids could just stop eating, then maybe I would make some headway in storing some of the food I make. 
I think I will be cutting the rest of the apples up and dehydrating them as well. 
Next week, I am seriously thinking about going back to the market and getting another bushel of apples.  Crazy, I know.  But it is hard to pass up $15 for a bushel of apples.  Just in case you are wondering how many apples that is, I found this handy chart in the Old Farmer’s Almanac. 

60 pounds apples = 1 bushel
52 pounds beans = 1 bushel
24 pounds beets = 1 bushel
56 pounds carrots = 1 bushel
55 pounds flour = 1 bushel
54 pounds onions = 1 bushel
45 pounds parsnips = 1 bushel
50 pounds potatoes = 1 bushel
60 pounds string beans = 1 bushel
60 pounds sweet potatoes = 1 bushel
48 pounds tomatoes = 1 bushel
196 pounds turnips = 1 barrel
1 gill = 1/2 cup
1 pottle = 2 quarts
1 coomb = 4 bushels
1 wey = 40 bushels
1 last = 80 bushels
1 firkin = 9 gallons
1 anker = 10 gallons
1 runlet = 18 gallons
1 tierce = 42 gallons
1 hogshead = 63 gallons
1 puncheon = 84 gallons
1 butt = 126 gallons



  • owensarrows says:

    Hi Beth,
    I met you at the taping of Nathan Clarke George DVD! I loved the pancake recipe, we made it yesterday. If you have a bread recipe that uses just Prairie Gold or all wheat for bread I would so appreciate it! Also, where did you get your apples?

  • BethTN says:

    Howdy OwenArrows… yes..I remember! That was a great night!

    I do have a bread recipe that we use the prairie gold in…I will ask my daughter for it and post it—however, it is one she makes in our bread machine–so i am not sure how it does without a bread maker??

    Apples– The Yoders Market outside of Summertown. She had yellow golden delicious and red stayman apples . Although she was almost out of the yellow and just had red left when we were there last week. I would call before you head out though—

    Also, if you are anywhere near Fairview…there is a little market there owned by the Taylor family on Hwy 100. They usually have apples this time of year and sell by the bushel– I use to buy them from her from around $20 to $25 a bushel depending on the variety. I don’t know for sure if they still have any left though.

  • Carmen says:

    We bought a bushel of 2nd’s for about $12 in the fall. It’s quite the daunting task to process all of them at one time! My mom and I did about half and then a few weeks later (they kept fine in the basement) processed the other half. We made applesauce and I also found online where a gal made pie filling and froze it in a greased pie plate. Then she popped it out and then put it in a freezer bag. We did about 4 of those since we weren’t sure how they would turn out. They turned out great! We had one at Thanksgiving and one yesterday. I also made a large batch of apples for dumplings and I figure on a slow winter day I’ll make up a bunch of apple dumplings…or I can even use them for more pies. Anyway…thanks for the chart and the encouragement! Glad I’m not the only one who can’t keep up with the food our large family eats!!

  • Mrs. Santos says:

    Great job on your canning. My husband is from El Salvador and his Christmas tradition is to have tamales every year…enough to eat for every meal and to share with friends and family that visit. We have always bought them, but for a fraction of the cost I could make my own and make four or five times as many. So last year I did that. It was “back breaking” work – the result a TON of tamales and all dry and not very appetizing. This year we opted for tamales we could enjoy – and so went out and bought them. I will practice making them more throughout the year though. It is much nicer to share the work of big jobs like canning and tamale making with other women. Thank you for your posts. Hope you had a Merry Christmas

  • Kim says:

    I really really need to get a bushel of apples! Thanks for the suggestion of places to get some. We’ve met once or twice at your church. We haven’t lived back here but a year or so and don’t have a long list of resources of places to do things like get apples for that kind of price. Or hay, or, this or that.. you know how it goes. SO many things I need a source for. I might have to hit you up for a long list of cool places to go. My husband recently told me he wants us to stop shopping at Walmart. I already get my bulk foods, etc. other places and garden but um.. there are just some things I need a family owned recommendations. Maybe a nice blog post about the great family owned places throughout Middle TN 😀 😀 Thanks.