The Weekly Digs #192

by Becky

*Sorry in advance, I’m writing this from the airport and don’t have many pictures to attach since I’m not home.*

Last Saturday, Noelle had a gymnastics meet that took several hours of the day. I went to watch her but the boys and Cam stayed home to get caught up on chores. They put down mulch for the landscaping in front of the house and evened out the gravel for the walkway. 

Here is the after!

So much better!

Here is a before picture:


It looks so much better! I still need to get some of the plants I bought for the landscaping in the ground. I got about half done but still have a couple more to do. 


When I originally planted my blueberry rows, I had quite a bit of extra space at the end of each row. Since it’s all mulched and we have irrigation out there now, I went out to assess and measure to see if I were to purchase more blueberries to fill all the empty space in, how many would I need? The answer was 20 plants! 

In my personal opinion, one can’t have too many berry plants.  I already have 30 blueberry plants in the ground so 20 more will make an even 50. If we ever get to the point where there are too many for us, we can pick them and sell them to our farm customers or invite friends to come and pick.

Blueberry Rows (Sept 2022)

Here’s what varieties I got: 10 chandler, 2 bluecrop (these are to fill in 2 that bluecrop died in our hot, dry summer this year), 5 top shelf, and 3 last call. 

I am also replacing quite a few of the southern highbush with northern highbush blueberries. I have a garden friend who is only 2 hours south of me and grows the southern highbush with a ton of success. She says they are prolific.

 I think I am right on the border of being able to grow them. Some survived our cold winter temperatures and others didn’t make it overwinter. I also noticed the texture and taste of southern highbush is quite different than the northern.

When I buy blueberries from the grocery store, they are always a little tougher and firmer. I discovered that is because most of the ones sold at the grocery store near me are from southern highbush plants. They are not my favorite and the ones we grew taste very similar to that.

So I’m actually ok with the fact that several died so I can replace them with the northern highbush because they taste so much better!

I got all my northern highbush blueberries from Nourse Farms. They don’t sell any organic plants, but they are the best quality I’ve found for the price.

Pantry Tour

This week I had several things going on. I was heading out for a trip on Wednesday so on Tuesday over his lunch break Cam helped me record a video this year’s pantry tour. I am sharing not only what we preserved but also our dry storage pantry of grains, baking staples, etc. as long as our internet is working well, I should have the video up by Tuesday this coming week.


On Tuesday night, I also wrapped up the canning of a bunch of black beans. We did 10 quarts this week. I learned from last year that we need quart sizes. I canned pints last year and always used two jars at a time. It’s a waste of lids which are getting more expensive all the time.

These were the last three jars of black beans I did. I usually fill them more but this is the bottom of the pot so it ended up having more liquid and less beans.

My Trip

Finally Wednesday, I headed out to see my long-time (like since we were babies) friend Valerie! We grew up together and thanks to Val, who is really good at periodically calling, we have stayed in touch over the years. 

We have seen each other when we can. Val and I grew up to have very different and opposite personalities. She loves city life and I love country life. She is an extravert and I am an introvert, but we always enjoy getting together to catch up.

Then earlier this year she called and had bad news, she had been diagnosed with cancer. I was so shocked, she is my age! I kept it together on the phone but cried afterward. She would have to have surgery, then six rounds of chemo. 

I asked her if I could come and visit, and when would be best. She is currently living in Boston. She said it would be fun if I came after she was all done with treatment as a celebration of sorts. So I finally headed out this week. She has been done with treatment since July, but had another sickness hit her hard only a few weeks after her last chemo.

Val and I, in front of the U.S.S. Constitution

Finally, right before I came to visit she said she has finally turned a corner for the better and was feeling well enough to go out with me to see some tourist things in Boston. We were able to go out for several hours to a few tourist sites each afternoon and in the evenings we watched a bunch of chick flicks. 

Sometimes when I go on vacation, it doesn’t really feel like vacation. But this time, it did! It was the perfect balance of going out and relaxing at home. I rarely watch movies or ever really allow myself to relax but it was so nice to hang out with my friend and not have any obligations. We had a fun time together!

I’m in the airport headed home now. It’s been a great week. Hope you all are doing well.

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PamR December 17, 2022 - 10:48 pm

Glad you got to spend such quality time with your friend. I do hope she gets and keeps remission.

Nourse Farms is 10 minutes up the road from me, here in Western Mass.

Hope your flight home was uneventful.

Susan December 29, 2022 - 6:42 pm

I’m sure it meant a lot to your dear friend to have you visit her. I’m praying that she stays in remission and returns to full health.


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