We get a good 10lbs of blueberries every single day. It’s hard to keep up with all the harvesting, processing, gifting and eating. Next year the operation will most likely be turned lucrative.
This season, I can safely say that we have enough berries for our family’s generous yearly consumption. It got me thinking about all the things we solely provide for ourselves. Heat, electricity, water, maple syrup, garlic. These are all major sources of pride, savings, and resilience. Blueberries and currants can definitely be added to the list this year, it took 6 years of tending to the frailest sticks in the ground to get there. As with many things around the homestead this year, we are finally reaping the rewards, and they are plentiful.
This year’s canning label
Soon, we’ll be harvesting en masse from Nicole’s massive garden. We might have other staples to add to the list then. Others like cider are close but not quite 100% self produced yet. Although we don’t particularly seek autonomy as an endpoint, it is pleasant where we have achieved it. It all feels unreal sometimes, that our decade old typical silly dream of leaving the city for greener pastures, could end up being so fully incarnated.
We started picking to eat a few, then we brought a bowl or 2, and now we need to make sure to empty the bushes before their fruits go to waste. Which leaves us with tons of extra berries. I think this will be the first year where we get to gorge ourselves, give to friends, and have enough for canning a year’s worth. In the past we’d go get bulk quantities at pick your own orchards for the canning.
There’s so much more coming we’re bracing ourselves. Robin does raid the berries but he’s more independent and rarely gathers with us these days.
I have plans to expand and diversify our water sources next year: roof capture, pond, stream buffering, well overflow, well from the old house we recently acquired. All will be at least investigated if not deployed. We want more alternatives to combat dryness, a fact that is made particularly relevant because of how many things we have growing nowadays, and it’s always hard to see them struggle from lack of water. On the same sad but relevant tone, we have started meeting families which moved to Vermont as various levels of climate refugees. We ourselves picked the area a decade ago for it’s better position in this regard, among other things.
This dry year, we’re moving water as we can, which is to say it helps but it’s far from a panacea.