Sunday, August 15, 2010

You say tom- ae-toe, I say tom-ah-toe...

We started putting up tomatoes today. Aimee's been putting up pesto for some weeks now, but the canning tomatoes are ready, and that's my job so I spent a couple hours this morning making a start.

We'll want about thirty jars to last us. May not get that much, but we'll get a sight more than last year, when the blight robbed us of almost all our berries. The year before we did alright. There's still blight on the leaves, but it hasn't hurt the berries, nor has it spread to the spuds like it did last year.

I harvested about half those already, gave some away, put up the rest in boxes in the cellar. Today I may start on the last half of the potato patch. I also picked a few of each kind of apple for us. Not too many.

But I'm happy to have my tomatoes again, especially the canned Juliets and Aunt Ruby's German Greens, which we eat fresh.

In Maine, of course, we should say tom-aah-toe, as in Bah Haahbor.

It's really Bar Harbor, but that's the traditional pronunciation. Here's a great video for the real Maine accent. It was taken at the Cumberland Fair.

Our local fair, the Common Ground Fair, will happen soon. It will be interesting to see all our new Amish at the fair.


  1. Hi. I stumbled across your blog via the Unity College website which I came across after viewing your slide show about building a straw bale house. My husband and I are just beginning our adventure into learning more about sustainable living. We would love to be self sustaining and live in some sort of home that allows us to be debt free and live off the land (straw bale, cob house, log, or something along those lines). We have much to learn before we can attempt such an endeavor with three kids but I was wondering if you had any pointers. How long did you live in the straw bale house and was it adequately warm in the winter months? Thanks for letting me pick your brain. Happy canning! :)

  2. The Bale House was OK, but could have been better if we'd known more when we (mostly I) built it. In particular, we didn't put in a proper basement or foundation. We did this to keep what was meant to be a cheap house really cheap, but it made for a lot of cold air underneath, and it means that we will have to demolish the whole thing eventually, when the cedar piers it sits on rot.

    I tell folks not to make these mistakes, and also to use recycled foam insulation instead of straw in Maine if what they want is a cost-effective building. You pretty much have to use a timber frame anyway since it's too risky to build a Nebraska-style bale house, so straw is just meant to be cheap, natural easily available insulation. It turns out it's only one of those things in Maine.


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