Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Matteson Fall 2011

Well, fall is almost over and it has been an eventful one! My sister Anne, and Steven were here visiting for several months and were able to share many of the adventures of life at the Matteson Mission School. Here are some of the highlights in pictures...
Anne and I making black currant jelly

    This summer there were many willing hands to pick berries, so the time and need for preserving was once again here. Jam and jelly is always appreciated by the students here at the school, so I knew it would be a success!
A lot of jelly in the making

42 jars of finished jam

Some of the strawberries from our strawberry patch. There were so many more than I had hoped for. I was very glad to see Anne come in July just in time to help me pick and preserve them all!
                                                              September 2011                                                                                            
The Matteson students bringing in the harvest. Fall 2011

The march of the squash

    As time went on, so did the events of the harvest. The greenhouse was giving many good things, and the gardens as well, although the gardens struggled a lot because of the very cool temperatures and the large amount of rain we had. It was a challenging year for the gardens.
Linn transplanting the little peppers
David pruning the tomatoes


It is always a challenge at the beginning of a new year to try to convey to the new students the effort and time that has been put into the gardens for their benefit. The students of the previous school year planted and cared for first the seeds, then the little plants, watching with interest the growth and changes. This year was nice because a few of last years students were here for the harvest of the the squash and their interest and enthusiasm was contagious!
Linn, Elisa, and Ina with the little plants

from this....
....to this!

Enjoying picking the pumpkin
 Lars had planted and cared for the giant pumpkin. It didn't get so giant because of the short growing season here, but it did get up to 25 kg, or about
53 lb. It was fun to watch grow, but it was more fun to watch Lars. Every morning he would go out and breath on it because he figured it might not be growing as fast as the other pumpkins because of a lack of carbon dioxide! It was a point of interest to go and see how big the pumpkin was after a few days of travel or being away somewhere.
Some of the expressions were priceless!

Anne and Pernille with 'Headache' 

Headache was the name of one squash that decided at the last minute to grow... but right above the walk way. It was fine while it was little and high on the vine, but as it grew bigger it pulled the vine lower so that the squash was at head level above where we needed to walk. There was so much 'jungle' everywhere else that there was only one narrow way to walk, and now with a squash to duck under... or walk into. Bonk! Later on we renamed him to 'Knockout'. It grew very large, large enough that when you ran into it with your head it didn't move very much. You did!

        We also harvested many onions, carrots, and beets. There was a lot of rain and mud, so we dug everything earlier so that they wouldn't rot.
Sara and Elita pulling up the carrots 

Anne, Alexander, Lars, and Steven pulling up carrots
Washing the vegetables in the large puddles...
lakes standing everywhere!
Oops! The mud was kind of deep here!

Ready to take to where they will dry off and then be bagged for the cellar.
        I will end with greetings from both Steven and myself! Soon we will be in the jungle that grows by itself again... in Bolivia! But for now the Matteson greenhouse has had to do.