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Strange Days On The Farm

Strange Days On The Farm

Goldenrod

Goldenrod with plenty of bee action

DH just mowed down the last of what was supposed to be our garden this year. I managed to keep it for a few extra weeks, because although the squash plants didn’t give us any veg, it was a haven for the bees, so I didn’t have the heart to get rid of the blossoming plants.

Our farm is so strange right now. We live in the ~in between~, of packing and thinking of moving, and the actual moving. Instead of filling my pantry with every available food from the garden and wild, I am trying to use up the foods that we do have stored (you know, the pickles that are a little mushy, the less desirable meats that end up in the bottom of the deep freeze). It is not the bustling kitchen that I am normally experiencing, and that is sad.

Now, I worry about NOT selling the farm before winter, and how our diet is going to be affected by not having a large stash of foods available. The rising cost of food isn’t really that worrisome, since the things most affected are not even on our menu. In my opinion, flour-sugar-yeast-beans-etc, may cost a bit more, but they still stretch much further than a box of Hamburger Helper; which I was shocked to see priced at $2.50 the other day, as a loss leader no less!! Scary stuff.

Right now, we haunt the local farmers markets and enjoy all the fresh, local foods we can. I believe frozen food is going to be more important for us this winter, as it is always less expensive. Oh well, at least my creativity will get a workout!

No matter what is going on during in our personal lives, the herbal stash grows. Right now, I am harvesting Goldenrod for winter cold and flu season. There seems to be plenty blooming, and it’s early. Hopefully, that doesn’t indicate more illness than normal this year. Either way, it sure is pretty.

If you are following the seasons for your pantry, now is the time to make some Sauerkraut. Actually all the veg could use a little fermenting, but start simple if you are new at it. Remember how stinky it gets! Don’t keep it right in the kitchen if you can help it.

Have a good day, and look for me on Twitter and Facebook!

Snail Mail is Awesome

This lovely surprise was waiting outside my door today. First I will devour the gorgeous photography and then the words.
Who needs sleep?

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The Family That Gardens Together

DH has gone up on the hill with some of the boys, to clean up so he can mow around that fence. I have a minute to post, while we wait for some workers to head back down to work in the garden.

It is a bittersweet day on the farm. Time to till under the vegetable garden and plant a Fall one. Overall, it was a good year. The rain seemed to cooperate for the most part. Usually we have seen flooding and dry spells, never catching a break. Our pantry and freezers are full of goodness. Still, I have a hard time tearing up a garden that is still producing.

What! You say? Still producing? Yes, the zucchini was late coming on this year, and the green beans still have life in them. Pepper plants will continue to produce, as long as the peppers are picked, so they are still looking great. I know it is time to switch to the fall things, but I have a soft spot for anything that shows a little gumption.

The kids have no romantic notions of the garden. Unlike the scenes of a Hallmark movie, all farm kids do not wake at dawn, and grab the egg bucket to start their chores. Mine wake at 7 and grumpily take the bucket out. No matter that they have had chores to do since age 3. They certainly don’t refuse, but there is no skipping involved. 🙂

Today, the garden is going to be stripped of everything. Green tomatoes in one box, anything with a hint of color in another. Green bean plants get  pulled up and cleaned of every available bean, pepper plants the same. Everyone except the two youngest, will be cranky about it. Oh well.

This winter, they will be singing a different song, when our table bears the weight of all the things grown here on our place. The kids forget the sweat and just look forward to eating it (and poking fun at their poor mother).

Well, I need to go gather the boxes for the garden. Have a great day everyone!

The Farming Wife Plays With Jars

Our garden overfloweth. I love this time of year; feeling slightly overwhelmed each time I go out and harvest what is ready to go from the garden. Too much for one meal, I have to stop the world and get things processed. For instance, last night I brought in:

 This in my huge stockpot
And these in another stockpot
 Finally, these in a canning pot
I ended up with plenty of veggies for the day, so I made  6 pints of salsa and another batch of tomato sauce.  I froze the sauce to be quick about it, ending up with  9 quart bags – 3 cups in each one. There are still plenty of veggies left for snacking and making sandwiches with,  not to mention that the garden will be ready to pick again in two days.  Beans and zucchini are up next. Yum!

People – Start Your Canners

All the work, the sweat and the cursing has come to pass. Now my garden is giving back. Every morning and night, as I walk the rows, veggies seem to ripen before my eyes and finally, we have fresh produce.

I love all the things that are growing, since I planted them from seed. The packets were marked at the end of last season, and carefully stored all winter, with the days counted down on the calender until it was time to plant again. When you start growing your garden in your head…in December, it takes a loooong time to eat that first tomato.

If I had to name the most important reason for gardening without chemicals, I would have to say the kids. Not some romantic hippie notion of living in a sustainable ecosystem that we help support (although that is part of it), but mainly so the children can follow me up and down the rows, picking and eating vegetables straight off the plants.