Aug 13, 2009

Weather's Changing

The weather's starting to change as it usually does around mid August. Morning and night are dropping under the 50 degree mark now, while the days are loaded with warn hot sun, and usually reach the 85 degree mark more or less. This mean for me that the frosts are not far away and that harvest is coming near.

Our tomatoes are getting a decent yield now that the rain has slowed down and allowed the plants the heat of the sun. Our beets should be ready to harvest within the next two weeks. Our zucchini and summer squash are on round two and should be ready to pick this weekend. My peas are as prolific as ever and produce for me daily keeping me in kitchen work each morning. My green beans and cucumbers have finally flowered and I expect to see their fruit of work any day now. The winter squashes are doing lovely and are producing some good size keepers, a lot more than I got last year... probably has something to do with all that rain.

We never stopped getting lettuce this year, which is good because we enjoy our salads with dinner and supper. The carrots look good and I hope to harvest them the first week of September. They take a considerable amount of work to harvest, prepare, and process. Our onions should be ready to come out of the garden and put in the root cellar any time now, and we just dug the first ten rows of our kennebec potatoes so they can cure today and tomorrow before we put them in the cellar as well. Our corn is sad, and that's all I'll say about that.

The pumpkin vines are about ten feet long now, and I have high hopes that this year we may even get a few. The apple tree that was on the property when we bought the farm has apples this year too. I don't know what variety, but they're reddish green and they're getting big, and I plan to have them in the cellar after a good frost sweetens them up. Our crap apple tree is doing spectacular again this year giving us crab apples that look like some kind of hybrid cross between an eating apple and a crab apple because they're so big, but they retain the sour taste of the crab apple just fine. In a couple weeks I'll harvest them using a trick with a rope and a tarp I just read about in the newest issue of Countryside. Should be a huge time saver... and Lord knows I need as many of those as I can get.

We transplanted rhubarb this past spring to it's own little garden bed, and in doing so stunted it's growth. So sometime next week I'm going to harvest the largest fall crop of Rhubarb I've ever seen. Should keep me busy processing for the better part of the week. I sent my kids out with my father a few days ago to the back field of our property to investigate the Raspberry bushes we have growing wild out there. They did such a good job picking the wild strawberries in the beginning of the summer I knew I could count on them for the raspberries. They came back with four 5lb buckets full. Needless to say there is now raspberry jam in my pantry as well. The high bush cranberries should be ripening by the end of the month and I intend to get my hands on some of them before the bears and birds do them in, and we have some hazel nut bushes that should be producing this year so I'm keeping an eye on those as well.

We finally got our Controlled Moose Hunting Permit in the mail and the hunt starts on the 17th of this month. We are all excited even though it's only my husband who gets to hunt it. I already bought a freezer in preparation of where to put all the meat, and we've already made arrangements to donate to the food pantry any extra meat that we can't handle from this hunt and the hunt in October for deer, that way nothing goes to waste. We've had good luck through the summer with fishing and we have several good size trout cleaned, filleted, and frozen awaiting to be eaten this winter, and Steve is taking the boys fishing this weekend one last time before the hunting season begins and he has to turn his attention to the larger game.

Our chickens are fattening up nicely and I'm thinking of culling 6 or maybe 7 of the hens sometime early October for stewing meat over the winter. That will leave us with four roosters and 18 hens to over winter. They'll give us all our eggs all winter, and give us our fryers next spring, so thus far that's the plan. We'll move the coop closer to the house to facilitate feeding and watering them easier when the snow starts to fly.

The kids are getting ready to be home schooled this year, and they are surprisingly really excited. Vincent, my eldest has a couple of things he's asked to learn about this year mostly pertaining to science, and that's what I love to hear. I think it will be a really good thing for him since he enjoys a fast paced learning environment over the conventional kind. My middle child Victor went with me to the store and picked out some pre-school work books that he liked, you know the dot to dot and that sort of thing. He's going to be 3 in December so I thought what the heck he can learn while I'm teaching his older brother too, right? I'm happy their both enthusiastic approach to this and I'm excited to be a part of their learning experience.

Other than all that, time is just ticking on by. The men are busy working in our new company, and doing various odd jobs on the farm. The in-law apt. is almost done for my father, and should be finished before hard winter hits so he will have some privacy in the house this year. They are cutting, splitting, and stacking all our firewood for the winter and they have 7 cords done so far, and next week the plan is to start re roofing the house before water starts to drip on our heads. But that's what a farm is. I lot of hard work, dedication, fixing, and rolling with the punches. We're getting the hang of it, and we're loving every minute of it.

I hope you all enjoy all of your own little triumphs life gives this week. God Bless.