Sunday, September 16, 2007

Beware the Ides of September!

The middle of September was yesterday – how can that be? It was just the other week that it was June!!!

Now that I’ve caught up with all of my running around, I need to get back to what’s going on here on the farm.

Yesterday morning it was 33º when I woke up. We had covered our tomatoes and peppers and herbs Friday night, knowing it was going to get cold. But it didn’t freeze the swiss chard. Anyone want any? Norm plants way too much each year and I don’t like it, so we can’t keep up. Wonder if I can freeze it? The only other one who likes it is Katie and she doesn’t come around often enough to suit me for cutting it. The temperature yesterday was a balmy 60º with clouds and a bitter wind.

This morning it was 44º and it’s gotten up to 79º. What a difference a day makes! It’s still windy but not so cold!

Norm picked all of the ripe tomatoes and the ripe-but-not-changed-color peppers yesterday. I can’t pick them. Every time I think, “Well, maybe I’m being a woose,” I see a few sweat bees in the vines and pull back. They have me more frightened than the bigger bees. They don’t seem to have any brains and you can’t talk to them like you can other bees!

Friday was the day for taking the last broilers of the season to the butcher. Hip, hip, hooray!! I cleaned the pen out on Monday and Friday morning it was impossible to walk in there from all of the poop. I have found that 65 broilers are too many. We will make sure that we have 50 as a maximum. Those extra 15 are just too much for our little pen and my little back, cleaning the poop up every few days! They were a week early for butchering, but if any one complains about the size, they can do the cleaning next time!

Now that we’ve found a good system for the chickens, we lose very few and they are plump, tender and big! It’s just at the end, when they poop so much and it’s so hard to clean that I object the most to doing the work.

The money part of the system is good for me, though. We have 4 families that share in the chickens. Everyone pays for their day-old chicks, then the 3 other families pay for the feed while we pay in electricity and energy to feed and clean the little buggers. Works for me!

Yesterday and today has been tomato sauce day, with tomato juice as an extra treat. Even with using mostly Romas, there is still a lot of juice, so I drain that off and cook it with onions, green pepper, garlic and salt. Norm really likes it a lot. My brother, Charles, also loves tomato juice, so I will have a lot to share with him, as well.

So, that’s catching up! We need to pick the apples, now that we’ve had a ‘legal’ frost; our apples ripen after the frost – well, except the yellow ones and we still have some on the top of the tree that need to be picked for applesauce.

Norm’s out mowing the lawn for (hopefully) the last time; I’m starting some tacos with fresh tomatoes and peppers from the garden. Yah gotta realize, kids – here in the far north in Minnesota, even though the zone has changed to a milder climate, it still is cold in the spring so you can’t put tomatoes and peppers out for a very long time. And with our weird weather, we have only had a few eating tomatoes until now, but no peppers. So everyone who has been enjoying tomatoes and peppers for months, feel sorry for us. But with covering the plants on colder nights, we should have a least 3 or 4 more weeks of enjoying them.

It was a beautiful day today – you have a beautiful day.

1 comment:

Kati said...

Ooooh, we'd take a lot of it off your hands, if we could. We all love the stuff, but NONE of ours grew this year... and we also planted a ton!

I know what you're talking about with the "but, it was only June yesterday" feeling. I look out at my little birch tree, and he's almost leafless by now. Lots of seed catkins, very few leaves. And another one drops about every minute. Probably by the end of today he'll be completely leafless. *sigh* I may be able to get one more harvest off my rhubarb plant, though, and one more off my chive plant, if I don't waste my time.

Good luck with your "putting the farm to bed" chores!!!!