|cornstalk bales - Edinburg|
It always happens. Just when you think summer might just last forever. That this is the year the garden harvest just won’t end…
Well, sort of.
Sunday night’s forecast called for cooler temperatures. Much cooler temperatures. So much cooler that we found ourselves rather unexpectedly hauling row cover out to the garden after supper. The last planting of greens beans is so close to being ready for harvest. So very close. We didn’t want to chance losing them to the cold.
The forecast was for the low forties and here on the hill, we have seen patchy frost when the temperature was 42*. (don’t tell me this isn’t possible, I have photographic evidence) So, when the overnight forecast drops during the growing season, I get just a little edgy.
Monday morning dawned clear and cool. 43* was our “official” reading. The neighbor down the hill had 39*, although he didn’t report any frost. It seemed like fall was here!
There was a definite difference in the garden. The chilly weather spelled the absolute end of the tomatoes. (they are at the point where we just need to tear them out and wait until next year) The okra plants lost most of their leaves and production dropped WAY off and the zucchini growth slowed down considerably. But, I don’t think the brassica plantings even noticed. And, the green beans were safe!
|if the weather cooperates, we'll have beans this week!|
We’d get back to the garden soon, but first it was time for a roadtrip.
The next to last batch of lambs had to be hauled to the processor’s.
|looks like we're ready|
That job takes at least a half a day. The vast majority of that time is spent driving the interstate, which even though it was a pretty day, can be more than a little trying as we make our way through the Valley with all the big trucks and speed maniacs on the roadway. But the lambs were loaded, hauled and unloaded with little incident. I think we both heave a huge sigh of relief when we turn back in the lane with the empty trailer. In a couple of weeks, we will head back to pick up our new inventory.
|driving with the big trucks|
|cornfields and mountains|
|our trip takes us through some beautiful farm country|
Back at home, the Boss turned his attention to a project that had been put on hold during the push of summer. One project turned into two and required a trip to town. Now, we have a big stack of cattle panels sitting in the trailer, waiting until he has time to get back to the job. …and a gate. I am SO excited about this gate! But, you’ll have to wait for a progress report.
|a new project begins|
|...and another one...|
|it was a week of hauling|
|doesn't look like much now...|
|the apples didn't look like much...|
I played catch-up around here all week.
I finally got to all the leftover, culled produce that seemed to be everywhere. I sauced apples, grated zucchini, chopped okra, juiced the last of the grapes and even made some tomato-ginger jam. Now, I just need to get all the canned goods put away and we will be ready for winter eating. …
Oh, I need to make jelly. Because the grape juice is still waiting for my attention.
|but, they worked up into some tasty applesauce|
...and the grandbabies ought to like that
|That made me think of this photo|
Nobody was thinking about GRANDBABIES when we planted those trees in '97..
look at those little girls!
|chocolate zucchini cake|
because I'm all about health food (not)
|finishing my grape project is the job du jour|
Sadly, the cool weather didn’t last. (I’m kind of ready for sweater weather…or at the very least not sweat-y weather) By the end of the week, we were back to the heat again. This is combined with a total lack of rain, so the pastures are drying up and the trees are beginning to lose their leaves. It’s a strange combination that has me just a little worried about the grass supply. (I am not alone in that concern)
|pretty September lettuce|
The gardens and hoophouses can be irrigated, so the lack of rain is not a big concern there. However, the odd, changeable weather makes for an odd, unpredictable growth pattern, so the harvest is not what we might have hoped in the hoophouses. But, the planting continues, so maybe we can get back on track before winter. And, we are starting to harvest all those brassicas we planted earlier in the season. Here’s hoping they continue to produce as expected and we have broccoli until the end of the Market.
Somehow, the Boss found time for another project he had been wanting to do. Years ago, he built a gravel path from the house to the barn, complete with steps down the little hill. By using gravel, we eliminate some of the mess in the house. Believe me, any decrease in dewy grass and mud and barn waste that is tracked into the house is greatly appreciated when it comes to keeping this place relatively clean. (although, I still make a mess)
Over time, the grass filled in the path and while it makes a lovely little place for barn kitties to nap, it wasn’t helping the war on filth in the house. The Boss fired up his propane torch and got after the weeds in the path.
|what is it about men and flames?|
I wasn’t too excited when he created a charred and smoldering path, even though the weeds were gone. All I could imagine were black, sooty footprints in the house instead of grassy, manure-y ones. However, he wasn’t done. There was still some gravel left from the French drain project…so, now we have a lovely new gravel path to the barn. Yay for a clean-ish floor!
|a job well done!|
|Venus in the morning sky|
Saturday’s weather was lovely for the Market. Although the cool, dark morning meant sales got a late start, it was a great day nonetheless.
The countdown to the end of Market season has begun…just nine more weeks…
|sunrise on the way to Market|
|ready for sales|
The upcoming week has the promise of some much-needed rain and a return to cooler temperatures with the official arrival of Fall. Here’s hoping the forecast is right!
But…first, my plan for today includes making a few loaves of bread to go with that grape jelly…
|mmmm...freshly baked bread...|
Hope you’re having a Happy Sunday!
Thanks for stopping by. Do come “visit” us again real soon.