Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sunday Walkabout 9-1

I hate that we let the thistles go...
but, the goldfinches are enjoying them

Happy September!  How is that possible?  It seems like summer never really got going…and now it’s Labor Day.  Guess we must have been really having fun, because time sure is flying by.

This week seemed especially productive.  Or, maybe I just want to remember it that way because I plan on taking full advantage of today being our “day of rest”. I might just take a nap…after all my “Sunday” chores…I'm beat.

On Monday, we got one big job out of the way. Before I left for my weekly town run, the Boss and I pulled all the sweet corn that remained in the corn patch so we could put it up for winter.  While I was running all over town buying supplies, making the bank deposit and checking vegetable prices…he was shucking corn. Lotsa corn.

Less than eight hours from the time he first walked into the corn patch, all the corn was shucked and cleaned and blanched and cut and packed…and tucked into the freezer for Winter.  There will be corn for us and our customers.  Lotsa corn.
blanching corn

cutting corn

This is SO delicious! (just like this...)

in the freezer

Isn't that purty?
The tomato crop finally ripened…however, it seemed like everyone must have had tomatoes at last week’s market, so we had quite a few left over.  No worries.  Those were worked up and joined the corn in the freezer.  There will be tomatoes for winter use, too!  (among other things)The only problem is now we’re running out of freezer space. That’s a good problem to have.

Broiler processing was supposed to be one of the jobs we completed last week.  But, the weather is messing with our plans…again.  It has been so dark that the broilers weren’t eating enough to grow at their usual rate. You know the saying “go to bed with the chickens”?  Chickens really are affected by the amount of daylight…it will curtail growth and/or egg production.   Lately, it seems that every day begins in a foggy, mist-shrouded gloom that doesn’t burn off until nearly lunchtime.  It’s kind of depressing. 

 But it does make for good photo ops! 

We let this batch of broilers go an extra week just to get some growth on them.  The Boss also installed a little solar-powered light that kept them eating a little more regularly.
This is what the broiler pen looks like at 5:30am with the new light
With that bunch in the pen, the batch in the brooder couldn’t move out….and since the batch in the brooder had to stay in the brooder…we ended up with chicks in a big hopper in the greenhouse for a week.  That got fairly disgusting, but all the broilers are where they belong now.
  One batch in the freezer, one batch in the field pen and one batch in the brooder.  Hopefully we won’t have such a back-up again….there’s just one more batch for the year…they’ll be here in a couple weeks.

the Boss does the killing, scalding and plucking

The weather threw us another curve when we went to process the broilers…it poured!  As in…IT POURED!  All day long IT POURED!  Processing broilers is not the most pleasant of jobs…you know…blood and guts and stuff…but, the rain made a huge, sloppy mess out what is generally a “controlled” situation.  But, we got through it with no mishaps other than the discovery of a very big hole in my rubber chore boots. Oh well, all’s well that ends well.
I'm in charge of evisceration and quality control

Somewhere in there we got in a trip to the dump, a trip to Lowe’s and the completion of a Market-related project. Oh, and mowing...the endless mowing...and seed starting...and a couple orders of farm supplies...

looking for the "food lady"
 The lambs are enjoying the lush, green grass of a new paddock. Wait…lush, green…?  Did I just say that in August?  That is so weird.  Usually this time of year we’re gazing out over fields that are looking brown and somewhat crispy.  Not so this year!

For anyone wondering about Tess…here’s the Boss’ latest glamour shot… 

She’s growing into a nice little cat (if you overlook the stealth attacks and the biting…I think she’s in the “terrible twos”) But, her ears are STILL growing!  I’m pretty sure she’ll be able to hear any mouse, anywhere, anytime.

It's an amazing pepper year!

We had another gorgeous Market day…I do hope you will visit the Market…even if it’s only virtually.  The Boss posts some great shots each week on the Staunton/Augusta Farmers’ Market page. Check out this week's pics!

Despite the fact that tomorrow is a “holiday”…we will be observing Labor Day by laboring in the hoophouses.  I’ve got hundreds of little seedlings to get planted. 
…and I’m not at all proud of this next shot…but, the Boss has promised to spend his day taming the jungle that is presently hoophouse #1.
Yes...there are crops in there...somewhere...
  I do hope he makes it out alive!  I'll keep you posted.

Chocolate Zucchini Roll-up Cake

In other news...I may have discovered/developed the perfect summer dessert.  It's Chocolate-Zucchini Roll-up Cake.  It's quick, easy, uses ZUCCHINI and it's low fat!  Oh, and did I mention it's chocolate? I'll be glad to post the recipe if anyone is interested.

Thanks for stopping by.  I do hope you’ll come again.

Happy Sunday!

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