Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Busy, busy, busy

Old Man Winter has raised his head, we got a dusting of snow overnight Sunday. I've been working at getting things ready for the change of seasons here. All I can say is busy, busy, busy. So, I hate to admit, but this is about 10 blog entries rolled into one. I've had a few inquiries as to my whereabouts, I'm wondering if raising teenagers is considered a medical condition...I'm pretty certain it qualifies as a mental condition. So, I have lots to blame my absence on.

Ben and Jerry have grown a good 5 inches already. They are on alfalfa and grains as well as their bottles and are doing great. They both had scours at first, but after administering each a shot of antibiotic, they have done well. Jerry had a cough for a while and a bit of a rattle in his lungs, so I got another shot ready, but while waiting for Josh to have time to hold him down so I could give it, his symptoms seem to have cleared up.

Clover has moved on, she has a new chapter to write in her own life. The Craigslist ad finally worked and I bartered her to a goat dairy for a nice fence charger and $50 cash. I looked on line and the charger is new enough to still be available and sells for $90. The next day I exchanged the $50 for 2 bags of feed and 4 waterers from another Craigslister. I will sell 2 of the waterers this spring when somebody out there will be setting up their chicken operation and will need them. I think I did pretty good overall. I'm glad to see her gone. I traded Belle along with her, as her personality was just like her momma.

I've been working on canning and getting the garden out and processed before the frost. Everything did well, the potatoes put on a lot of nice sized tubers, the tomatoes ended up yielding over 60 quarts of red and about 100 lbs of green that are currently sitting on my living room floor ripening.

I had the opportunity to go to a u-pick-it place and for $10 got all the produce I could haul off. I spent a good 4 hours picking and bagging up stuff. Then another 2 days processing and canning it. I was able to add another 10 quarts of tomatoes as well as 50 lbs potatoes, 50 lbs of onions, green beans, watermelon, shallots, carrots, herbs, sweet corn, Indian corn, popcorn, squash, peppers and a few other things. With some of the tomatoes I got, I made and froze chili and spaghetti sauce, 7 meals of each.

Last year I looked everywhere for elderberries and this year I found some just down the road from us. I was able to pick two full boxes before the frost and made 7 quarts of jelly and 2 quarts of pancake syrup this week. The owner invited me to come earlier next year and pick grapes as well, hot dog! They also have hops, but since I don't make or drink beer I'll probably pass. Guess I could box them up and send 'em off to dad. Now that we've had a nice frost, I need to go back to the place I hit up for apples last year and get more. I canned some applesauce this fall already, but not enough to suit my need.

I had company visit as well, but they deserve a blog entry of their own, so look for that soon.

My U-pick-it haul. it was a blessing to be able to add to my store here, but oh the work! All this for $10, what a score. Thanks Lord! If you click on the picture, it should enlarge enough to see all the stuff.

Elderberries, off the stem and ready to be cooked down to juice. this is a 10 quart pot, and I have enough left to dry and use in muffins all winter.

The green tomatoes I saved from the frost. Some cherry/grape tomatoes as well as Roma and the usual big round kind.

A dusting of snow on the broody hen house.

Snow on a thistle, so pretty.

Snow dusting the trees on the mountain top.

Digging potatoes from the garden. Weird, but it reminds me of Mr. Potato Head.

These all came from one plant. A pretty nice harvest.

Coming out by the bucket full.

Potatoes from the U-pick-it in the laundry room, that's about half of what I got.

Some of my canned items. Tomatoes -I'm up to 70 quarts so far. Elderberry jelly, green & wax beans (I froze the ones from my garden), carrots and a small portion of 50 lbs of wheat jarred up ready to be ground in to bread and muffins, yum! I just love all the colors, absloutely beautiful.

The rest of the tomatoes -hopefully were ready for winter. Applesauce is in the bottom right corner of the picture.