Farm update: October 1

Hello there! It’s officially autumn, although you wouldn’t know it from our weather; it’s still hot and dry. Everything feels crispy and parched and we’re hoping desperately for some moisture from a Pacific hurricane system this week.

We’ve got lots of projects underway at the farm. Here are a few things we’ve been up to:

QF Living Room 03 sml

Our living room in a state of disrepair.

Although our farmhouse is livable, it needs a lot of work. N tore up all of the carpet but kept it intact so we could donate it. We had hoped to find hardwood floors underneath and although we did find some in the older portion of the house, we’ll have to install new floors on most of the main floor. Our renovation list grows by the minute.

Canning 03 sml

It’s canning season!

Canning 04 sml

An experiment: fermented green hot sauce.

Obviously we didn’t have our own garden this summer, so I was excited to unpack my canning supplies. Our grocery shopping options are extremely limited here, so preserving local produce now will make our winters much more pleasant. I put up a hundred pounds of tomatoes and forty pounds of apples in various formats, plus roasted and froze plenty of green chiles. The onions will keep in a cool, dry place; eventually we’ll have a root cellar of sorts for all of our long-keeping vegetables. I feel calm and confident when I have a full pantry.

QF Seedlings 01 sml

Perennial seedlings for next spring.

In addition to growing vegetables on our farm, we also need to rebuild perennial beds around the property. I’ve started perennial herbs from seed to see if I can keep them alive over the winter and plant them when the ground thaws in spring. This would be better done in a true greenhouse, but it’s worth a shot. Here you can see English thyme, winter savory and Greek oregano, all useful both in the kitchen and (hopefully) as deer repellent.

This week we’re tackling our irrigation system because we’re hoping to call for water next Monday! We’ll also get our old hardwood floors refinished and it’s Applefest this weekend, so there’s a lot going on in our tiny world. Have a great week!

 

6 thoughts on “Farm update: October 1

  1. I’ve been collecting seeds from my Rocky Mountain Bee plant, going to make seed bombs to toss out this winter. I know you have hot and dry areas where this native plant will grow very well. Also making seed bombs with other native wildflower seeds, some deer and elk resistant, if there is such a thing.

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  2. A hundred pounds seems like a lot, but I suppose it really is not all that much when one considers it is like four dozen quarts of tomatoes. Gee, I don’t think of the weight. My old kitchen lacked a pantry inside, but there was so much cabinet space down under the counter that I did not use for anything else. Weight was not an issue on the the floor. Low profile storage is an advantage during an earthquake too.

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    • Hi Tony! I canned quartered tomatoes, sauce, puree, salsa and juice – it came out to maybe two dozen mixed quarts and pints altogether once everything cooked down. Earthquakes are definitely not something we worry about here. We do worry about wildfires and severe hailstorms, though.

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