Independence Days Update: Running Behind

Sharon September 30th, 2010

I have such a long list of things I need to do this autumn.  We haven’t gotten our firewood stacked.  We only have half our hay in.  I haven’t set up the row covers for the fall crops.  I haven’t even ordered my garlic (pickin’s are going to be slim).  I am firmly, wildly behind.

This is often the case as the holidays finish – the difference is that generally speaking I’m caught up in September and panicked in October, and this year the holidays came early.  The good thing about this is that I have October to catch up.  The bad thing is that because they came early, I feel further behind than usual.  But Simchat Torah is tonight, and that’s the last of the celebrations.

The garden has mostly petered out – we harvested most of the summer crops, and all that’s left is the winter stuff and the occasional ripening tomato.  The corn still has to come in, and I haven’t dug the potatoes, sweet poatoes and turnips yet, but that can wait.  I have some winter wheat and cover crops to plant, but that will take time.

I’m so busy with other work that really, a lot has slid.  I haven’t harvested everything I should have – but somehow the jars and shelves are filling up anyway.  This is the good thing about a little bit here and a little bit there being part of our life – spates of discombobulation don’t have as deep an effect as they used to.

And we’re having fun – despite the fact that I’m prone to worrying about what I haven’t done, we had a lot of guests, laughed a lot, ate a lot of good food, celebrated, made new friends, played with old ones and have had a lot of joy.  So I guess I’m ok with running behind.

Planted: Nothing

Harvested: Tomatoes, hot peppers, squash, carrots, lettuce, kale, collards, wormwood, beets, potatoes, milk, a diminishing number of eggs, eggplant.

Preserved: Made some milk into cheese, pickled some hot peppers, made some kim chi

Waste Not: Nothing special, the usual composting and feeding things to other things.

Want Not: Eric and I both got badly needed shoes.   Ordered the kids chanukah fuzzy pajamas.

Eat the Food: Eggplant everywhere – baba ganoush, strange flavor eggplant, parmagiana, with pomegranate molasses.  Also many apples.

Community Food Solutions: Did three talks on local food production.  More coming!

How about you?

Sharon

10 Responses to “Independence Days Update: Running Behind”

  1. Sonrisa says:

    It’s been a while since I’ve posted an ID update. We had a “basil frost” in mid August that burned the beans, tomatoes, buckwheat, etc., but they recovered nicely. September 5 (right on schedule) we had a frost that ended most of the outdoor summer crops. We only had 78 frost free days this year, but it has been really productive. Unlike spring (which we don’t really have out here) our falls are really nice, so anything that can take a little bit of frost does really well. The hulless oats are heading up and the buckwheat actually produced a few cups of seed in the seven weeks before it got frosted back. Oddly enough, my basil is still alive and well outside! It’s planted in my micro climate zone 7, which is the space between the south wall of my brick house and a sidewalk, so there is tons of thermal mass to store heat. I wish I had enough room to plant all my summer crops there! lol Oh, were having an unusually warm patch right now. Weird.

    Plant- Winter wheat, rye, lettuce for the green house.

    Harvest- Carrots, beets (and greens), turnips (and greens), beans, kale, tomatoes (red and green), onions, radishes, potatoes, peppers, buckwheat, cabbage, watermelon, vine peach, rhubarb, pumpkin, pasture and alfalfa for critters, milk, eggs, quail, and herbs.

    Preserved- Sauerkraut, pickled radish, canned green chiles, canned tomato sauce, canned quail,
    finished curing and bagging the egyptian onions (came out to 150lbs!), threshing and winnowing wheat (just over half way done and we already have 70lbs), and bundling and stacking the straw.

    Waste not- same as usual.

    Want not- Ordered and stacked firewood. Saving lots of seed for next year.

    Eat the food- This time of year we start eating more soups especially chowders. Beet green chowder is a favorite.

    Community food system- nope

  2. aimee says:

    Planted: garlic

    Harvest: pumpkins, last zucchini, green tomatoes, eggs, milk

    Preserved: cheese, green tomato chutney

    waste not: chicken bucket, feeding the pumpkin vines and bean stalks to the goats

    want not: ?? went to costco and stocked up on dried beans, quinoa, and rice. bought a half-hog from a neighbor, and a quarter-steer.

    Eat the food: a locally caught salmon from the freezer, leftovers made into salmon cakes and refrozen.

    Community food: yes! Swap meet (not a great success, but better hopes for next year) and joining a local women’s group focusing on how to use local foods to produce affordable, healthy food.

  3. Claire says:

    At least we haven’t had really drenching rain for awhile. It has also cooled down quite a bit. We had our first morning low in the 40Fs earlier this week. It’s fall gardening season and I have a *lot* to do before it ends.

    Planted: peppermint and mountain mint plants. My DH is plugging oak logs with shiitake mushroom spawn.

    Harvested: tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, one small melon, zucchini, raspberries, persimmons, arugula, tatsoi, lettuce, green and asparagus beans, green onions, mustard greens, butternut squash, shiitake mushrooms.

    Preserved: the DH fermented some cauliflower his mom didn’t want along with some of our garden produce. As I type he’s making sauerkraut from store-bought cabbage.

    Waste not: using the prunings and thinnings from the front yard to mulch new veggie beds. In this case the mulch has been piled on top of cardboard, newsprint, and kraft paper bags so that the grass underneath is dead by the time I’m ready to use the beds for veggies.

    Want not: working through the design process outlined in Edible Forest Gardens to take my front and back yard forest gardens to the next level in beauty and productivity.

    Community food systems: nothing this week.

    Eat the food: mushrooms in lots of dishes. An arugula salad – a personal favorite. The DH used the leftover dead yeast from winemaking in a soup. It was OK, next time he will spread the dead yeast out among more dishes (too much in this soup but we ate it anyway).

  4. NM says:

    Planted: nothing. Did get some weeding done, uncovering the garden. Guess I probably should have harvested the buckwheat, instead of tossing it in the compost when it was in the way, but too late now. Oh, well.
    Harvested: Eggs, raspberries, apples, peaches, herbs, tomatoes, CSA vegetables.
    Preserved: Canned vanilla pears, provencal vegetable soup with pistou, bread and butter pickles, sweet pickles, dried apples, peaches, raspberries and bananas, froze raspberries, breaded fried zucchini and a couple more small batches of pistou. Started a batch of raspberry melomel and one of raspberry ginger metheglin, bottled the raspberry vinegar.
    Want not:
    Waste not: I finally found something to do with overripe bananas. The things drive me nuts; husband eats a lot of them when working out of town and living in motels, but sometimes his his work schedule changes unexpectedly and they don’t get eaten, and I get really tired of banana bread. Too often find myself swearing and tossing them in the compost (also sometimes feeding them to the dogs, as treats). Tried slicing and drying them; they’re wonderful! Great relief.
    Composting, giving egg cartons and berry cartons back to farmers for re-use, as usual.
    Community food systems: Our Slow Food group held a volunteer work day at a local community garden, and co-sponsored a candidate debate, with Friends of Family Farmers; a couple new members are joining, which is great, since we are a tiny, tired group. Shared several recipes with my cousin, gave some raspberry vinegar to neighbor who brought us a fresh Dungeness crab.
    Eat the food: Spaghetti with homemade tomato sauce, spaghetti with roasted pepper sauce, garlic rosemary flatbread, green salads with homemade dressing, bread and cinnamon rolls with freshly ground flour, banana fig bread, apple tart with aniseseed, peaches and raspberries (and sometimes ginger jam), eggs and toast, ginger citrus scones, hashbrown potatoes with onions and eggs, provencal vegetable soup (the quart that failed to seal in the pressure canner), eggplant parmesan with fresh tomato sauce, chard calzone, steamed broccoli, pumpkin squares, pasta with pistou and tomatoes. Husband is happily eating the crab.

  5. carol says:

    Planted: starter cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, adolescent lettuces

    Harvested: peppers, hot peppers, peppermint (coincidence), oregano, rosemary

    Waste not: salvaged leftover hamburger from the 5th grade cookout to make chili (see below)

    Want not: picked up 11 sweaters and layering clothes from Goodwill, plus several pieces of new/used work clothes for DH’s new job for $60

    Community food systems: just about to order from our direct-from-grower network when I get off this

    Eat the food: made big batch of chili from the leftover hamburger meat, our green peppers, our hot peppers, onions, etc. will freeze half.

  6. KC says:

    In central VA, the drought has ended. We have had some heavy rain and I’ve been strewing cover crop seeds wherever I can. The garden is still producing. Last year, I planted cover crops late (in Nov) and I want to put them in earlier this year, but once again, the garden is still producing and the way is not clear. I also need to figure out next year’s garden design so I will know which cover crops to put where. Right now I am scattering crimson clover everywhere. i also have oats, triticale, Siberian peas, favas, and others. The stink bugs have come to VA. Orchards are complaining. I hope they won’t bother the garden next year! I am thinking of buying some lightweight row covers for tender vegetables.

    plant: cover crops (crimson clover, buckwheat, annual rye grass …), and a few replantings of spinach and other greens, turnips, and winter radish.

    harvest: I started digging potatoes and sweet potatoes. I harvested a few sunflowers. I hope everything will survive the heavy rains. Still tomatoes (the large red cherry tomatoes and Mexican midgets look great), peppers and okras. A few late beans are straggling in. I had planted some pole beans to climb the sunflowers and they are starting to produce. Lots of polecat beans (climbing crowder peas) and pink eye purple hull crowders (late crop). Seems like the southern crops are doing great this year (with all the weather in the 90′s) – cowpeas, okras, sweet potatoes. Harvesting lots of tomato for seed. I think the large red cherry tomatoes are really special so hope to share the seed next year at seed swaps. The fall crops are coming in – lots of endive, lettuce, escarole, chard, beets, pac choi, michili, and other greens. The misoto radishes have died! I dont know why. harvested some sconzerella (spring planted). The insects have devoured the brussel sprouts and collard plants that I bought at a nursery.

    preserve: drying peppers and tomatoes. froze: cowpeas, okra, tomato, peppers, and lots of applesauce. I have been harvesting lots of Mexican midget tomatoes. They are nice because they stay in good shape for a long time (because they are so small). I just wash them and put them in a ziplock bag in the freezer. Preserving lots of tomato seeds. Froze lots of basil/garlic/oil mix – (pesto minus the nuts and cheese). I am curing sweet potatoes and potatoes before putting into storage. I like to wrap the sweet potatoes in newspaper and then keep them under the stairs with a bowl of water nearby to keep the humidity up.

    waste not/want not: The neighbors gave us asian pears that we added to applesauce. Another friend gave us lots of basil and holy basil – I am still working on the preservation. I bought some garlic and onions for planting.

    eat the food: still lots of tomato-pepper-okra dishes with pasta or spaghetti squash. Also making gumbo with tomatoes, peppers, okra, and local chicken. And spoon bread with fresh ground cornmeal from the local water-powered mill (70 year anniversary this year) and eggs from the neighbors. Pasta with pesto. black-eyed peas with cornbread. (By the way, the miller seems really concerned with the state of our food supply in this country!)

    build community food systems: sharing cover crop seeds with a friend. food exchanging with friends and neighbors. .. eggs, basil, endive, tomatoes, pears. Playing music at local orchard and farmers market.

  7. Bob Timmons says:

    I just love fall, but I can understand being behind. I need to get out and chop firewood myself soon.

  8. Jason Tale says:

    I hate autumn, and I simply hate those dried up leaves on my beautiful garden.

  9. Rob says:

    1. Plant something: nothing
    2. Harvest something: Last of the peppers, cucumbers
    3. Preserve something: Dehydrating the last of the peppers
    4. Waste Not: Found a metal box- can use as a tool box for my glue guns; replaced the lid on my work coffee mug with a lid from another mug.
    5: Want not: bought some drill bits.
    6. Preparation and Storage: nothing
    7. Build Community Food Systems: Not exactly a food system, but took mom’s recycling and put in my bin (her apartment doesn’t offer recycling)
    8. Eat the food (cook something new): Made some fried bread. Never made before. It is Great. No more waiting for a year for oktoberfest for elephant ears. LOL.

  10. Are you going to get one?

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