Archive for October 26th, 2009

Midnight Train to Georgia

Sharon October 26th, 2009

Thanks, everyone, for the wonderful music suggestions for my journey!  Remember, if you are in the Macon area, I’ll be at Mercer University, speaking about energy and ecology and our collective crisis.  I’m a completely new talk about how to personal responses -  and their political implications, and a variation on one I’ve done before, both on Friday.  There is still time to register for the conference - more info here:  I’m really looking forward to meeting people - I think this is going to be an exciting and important event.

Also, I’m returning to Albany via Amtrak on Sunday afternoon, but husband and children will be elsewhere, and cabs always hate going out as far as my place - if anyone would like to barter a ride from Albany-Rens train station to Knox, for, say, space in one of my classes or something else I’ve got, email me at [email protected] - I’d love to trade.



Independence Days Update: Knitting Weather

Sharon October 26th, 2009

I suspect that I won’t have much to report next week.  You should also expect to see a quiet blog this week - whether there will be any posting at all will depend on Amtrak’s wireless situation - some trains are better than others, and while I’m hoping I can do some online work on the train, I’ve had trips where the connection didn’t work much.  On the other hand, this blog is rapidly approaching 1000 posts (I know there’s some material from the old blog that never did get imported over, so I suspect I’ve actually already crossed the 1000 post mark, but who knows for sure), and we all know I’m not exactly the briefest writer out there, so if you are really feeling withdrawal… ;-) .

By the time I’m back, we’ll be entering the final autumn push to get ready for winter - plus I’m running an event at my shul, we’ve got guests coming, Simon’s birthday party and then we’re off again for Thanksgiving.  I’m starting to look at December dreamily, knowing that the garden will be put to bed, the seed catalogs start flowing in, the guests mostly gone, Eric’s term winding up and the push for my AIP book not really on yet. 

We had Asher’s fourth birthday party yesterday, and it was lovely - good friends and good food and slightly overstimulated four year old. One of the best parts is watching our friends’ kids, who know that this is their farm too, climb the trees, carry around the goats and chicks, and build dams in the creek.  My boys decorated the cake, at Asher’s request, with “spice drops and jelly beans” and it really was quite a creation - chocolate buttermilk cake filled with raspberry jam, covered with whipped cream and the aforementioned candy, plus some pink sugar sprinkles that took Asher’s fancy.  Eric rather drily observed that they’d left a quarter inch of visible whipped cream uncovered…   But they were happy.

At the party we ate the very last of the summer tomatoes - actually, I still have a couple more, but we’ll finish them today.  And tomorrow, before I go, we’ll grill the last of the eggplant.  The peppers, which don’t hold well, are already done, and that will the end of summer’s unpreserved tastes.  But that’s ok - I’ve already got the parsnip-celeriac chowder and the pumpkin pie in the queue.

One of today’s projects is to catch the turkeys and weigh them - I’m hoping they are large enough to go to the butcher in the next two weeks, since 18 full grown turkeys is more than we have need for, and we could use the space back.  There was a hatchery failure, so we got our turkeys a month later than usual, so we shall have to see. 

It looked like Bast went into heat the day before yesterday, so we’re starting to figure out when the breedings will be.  The hope is to breed for April, but around our Thanksgiving trip and also around Passover, which is mercifully early this year.  If all goes well, we’ll breed Bast in three weeks, and she’ll be due the day after Pesach ends.

I got four more bushels of apples on Friday morning, and reserved the winesaps yet to be picked at our favorite orchard.  And a bushel of sweet potatoes to make up for the slimy ones that did badly in our cold, wet summer.  

The temperatures are still holding - we are still enjoying fresh greens and beets, leeks and turnips, chard and kale, carrots and the first parsnips.   I’ve still got to get the last of the garlic in, and the remaining bulbs as well - but those will have to wait until I get back. It won’t be the first time that I’ve let it go until November.  I’ve also got to start digging roots - marshmallow, elecampane, burdock, dandelion.   I’m reminded of why I don’t leave that often - so much to do, so little time!

Ah well.  I’m excited about my adventure too - looking forward to taking a trip I haven’t made in years, warm sunshine, beautiful views, ripe tomatoes and meeting new people.  Or I will be, as soon as I get the laundry done ;-) .

How about you?

Plant something: Garlic

Harvest something: Beets, turnips, kale, chard, carrots, parsnips, comfrey, onions, scallions, leeks, arugula, brussels sprouts, rhubarb, milk, eggs, sage, oregano, wild and tame apples, quinces, daikon.

Preserve something: some sauerkraut, rhubarb sauce, fermented beets, quince jam, began making carrot pickles.

Waste Not: Besides the usual composting and feeding waste to various creatures, we’re scavening leaves for compost everytime we go into town. 

Want Not: Filled up the bins of goat and chicken feed, four bushels of apples, a bushel of sweet potatoes.

Build Community Food Systems: Interviews for Independence Days, began plotting my “hot men of sustainable agriculture” calendar to go along Crunchy Chickens “hotties of science” theme. 

Eat the Food: Kids really like dim-sum style turnip cakes and stir fried cabbage.  Yum!