Archive for November 22nd, 2010

Independence Days Update: Thanksgiving

Sharon November 22nd, 2010

Sorry for the radio silence - it has been a hectic couple of weeks here with travel and talks and family visiting and birthdays and all sorts of stuff, but life settles down for a week now - yay!  Peace and quiet and getting things ready for winter, which is on the cusp of arrival.  But the ground isn’t frozen and there’s still a few nice days coming before the weather changes.

The tulips went in last week and were promptly dug up by my damned chickens, who keep sneaking into the fenced yard. The problem was largely resolved by the reintroduction of something in a missing species niche - ie, we put the dogs in the side yard to defend the tulip bulbs with their lives. 

The hens have just about stopped laying, so I actually bought eggs to make enough pumpkin pie.  We probably should light the hen house, but the results have never been impressive, and I tend to think that the hens need their quiet time too, just like I do in the winter.

The big news is that the goats are being bred for spring babies - older does only.  Bast, Arava and Jessie have already had their day, with Mina, Maia and Selene yet to go.  Frodo is happy as a clam!

I have a bit more late garlic to go in, and a few more bulbs, and then I’m done.  But my next garden project starts almost immediately - I have to set up the seeds to winter-stratify outside - so many of the medicinals do best when they’ve had a nice period of cold. 

We have to get the rest of the firewood under cover, and the rest of the hay moved over to the barn, but after that, winter can come, and I’m ready to settle in. I’m hoping to get most of the major projects done by the end of this week - it will be a quiet one, with guests only for the actual day of Thanksgiving, and Eric is off for most of the week, so we’ll get a lot done. 

For Thanksgiving, we’re having our usual turkey, plus our friend Joe makes Peking Duck (he’s half chinese and not from turkey) as well, which is a lot of fun.  Otherwise, we’re traditional - we’ll be eating the enormous Hubbard squash that Mac the Pyr is afraid of (vengeance!) and there’ll be the usual roots and sweets.  We already have had pumpkin pie - that’s what Simon wanted as his birthday “cake” and I’m always amazed at how delicious those winter luxury pumpkins are - they are far and away the best pie pumpkin on the earth.

I cleaned out and moved the food storage over, and found some ummm..tasty snacks for the chickens.  Let’s just say that I can’t think of any good reason why there would be baby food in my food storage, given that the baby is five, but so there was ;-) .

I managed to get some of the pruning done, but I really need another afternoon with the shears.  The buns are moved to their winter quarters in the hay barn, so winter preps are coming together. I’ve got to knit faster, though, since the boys are expecting hats and mittens!

After all the chaos, it feels like we’re coming into a homestretch of sorts - that life is getting manageable. I’ve been travelling way too much - I’ve averaged twice a month, which is just too hectic and taking up too much of my mental space.  It is the season of the year to cuddle in, and I just want to be at home.  And now I am.

Plant something: Tulips, daffodils, hyacinths (ground and pots for forcing).

Harvest something: Turnips, beets, kale, chard, bok choy, arugula, turnip greens, pea shoots, jerusalem artichokes, chinese cabbage, burdock root

Preserve something: Canned up some applesauce, dried burdock root

Waste Not: Fed babyfood and a few other things to chickens, collected lots of leaves for mulch, fertility and goat snacks.

Want Not: Sorted through the blankets and flannels and mended a lot.

Eat the food: Pumpkin pie!  Shepherd’s pie (I had extra pie crust) with veggies.  My first lamb and lentil soup of the season!  Massaman curried root vegetables. 

Build community food systems: Did a talk in Albany about our local food system.

How about you?  And what are you cooking this week?