I am walking down the road to the coop and there are acorns everywhere, how I wish I had a pig or two. They would be going through the fallen leaves finding all of the acorns and gobbling them up. We, also, have some of the largest hickory nuts I have every seen here. They have been about the size of marbles, but this year with the outside shell they are quite large. Some of our popular trees are bare and the ground under them is covered with leaves. There is a load of wood in the wood rack waiting for us to light a fire. I do not consider the outside fireplace a heat source as we burn it just for fun.
IN THE KITCHEN
I made corn sticks and how Mr. Bootsie loves them. Years ago, we traveled to North Carolina almost weekly and would stop in Gardner's, an all-you- eat bbq restaurant. They made the thin corn sticks, I found a Wagner bread stick pan at an auction one day and after cleaning it throughly, I have made a number of corn sticks in it. During the summer I do not bake a lot of quick breads which require hot heat in the oven. One evening, I made a pan of kefir biscuits and they were enjoyed.
Using the potatoes from the garden and pulled scallions I made sour cream potato salad. I was told not to loose the recipe and I really did not have a recipe. Cubed and boiled my red bliss potatoes until tender, chopped a bunch of scallions and 2 stalks of celery, added some sweet cucumber relish and mixed with Duke's mayonnaise and sour cream. Salt and pepper to taste.
This week I made Kefir broccoli or cauliflower cheese soup. The recipe uses kefir but you can use milk or half and half for a richer soup. This is such a hearty soup to serve on a cold evening with crusty bread, wonderful for dipping into the soup. Using frozen broccoli or cauliflower, it is very quick to make. I used broccoli and cauliflower in my soup, we like the mix of the two vegetables.
ON THE FARM
Mr. Bootsie has the duck house in the duck run, they had been sleeping on the ground and were not happy about being moved into a house. My girl stopped laying eggs for a few days to let me know how upset she was. Each afternoon he has been tweeking something on the duck house to make it work a little easier. Our winter preparation is going well. I think we are on schedule at this time.
IN THE COOP
Only 1 of the old ladies is laying, new girls have not started but they should real soon and the 5 cochins are still laying good. Several days this week all of the cochins laid eggs. The egg count for this week is 29 and 4 duck eggs were collected. The month of September, the girls laid 172 eggs and our duck laid 20 eggs.
I started feeding a little scratch because the night temperatures are getting a little chilly. The corn in the scratch with help keep them warm through the night.
IN THE GARDEN
I have planted spinach, I know it is late but I will give it a try. The kale, collards and mustard I planted earlier did not come up. I have lettuce coming up.
My butter beans are loaded with blooms but I do not think I will be picking any butter beans, Frost will get them I am sure. I am going to be moving somethings next year, as I may have an airflow problem. It gets very still in one area of the garden.
I am picking climbing spinach and peppers. There are a few eggplants on the vines. Pulling one row of scallions. My late beans may become dried beans. They were Italian broad beans and with the rain they grew quickly. I am watching to see if I can collect some of them. The cucuzzi started hiding in the vines and several are very large and I hope I can get some seeds from them. I did pick one watermelon and it has a good taste. The chickens have been getting more of the melons than us because they seem to enjoy them so much. Dug the sweet potatoes on Saturday and considering all the problems, I will be able to save my bush sets because there were some nice sweet potatoes.
We have had a good week on the farm. I am pleased the ducks have a house and will be protected during the winter. The garden was not the best this year but I was not defeated, the seed books were out one rainy morning this week and I was making notes. I am changing the way I order seeds this year. I am not going to try many new things. I need to have crops to put up and not just grow things to see what they will do. I have learned a very good lesson. It was not a costly lesson as I have put up a lot this year. Now if I can find a way to conquer those stink bugs, I miss my squash, cucumbers, and melons. The only other option is to find varieties they do not like. The watermelon from Israel was a good choice this year. As I study I will share the knowledge I gain with you.
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