Winter is just a few weeks away and we are enjoying wonderful Virginia weather. Daytime temperatures in the 60's and nighttime in the low 50's. The really nice feature about this weather is our wood will be lasting, if the winter gets really rough we may have enough to make it until spring. Wood cutting, splitting and racking goes on quite a lot. We do have an impressive wood yard. I am just so glad we are able to harvest our wood from our farm.
IN THE KITCHEN
I am now trying to save all the peels from the potatoes and carrots, the skins of the onions to add to my stocks when I make them. I have been reading where others place a container in the freezer and put all of these in the container for later use. When you stop think about this you should not be throwing away the peels if you make stock. They make a richer broth. If not doing a meat stock you can always make a veggie stock. I made a pot roast using the liquid from canned mushrooms and water from cooking potatoes to make creamed potatoes. The gravy was rich and filling. I am trying to teach myself not to waste anything. After the skins are cooked and the stock has been saved these vegetables, if no meat is involved, can be fed to the chickens.
In my quest to use from my pantries, I am making egg rolls. For the meat I will use smoker pork which was frozen, I will mix in onions, celery and cabbage. I used duck eggs in making my wrappers. My soup will be egg drop made with our duck eggs and chicken stock which I canned.
ON THE FARM
Wood was worked some this week, with a major clean up effort around the wood piles. When we start working wood again there will be wood brought in from downed trees. Last winter took out some oak trees and we should start to process them.
The goats are great, started brushing them this week and they are enjoying the attention.
IN THE COOP
My girl Eva is starting to look good again, her feathers are coming in, you can now see where the tail feathers are starting to grow again. I hurt for her when she molts. The egg count is down to 10 hen eggs and 7 duck eggs.
IN THE GARDEN
Mr. Bootsie has placed 2 large black plastic drums in the cold tunnel, filled them about 1/3 full of water, they should produce some heat inside the tunnel. I direct seeded some corn salad, mini Chinese cabbage and Pac-choi in the cold tunnel. Inside I planted Jersey Wakefield cabbage, Swiss chard, standard and mini, I am just trying these plants, I do hope to learn something about working the cold tunnel.
In the greenhouse, we saw our first tomato of the season. There are several more developing. I am using the same tomato type we planted last year. I do not know what the plant is but I took cuttings and rooted them. The harvest of tomatoes last year was quite good in the early spring. I was so pleased I have 2 plants this year.
If some of you are trying to learn from your garden and experiments, please share. I have moved into an area of gardening I have little to no knowledge of. I read quite a lot, have always wanted greenhouses and tunnels never realizing one day it would happen. I do not have a lot of years to waste trying to learn. If you have anything to share please do. I would enjoy any suggestions. Do not take caution if you know I am doing something wrong, please tell me. I would like for everyone to gain some knowledge from the work I am doing.