Saturday, August 3, 2013

Triple Creek Farm, August 3, 2013

I have learned so much this week, as a child there were things I was not involved with and, today, I really do not have any knowledge of dealing with some issues.  I have been thinking the blackberries are getting black but what is happening to them, the storms have taken down the corn but there seems to be additional damage when there is not a storm.  I had asked Mr. Bootsie to set traps because some of the cabbage heads had been eaten and green beans plants were being eaten.  I did not put all of this together until the traps were set and a raccoon was caught.  A second raccoon was caught and the traps are being set each evening.  Saturday morning, there was an opossum waiting for us in the trap.   Corn for the chickens will not happen this year, it was corn for the raccoon and I am hoping I can save some of the tomatoes because I do need to can some of them.  Our garden is in the middle of the woods and I know I am taking a chance.  There is a huge logging operation going on just a mile or so away and I am sure we will be having the animals from the woods come to our woods.


IN THE KITCHEN

There are pickles everywhere, I have 3 different varieties on the counter working.  There are 6 pints of sweet pickle relish on the shelf, this is one of my favorites and I am so excited seeing it setting on the shelf just waiting to be eaten.  Friday morning, I was working 3 different batches of pickles, the lime pickles were jarred after boiling in the syrup for 35 minutes, hot water bath and to the cooling counter. The icicle pickles were drained and fresh boiling water was added for the last time, Saturday the syrup will be made.  The sweet chunky pickles had the syrup drained, reheated to boiling and  poured over the cucumbers.  The pantry is looking and smelling like a pickle factory.


    

I have been dehydrating squash and pickling some peppers.  Butter beans are going into the freezer, I am treasuring each and every one I harvest.  This is our first year to have a harvest of butter beans on the farm.  Oh, how I have missed my fresh picked butter beans in the freezer all year long.

ON THE FARM

Mr. Bootsie dropped a tree which has bothered me from the time we moved here.  It was such a pleasure to see it go down.  The large pine will be used to repair the bridge on the farm road.  I am so pleased we are using the trees to repair the bridge and not purchasing 6 by 6's.  There will be garden borders if we need them.  One morning this week he was working on clearing the bottom of the woods where the goats have been munching, spent one afternoon finishing up the barn as now we know what changes need to be made.  The goats were busy eating all of the leaves he is bringing to them.  They love pine so I am sure they will be glad to see the top of pine tree come their way.

IN THE COOP

Blanche went from wanting to set to molting.  My beautiful girl is not so pretty.  Feather is molting but I am hoping her molt will be easy this year as last year she lost almost every feather.  Spring peeps are now staying with the big girls all day long, eating from the same bowls and starting to take an interest in the pecking order.  The splash maran is starting to look like a turkey as she is so large.  One night this week she struggled getting on the roosting post.  Chicken diet?  I am not sure how to make changes in how she is eating.  The little peeps were 2 weeks old on Friday and Saturday, they are growing and feathers are starting to come in.  How quickly they change!!!

IN THE GARDEN

I fed the squash and cucumbers and they are starting to produce a small amount.  I am hoping I will have a few blackberries but I need to repair the damage done by the raccoons.  They have torn the vines down and broken them so badly, I know I would be pruning out this growth during the winter so I am having an early start.  They have eaten all of the sun gold tomatoes, corn and cabbage.  The Italian squash is coming in and the squash bugs seem not to be able to do the amount of damage to the plants they do to summer squash plants.  I am watching and still taking out any I see.  I have been pleased with the number of summer squash I collected this year, the cucumber harvest has been excellent.  Now I am looking for the pepper harvest as the plants seem to have settled in for the summer.  All of the potatoes have been dug and cleaned, I am going to can some of the potatoes for winter storage.



IN CLOSING

Busy, I am putting in my hours saving the harvest as well as keeping up with my daily chores.  I am really pushing hard.  Late nights and early mornings, make for long days but the harvest time is a short time and in a few weeks the garden will be slowing down and I shall have time for an afternoon nap.  I am Thankful I have been able to save the results of our garden.  We have shared with others, put lots in our pantry and of course, enjoyed so many fresh veggies.  Was it worth all of the hard work, being challenged by the wildlife and Mother Nature?  Yes, and if I am able I will do it again.  There is nothing more rewarding than raising children and having a garden.  I think I have been rewarded because we had a wonderful crop and the babies just keep on coming.  But my special happiness comes when my Wee Folk are running through the garden looking for carrots, onions, tomatoes and lots of veggies, even the ones they really do not enjoy.  I tell them they are all beautiful flowers, the fruits of the plants and each is special just like all of us.  So my special friends, so nice of you to stop by for a visit, come again real soon!!!