Good morning lovely people. It’s a nice crisp morning here in Missoula.
I haven’t had nearly as much time for internetting since school started up again. Blargh. Work outside of the home is such a pain and just an inconvenience. I mean, sure, it pays the bills, but couldn’t farming if I tried hard enough?
Everything around here suffers when I’m gone so many hours a day. Gone from 6am to 5pm. Sometimes home for lunch. Then, rush to get evening chores done, Michael usually makes dinner (He’s a peach), deal with teenager stuff, maybe watch one show while knitting if my hands aren’t too tired, then bed. It’s exhausting!
We harvested everything that is cold sensitive when we had an early frost a few days ago. We got home at about 5:00 and rushed to action. Mia had homework, but Jiah was recruited to help haul all the squash, beans, tomatoes, peppers, ground cherries, cucumbers, potatoes and melons before dark. We were done just after 8:00 which meant dinner was a scavenger hunt. Every person for themselves! My bedtime is around 9:30 so I quickly ate a sandwich and got the veggies washed and put up before crashing.
It was my favorite part of the day, that last bit. Being outside, smelling the dirt and plants, using my body, playing with my husband. Michael stood at the top of the berm and tossed down winter squash for me to pile in the wheel barrow. It was like a game. Michael smiled more in those 3 hours than any full day at the office. We both agreed that it was a great evening. Even Jiah was excited for the haul.
Even though a lot of the garden is done, with the waipini we will have at least some fresh veggies all year. I’ve planted kale, chard, spinach and tatsoi, plus lots of herbs. There are still a few tomatoes and peppers in there that should last a while as well. If we are able to get a fresh tomato or two in November I will be ecstatic.
It frosted last night. Dang. I don’t know what the damage is yet because I had to head to work before sunrise. I’ll see at lunch. We harvested all the tomatoes and beans, but I didn’t get the smallest cucumbers or any peppers. It was supposed to wait another day! Dang dang dang! Hopefully the stone around the beds generated enough heat to keep the peppers warm. It’s happened before. Here’s to hope.
Bear. Bear running from yard to yard. Bear knocking over stuff. Bear freaking out the goats. Bear making Gus whine like an expectant kid on Christmas morning. Bear needs to go home because I need some sleep.
I can feel Fall creeping in. It is in the biting morning air and the random rainstorms that chill instead of refresh. The one thing I wish was different about Montana is the short growing season. Today is September 7th and we have had 3 frost warning days in the last week. Luckily for my unprepared self, we didn’t actually get that cold. ONLY 39 degrees.
The garden feels the seasons changing as well. The tomatoes aren’t reddening as quickly. The strawberries are putting out a small second wave of berries. There won’t be many days left of growth for most of the annual veggie plants I’m afraid. If we are lucky, 2 more weeks.
This is good news for the Brussels sprouts. They don’t mind a little chilly weather. I had planted them next to the zucchini which is taking over the space and crowding them out at the moment. We normally just grow the more common Black Beauty and Yellow Crookneck zucchini which are very polite bush types that know how to keep to their own side of the hugel. This year I added the more highly regarded Cotatta Romanesco zucchini. It is not a polite bush. It’s a vining squash that has eaten all the space for the Brussels sprouts, parsnips, swiss chard and kholrabi. I wish someone would have warned me this thing doesn’t understand personal space. And it’s prickly to boot! But, one good frost will show that vine who’s boss.
One great thing about becoming autumn is that the temperature in the kitchen while canning isn’t as hellish as it is in the middle of summer. I have a lot of that pesky zucchini to turn into pickles and it’s nice to know I won’t be suffering while processing cans. This season has been great for our pantry. We have tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, apricot and mixed berry jam, cherries in syrup, pickles, salsa and relish. The only thing holding me back from canning everything in the garden is a lack of a pressure canner.
I made zucchini pickles and relish since the cucumbers ripened quite late this year and we haven’t really gotten that many. To make zucchini pickles, the recipe is the same as any cucumber pickle recipe, just using sliced zucchini instead. You can’t really tell the difference either. They are quite a comparable substitution.
The winter squash has been quite productive as well. Thirteen pound candy roasters, 3 pound buttercups and 14 pound Australian butter squash. We still have squash soup in the freezer from last year! I’m going to be stuffing them in stockings come Christmas.
Where does the all the thyme go? Has it really been almost a month since my last update? It has been a fairly eventful August and I just haven’t seemed to have time to sit and write. As you may remember, Michael and I went to the fair to look for goats to add to our herd. Specifically meat goats. Boers…
I want to be an open book for someone who will press their face to the pages, trace the words with their fingers, will not leave me forgotten on a shelf. I want my binding to be worn, my words to be so well known they are almost memorized. I want my smell to invoke comfort, to demand to be read again and again.
I want to be held in someone’s hands, and be loved for every misspelling, every dogeared page, every tear, every sentence that doesn’t quite flow.
I tried milk, sour cream, ice cream, oil scrub, vinegar. Currently holding an ice pack and took Advil. I’m going to go try the alcohol and rubbing my hair. And I always have Some eczema on my hands. Guuuuuhh….
Rubbing alcohol works omygosh! It’s not totally gone, but about 80% less burn. My skin is totally sore now. I’m going to do it again. Bye.
Update: the alcohol is also just a temporary fix but the burn takes longer to come back. I scoured the internet before bed because I was not getting to sleep. I found one reference to a baking soda poultice. I tried it and by golly it fucking worked. If you get peppered, wash the skin with lots of soap and water (already had done that 59 times), make a paste of baking soda and water, spread on effected area and let dry. So, yeah, I fell asleep with baking soda all over my hands.
Next time I make a fuck ton of salsa SOMEONE remind me to wear gloves when I chop the peppers!!! Oh my fuck my hands burn!! I’ve tried everything and it won’t go away all I want to do is knit and that feels like razor blades on my skin please help!!!