The Last of the Harvest

IMGP9660 I brought in the last of the leeks and carrots today, made horseradish and dug the dahlias. The ground is going to freeze any day now, so it’s time. There are still two parsley plants out there. I think I’ll scrounge a used window from my mom’s house and see if that will get them through the winter.

The dahlias had the same problem as the potatoes. They had enough water to grow nice plants, but not enough to make good tubers. Still, we got enough that we should have the same number of plants next year, and now we know to water them more.

We planted horseradish in 2008 in The-Bed-That-Kills-Even-Rhubarb, and finally got a harvest this year. I made three half-pint jars, two of which are in the freezer, which seems to be the recommended way of storing horseradish. We’ve never eaten that much store-bought horseradish in a year. We’ll see how much of this we eat.

We’re hugely enjoying the herbs we have under lights on top of the refrigerator. Fresh oregano in particular is a completely different thing from dried. The mint needs watering almost every day, and completely pouts if we forget. It still keeps recovering, but we need to figure out a way to keep it wetter.

Honey 2010 I must, must, must be more timely with the honey next year. Apparently everyone in the region got dark honey this year, and it’s as yummy as ever, but it’s thick, and got thicker when I waited to bottle it after extracting it. Even if next year is as warm as this one, I think I should try to pull the honey by Sept 15, and get it extracted and bottled by Oct. 1. Also, the bees will still be flying, and able to clean up the implements, instead of my flushing that honey down the drain. We didn’t get what I’d hoped for this year, but we now have three hives instead of one, and the departing swarm took 60 or 70 pounds of honey with it. The three hives sucked down something like 80 pounds of sugar after I pulled the honey. They did stop before it got too cold, so I’m hoping they have enough.

Happy Thanksgiving! The turkeys were as delicious as ever. We donated 10 of them to the Community Kitchen instead of the pig we did last year. It was much easier for them to just serve turkey rather than having to figure out what to do with all the parts of a pig. Randy and Dandy have made it through their third November, and continue to supervise everything that happens on the farm. Supposedly their sperm count will start to drop in 2012, but I’m enough of a softie to just add a third tom.

The difference in our grain bill has been obvious. The boys must eat at least twice what the girls do. It is so much quieter around the place, too, without all of the fighting the toms were constantly doing.

Squash! Pumpkins! Apples! Nobody seemed to want weaner pigs in October, so we’ll be taking all the ones that we didn’t trade for Zippy the Cow through the winter. If anyone is up for a winter pig roast, Mona’s boys should be ready in January. Lisa saw Parvati being bred today, which should give us piglets in late March, which is fine by us.

The sheep go into winter quarters this weekend, which is the last of the fall chores. For the winter, there’s logging, sawmilling and building and running tubing for sugaring.

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